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Carpenter’s Place Employment Program Proves Successful

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Ronnie Ramirez works as an intern in the Employment Program at Carpenter’s Place. His goal is to secure a full time job after completing the training. Ramirez says the internship is giving him a chance to start over.

“Not being real proud of choices I’ve made in the past that kind of caused me to be in the predicament that I was in. you know things are a whole lot better now.” says Ramirez.

Anthony Musso is an employment case manager at Carpenter’s Place, a non-profit homeless shelter in Rockford. He does an assessment on each guest to determine what barriers they face in getting a job. “Being in the internship program here, if they stay in the internship program that puts something on their resume to show a consistency of a job.” says Musso.

The internship program involves onsite type training in the kitchen and donation area.

Carpenter’s Place Executive Director Kay Larrick says, “They can have the experience of, you know, reporting to somebody, sort of the soft skills. So, report on time. Report to a supervisor. Get along with their peers. Those basic things that every employer wants to be sure that the people they hire can do.”

The program also helps with resume writing and mock interview, something Ronnie found very helpful. “Because I wasn’t familiar with resume writing or even like doing an interview, an actual formal interview, because a lot of my work history has been just through word of mouth and a friend of a friend knew this guy and it was easy. Okay, you’re hired.” says Ramirez.

Once an internship is complete, Carpenter’s Place can then be a reference for prospective employees. Musso says, “It’s exciting to see their change of behaviors and their change of mood when we guide them along the process of becoming independent and productive members of society.”

Larrick adds, “There’s never a bigger smile in this place then when they’re running up the steps to tell us that they secured a job.” Ramirez says, “Things are definitely looking up. And I’m living grateful everyday.”

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