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Career Collaborative, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Employment, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Job Training

Mission: Career Collaborative envisions a world in which all adults are able to support themselves and their children. While many organizations offer hope and the possibility of a good life to their clients, Career Collaborative is committed to providing clients with the exact assistance they need to attain this vision. Since its inception in 1997, Career Collaborative has helped more than 1,300 poor families in the Boston area move toward economic self-sufficiency by helping adults get, keep, and most importantly, succeed at good jobs.

Results: Since December, 1997: • Career Collaborative has demonstrated that comprehensive employment services combined with intensive supportive and mentoring services lead to continuous employment.  Seventy-three percent (73%) of our clients have completed two years of continuous employment or are working toward that goal.  In contrast, other organizations estimate that 25% of their clients reach this goal.  • Mentees have earned more than $7,300,000 during their mentoring period compared to our cumulative expenses of less than $2,600,000.  These numbers do not take into account the public assistance – welfare, unemployment, food stamps, and rent subsidies – that our clients no longer need since obtaining jobs. • Career Collaborative has assisted more than 1,100 people with their job search. • Career Collaborative has developed a replicable job-readiness/job-search course and a leader’s guide.

Target demographics: Career Collaborative works with adults who are chronically unemployed or underemployed.  Typically, clients have worked at jobs without career paths that pay little more than minimum wage.  They do not have the skills to conduct a successful self-directed job search and, because they do not understand unwritten workplace rules, they are likely to violate them.  They need our help to get and keep good jobs. Career Collaborative serves people who are not served by other workforce development organizations.  Some have already used up their government-subsidized training- and workforce-preparation allotments.  Others have jobs – albeit low-paying ones.  Neither group qualifies for government-funded programs, leaving them without access to most other organizations. Demographically, 63% of Career Collaborative’s clients are black, 22% are Hispanic; 69% are female; half are US citizens.  The other half are legal to work in the United States.  Their median age is 41.  Most are parents of minor children.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 150

Geographic areas served: Boston Metro Area

Programs: Career Collaborative works with adults who are chronically unemployed or underemployed. Typically, clients have worked at jobs without career paths for minimal pay. They do not have the skills to conduct a successful self-directed job search and, because they do not understand unwritten workplace rules, they are likely to violate them. They need our help to get and keep good jobs.Career Collaborative:1. Teaches job search skills, which are essential for permanent economic self-sufficiency, in a highly interactive course that helps clients build relationships with other students and staff. We supplement the course with individual services, including resume help and 20 practice interviews with volunteers and staff members. We teach clients to use the internet for job search and help them submit online job applications.2. Makes individual referrals to good employers. We refer clients to full-time, permanent jobs that pay at least $20,000 a year and offer benefits. As long as the client does her or his part, we make referrals until the person gets a good job.3. Provides coaching and feedback throughout the interview process and for at least two years after the client enters our mentoring program. Staff members have small caseloads and provide excellent job advice and encouragement so they build trusting long-term relationships with our clients. 4. Provides clients with an unusually broad range of supportive services both during job search and after they are employed. For example, we connect clients with organizations that help them get interview clothing, training in budgeting and computer skills, and emergency financial assistance for food and housing.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have and continue to recommend to other HR professionals that they consider volunteering at the Career Collaborative. It is one of the most rewarding experiences when you get to see first hand the incredible progress each individual makes toward their preparation for entering or re-entering the workforce. I hope to have the opportunity to continue volunteering and will certainly look to them when I have opportunities to hire. The individuals running this organization should be commended for the wonderful work they are doing.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have spent several Friday mornings over the past year volunteering at the Career Collaborative and I am extremely impressed with the top-notch, professional service they provide. The Career Collaborative offers low income job seekers classes and training for job searches, resume writing and interviewing skills in addition to job retention support for those who do get a job. They do a superb job getting job seekers into livable wage jobs and keeping them in those positions. I have volunteered as an interviewer. The interviews take place over four weeks, giving the job seekers the chance to build confidence and improve. Each interviewee presented me with a quality resume they created with the help of the Career Collaborative. I would ask questions appropriate for the job they were seeking and write up any notes on strengths and weaknesses in the interviews. After 4-6 interviews, the interviewers would meet with the Career Collaborative staff to discuss how the interviews went. The nice thing is each week, you could see a drastic improvement in interviewing skills and confidence. It is also very nice to get periodic updates on the jobs of Career Collaborative graduates. The Career Collaborative provides personalized attention to the job seekers and it makes volunteering there something I enjoy doing with my free time.