Job Training Program Offers Hope for Chronically Unemployed

January 5, 2017

A new year brings hope for new beginnings, and YWCA Central Alabama and Hope Inspired Ministries have joined forces to provide adults who are low-skilled, poorly educated and chronically unemployed the opportunity for a better life.

The agencies will offer an 11-week training course designed to help participants obtain and maintain employment. The first class starts January 9, and each student will participate in more than 400 hours of training which includes life skills, employment skills, unpaid internships with local businesses and GED preparation. The classes will be held at the YWCA’s Family Resource Center in Woodlawn.

“I feel like I’ve been stuck for a while,” one student said. “I’m ready for a change, and I’m committed to the program.” Based in Montgomery, Hope Inspired Ministries (HIM) has a number of success stories, but this is the first time the program will be offered in Birmingham. The first class is a diverse group of about 10 students ranging in age from early 20s to late 40s.

“We take a holistic approach which has allowed us to be very successful with the population we serve,” said Kirk Ingram, Birmingham site director for HIM. “We meet people where they are, without judgment, in order to begin the process of change. Hopefully, everyone will make it to the finish line, and others will be motivated by their transformations.”

The program will conclude with a cap and gown ceremony, and graduates will share their stories about the impact the course has made. “We are thrilled to help bring this program to the community,” said DeShunn Wilkerson, coordinator of the YW’s Family Resource Center. “A lack of training and education is a major barrier for so many, and we think this course will help participants find a path to success and self-sufficiency.”

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