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It Takes a Community

A few years ago, Neighborhood Cooperative Ministries (NCM) acquired a complex to further the mission of helping neighbors who sincerely want to break their cycle of poverty and regain financial independence. To remind the community of its expanded facilities and partnerships with other nonprofits, NCM invited the community to an event called Tacos + Tours.

Luisa Beeco, a program manager for Better Work Gwinnett, part of the Georgia Center for Opportunity, (GCO) explained that GCO focuses on family work and education.

“Our goal is removing barriers, and we do it in many ways so that every person, no matter their race, past mistakes or the circumstances of their birth, can have access to quality education, fulfilling work and a healthy family life,” she said. “We have people who are working on research and policy and working on trying to keep families together.”

One way to keep families together is by making sure the adults have jobs. That’s where the Better Work program comes in.

“It’s not like a staffing agency — it’s different,” she said. “I would call it a referral program.”

Better Work has partnered with multiple employers in the area that have agreed to reach out to job candidates within 3 business days for an interview or a conversation to be able to go through their process.

“We have people go through our portal. It takes five minutes. They can do it on their phone,” said Becco. 

Once the applicant signs up, Better Work has a 30- to 60-minute conversation to understand where they fit in the work world. They assess the barriers to work — transportation, childcare, etc. Instead of creating more programs, Better Work connects clients to existing resources such GED classes and English language classes.

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