Keys to Employment or Better Employment

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Community Life Center Outreach Services, Inc
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

To strengthen our community by helping those who are in need gain self sufficiency by providing a compassionate “hand up” to local citizens in crisis. We provide support to meet their immediate physical needs such as food, clothing, temporary housing, while empowering them for self-sufficiency through problem identification, employment assistance, knowledgeable workshops, referrals to partnering agencies, and follow-up services with the help of dedicated volunteers and our community.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Incorporated in 1996 as For All "His" Children Christian Ministries, Inc., DBA Community Life Center, now legally named Community Life Outreach Services, Inc. has been a cornerstone for support services to the residents of Deltona, Debary, Enterprise and Osteen Florida, along with other cities through partnering agency referral. Phyllis Gregory with the support of her husband Mark Gregory began her vision of helping the community through an outreach in her home. She believed that through her small efforts she could help families in crisis by providing emergency needs of food and assisting them to regain self sufficiency through personal encouragement. As recognition grew, donations flowed in, leaving her home looking like a warehouse; full of food, furniture, clothing and household items. Basic recordkeeping was accomplished through Microsoft Professional software. MS Word was utilized for all correspondence; MS Excel and ACCESS were utilized for tracking donations and MS PowerPoint presentations were developed for promotional, fundraisers and outreach activities. .In 2000 the agency was relocated to a commercial site on Deltona Blvd.During 2002, the agency expanded services to respond to identified needs in the community, i.e.; assistance with job search and employment activities. Through collaboration with Workforce Florida Volusia/Flagler Counties and Center for Business Excellence (CBE), five computers with MS Word, MS Excel and Internet Browser were donated and installed at the agency to enable community residents to conduct job search activities.At this time Community Life Center began offering on-site job training to those referred from Workforce Development who were re-entering the work force and needed skills for new or better employment. One-on-one training consisted of MS Word for correspondence, MS ACCESS for data entry on the agencies client data base, MS Excel spread sheets for mailings, volunteer hours and other pertinent data needed to be recorded, along with training on assorted office machinery and general office procedures. Receiving and distribution training was also offered. This included recording donated items on MS Excel, and ordering of products through the internet.In 2007-2008, the agency received a $50,000 grant awarded from the Department of Labor for Faith Based Grassroots Organizations which enabled the Employment Department to increase its services. New staff developed MS PowerPoint presentations and booklets in MS Word to implement KEYS Workshops; Resume Writing, Conflict Management, Preparing for your Interview and Communication in the Workplace. Also available were one-on-one resume reviews; mock interviews and follow up on client job search progress. To develop new skills, residents were assisted by volunteers in basic usage of MS Word and Internet Browser. As a result of this grant award, new community partnerships were developed to provide gas vouchers, excellent condition clothing and free haircuts for employment interviews. Workshop participants after viewing MS Power Point presentations and receiving booklets created on MS Word were instructed to use Microsoft Word Resume Templates and Resume Builder (which is downloaded into MS Word) to start their journey. Volunteers assisted participants personally while they created their resumes on these programs.As part of the follow-up on employment opportunities participants were taught how to create a tracking sheet for sending resumes and follow-up activities which would phone calls, e-mails and thank you letters to the interviewer on MS Word.Statistically this past year, the employment department workshops were attended by 133 persons and; 228 clients were personally assisted with one-on-one resume writing and the general public was provided internet access for job searching with the assistance of volunteers. In October 2008, Community Life Center relocated to Deltona’s Social Service Building in the heart of Deltona, in front of two city bus stops and physically closer to more residents. CBE donated five additional computers complete with MS Word, MS Excel and the Internet Browser to meet the growing need in our community, along with one staff member to assist with job seekers one day a week.Quarterly budget workshops written on MS PowerPoint were attended by 48 individuals through a partnership with Campaign for Working Families, Volusia County Florida. Participants were provided examples of simple budget forms, expense tracking forms and appropriate letter writing on MS Word to request lower interest rates on credit cards, along with other valuable budgeting information.As a Grassroots’’ non-profit 501(c)(3) agency, Community Life Center must continually provide client demographics, pounds and values of food and other items distributed, and services provided to potential donors, federal, county, city and foundational grants This information has been placed on our client data base which is written on MS ACCESS. Newsletters written on MS Publisher and other correspondence written in MS Word with this data are distributed regularly to continually gain support or greater support from community residents, corporations, businesses, organizations, partners and faith based agencies. With the support of our community and grants the agency continues to offer new programs for identified needs in the community. These programs always focus on providing knowledge, training and skills that are marketable in the business world and can be used in the personal home. Thus, fulfilling the mission of Community Life Center to provide a “hand up for self sufficiency”, and not promoting dependency on any one program, agency, group or person.Has Microsoft made a difference in the services provided to the residents of Deltona and West Volusia County, Florida? Unequivocally YES! Many of Volusia’s residents are blue collar workers or part of the service industry, with limited computer experience and our free training on Microsoft Office software is very valuable to them in obtaining employment in these poor economic times.Knowledge is power and every person desires to believe they control their own destiny. However, without at least basic training on Microsoft Professional Office software programs and business equipment the average person cannot adequately compete for employment. Community Life Center continues to provide free workshops ensuring job seeking residents have basic computer knowledge, can compose a professional letter; write a concise resume; and track job seeking/follow-up activities.A Chinese proverb states, “Give a man a fish you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” It is the belief of the Community Life Center that participants who have completed the series of four workshops, and/or have completed their on-job training will have learned the basic skills needed to survive in the business community.

Submission Category
Transformations to Maximize Impact