There are so many businesses in Howard County. Yes, I know that’s a super general statement, but it’s true. From restaurants to car service centers to salons to fitness clubs and everything in between, we are pretty lucky to have such a diverse business industry.
Speaking of diversity, though, let me tell you what makes our local business climate that much cooler -- many of them partner with Bona Vista’s WorkForce Diversity program to provide community employment to adults with disabilities. And, this isn’t a new concept! This program has been placing pre-screened, dependable job candidates in the community for more than 40 years!
So what’s the big deal? I’m glad you asked. The big deal is that someone who may have been told that they would never be able to find a job, can find a job with a little help from one of our qualified, certified, bona-fide Workforce Diversity job coaches. The staff in this program know the local job climate, participate in local and state activities that relate to employment and the economy, and work one-on-one with those seeking employment and those employers seeking prepared, loyal staff.
As much training as our staff goes through, our adults in the program go through just as much between job readiness classes, internships and other specific training programs that ensure they are prepared for employment when they start a new job. Wouldn’t that be beneficial for everyone entering the workforce? They not only learn skills, but they also gain self-confidence. They are excited and want to go to work every day. If I was a business owner, those are the kind of people I would want to hire!
Take my friend Albert who has worked at Walgreens for years or my friend Allison who just recently got hired at Aperion Care. My friend Ramone who cleans tables at Hacienda or my friend Scott who has pushed carts at Meijer for more than 15 years. They are all amazing individuals who just needed a little assistance. Perhaps it was help with a resume, filling out an online application, learning how to look people in the eye, giving a firm handshake, or even just getting that boost of confidence from someone who is behind them cheering them on to future success. Our job coaches are more than employment mentors… they are life mentors, often times.
The staff in this program works with a wide variety of people: the employers who need pre-screened and dependable candidates, job seekers and career changers, high school students and recent graduates searching for vocational direction, and people who are determined eligible for services through Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services (Voc Rehab, for short) in more than a dozen counties.
And, the list of partnering businesses continues to grow regularly, and we couldn’t be more appreciative! However, we are always looking for more! The more options we have to match persons served up with the job of their dreams… the better! We don’t want to place someone organizing books at the Howard County Public Library (appreciative shout out!) if their dream job is to wash dishes at IHOP (appreciative shout out!). We are trying to provide them with the opportunities that their hearts desire… whatever that may be. But, we can’t do that without partnering businesses.
If you are an employer who would be interested in making someone’s dream come true while also gaining a qualified, dedicated employee, please call Meredith Freeman, Vice President, or Miriam O’Malley-Long, Director, at 765-454-5997 for more information.