JFCS Career Services Provides Job Development in Underserved Areas

Today’s blog article written by Andrea Goins, Business Account Employment Specialist, reprinted here from the December 2012 JFCS enewsletter.

The JFCS Jobs & Enterprise Center at YouthBuild, 812 South Preston Street, opened its doors in July of 2012. The purpose of the Center is to provide residents of the Smoketown/Shelby Park neighborhoods with easy access to employment, career and microbusiness development services.

Smoketown and Shelby Park are two of the poorest neighborhoods in Louisville. The Jobs & Enterprise Center operates within the broader context of an overall revitalization effort within the targeted neighborhoods and is expected to spark additional employment and business development efforts in the community as participants move into the workforce.

Center program participants may choose to pursue entrepreneurship or employment and career goals. Participants set realistic goals and develop plans that enable them to achieve these goals, The Center provides ongoing support as participants begin to carry out their plans.

JFCS began providing microenterprise services in the targeted neighborhoods in 2009. Participants who decide to pursue entrepreneurship are assisted with developing a business plan that addresses issues required to start or grow a microenterprise. Group and individual technical assistance tailored to the needs of participating entrepreneurs and focused on carrying out the business plan steps are provided. To date, 51 individuals have participated in business planning and development services, with 42 developing a plan for business start, stabilization, or expansion. As a result, 12 new neighborhood businesses have opened, 13 struggling businesses have increased revenues, and 6 have expanded, creating new jobs.

Our approach with person-centered planning is that we tailor our services to meet the specific needs and interests of the consumer, leading to employment. Throughout the process, we emphasize consumer engagement and skill building, allowing individuals to take initiative and be an active part of the job search, also encouraging them to explore career pathways that will ensure a stronger future. Our Job Placement Specialist is a resource, providing tools and training. In the first few months since the Center opened, 38 participants have completed employment and career plans. Twenty are now engaged in completing steps that will enable them to seek employment, and three have started working.

The Center is open Tuesdays 12:30—3 PM, Thursdays 3—4 PM. Walk-ins welcome; additional hours by appointment.

For more information, please call Andrea Goins or Dan Heffernan at (502) 452-6341, or visit the YouthBuild website. The JFCS Jobs and Enterprise Center at YouthBuild is funded by the Chase Foundation.



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