A Step Toward Job Readiness: Yvette’s Story

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Note: We are excited to update this post to include that Yvette has been hired on full-time with the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID) here in Seattle! Congratulations, Yvette! 

Yvette George started off somewhat timid and shy when she first started working with staff at the Millionair Club Charity, but sitting in a room with her now, her energy and enthusiasm is infectious.

Fridays are graduation days at Millionair Club, where workers moving through our STEP program are celebrated for progressing through the four steps of the program: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. On Friday May 5, Yvette graduated from Silver to Gold, which means she has developed an achievement plan with an employment specialist, attended safety, soft skills and resume building workshops and is working 60 hours a month.

“I started with nothing and MCC helped me get everything,” Yvette said. “Clothes, shoes, how to communicate and interact with people. I knew some of it but MCC staff helped me get a refresh.”

Pamela Elessa, MCC’s Director of Supportive Employment Services, has worked with Yvette to get her job ready over the past few months.

Seeing Yvette grow and develop her skills through the STEP program has been an “amazing feeling” for Pamela, noting that Yvette did not really speak up in workshops when she first started attending, but now she shares her own life experiences, asks questions and doesn’t shy away from conversation with anyone.

“Yvette needed gentle encouragement and the opportunity to work,” Pamela said. “She worked hard, and didn’t let inclement weather be an excuse. Many of our workers are just like her…they come here to succeed.”

Right now, Yvette is sharing a one-bedroom apartment with her friend who referred her to the Millionair Club, but she’s hopeful that as she interviews for permanent employment she’ll be on the path to getting her own place.

“I have more self-confidence and feel more prepared after learning little things that employers like,” Yvette said.

Congrats to Yvette as she moves through the STEP program – we can’t wait to see what happens next for her!

You can support Millionair Club workers like Yvette in a few ways:

Yvette (right) with Pamela (left) after the STEP graduation on Friday, May 5, 2017.
Yvette received an achievement award recognizing her advancement from Silver to Gold level in the STEP program!

Introducing the Next STEP for our MCC Employment Program

Each year the Millionair Club Charity’s employment program helps over 1,000 men and women who are homeless or living in poverty become job ready and connect to employment opportunities. To enhance job readiness, the Millionair Club Charity (MCC) offers a variety of free services to meet the specific needs of people living at low income levels or on the streets. Services to facilitate job readiness include:

  • Meals
  • Showers
  • Laundry
  • Storage Lockers
  • Work Clothes
  • Computer Access
  • And so much more

Once individuals feel ready to work, they can access jobs through our temporary staffing agency, a supportive employment program that is utilized  by over 1,000 employers in the greater Seattle area. In 2016 MCC workers were employed on 15,000 days of work, meeting the staffing needs of our diverse employer base. The ultimate goal is for the MCC worker to find a permanent job with a living wage. In 2016, 232 men and women achieved this goal.

In January 2017, the MCC identified the need to motivate workers in the employment program to obtain additional training that would make them more successful at finding and keeping permanent jobs. This new program is called STEP- Strategy, Training, Employment, and Performance. The STEP program has a four level structure, with each level bringing enhanced status for workers within our employment program hierarchy. STEP uses incentives to motivate workers to attend workshops on a variety of topics designed to enhance their job search and on-the-job performance.

From Bronze to Platinum, each STEP level increases job readiness to improve our clients long term job goals, from a simple safety training in the MCC’s computer lab, all the way to opening up a bank account with the help of MCC staff. Eddie, pictured below, comes to the MCC every morning and gets great feedback from employers. He has now graduated into the Gold level of STEP. Congrats Eddie.

SONY DSCTo date, 17 clients have achieved the Silver level, 12 have achieved Gold, and 3 have accomplished the Platinum level. In all, our MCC job seekers have attended STEP workshops on 158 occasions. 

The MCC staff reports that employers are more eager to hire workers that have achieved levels of competence through trainings, and have earned designations that show those achievements. The MCC staff looks forward to reporting more on STEP, and its impact on permanent employment and job retention success at the end of 2017!

You can benefit a worker like Eddie by hiring through our MCC staffing service, or by donating to help our workers increase job readiness through MCC support services.

The Millionair Club Charity’s supportive employment program is a social enterprise that is a proud subgrantee of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) and a member of the REDF portfolio.