The Pandemic Did Not Stop Services For Clients.
The Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has changed how we can provide Pre-Employment and Employment services to those we assist with preparing for competitive, integrated employment. Over the last few years, we had an in-person presence at the local high schools in Macon, Jackson, and Swain Counties and Cherokee Central School. The shutdown in March of 2020 forced us to scramble. We, like much of the world, are becoming proficient at the Virtual Meeting. Despite the sudden change in service delivery method from primarily in-person to virtual services. We successfully assisted over 50 program participants.
Our business partners and community collaborators such as DVRS (Division Vocational Rehabilitation Services), VAYA Health, Western Carolina University’s School of Teaching & Learning, NCWorks, MARC, Inc., Swain County Community Resources, Rotary Club, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Franklin Chamber of Commerce, Cashiers Chamber of Commerce, Jackson County Citizens Academy, Leadership Cashiers, Jackson County Special Olympics Planning Committee, Region A Partnership for Children/ Family Support Network, have been in step with our workforce development efforts throughout it all. We are all struggling to pivot and adapt, but our partnerships remain strong despite slow-downs and shutdowns. Our host businesses (have been willing to engage with our program participants. We continue to offer actual and practice interview opportunities, job shadows, job samples (where social distancing was possible), and continued communication with our organization related to their staffing needs.
As we roll into 2021 with uncertainty about when and if our previous “normal” will be back this year, we wish to thank our business partners listed below, ongoing commitment to our programs. These training opportunities prepare participants for real jobs and connect them to local employment opportunities.
Jackson County: Insight Marketing • Great Commission Coffee • HomeBase • K & R Services • Craftsman Builder • Eminence Salon • City Lights Bookstore • Ingles Market (Sylva) • Harold’s Supermarket • Jackson County Department on Aging • Cullowhee United Methodist Church • The Farmhouse Mercantile & Coffee Shop • Carolina Custom Ink • Hillman Family Auto Repair • Creekside Restaurant • State Farm Insurance
Macon County: Macon County Historical Society • Walmart of Franklin • Burger King of Franklin • Old Edwards Inn • Macon Program for Progress Inc. • Highlands Inn • Lowes • Sonic
Cherokee/Qualla Boundary: Cherokee Boys Club • Birdtown Community Center
Swain County: Everett Street Diner • Heavenly Fudge Depot
If you are a business that would like to partner with us to provide training opportunities for our clients, please get in touch with Laura Smith -Program Services Director