As the sign outside our building has reflected this summer, our goal at the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office is to “Move Families from Assistance to Independence.” The way we do that is to focus on finding jobs for all our clients who are able to work. I am pleased to be able to tell you that we are rapidly moving toward reaching the landmark of helping 100 of our clients find jobs so far this year.
And, by the end of the year, we expect that 100 number to increase significantly. Since I have been in office, my highest priority has been to help find jobs for our clients. A client who finds a job not only becomes a contributing resident of our Township, but the client gains an immeasurable amount of self- esteem and confidence.
Finding jobs was not such a daunting task a few years ago. But once the recession hit Wayne Township, we faced difficult challenges locating jobs. Now, with the economy improving and with the hard work of my staff and our community partners, the job numbers for our clients are improving substantially.
One of our partners in helping clients with their job searches is the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC). Representatives from the Center visit our office frequently to make presentations at our Employment Training Classes and to meet individually with clients who show an interest in the group’s lobby display. The Educational Opportunity Center is located at 3000 South Wayne Avenue.
Among the services offered at the Center are GED preparation, basic computer classes, assistance with financial aid forms for college, brush-up classes in math and language skills and student scholarship and loan information. EOC often helps our clients with resume writing and does career assessments right in our office to assist clients find jobs that suit their skills and interests.
A recent presentation by EOC representatives Ann Soe and Gwen Gaddy really engaged the employment class members. Ms. Soe showed a series of pictures which could be looked at in two different ways. For example, at first glance the picture might look like a tree to one person and a baby to another. After showing the pictures and discussing them with the class, Ms. Soe explained that they demonstrated that we sometimes must think outside the box to get the job or career we want.
As the start of school approaches, I was reflecting on how beginning a new school year has changed since I was in school. Then we merely showed up for the first day of classes. Now, parents have to go online, find a school supply list for the specific school their child attends and purchase those items before school starts. The lists differ for each school, each grade and sometimes for each teacher.
We at Wayne Township understand the financial burden on parents that buying all those school supplies can bring. So, our staff donates school supplies and money, which we use to purchase school supplies for our client families. The Chair of this project is Sharon Conrad.
This year we have book bags, notebook paper and spiral notebooks, pencil boxes and pencils, erasers, scissors, hand sanitizers and many other items the schools are requiring. We give the supplies to parents, whom our investigators determine are in need of assistance with providing school supplies for their children. I’m thankful that Sharon and our staff are so willing to help out.
The Waynedale Community Picnic will be Saturday, August 25, and our office will be present as we have been in the past. I always look forward to this awesome community event. The food is great, the games fun and the wonderful Waynedale spirit is everywhere! I hope to see you there.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
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