Bridge’s mission to help homeless families transition to financial stability, permanent housing and self-sufficiency is deeply rooted in the belief that its clients need to maximize their earnings potential.
“Our vision is to develop the capacity and efficiency of the employment program to help our clients more efficiently, effectively and consistently,”
The addition of Zienty to staff provides Kelly support in meeting with clients to identify skills, interests and abilities and then pursue employment opportunities, and also in developing relationships with employers, staffing agencies and other employment-related non-profits.
Mary’s role includes building relationships with hiring managers at staffing agencies and also at large employers. Bridge also provides ongoing mentoring and support so that, once a client is hired, he/she has a better chance at success in a position.
Bridge is also collaborating with West Suburban Job Council, which consists of NFP agencies in DuPage that collaborate to share job leads and provide skill-building programs for clients.
Mary says, “We’ve got a greater awareness of what other agencies are doing and what our clients can take advantage of.”
Another improvement to Bridge Communities’
“We see the importance of job clubs and networking. Networking strategies are more important than ever, and we are focusing on that. We plan to do group training, which will then develop into job clubs that would offer our clients peer support and accountability,”
Patty recalls of their initial meeting, “Mary not only had the experience and credentials but also the passion that we always look for. I saw someone that had that extra thing we look for in our mentors, in all of our staff, to have that care to give to our clients.” With a career background in human resources, Mary had spent a lot of time developing resumes, career coaching, and assisting job seekers in establishing and reaching goals. Initially a volunteer for Bridge, Mary took on a client, then another and another. After several months of making a significant contribution to Bridge’s employment program, Patty invited Mary to join Bridge’s staff team.