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Ginny Mohrbutter: United Way to launch local jobs program

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United Way Tar River Region Executive Director Ginny Mohrbutter

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BY GINNY MOHRBUTTER
United Way

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Economic development and jobs are very important for our local community and possibly not an area that people readily associate with United Way.

We do know that United Way and our fundraising as well as community development efforts help drive a higher quality of life, which in turn impacts personal and local economic development.

With this in mind, United Way has partnered with the Upper Coastal Plain Learning Council, in collaboration with N.C. State University, to research and design a program called Hometown Hires. This program, modeled after a highly successful effort in the Wilmington area, works to assist unemployed individuals living in poverty by helping them find meaningful employment. This holistic program identifies candidates and helps determine their needs, both educationally and personally, working to propel them into meaningful jobs with good incomes.

The program in Wilmington was the vision of their district attorney, Ben David, who saw the opportunity to help their unemployed citizens retool with the hopes to put them on a path towards greater success, in the end, causing a positive ripple effect for their entire family. Working locally with our district attorney, Robert Evans, and a working group of leaders specializing in job development, human services, education and employment counseling, we have created the plan for our local Hometown Hires.

The holistic nature of Hometown Hires is a unique feature, as it works to surround the individual by assisting with job training, soft skills development, educational programs, mentoring support, employment barrier removal and family enhancements. Should a candidate have a minor criminal record, the program works with the DA’s office to expunge their record when possible. It even works to place the candidate into a job, with an employment partner, creating a win-win situation for both the employer and the Hometown Hires candidate.

It has always been our intent to develop this program and then hand it off to an appropriate local nonprofit agency that can make the program successful. Our working group has developed a comprehensive plan for Hometown Hires that includes a working manual that outlines the program and provides a framework and necessary documents, partners and other information to implement this program.

Through special grant funds, we have been able to plan and design our local Hometown Hires program, and we are excited to move some of these grant funds to the appropriate nonprofit agency that will lead this program. We currently have a Request for Proposal process available and encourage any qualified nonprofit agencies to apply.

To receive the full package of information, please contact me directly at ginnymohrbutter@unitedwaytrr.org .

Partnerships are extremely important, and we are so pleased to have joined hands with the Upper Coastal Plain Learning Council and others in our community who are excited about the potential with Hometown Hires. Economic development and prosperity, both for local citizens and our entire community, remains a focus for many, and we are pleased to offer Hometown Hires as a great tool for economic opportunity.

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