Financial strain is at the heart of many child neglect cases and the core of family strife. Recognizing that parents cannot achieve self-sufficiency without stable employment, Better Together launched Better Jobs, a first-of-its-kind model for connecting job seekers with employers in partnership with local churches, which organize, host, and promote the events.
These are not typical job fairs. Before meeting with prospective employers, job seekers may consult with Better Jobs volunteers for interviewing tips, resume help, and coaching on how they can best articulate their skills. Church-based organizers recruit other assistants, such as volunteer hairstylists, and collect business attire to help attendees look and feel their best.
Participating employers are coached in advance, too, and encouraged to replace anonymous online applications with live interviews, ask questions that go beyond standard work histories, and fill open positions on the spot. There’s even an “Opportunity Bell” that candidates and hiring managers ring when they’ve made a match.
Why work through churches? These institutions were once the nucleus of civic life, and the place where residents turned for help with family, financial, and other problems—long before the government stepped into that role. Better Jobs helps faith-based organizations fulfill that traditional civic duty in a new, arguably more meaningful way. Eighty percent of churches offer emergency food, utility, or other financial assistance. Less than two percent have a jobs ministry. Better Jobs helps faith leaders live the parable of teaching men and women “to fish,” and put them on the road to upward mobility. What’s more? Job seekers often bond with these church communities, finding faith and establishing friendships that continue to propel them forward.
In the wake of COVID-19, more than 30 million Americans are now without work. They’re suddenly at risk for these tragic outcomes, and they need your help.