Dec 9, 2014

employment services mn team members talking over paper documents

Posted on Dec 09, 2014


Together in a quiet computer room at Rise’s Northeast Minneapolis office, Douglas Taylor sat with Frank Lide carefully reviewing Douglas’s resume and discussing his career plans. At the same time down the hall, seven job-seekers listened carefully to Neil Serdinsky’s presentation on the basics of customer service jobs.

Thanks to the volunteer efforts of 18 Wells Fargo employees from across the country, nearly 100 Rise job-seekers were able to go through a realistic job interview and get valuable feedback.

Volunteers were divided among three Rise Twin Cities office locations.  Kelly Fant-Kelly, a Wells Fargo implementation consultant for the Technology Operations Group in North Carolina, worked with Rise staff to coordinate the day’s events.

The goal was to make it a meaningful experience for both the volunteers and the job-seekers. The event was important for raising awareness about the challenges people with disabilities face in finding employment.

But the primary focus of the day was to provide career training and one-on-one consultation to people participating in Rise’s employment services programs. Wells Fargo volunteers were engaged in helping them develop resumes tailored for jobs in their field of interest and refine their interviewing skills.

In addition, Wells Fargo employees conducted workshops that focused on a variety of topics such as the basics of customer service, call center training, and hiring practices.

“Rise and Wells Fargo are so well-connected in their vision and values,” said one volunteer. “We should find organizations like Rise in every city and engage with them in a formal and consistent way.”

The training offered by volunteers reinforced the role fulfilled by Rise’s dedicated placement staff every day to help individuals reach their employment goals. It was an invigorating day for everyone. “I was shocked at how fulfilled I was at the end of the day!” said another volunteer. “I volunteer over 60 hours each month and none compared to this.  It was a very rewarding and incredible learning experience.”

“Doing mock interviews at Rise was both fulfilling and enlightening,” said another volunteer from St. Louis.  “It was fulfilling because I was able to provide feedback and coach. It was personally enlightening  because my special needs son may well need these types of services in the future. I’m very glad they exist.”

The quiet computer room in which Douglas and Frank met will soon look different. In addition to volunteering their employees’ time, Wells Fargo provided a generous grant to Rise to expand and update its computer technology for people to use in their job searches.

The job-seekers who participated in the day’s events, as well as Rise’s team of employment consultants and job placement specialists, send their sincere thanks to the Wells Fargo volunteers!

This article appears in the December 2014 issue of the Rise Reporter.

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