KRA Monthly Spotlight!

CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY

The May 2011 spotlight is shining on KRA’s Community Work Experience Program (CWEP) and the impact it has had on a very special customer and an equally special CWEP employer.

The Program – July 22, 2011, will mark the 2-year anniversary of the KRA/CWEP operation, which provides 120-to-300 hours of community-based job placement to assist participants in acquiring the general skills, training, knowledge, and work habits necessary to obtain permanent employment. CWEP participants are placed with non-profit organizations that (1) incorporate a community service and (2) improve the employability of participant-workers. KRA negotiates with Work Host sites to develop each CWEP placement agreement, which includes: the duties and responsibilities of the CWEP participant; the scheduled days and hours of the work placement;  the reporting and supervision responsibilities of the Work Host site; and the skills to be attained by the CWEP participant. Based upon KRA’s spectacular first-year placement success, the company began the second-year operation with 35 additional CWEP slots!   Two related stories and letters of appreciation to KRA follow:

The Client – In just 4 days, it will be a year since Michael Keck enrolled in the KRA/CWEP. Here, with his permission, is his story.

Dear Mrs. Davis:

My name is Michael Keck and I…enrolled into the program on June 1, 2010, being sent to you by my worker from the Board of Social Services.  While in your program, I am being treated like a human being and not just a random number.  I was released from prison in 2010 and had a lot of doors slammed in my face. Any hope I had for a normal life was getting short, and then I met Mr. [Thomas] Davis and the wonderful staff at KRA.  The staff here is most respectful, caring people I have ever met.  They gave me a chance no other CWEP has given me. At this present time, I will start employment on Wednesday July 21, 2010 at my CWEP, which is a great job. My CWEP future employer is in Mt. Ephraim, NJ.  I am so excited about the benefits which will allow me to take care of my family.  Mr. Davis has been a great motivator to me, besides my family.  They seem to be the only persons who actually care about my well being and see the good in me.  He stated when I spoke with him, “You are not a bad person; you have to redirect and focus your energy”.  This statement assisted me in moving forwarded. He is someone I will never forget. Now that he has assisted me with building up my self esteem, I am moving forward with my life.  Through our many conversations, I now know who the real Michael Keck is.  I am more than my outer man, the tattooed individual.  I will never allow anyone to judge me yet, I will move on in life with my dreams, goals and ambitions. Thank you all so much for giving me a chance. You all have helped me to smile again.  I am so proud of myself and my future. Without KRA, I don’t know what would have happened to me.

 Sincerely,

Michael Keck

July 14, 2010

The Employer – Michael is still employed as a Sanitation Worker in the Public Works Department of the Borough of Mt. Ephraim, New Jersey, whose Mayor sent this letter to Anita Davis acknowledging the KRA/Mt. Ephraim CWEP as a “very cooperative and mutually beneficial” partnership. 

Dear Mrs. Davis:

The Borough of Mount Ephraim estimates that utilizing KRA CWEP participants to supplement our Public Works Department has saved our taxpayers more than $40,000 annually in payroll and benefits.  The partnership between our Public Works Department and the staff at KRA has been very cooperative and mutually beneficial. This partnership also provides the KRA clients with work opportunities, exposes them to various types of employment possibilities, and allows them to contribute needed services to the community. The KRA Community Work Experience Program has been invaluable to Mount Ephraim and has allowed us to provide services to our residents at no cost to the tax payers while also providing our clients with work experience and the opportunity to be part of something valuable. We thank you for this program and look forward to continuing to partner with you in the future.

Sincerely,

John Wolk, Mayor

April 20, 2011