The Jobs Partnership: 2

> Orlando, FL

Jeff and MarcWilliam Hunter is about to complete his Sprinkler Filter Journeyman training course at Seminole Community College in Orlando. He’s proud to have “a good job with a future.”

Will’s brighter future began in 2001, when he graduated from The Jobs Partnership, a unique FBO job readiness training program that matches churches and businesses to help underemployed individuals prepare for and secure good jobs. Before enrolling in The Jobs Partnership program, Will, a single parent, was working sporadically at temporary construction jobs. Following graduation, Will secured his present, full-time job as an installer at Wiginton Fire Sprinklers.

According to Jobs Partnership director Marc Stanakis, mentors are a key to the program’s success. Will was matched with Pastor Djuan Irvin of New Life Ministries. The influence of his pastor/mentor is hard to ignore in Will’s success. Although he was ultimately able to secure a car through the Job Partnership’s relationship with Charity Cars in Orlando, Will was dependent for a substantial period of time on his pastor for transportation to and from work. “If it had not been for Pastor Irvin being my mentor, I probably would have dropped out,” Will says. “I am so glad I stayed.”

Jobs Partnership participants take 12 weeks of classes focusing on the “soft skills” so desired by employers. Since beginning in the Orlando area, the initiative has placed 217 graduates into full-time employment with an average starting wage around $9.00 per hour. Due to the unique challenges of central Florida, classes are offered in both English and Spanish.  When discussing the influence the Jobs Partnership has had on his own life, Will sums up: “The training they give you really helped me. Things like your attitude that you take on the job. The training helped me with life in general. It’s more than just getting a good or better job.”


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