Celebrating More than 400 Graduates!

Class 53 participants at their graduation ceremony at The Lovelady Center

Class 53 participants at their graduation ceremony at The Lovelady Center

Since launching in 2013, we have seen countless lives impacted through WorkFaith Birmingham, and just last month we reached more than 400 total WorkFaith graduates. Our mission is to empower adults facing employment barriers with the skills, competencies, and ethics they need to enjoy God's good design for work and faith. Each of these 400 plus graduates have been equipped with the tools they need and the confidence they often lack, preparing them to leave the program ready and eager to find and keep a job.

Every WorkFaith graduate has been empowered to enjoy transformed lives through work and faith. We constantly hear amazing testimonies from the men and women who complete the program. 

"This class instilled in me hope, confidence, and a stronger faith in God, and I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to learn more about how to obtain a job." -Brooke

"I really enjoyed WorkFaith because it taught me how to talk about my past in a healthy way and gave me the tools I needed to get back into the workforce and be successful in life." -Lauren

"I've been at The Lovelady Center for almost 10 months and now have the best relationship with my children. I signed up for WorkFaith so I could learn the tools I need to be the best client rep ever. I've had the most amazing experience with Tamika and Pam. They have shown me how I can incorporate my faith into my everyday work life." -Danielle


There are many more Brookes, Laurens and Danielles out there who need a helping hand and a fresh start. We need your help to continue meeting these needs, so that the chronically unemployed in Birmingham have the opportunity to change the trajectory of their lives. Every dollar donated and every hour spent volunteering can make a difference in someone's life.

To read the complete October newsletter, click here

A Word from Board Member, Clark Watson

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Being a life-long resident of the greater Birmingham area, I have always had a great affinity for the City of Birmingham, including the people who live and work there. Before WorkFaith Birmingham was ever conceived, I had volunteered with urban ministries that focus on the people of Birmingham who have significant physical and spiritual needs. My wife Debbie had always been heavily invested in urban ministry so I also learned much from her. When Keith Stanley first mentioned to me a ministry such a WFB, I was extremely interested. As we met with leaders of a similar ministry in Texas, I began to see the potential for our great city.

Many people are talking about a “renaissance” in Birmingham today. I am grateful for the many commercial, construction and recreational advances that the city has benefitted from in recent years. But those nice things are only temporary. True God-honoring change in the city, that can endure from generation to generation, can be achieved only by people who come in faith to Jesus of Nazareth as Lord and Savior. WFB takes this hope to some of the “hard places” of Birmingham by providing soft-skills training, showing respect for each client, connecting them with potential employers, giving them a hope in spite of their past mistakes, and, most importantly, saturating all of the instruction and training with Bible-centered teaching about the God who loves.

As the ministry has progressed, the results have been astounding. God continues to show His favor upon our students, instructors and employers, and I am praying that WorkFaith Birmingham will obtain, in time, the resources necessary to expand beyond its present student capacity. I have been blessed by the relationships I have made through WFB, and I hope that many others will find ways to volunteer in this wonderful ministry. 

Jason's Story

Jason Glover
Jason Glover

My name is Jason and I’m 36 years old. I’m currently in a program called Jimmie Hale Mission. I’ve been involved with the mission before, but there came a time when I needed further help. My life began to turn for the worst when I thought I had everything going good, but I started to forget about God. You can easily wake up in the morning and forget about God and before you know it, the world has you right where it wants you.

Drugs played an important role in my life, using and selling. It was something I had to have on a daily basis. I started running with a cousin of mine where I learned the tricks of the trade. In this type of business you have to be on your guard. You have to be, how shall I say, TUFF. If someone detects some fear in you, then you might be in a world of trouble. At that time we had so much going for ourselves. I became popular in my city because I was considered to be his little soldier, but people still didn’t respect me so I was tested on a regular basis. I began to carry a gun on a daily basis. Before I knew it, I was in constant shooting battles that I began to love. It was the rush from it all.

Coming from being a kid that was bullied all the time growing up, when I started fighting and shooting back, I became the BAD GUY. And I loved it because there was no one to be found now that would pick on me. Cocaine became normal in my life. I felt like I needed it for the lifestyle that I was living. Then, my cousin which was much older than me was shot five times at close range. The doctor said that was the only thing that kept him alive.

When my father passed, I became lost. I began to feel left behind. My father was very important to me. I couldn’t get past my depression which caused me to use even more. My drug of choice changed from cocaine to crack cocaine. I began to look like a dead man walking. It caused me to miss out on a lot of things in my son’s life. I lost my loyalty and honesty that I had acquired as a child. I just wanted to die, but I didn’t have the heart to kill myself. I used to wish I could go to sleep and never wake up again.

I went to my pastor for help and that was the first time I was introduced to Jimmie Hale Mission. One of many great things that has happened in my life. This last go around has helped me in a way that I don’t even understand. Maybe it’s my faith now that I have in God.

I attended Workfaith Birmingham and I understand my purpose in life now. I have more joy and peace in my life. I know continuing to keep God as the head of my life will help me while I’m in the fire, not help me out the fire. In life there will always be hard times and He will always be there. Everything else will line up according to Him. My relationship with him is daily and I thank Him daily, even in my struggles.

Volunteer of the Month

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Pam Hodges is a volunteer extraordinaire! She serves as a full-time Assistant Teacher in our Lovelady Center workshops, coordinates all of our mock interviewers and interviews, and serves as the project manager for our database development. Pam is using her retirement well to help others enjoy God’s Good Design of work for their lives. Read her story… “I retired nine years ago after a very rewarding 33-year career in the Information Technology industry. In the first few years of retirement, there were lots of ideas spinning in my head about how I would spend my time. Never before had I felt that I had full control of all of it.   And while I was not sure which options I would eventually choose, the last thing I thought I would be doing was negotiating Highway 280 during morning rush hour for any reason other than a life-threatening emergency!   But, here I am today, doing just that for at least two weeks of every month in support of the WorkFaith Birmingham (WFB) workshops!

 I first volunteered to serve WFB as an interviewer for the students’ mock interviews every 2 – 3 months. That exposure to the work of this ministry completely changed my retirement life. Now, in addition to leading the mock interview team, I am also blessed to serve the WFB classes as a teaching assistant, and I am applying my technical management skills by serving as the project manager for the WFB software package.

 The first WFB class that I observed allowed me to see how impactful the program is on the students. The methods taught are proven to be effective in helping the workshop graduates to obtain employment. The personal development modules assist the students in developing Biblical work ethics, which helps them sustain employment and advance in the workplace.

 Many of the students come into the workshop with great frustration, fear, and low morale because their job search efforts have not been fruitful. It is such a joy to see their confidence restored as the students complete the program and get good jobs!

 I know with great certainty that the Lord has called me to serve this ministry. This is the most fulfilling time of my life and I thank the Lord for calling me, preparing me, and allowing me to see the good fruit through the lives of the student graduates.”

 

Get Involved!

Pray, Give, Volunteer

300 Graduates in 3 Years!

In March of 2017, WorkFaith Birmingham celebrated our 41st Workshop Graduation over the past three years. During those three years, we been able to empower over 300 graduates with the skills and ethics they need to gain and retain employment. Through our two-week workforce preparation workshop and job search support, over 80% of our graduates have been able to overcome their employment barriers to obtain employment during this time. President Keith Stanley attributes the success rate to “a highly effective staff, a solid HR curriculum designed to empower adults in transition to develop the skills and values they need to succeed, and God’s grace at work on behalf of our graduates as they grow in their faith.”

WorkFaith Birmingham began with a goal of empowering adults who want to work, who need an avenue to succeed, who need to develop the soft skills necessary to obtain and retain employment, and who desire to thrive in life as they grow in their faith and enjoy support from the Body of Christ.

Thanks to many new partnerships, WorkFaith Birmingham expects to serve 200 adults over the next 12 months! Will you consider helping us empower others in Birmingham to get a job and keep a job? A monthly donation of $30 per month can sponsor one person to attend our workshop!

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Become An Encourager

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Do you have three hours a month to be a friend, encourager, and prayer supporter to one of our graduates?

Many of our graduates don't have a single positive encourager in their lives to provide godly counsel and friendship to them. All of us need someone in our lives to help us think through our life issues from a Biblical worldview and to pray for us as we seek to live a life that pleases Christ, especially in difficult times.
We are asking our Encouragers to come to a one-hour Orientation and then to meet twice a month with a graduate of the same gender to encourage and pray with them about their life issues.
If you sense God might be leading you to invest in a graduate, we want to invite you to attend our monthly Encourager Training.
If interested in coming, please email Leah Roderick (roderickleah@gmail.com) so she can send you some materials to review before the meeting and discuss training times with you.
Thank you for prayerfully considering this volunteer opportunity,

JOIN OUR NEXT WORKSHOP - CLASS #48

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July, 10th – 21st. Our forty-eight workshop will begin Monday, July 10th (class times 9:00am-4:00pm) and end with graduation on Friday, July 21st at 12PM! Classes will be held at WorkFaith Birmingham's office building 6523 1st Ave North, Birmingham, AL 35206. The next class will begin August 7th, 2017 and we are accepting applications now, at WorkFaith Birmingham location, 6523 1st Ave North, Birmingham, AL 35206, so don’t miss out, space is very limited!

WHO WE ARE

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Why WorkFaith Birmingham? Our mission is to empower adults facing employment barriers with the skills, competencies, and ethics they need to enjoy transformed lives through work and faith.

The Problem

WorkFaith Birmingham is addressing three primary problems in the city of Birmingham.

  • Problem #1: There are thousands of adults every year leaving transitional ministries, jails, and prisons in the Birmingham area. Many of them lack the support they need to obtain and retain employment. As a result, they often return to negative relationships, a life of crime, a life of self-medication, or a life of dependency on the government and others in order to survive.
  • Problem #2: Many adults living in low-income and public housing communities of our city also lack the job search skills, ethics, values, and support they need to become gainfully employed with a sustainable income. Many dropped out of school or full-time employment at some point due to a life situation or challenge and now desire to move into employment, but they lack a clear path forward to reach their destination. They face many hurdles to become employed and often give up their job search feeling that it is a hopeless ambition for them.
  • Problem #3: There are several organizations in the city that provide short-term workforce preparation for developing basic job search skills. They generally focus on resume development, basic interviewing principles, and potential job leads. There are longer programs like AIDT’s Ready To Work program that have several days of classes, certification programs, and skill development in order to increase job search success. These programs work well with self-motivated and educated adults, but many urban adults lack the necessary soft skills and educational skills that are required to succeed with them.

The Solution

WorkFaith Birmingham seeks to help address the complicated life issues of adults in transition by empowering them with the skills, support, values, avenues, and life perspectives they need to gain and maintain employment, and become productive contributors to their families, churches, and communities.

Our 60 Hour Workshop teaches 12 Core Competencies in the Creative Job Search approach that has been used successfully with over 3,000 adults in Houston and Birmingham. Every participant learns how to correctly fill out applications, create a resume based on their work history and their skills and abilities, tell their story in 30 seconds, speak honestly and ethically about their past, develop a network of support for their job search, identify potential employers, research potential employers, and much more. Every participant participates in mock interviews and observes other mock interviews so they can be prepared with confidence when they go to job interviews.

At our workshop we also seek to equip participants with the ethics and values they will need to retain employment and obtain careers. We incorporate 25 Core Values into our curriculum that includes things like punctuality, workplace safety, honesty, respect, forgiveness, teamwork, problem-solving, and personal responsibility so our graduates will be prepared to face the many challenges associated with work.

Since WorkFaith Birmingham is a Christian ministry, we also teach a Biblical worldview about life, work, ethics and values, and how work fits into God’s overall good design and purpose for our lives. We do not coerce anyone to become a Christian and you do not have to be a Christian to participate in our program, but we do believe individuals with Christian ethics and values will become employees that any employer would desire to hire. We do present the gospel clearly to each class.

We also seek to provide a volunteer Encourager to graduates as needed from the Christian community across the city. Encouragers are friends who meet with a graduate twice a month to encourage them through their job search and work related issues, provide godly counsel as they work through life’s problems, provide prayer support for them as they move forward to fulfill God’s Good Design and Purposes for them, and encourage local church participation.

After graduation, our Pathway To Success Coach meets with and coaches our graduates throughout their job search flooding them with job leads so they can work the creative job search process that they have learned in our workshop.

Our Success Rate

So far, by God’s Grace, over 80 % of our graduates have obtained employment and continue employment after one year. Also, even though over 50% of our graduates have criminal convictions in their backgrounds. We have less than 2% recidivism rate of any of them returning to prison so far.

 

Keith.stanley@workfaithbhm.org

www.workfaithbhm.org

05/17/2016