Paths to New Jobs Can Start at Church

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by TwoCatDoctors, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    CNN Living
    Paths to new jobs can start at church
    By Cheryl Castro, CNN

    Marietta, Georgia (CNN) -- In this tough economy, a steady paycheck is a big blessing. With the unemployment rate above 10 percent, Americans are finding new ways to help each other out. For many, it's through their faith.

    "We did say our prayers," Patricia Mulroney said. "I pray to St. Joseph even now. He is our patron of workers. I still pray to him every day."

    Yet believers like Mulroney are doing more than praying. They're getting help in their job searches from houses of worship. And religious institutions are answering the call: Houses of worship nationwide have offered job-finding help.

    Mulroney has looked for help in finding a job through a network created at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Marietta, Georgia, just outside Atlanta.

    The church has reviewed résumés and arranged meetings between job-seekers and company representatives. It also has hosted speakers who have discussed financial planning and interview techniques.

    Similar programs have received attention in places such as Arizona, California and Michigan.

    St. Joseph's started helping unemployed members last year after a priest contacted Art Eyzaguierre, a parishioner with a background in career management.

    Eyzaguierre says the priest told him, "we've been getting a lot of phone calls from people that are unemployed and really hurting ... and we'd like you to come to a council meeting to talk about what we should do."

    By May of last year, St. Joseph's Career Community Network was born. "When you're helping people ... they're getting what they need," Eyzaguierre said. "They're getting jobs, the hope they need. ... I feel replenished."

    Patrick Brennan, another founding member, found himself out of work in the early part of 2009. His involvement with the Career Community Network paid off, literally, with a job.

    "It's through these different networking opportunities ... through your churches ... you get to meet people ... and potentially get positions," Brennan said. "That happened to me, where I was networking and actually found a position ... as a result of meeting people through the career network."

    Brennan says church-based career networks like his reach out in both a spiritual and practical sense for the unemployed, the under-employed and those seeking to re-enter the work force.

    "We offer review of résumés ... the opportunity to meet with department leaders or heads of companies ... discuss with them where individual career goals can go," he said. "We also have featured speakers who help with financial planning, retirement funds, health benefits and also interviewing techniques ... looking at different market shares."

    Caroline Rittenhouse helps organize biweekly sessions. When she signed on, Rittenhouse was a stay-at-home mom looking to re-enter the work force. She's now employed and using her job skills in training and instructional design to help others find work.

    "My motivation was seeing how tough the job market was and how many people across every industry, every income level, were feeling the job loss and the unemployment situation," Rittenhouse said.

    She says networking opportunities, like those offered through St. Joseph's Career Community Network, are key, and houses of worship may offer a more comfortable environment. "There is something about going to a church," Rittenhouse said. "Personally, I feel like it's more welcoming."

    Americans overwhelmingly support government funding for religious groups to provide social services like job training.

    Nearly nine years after former President George W. Bush unveiled his faith-based initiative, 69 percent of Americans say they favor the idea, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Sixty-eight percent believe that people providing the services through houses of worship would be more caring and compassionate.

    Mulroney not only supports the idea, she got involved a few months ago at St. Joseph's as both a volunteer and a job seeker.

    "My last position, I was in for seven years and not really comfortable with networking, so I thought the church would be a great place to start ... and get contacts to possibly help me find employment," Mulroney said.

    Since then, Mulroney has moved to Florida. She says she's taking the hope, faith and job skills St. Joseph's Career Community Network provided and will probably join another job networking group at a local church, in her ongoing search for a steady paycheck.

  2. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Very encouraging!

    I love your skills in always bringing us such valuable information!

    Love, Judy
  3. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I read this article and I loved it. I think this is so relevant right now in this economy PLUS so absolutely fabulous that the churches are going even further and helping job seekers with reviewing resumes and helping people search for jobs and connect with people looking for employees. I think this is absolutely a wonderful thing to do. I pray they are able to keep this going.

  4. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    And the churches will have that human warmth, and feelings of community - instead of being just a stranger in an impersonal beauracracy.

    It's so unhealthy too how all we ever hear on the news is negative things. In this world there are many large and small good, caring, innovative things being done all the time!

    We need news just like this - which is just as true, to hearten us!

    Send my greetings to Shelby and Caesar - they are so wonderful. And you are so wonderful for them. They're your healers, and you are theirs.

    Love, Judy
  5. Beadlady

    Beadlady Member

    I have also heard of churches having professional clothing on hand too--Might be in a special room designated as Dress for Success or something like that. The one in my area, has shoes, purses, stuff for men & women,
  6. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    That is wonderful and will help people because everyone is told to "dress for an interview." And getting clothes for an interview is costly when you are out of work and it must be so hard to get up the nerve to try to ask others. This way people get help in a way that is non-judgmental and friendly and supportive.

    This is such a positive and encouraging thread of what is being done for others and just reading it makes me feel so good. [My cats Cesar and Shelby are giving it their highest rating "All paws up." ]
  7. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    That's wonderful about God working it to get you the perfect job--yes, it is amazing how so many times God is guiding us and we don't realize it. During times when I am not doing well or things are not going well, I often notice that I find some birds some where singing me fantastic songs or some beautiful flowers blooming and I am awestruck by the beauty of the birds' songs and the flowers' colors and some times where they appear out of no where. I give thanks for them as I feel it is almost a sign to me that "He" is there and to keep going during the bad times and "Don't Quit."

    On today's TV news I caught part of another really inspiring news story and I'm sure I missed the part about men's clothes.

    I caught the part about working clothes for needy women that are due to interview for a job. The place gets a referral from churches and other groups and brings in the woman, and a "personal consultant" works with the woman to find her a free business suit outfit that is perfect for her to interview in (often with a beautiful scarf to wear and shoes). Then they arrange to get the woman's hair cut for free and done by a hair salon plus the woman gets free makeup and the woman is taught how to put it on. THEN, if the woman is hired, she returns and gets 5 free work outfits to help her get started. They take donations from everywhere in the communities and it is wonderful.

    I am so pleased to see the places that help others get jobs. They said it has helped many a woman get a job and I'm sure that after a nice business suit plus hair and makeup, these women look and feel totally different and much more confident. Wonderful, wonderful people to do this.
  8. Beadlady

    Beadlady Member

    Yes they do similar things in this area too. We have two hair styling schools within about 2 miles of each other and they both will allow a social service agency and possibly churches too to send a client with a referall note to get a free haircut from a student in training.

    When I worked for a private non-profit agency, I knew people who sold Avon and I was able to connect a couple of people for that too.

    ***On a personal note** I recently saw a client I had at my previous job--at the time she was a single mother of 3 struggling to attend college and work part time. I helped her to get "adopted" for Christmas one year and when I saw her shopping she told me they were adopting a family this year in need of assistance too. This lady is now a nurse, working full time and is engaged.

    She thanked me for all the time I spent with her helping her to get her life back together.

    She is one of the special clients I had and I was really glad to see her again.****

    [This Message was Edited on 02/16/2010]
  9. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    In these economic times where people are struggling, it is very uplifting and inspiring to read this thread. Reading more posts about places all over helping people prepare for interviews for jobs is wonderful. And reading that you saw one of your clients and she is doing so well and is helping a family now is so wonderful of her to do. You must be so pleased and very proud of her.