WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT – This program does more than connect people and jobs; it helps people become employable, as explained in the following:
Job Referrals: Following are the brief outlines of the Application Process and the Hiring Process for Contractors, both of which include five very brief steps (Both are included in the Workforce brochure in the Section V attachments.) Step 1: Applicant access online application on applies in person. Step 2: Application is entered in database. Step 3– Applicant is evaluated and classified by trade and skills.
Step 4-Applicant is referred to subcontractor based on need. Step 5-If hired, applicant’s employment activities are tracked.
The simple” 5-Step Hiring Process”, as outlined in our brochure is as follows. Step 1-Partnering construction, hospitality, CBOs (Community Based Organizations), and or local businesses submit an Employee Request Form (via fax, email, or in person), a simple form which details job description, title, hours, pay, interview days/times, whether or not uniform/driver’s license is required, etc, and/or arrange a meeting with Workforce Development Team to discuss employment. Step 2-We then search our database of over 5,000 applicants for qualified applicants and then contact applicants to determine availability and interest. Step 3-We provide a list of applicants that best fit employers criteria. Step 4-Assist in scheduling interviews with applicants. Step 5-Contractor conducts normal hiring process with candidates. Lastly, we request but do not require, that the contractor complete a brief survey (see Section V attachments, “How did the JUMP applicant Do?”) so that we can ascertain further soft-skills coaching opportunities or alternate Job training or referral options.
Online Applications Assistance and Basic Computer/Web Navigation Skills: Online computer applications can be daunting for those with limited computer skills, and the vast majority of employers no longer accept paper applications. In order to complete online applications, an email address, log-in/username, and password are required, as well as a soft-copy resume for uploading. Many of our applicants do not have ready computer access and/or require more assistance and more time than is available in a public library. At JUMP, applicants can schedule an appointment to set up the requisite email address, are taught how to access email, how to register with log-in and password on employer websites, and basic web navigation techniques. We also assist with resume creation, resume editing, providing soft and hard copies of resumes, and assist with uploading the completed resume onto employers application. Once desired available job openings are located, we assist with the online application process, from simple proofreading to data entry for our applicants. We also assist with filling out of paper applications, at applicant’s request. Over 200 applicants were provided online computer assistance, web searches for jobs, and were successful in submitting online applications to Lowe’s Home Improvement, Omni Hotel, McDonald’s, Save-A-Lot, Walmart, Sheraton, Bestway Services, Home Depot, Burger King, E&D Properties, Comcast Call Center, Mark Lynn Architecture, State Farm, Fifth Third Bank, and a host of others.
OSHA Training – We provide 10 hour OSHA training at the JUMP offices for our applicants and at the request of contractors who utilize our applicants.
Banquet Service Training/ABC Cards – This training takes place at Panache Catering on Jefferson Street and teaches the basics of proper service, such as which side to serve and on which side to pick up, how to carry a tray, etiquette, and proper presentation. Centerplate, who has the food and beverage contract for the Music City Center, attended some training sessions, has hired participants on the spot and frequently contacts us when hiring for banquet positions for our applicants. JUMP provides the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Commission) class so that applicants can earn their ABC card necessary for banquet service and giving them additional credentials for other positions.
Child Support Assistance Referrals -Applicants often require assistance navigating the system to manage and/or modify child support obligations due to change in job status or income. We assist applicants in making the necessary contacts to the Juvenile Justice Center and Department of Human Services. We also refer applicants to legal clinics held by partnering CBOs for legal advice and assistance. This service is vitally important because driver’s licenses, and possibly jail time, are linked to the handling of child support issues. If an applicant loses his/her drivers license and/or is incarcerated, it becomes exponentially more difficult to obtain, or retain, employment.
Drivers License/State Identification Assistance at JUMP – Many applicants come to JUMP from recent incarceration, with suspended licenses that have been confiscated, or licenses that have been suspended due to child support issues or previous traffic violations. ID is required in order to obtain a job, and a jail/prison ID does not leave a very positive impression, to say the least. Here at JUMP, we have done everything from providing transportation to the Social Security Administration and the DMV, and the Dept. of Safety to navigating the receipt of out-of-state clearance letters, birth certificates, and social security cards, so that applicants will have one of the basic necessities for employment. In many forums, we strongly recommend that inmates are provided a state identification card, or a drivers license, if he/she is eligible. It is exceedingly difficult to do the required legwork, upon release, if one has no ID and no drivers license.
Drivers License Assistance Referrals– Some applicants have never had a drivers license, often because of the laws connecting grades and school attendance to eligibility for a drivers license. If it is determined that reading comprehension is a barrier, applicants are recommended to have the test read aloud and/or referred to other agencies, CBOs, or partnering individuals to assist in studying for the tests. Many licenses are suspended because of court costs. These applicants are referred to agencies for legal advice toward having fees reduced, eliminated, or a slow-pay option. Some applicants are referred to the appropriate governmental agency for fee reduction/elimination assistance.
TennCare, Voting Rights Restoral Advocacy, and Paperwork Assistance – Applicants, especially elderly, often need assistance navigating paperwork/internet in order to apply, maintain, retain, re-apply for services such as unemployment, TennCare, indigency status, voting rights restoral, etc. Due to a grant received by the Frist Foundation Technology Division, we are able to purchase additional laptops to better assist our applicants, both to research necessary information and to help with data entry.
Expungement Referrals – Many of our applicants have background issues with varying degrees of severity. What we have discovered is that many infractions are reflected multiple times on applicant’s criminal history, causing the criminal history to appear more lengthy than it actually is. There are also instances in which a charge was reduced, yet the initial charge still remains, again making the criminal history look more egregious and more lengthy (For example, an attempted murder charge is reduced to aggravated assault. The aggravated assault charge is expunged, but the attempted murder charge incorrectly remains and is exposed when a potential employer conducts a background check.) Upon request, we provide applicants copies of their criminal history, for review and because a copy is required in order to meet with Criminal Court Clerk representative for possible expungement.
Hard and Soft Skills Training – At the JUMP office and in outreach activities by CBOs, we provide interviewing skills and sample interviewing questions. We also work with applicants to determine, and practice, appropriate responses to said questions to increase applicant chances of interviewing well and gaining employment. We provide resume assistance, in which we edit, create, and/or provide soft and hard copies of resumes to our applicants. Resumes are also stored in our database for future reference or editing, and hard copies are always available to applicants, upon request.
Further, we are a partner to Southeastern Laborers Union, who provides hard skills construction training to our applicants, who are then referred to contractors who are looking for that particular trade. We are also a partner to TEAM, a group of retired educators and tradesmen who are willing to provide training in their various disciplines, such as plumbing, electrical, mechanics, etc. to our applicants. Once applicants hone these skills, they are considerably more marketable in the employment arena. TEAM members also teach business skills to assist applicants in new business start-up.
There are challenges, however. While background issues are hardly relevant in the construction industry; this is not the case with “inside jobs”. We have, however, successfully forged relationships built, in part, upon the quality of our applicants and training programs, with several employers who have agreed to consider our applicants on a case-by-case-basis, taking into account, not only the crime, but the applicant’s presentation, job fit, willingness and eagerness to work, and the sincere desire to make life changes and contribute to society.
To that end, we are constantly looking to partner with other hospitality entities and request that should a candidate’s background create hesitation in a decision to award a job, we ask that employers please consider granting the applicant a personal interview, in the hope that companies will see the potential, the sincerity, and the desire for a second chance.
When we meet with prospective employers, we ask that companies seize the opportunity to provide an opportunity for our applicants to better themselves, support their families, and enhance Nashville’s economy rather than be a burden upon our society and our economy. There are many barriers to obtain gainful employment when one has background issues. We respectfully ask that companies be willing to grant a second chance to those applicants who have demonstrated renewed strength of character and their determination and motivation to obtain gainful employment . Recognizing that insurance companies may not allow coverage of applicants with certain background issues, we provide incentivizing information on the Federal Bonding Program which basically takes the place of your insurance AND information on tax credits available to those progressive companies who hire some of these applicants.