October 31st, 2017, was the 500th anniversary of Reformation Day, a movement that brought greater religious freedom and greater freedom of expression. The Reformation decreed that we are saved by grace alone, and our faith—not our works—is evidence of our belief. In light of this, I felt compelled to begin communicating again to explain what’s happening with LATROBE and show how our journey has evolved.
For the last two years I have worked with the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce on an initiative to connect people to educational opportunities and employment opportunities in Memphis and throughout the Mid-South. The project focuses on career education and technical education through our two-year community college and short-term certification training.
This project provided insight into what Memphis needs, and it made us rethink LATROBE’s role in the community. We’ve expanded our services and now specialize in three areas: career readiness (workforce development for hard-to-place individuals), commercial readiness (business development for individuals who need help starting their own businesses), and, our newest specialty, campus readiness, which is safety and security development for organizations and institutions.
I have over 25 years’ experience in engineering, manufacturing, and workforce, and James, my vice president and husband, has over 25 years’ experience in education, safety, and security. His education and experience is invaluable, though, because it has taught him how to get hard-to-place people (i.e. people with backgrounds) back to work.
LATROBE isn’t alone in providing training and job-placement—the Arkansas Workforce Center, Tennessee Workforce Development Center, and local non-profit organizations provide similar services and training—but our advice to anyone we meet is this: Find an organization that provides case management. Why? Because you need someone to help you navigate the process. If you’re returning to the workforce but don’t have a qualified, skilled, experienced professional helping with your job search and serving as your advocate, you likely won’t find a job.
We use assessment tools to determine unique interests and skills, and knowing that it takes more than training to land a job, we also hold your hand and walk with you every step of the way. LATROBE isn’t a staffing company. It’s part of the community. We use technology, proven practices, and community relationships to help you get the job you want. Stay tuned for future posts on how we use technology to find solutions for job seekers through our Career Readiness portfolio.
Most parents would love for their child to be able to attend an elite college or university. Our son has the grades to attend any school in America, and we can afford to send him. But, he might tell us that instead of going to college, he wants to get his certification. We are okay with that because James and I know getting a college degree isn’t for everyone. In fact, in today’s job market, you don’t need a degree to jumpstart your career.
Earning a college degree is a great way to start your career, but as a community, we need to get back to being entrepreneurial and find ways to start our own businesses. Sometimes, learning a hands-on skill (i.e. a trade) teaches what you need to know to start your own business. LATROBE’s Commercial Readiness program can help you with this very thing.
I’m from Stuttgart, in the Arkansas Delta. James and I moved to the Memphis area when he, an associate warden at the federal prison in Forrest City, was transferred to the region. We relocated near Memphis because it put us squarely in the middle of everything: what’s happening in eastern Arkansas, and what’s happening in western Tennessee.
Memphis is our home—we’re going to retire here—so we’ve decided to get more involved in community affairs. LATROBE allows us to do that. By training job seekers, introducing them to employers, and helping individuals launch their own businesses, not only are we helping make the Memphis economy stronger and more diverse, we’re doing the same for the entire Mid-South economy! And, we’re helping reform our community.