During the past month, the Partnerships Center at the Department of Labor has taken their Job Clubs Initiative on the road, hosting regional events in Kansas City, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Grand Rapids. The events promote the efforts of local faith and community-based employment support groups in getting Americans back to work. They also facilitate partnerships between these job clubs and public and private partners, such as the workforce investment system, community foundations, and employers.
In Kansas City, MO the DOL Center held the event at St. James United Methodist Church, the congregation of Representative Emanuel Cleaver II, where his son, Emanuel Cleaver III serves as senior pastor. The event brought together job club coordinators, faith leaders, nonprofits, government agencies, and employers from across the Kansas City, KC and MO metro region. The local Fox news station covered the event, which you can view here.
In Minneapolis, MN Deputy Secretary of Labor, Seth D. Harris, joined the DOL Partnerships Center at Temple Israel synagogue for an event that featured the work of seven congregation and nonprofit based job clubs in the Twin Cities metro area. Rev. Rodney Anderson, Senior Chaplain at Gustavus Adolphus College and long-time job club leader shared a tip that one of his job clubs has used: a “Book of Jobs” that catalogs all the employers and open job positions associated with members of the congregation. Deputy Secretary Harris, who was introduced by Representative Keith Ellison, delivered remarks to the assembled audience of more than 150 people about President Obama's new proposals for job training. You can view a slideshow of photos from the event visit here.
In Phoenix, job clubs from across the Valley of the Sun have been working especially hard to help the long-term unemployed grow their professional networks and get back into the workforce. The event held at North Phoenix Baptist Church featured the work of Career Connectors, a local nonprofit that holds job club events across the region, and Maricopa Workforce Connections, the local workforce agency that has developed model partnerships with job clubs and other faith-based and community institutions. View the slideshow here. Read a blog post from one of the Career Connectors job club members.
For more information on the DOL Partnerships Center Job Clubs Initiative visit www.dol.gov/jobclubs.
Ben Seigel serves as the Deputy Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Labor.