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Curriculum Review of Jobs for Life Toolkit


Curriculum Review of Jobs for Life Toolkit


By Sarah Barton, FASTEN Editorial Staff, 2006


Jobs for Life, formerly The Jobs Partnership, has produced this curriculum to enable its successful job readiness course to be easily replicated by churches and faith-based organizations across the nation.  Although the Jobs for Life model is currently being implemented at roughly twenty cities, this toolkit will enable thousands more unemployed and underemployed individuals to gain not only skills that will help them find a job, but to learn Biblical principles that will enable them to live healthy and productive lives.  The 16-week training course is designed to be a combination of classroom instruction and individual and group application activities.


This toolkit includes everything needed to develop a successful Jobs for Life training course.  The curriculum uses a journey motif to help students engage in their own journey from unemployment or underemployment to success in a job.  It also aims to help students in their journey through life by utilizing stories and examples from the Bible to demonstrate how God helps his people overcome the obstacles they face.


The Site Leader Guide includes an overview of the training course, outlines key responsibilities and suggested timelines, and provides sample planning tools and forms for each leadership position.  Section 1 of the Site Leader Guide provides a job description for the site leader position and describes the makeup and functions of the site leadership team that the site leader will need to recruit.  In addition, it provides a pre-training checklist and sample planning tools and timelines for planning--from before the course begins to the completion of the course and graduation ceremony.  Section 2 includes the Student Relations Leader Guide, Champion Team Leader Guide, Business Relations Leader Guide, Class Leader Guide, Administration Leader Guide, and Prayer Leader Guide.  Each mini-guide includes sample planning tools and suggested timelines for each volunteer leader to use in carrying out their responsibilities.  Section 3 provides guidance for the Jobs for Life Course Instructor.  It describes the course instructor’s responsibilities and gives suggestions about how to maximize the benefit of the course for participants.  The Appendix of the Site Leader’s Guide provides all necessary forms needed for the operation of the program.


The Instructor’s Guide provides a Course Overview Grid, giving the instructor an outline of the topics, tools needed, and planned activities.  At the beginning of each lesson, there is an overview highlighting the goals of the lesson, the primary focus points, the tools that will be needed, Biblical references, and a suggested class schedule.  Instructors use the Lesson Narratives to guide their communications to the students at each class session. Suggested lesson instructions are included throughout each lesson to provide direction for the implementation of activities, discussion, and exercises. 


Each lesson begins with a brief review of the main points of the prior lesson and transitions to the next lesson.  Communications activities are included to help students overcome fear of public speaking and develop communication skills.  Class and small group discussion is used to help students grasp important points in each lesson.  Discussion leaders or Champions can play a role in facilitating small group discussion and guidelines are provided to promote positive exchanges in that setting.  Each lesson closes with a brief summary of key points and a preview of what the upcoming lesson will address.  In addition, homework assignments are given that every student must complete to graduate from the course.  Topics for each two-hour session include:


    • Why Should I Take This Journey (Why Work, My Motives, My Life Journey)
    • How Do I Plan My Journey (Vocational Planning—My Roadmap)
    • What Do I Need on the Journey?  (Excellence, Perseverance)
    • How Do I Know I Am Going in the Right Direction?  (Patience, Pursuing a Goal, Peace—Joseph’s Story)


Many other important topics are covered in this 16-week course, all of which will enable participants to develop the skills they need to be successful in a job and in life.  The course includes invited guest speakers, a community resource panel, mock interviews, and customer satisfaction training.


The Student Workbook contains all reading assignments and activities that participants will need to complete during the course.  It includes a course overview and brief lesson summaries and reviews of the materials covered in each lesson.  Students are expected to bring their workbooks to each class session.


At the end of the course, students will participate in a graduation ceremony to mark their accomplishment.  Support for participants does not end at the conclusion of the training course, however.  Each student is matched with a Champion or Team of Champions, who will act as mentors, providing ongoing support as the graduates move into employment.  Although jobs are not guaranteed, Jobs for Life sites recruit businesses, explaining the benefits of hiring Jobs for Life graduates, with the goal of helping graduating students secure jobs.


The Jobs for Life Toolkit includes additional materials necessary for the course, including a leadership training video, career assessments for participants, a video of testimonials from graduates, and more.


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