Rewarding Work: What it’s Like Working in Father Joe’s Villages’ Employment and Education Services Program

For a year, Gabe Paez has been an Employment and Education Services instructor at Father Joe’s Villages. He credits it as being one of the most fulfilling jobs he has ever had.


 

Gabe Paez
Instructor
Employment and Education Services

 

 

The Employment and Education Services (EES) department is one of the most rewarding places I have ever worked. My position as an Instructor has humbled me and made me grateful at the same time. Employment and Education Services provides clients the services they need to prepare for housing and employment. Employment and Education Services helps people experiencing homelessness by taking the time to teach them valuable skills for the workplace and provides resources for clients to utilize during their job search. The services complement Father Joe’s Villages additional Vocational Training programs, the Skills and Training Enhancement Programs (STEPs) and the Culinary Arts Program (CAP), by providing those clients with job search prep and support to supplement the vocational training they receive.

 

EES Employment and Education Services consists of a computer lab, an education classroom and a resource room. The computer lab is used primarily for tasks related to finding jobs and housing searches. The education room is equipped with desks and computers allowing ample room for the clients to complete any paperwork or create documents. Our clients can use the resource room to make copies, send/receive faxes and make telephone calls. Any issue the client has with creating documents or using the internet is quickly resolved by the Employment and Education Services team. For those with limited typing experience, Employment and Education Services even offers an online typing program.

 

The most rewarding part of my day is instructing clients in the modules I teach. Employment and Education Services offers seven modules (or training classes). The Employment and Education Services modules really help clients prepare for employment and housing. The curriculum for each class was developed with the specific and unique needs of homeless people in mind. The modules include:

  • Computer basics
  • Resume building
  • Microsoft Office skills
  • Interviewing
  • Job applications
  • Budgeting
  • Housing preparation

In 2017, 97% of clients who participated in the Employment and Education Services modules demonstrated increased employability, and 70% of Employment and Education Services clients who received targeted services obtained employment.

 

Clients with computer skills who live at Father Joe’s Villages can assist in the computer lab as part of their “Shared Living Responsibilities.” Employment and Education Services also offers services provided by Employment Specialists who network with the community and discover employment opportunities available for our clients. Employment Specialists often work directly with a client, helping them find the right opportunity and advocating with an employer on their behalf. The Employment Specialists also post job openings in the resource room, and provide the clients with job leads and openings.

 

Every day at Employment and Education Services offers an opportunity to assist clients and help them achieve the goals they are working towards. Linda Pitzer-Donato, an Employment and Education Services instructor, explains the benefits clients gain when utilizing Employment and Education Services:

The client benefitted from Employment and Education Services by learning to use a computer, having a resume created for him, one on one assistance with filling out online applications, interview coaching and attending homeless court. One struggle that greatly afflicted the client was his low threshold of patience with online applications. Now that the client is gainfully employed he no longer needs to fill out online job applications and he is very grateful for this! The client is very content with his life, and very grateful to Father Joe’s Villages for all the help he received here.

The collaboration of each member of the Employment and Education Services team creates a welcoming atmosphere to accommodate and assist the clients. Together we provide the services clients need to succeed and empower themselves. The Employment and Education Services team is honored to do their part in giving back to the community and each member takes pride in helping.