Who We Serve

We serve unemployed and under-employed adults with low-income jobs in the Greater Boston area age 22 to 55. Our participants are a diverse group, with some coming from other regions of the world. Most of our clients' previous work experience consists of minimum-wage jobs. They are ready to start building a career, and benefit greatly from formal classes, one-one-one coaching, and learning from peers about the job application process, workplace culture, and how to continue advancing and building their career after landing a job.  

 


what we do

We build careers. We do this in three phases: job readiness, job search, and career coaching. 

 
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PHASE 1: Job readiness training

Participants enroll in a four-week course in which they develop a résumé and engage in approximately 20 intensive practice interviewing sessions with volunteers employed in professional settings in the Greater Boston area. Participants are also coached in the art of building a professional network and take a financial literacy course that covers budgeting, managing credit and credit scores, and retirement planning. There are day and evening course options. A weekend course will begin in the fall of 2017.  

 
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Phase 2: job search support

After successfully completing the job readiness course, clients begin searching for a job. Working one-on-one with our employment counselors, they write cover letters, refine their résumés, and continue preparing for interviews. They learn how to search for jobs online, and our employment specialists refer them to openings with our partner employers. Clients also join the Career Collaborative Job Club where they meet twice weekly with their peers to share their experiences in looking for a job, track their progress, and motivate each other. 

 
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PHASE 3: CAREER DEVELOPMENT

When participants accept a job, our skilled coaches work one-on-one with them for up to two years, helping them understand employer expectations; resolve common workplace conflicts; set performance goals; prepare for performance reviews; and ask for raises. We also coach them on effective communication; how to be a valued team member; and how to nurture and grow their professional network. All of these practices and skills are fundamental to building a career at any stage of life.  

 

OUR IMPACT

Victor, a successful graduate of Career Collaborative who landed a job in finance, offers advice to new enrollees in the Job Readiness class: 

It’s hard to express what this staff will do on your behalf. They call you, they follow up with you. Even when you want to give up they will motivate you not to give up. Several times I found myself [deeply discouraged] because where I came from, I went to school, I graduated, I got a job and then another job. So I didn’t actually know what it meant [to be] looking for a job. I finally I got a job. My dream job. So I what I want to say to you is that even on the days when you wake up and feel like not coming in here, don’t walk away. Just refocus on what you want and at the right time, it will come. And think of this place as a family. Not just any family, but a family that is concerned for you and cares so much about you.

Most of the clients who walk through our doors for the first time are making between $2,000 to $11,000 a year. Two years after completing our program, 70% of our clients have full-time jobs with benefits, and they're making approximately $32,000 a year.

Approximately 70% of our clients who were placed in jobs in 2014 were still employed two years later in 2016.