KRA Customer Volunteerism Enhances Employability Skills

“DJ”, 37, and single parent of five, came to KRA’s Norfolk VIEW (Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare) program to regain her status as a self-sufficient citizen. She had worked as a Sales Associate at a large national retail chain, but lost that job 2 years ago. In addition to enrollment in Job-Readiness Program activities…GED preparation, resume-building, mock job interviews, computer literacy, and other courses…her volunteer position in the Public Service Participant (PSP) program also contributed to her workplace-readiness.  Working daily with the Instructional Team at the KRA/VIEW Workforce Development Center, DJ was able to hone her administrative, communication, and customer-service skills…valuable assets for any employment opportunity.

Tiffany Haynes, KRA/VIEW Lead Instructor, stated, “DJ truly elevated the standards of PSP workers; many lack the motivation and drive to participate on a consistent basis. She, however, was on-time every day, and fulfilled any task assigned to her.” Along with Ms. Haynes, other members of DJ’s job-readiness team, Kirk Houston, Jr., KRA Career Agent, and Ninette Adams-Terry, KRA Employment Specialist, encouraged her to attend a KRA Career Exploration Fair held in October. DJ was ready, and as of November 16, 2011, was employed full time as a Teacher Assistant with a local child development center. 

Ms. Haynes concluded, “DJ came to be viewed as a role model by other KRA/VIEW program participants.  Because of her own life experiences, she interacted with customers without judgment and, being able to relate to their situations, provided them the opportunity to see their own potential for success through her.”