Building Bridges

Dear Friends,

If you have kids or work with kids or just miss the days of following the school year calendar, then summer might still be the season when you take some time to think about what comes next. At the Corps, it is the start of our new fiscal year and a time to recharge and recommit to the plans and ideas we have come up with over the past 12 months.

For me, one of those is recommitting to our idea of making sure that every Corpsmember leaves our program with not just an idea of what they would like to do in the future but a plan and some connections to make it happen. We call it a Green Career Pathway and as part of the strategic roadmap we completed last year we are working on version 2.0.

A big part of helping a Corpsmember navigate a successful pathway is connecting them to a “bridge employer.” Last month, I joined five Corpsmembers in visiting the team from United Dwelling who has recently hired 3 other Corpsmembers – Morelia, Rene, and Hernan – into full-time entry-level positions. United Dwelling is exactly what I envisioned a “bridge employer” to be when we first imagined Green Career Pathways five years ago. They completely understand what we’re seeking to achieve at the Corps and they provide the additional support that our Corpsmembers need as they further develop their skills.

Christian Navar, President of United Dwelling, shared with me that the Corpsmembers who have come to United Dwelling have strong character, are disciplined, and have positive attitudes about the work they are asked to do. They are willing to learn and have a core belief that what they’re trying to achieve is possible. He said there is a feeling of family that the Corpsmembers bring with them, and that you can tell they want to share that culture with their new colleagues. It made me so proud to hear how positive he was about the Corpsmembers he has hired.

Corpsmember Alumna Morelia is a good example of why great bridge employers are so important. She went through some rough times recently and left United Dwelling to address what was going on; but, because of their experience with the Corps and with her they hired her back as soon as she was ready to return to work. As Morelia told the current Corpsmembers, “Don’t give up on your dreams; just keep moving forward.”

Morelia, Rene and Hernan all shared their appreciation for the skills they learned at the Corps. Not every Corpsmember is going to want to develop a career pathway into construction. That’s why we spend so much time on general transferable skills and work ethic. But maybe you are ready to build that bridge for a Corpsmember into your industry. Let’s talk!

Your in Service and Gratitude,
Wendy Butts, CEO