In late November 2019, KRA staff at the Chicago Westside American Job Center (WAJC)—operated for the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership—participated in a Staff Development Day session devoted to Understanding Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care, created by Kelly Butler, Trainer/Special Projects Coordinator.
Four months later, lessons learned that day would be sorely tested during the ensuing months, coping with the trauma introduced by the COVID-19 crisis that impacted everyone’s personal and professional interactions and relationships.
Ms. Butler commented, “Recently, we were able to gather for our first in-person training, focused on Self-Care, providing a venue for team bonding, collaboration, and positivity. Actually, there were new team members, hired during the work-from-home period, whom we had to get to know better!”
Neah Kearney, Career Coach, shared, “Our self-care session was very necessary. Returning to the office, after working remotely for so long, you can get caught up in the work, the numbers, and the deadlines, which can cause stress in the workplace.”
One activity was “show-and-tell”, part fun and part serious, during which some, with lively demonstrations, shared favorite pastimes—salsa and bachata dancing, singing, painting, haiku-poetry writing—while others spoke about family and other significant influences in their lives.
Career Coach, Mike Wolske, stated, “It was great to take a time-out to re-connect, fostering a sense of community with one another. Sharing our experiences and talents offered opportunities to learn something new—personal-development tools that can enhance both our physical and mental states.”
To conclude the session, Ms. Butler read the quote-for-the-day for the team from her copy of A Year of Positive Thinking…a book KRA had distributed to each corporate- and program-site team member across the country.
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