Last week, I gave you a brief overview about Bona Vista’s WorkForce Diversity (WFD) program and how #InclusionWorks. But, do you want to know why it really works? Shh. This is just between you and me (but once you know it’s OK to tell your friends). It’s because there are businesses in the local communities where the people we serve live who don’t hesitate to hire one of our pre-screened, dependable job candidates. I know. It’s revolutionary, but stay with me.
Bona Vista’s WFD program has been providing career placement services for more than 40 years. Thanks, in part, to businesses like Walgreens, Goodwill, Subway, Walmart, Meijer and the YMCA (just for example) who have been business partners of ours for a while. “For the Y, working with Bona Vista fits in to our mission and is really dual purpose. We get a friendly, smiling face to greet our members at the door and the employee gets an employer where they feel like they belong and are seen as a valuable asset,” said YMCA CEO Dave DuBois.
The current, qualified WFD staff is made up of Indiana University-certified Employment Specialists. The staff knows the local job climate and participate in local and state activities that relate to employment and the economy. In other words, they have skills that can help your business pay your bills. Meredith Freeman, Bona Vista Director of Vocational Services said, “Persons served through the WFD program participate in job readiness classes, internships and other specific training programs. These things ensure that the persons served are prepared for employment when they start a job, which is really beneficial to employers.”
They work with employers who need pre-screened and dependable job 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).
Persons served have a wide range of abilities, and live in Indiana throughout Tipton, Fulton, Howard, Miami, Cass, Carroll, Pulaski, Hamilton, Madison, Grant, Wabash, Clinton and White counties. These individuals may have mental illness, developmental, intellectual or cognitive disabilities as well as physical issues, such as degenerative arthritis, back or neck injuries, hearing impairment and more.
Miles Handy, Pet Supplies Plus owner/operator, allows the WFD persons served to receive hands-on training at his retail location to give them experience before applying to the larger chains for employment. “Our partnership allows the person to gain the skill sets necessary to become employed at any retailer,” he said. “Everyone we’ve come across has been loyal, dedicated and appreciative of the opportunity. They understand that the training we are providing them can be used anywhere. They now have an entire world full of options.”
The list of partnering business continues to grow, and we couldn’t be more appreciative (more than 30 in Howard County alone!). 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! If you’d be interested in seeing how #InclusionWorks for your business, call Freeman at 765-454-5997.