People in communities across the country have the desire to work but lack the skills, network, and opportunities to find economic independence and self-sufficiency. Gaps in employment, a criminal record, and a lack of confidence can prevent men and women from finding a path to long-term, stable employment. For those in or on the edge of poverty, a step backward carries a high cost.
Based in Houston, The WorkFaith Connection helps people in transition build a new life through work and faith. Recognizing that a job is critical but not enough to help someone change the trajectory of his or her life, The WorkFaith Connection applies a model to help disadvantaged job seekers find the skills, opportunities, training, support, and community they need to make a lasting change. More than skills and training, The WorkFaith Connection fosters relationship and community through a family atmosphere for students and graduates, where they can always come for guidance, support, and encouragement.
An eight-day boot camp helps students gain the skills and knowledge they need to navigate the job search process successfully. The boot camp teaches the soft skills, values, and attitudes critical for workplace success. The small class size of 12-15 also helps breed community among students that is maintained through an alumni program. Upon completion of the boot camp, students can enroll in the WorkFaith Academy, which provides graduates further educational and mentoring opportunities. Workshops cover topics such as resolving workplace conflict, time management, and persevering through difficult circumstances. Paired with a coach who helps them walk through the obstacles of job searching, students are supported and equipped throughout the entire process.
Even after graduates secure a job, they can remain connected to rich community. The alumni program offers graduates opportunities to network, share stories, step into leadership roles, and give back. Service projects allow graduates to serve others, reinforcing the intrinsic value they can offer others in their community. For many, the act of giving back is an important emotional component to their personal growth and progress.
The WorkFaith Connection pursues program participants in their struggles, working to bridge gaps during times of transition and connect individuals to stability, community, and independence. The organization operates two sites in Houston, with plans to launch a third this year.
Sandy Schultz has been with the WorkFaith Connection since the beginning. Teaming up with founder Barbara Elliott in 2006, Schultz helped launch the organization with Elliott’s vision. With extensive financial, business, and management experience, Schultz views the role of an employer as a privilege and opportunity to help individuals provide for their families, activate their potential, and employ their gifts in the workplace. President and CEO, Schultz has helped grow WorkFaith Connection over the last 10 years, serving thousands of individuals.
The WorkFaith Connection is a 2017 S+ Catalyst. Through participation in the Catalyst Program, The WorkFaith Connection receives training from industry experts in organizational development, branding, measurement and growth, and strategic relationships to amplify their impact and strategically expand their reach.