Q: What is the Small Changes = Big Results class? Who does it serve and what does it cover?
Amber: The new training that’s being offered through GCO’s Better Work Columbus program is a four-part series to help those in our community understand the “why” behind essential skills. The training was offered at SafeHouse Ministries in Columbus, Georgia, and many of their clients were in attendance. Now, SafeHouse serves the homeless population to help them obtain shelter, permanent housing, and employment.
Q: So what inspired the class? How did it get started?
Amber: There are many trainings and opportunities for job seekers in the community to gain knowledge of the topics that we introduced in class, but we noticed a disconnect as many were not seeing the value in these trainings or incorporating them into their job search and interviewing process. They were being taught how to do these things, but not necessarily why they were important. The focus of our training was to help explain why it matters. We wanted to complement and not duplicate the services already being offered, so at the end of each session participants were provided with resources where they could obtain more training and information about what we talked about during that class.
Q: What are some topics covered in the class?
Amber: Our Better Work Columbus program director Kristin Barker, and the lead recruiter from Columbus Water Works Inez Godbee, facilitated the first session. They helped to inform and educate the participants on why what you share in an interview matters, and then tips for best practices during interviewing. They also covered how to utilize job descriptions and job postings to make your resume stand out.
In the second session, we talked about why good communication and time management are essential before, during, and after employment, and how they directly relate to respect. The third session, one of our guest facilitators helped us understand why healthy relationships matter and how to build and maintain those relationships. They also introduced social capital — what it is and how it can be used to overcome roadblocks to employment.
For our fourth session, we had The Family Center in Columbus and Renasant Bank come in, and they brought valuable information to help the participants understand why budgeting matters and tips to get started on creating a budget and savings plan. They also touched on credit — what it is and how credit is sometimes used by employers and rental companies.