Three Ways CareerWork$ Adapted to Meet the Challenge of the COVID Pandemic and Continue Our Impact

Over the past 18 months, organizations across the country navigated the rapid changes of the pandemic. CareerWork$ worked closely with partners around the country to adapt, pivot, and pivot again—and as a result, we’re still marking milestones like graduations and job placements among our graduates.  

Here are three ways we adapted and continued our impact during the pandemic: 

A New Program: CareerWork$ Ready: Early in the pandemic, we launched a new job readiness programCareerWork$® Ready, a condensed, three-week program designed for individuals seeking their first job, as well as those who are looking to re-enter the workforce., in a broad range of industries. We provide community organizations with the curricula they need to offer virtual or in-person training for job seekers in underserved communities. The program leverages the curricula from our proven BankWork$® and CareerWork$® Medical programs and includes one-on-one sessions and group trainings with a job coach, creating a personalized experience in real time, and standing out from many other pre-recorded programs. 

Making Classes Digital: As we launched CareerWork$ Ready online, we also digitized our BankWork$ and CareerWork$ Medical® curricula, making it possible for our training partners to offer courses through hybrid models while complying with public health guidelines. Moving the curriculum content online meant students also gained digital skills and practiced holding virtual meetings and online collaboration tools—skills and experience necessary in the “new normal” for many careers. 

Making Graduations and Job Fairs Digital: Ask any graduate, or any employer—our graduations and job fairs, where each graduate interviews with each employer partner, is part of what makes CareerWork$ so impactful. We celebrate the hard work and dedication of participants, and they receive far more personal attention than they might during a standard job fair or online application process. During the pandemic, we adapted to ensure we could continue our graduations and jobs fairs by pivoting to a virtual model; immediately following the virtual graduation events, our graduates met 1:1 virtually with employers in their region for job interviews. As we look to the future, we are hopeful and energized for what’s next – especially as we recently hit an important milestone: 4,000 graduates placed into jobs with career growth potential.   

Thanks to these steps and collaboration with our training partners around the country, CareerWork$ is poised for our next phase of growth— expanding with new partners, new staff, potential for new training programs, and new ideas for the future. Our work has never felt more vital, and as the pandemic has highlighted the long-standing inequities for BIPOC community members, the need for our last-mile training programs has never been so clear. 

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