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Creating a volunteer connections program at your job center


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How to create a volunteer connections program through your job center.

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Creating a volunteer connections program at your job center

  1. 1. Starting A Volunteer Connections Program (VCP) Presented by Wendy J. Gould and Amy R. Mosher, Workforce Central Career Center (WCCC) & Jeff Turgeon, Central MA Workforce Investment Board (CMWIB)
  2. 2. By Michael A. Fletcher, Published: June 17, 2013 **Source: Corporation for National and Community Service Be a part of Workforce Central’s Volunteer Connections Program (VCP) Interested in developing your network while gaining experience through community-based volunteer opportunities? Volunteering Lifts Job Prospects of the Jobless
  3. 3. Webinar Agenda: • Introduction – Who we are • Program Background & data • Program Development Process • Legal Issues • Program Benefits, Guidelines and Expectations • Program Structure • Sample VC Workshop & Exchange Agenda • Outcomes and Testimonials • Discussion • Adjourn Question: What would you love to gain from today’s webinar? Starting a Volunteer Connections Program
  4. 4. Central MA Workforce Investment Board • The Central MA WIA Region contains 38 communities and a workforce of 300,000+. • There are three American Job Centers in our region (Workforce Central)
  5. 5. Program Background CMWIB and WCCC looking to address long-term unemployment crisis;  Career Center job seekers in need of:  recent, relevant work experience;  chance to learn new skills/work tools;  networking opportunities  getting back into “the swing” of workplace culture  Increase work-readiness for this population  Additional programming developed;  Stress Reduction workshops  Entrepreneurship program  TV show  $0 (nada, zip) additional funding available
  6. 6. Average Weeks Unemployed December 2007-March 2013 6 14 18 22 26 30 34 38 42
  7. 7. Percent Distribution of Unemployment by Duration December 2007-December 2012 7 0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 35.0 40.0 45.0 50.0 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Less than 5 weeks 5 to 14 weeks 15 to 26 weeks 27 weeks and over
  8. 8. Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate December 2007-March 2013 8 63 63.5 64 64.5 65 65.5 66 66.5
  9. 9. VC Program Development  Joint CMWIB/Workforce Central Career Center Career Readiness Work-Group formed;  Meetings over 6 months regarding three tracks:  Track 1: Expand internships/WBL for local training programs, including WCCC funded programs;  Track 2: Design the Volunteer Connection Program;  Track 3: Increasing volunteer opportunities at the CMWIB/WCCC. Work Readiness
  10. 10. VC Program Development  Track 2: Volunteer Connections Program Design  Program scope:  Researched eligibility guidance with state and federal workforce officials;  Internship vs. volunteership  For-profit vs. non-profit/public employer  Unemployment Insurance recipient guidelines  Program Process & Participant Flow  Staffing  Support Documentation  Outreach efforts
  11. 11. Legal Issues Internship vs. Volunteership; The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines the employment very broadly -- to "suffer or permit to work."  Covered and non-exempt individuals must be compensated for the services they perform for an employer.  Internships in the "for-profit" private sector will most often be viewed as employment, unless the 6-point test below is met; 1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment; 2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern; 3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff; 4. The employer…derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded; 5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and 6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the
  12. 12. Legal Issues Volunteer Guidelines:  In general, people are NOT permitted to volunteer with for- profit companies, but can volunteer for non-profits & public institutions: “Individuals who volunteer or donate their services, usually on a part-time basis, for public service religious or humanitarian objectives…without contemplation of pay, are not considered employees of the religious, charitable or similar non-profit organizations that receive their service.”1 [note: non-profit staff not allowed to volunteer for their own organization for the same type of work they are paid to do]  Unemployment Insurance recipient guidelines; volunteering does not waive job search requirement;  Volunteering limited to 19 hours per week.
  13. 13. Volunteer Connections Program (VCP) VCP is a 2-part program: 1. Volunteer Connections workshops (monthly) 2. Volunteer Exchange events (quarterly) (Both are listed on our Career Center calendar.) Question: What skills or experiences do you feel jobseekers could obtain through volunteering?
  14. 14. What are the Benefits of the VCP? Jobseekers  Connect to people and opportunities to build their confidence and resumes  Gain recent, relevant work experience aligned with career goals Non-Profit Organizations  Connect with volunteer candidates  Network with other non-profit leaders Both  Brings people together in a largely impersonal job market
  15. 15. Suggested Volunteership Guidelines • Volunteer opportunity related to career goals o Offer skills enhancement and/or practice for jobseeker o Offer supervision/mentoring and allow for networking • Placements typically shorter-term (1 – 3 months) • Placements under 20-hours per week (5-15 hours/ week recommended, and offer some flexibility)
  16. 16. Participant Expectations • View this process and volunteership as professional development (practice success skills) • Attendance and punctuality • Timely follow through • Communication • Committed to self-directed effort, including career assessment and self-reflection regarding desired skill gains Photo from:
  17. 17. Host Site Expectations • Provide opportunity to practice career related skills • Understand and support jobseeker’s goal of returning to work • Offer flexibility with scheduling (allow for continued job search activities & wind-down if/ when job found) • Provide open and honest performance feedback - informal mentoring • Offer letter of support/reference if asked
  18. 18. VCP Design Flow Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 VCP staff person provides brief overview; registers candidate for workshop VCP staff provides link to questionnaire VCP staff facilitates VC workshop; provides contact list and UW website link VCP staff sends follow- up email; enters attendee info in database VCP staff contacts attendees as needed; tracks outcomes VCP staff facilitate Volunteer Exchange event Step 6 Candidate contacts VCP staff for information; Registers for VC Workshop Completes a VCP research questionnaire Attends VC Workshop; • Reviews org contact list • Registers on local United Way website Attends Volunteer Exchange Event (Optional) Contacts host site & completes their volunteer application process Completes volunteer assignment
  19. 19.  VCP Staffing:  Wendy Gould speaks individually with clients prior to VC workshop, facilitates monthly VC workshops, and helps lead quarterly Volunteer Exchange events  Amy Mosher coordinates and facilitates quarterly Volunteer Exchanges Support Documentation:  Use of VCP participant questionnaire to identify strategic career learning objectives  VC workshop & Exchange attendees tracked in MA One- Stop Employment System (MOSES) database Outreach efforts: Outreach conducted through Workforce Central staff (word of mouth), website, and career center orientation.  External press coverage being sought  Volunteer organizations identified through personal networking and local United Way database VCP Structure
  20. 20. Volunteer Connections workshop February, 2013 with Wendy Gould
  21. 21. Sample Agenda for VC workshop 1. Introductions 2. VCP Overview 3. Video ( programs/volunteer-connections) 4. Questionnaire 5. Why Volunteer? 6. Paired Share/ Group Discussion 7. United Way website ( 8. Volunteer Exchange- list of openings 9. “Action Plan” (identifies Priority, Action, By When) 10. Thank You and Evaluations
  22. 22. VC Participant Questionnaire
  23. 23. Volunteer Exchange March, 2013
  24. 24. Sample Agenda for Volunteer Exchange 1. Welcome and Overview of Volunteer Connections Program 2. Jobseeker/ Volunteer 30-second introductions (name, industry background, volunteer goals) 3. Nonprofit organizations provide 2 minute mini-presentation (organization’s mission and target audience, with more focus on the specific, current volunteer openings) 4. Group Q&A and Discussion 5. Speed Networking session! Goal: speak with your top 3 people and exchange contact info with at least 2 people 6. United Way website ( for both volunteers and nonprofits 7. Discussion and Next Steps, including your Action Plan 8. Networking and Wrap Up
  25. 25. Outcomes and Testimonials Participant Testimonials: I really learned a lot as a volunteer assisting in classes to first-time English learners. As a result of my positive experiences, I was hired to do some per diem work. I will be taking tutor training with a goal to be able to expand my business being either a paid tutor or teacher in Spring 2014….Robin M. Volunteering as an assistant to an Activities Director has given me the opportunity to not only use my own skills but to learn other aspects of being an Activities Director in a Nursing Facility….Bruce B. Host Site Testimonials: “It is such a pleasure and great use of my time to attend the Volunteer Exchanges at Workforce Central because I have met some of my most enthusiastic volunteers there! I’ll be back!” --Emma, Volunteer Coordinator, Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester “I am always so impressed with the quality and willingness of the volunteers I meet through this program.” --Ray, Program Coordinator, Red Cross of Central MA Number of workshop & exchange attendees since program launch in Feb. , 2013 -- 217
  26. 26. Question How might some of these concepts be integrated into your region?
  27. 27. Discussion Points  Program is self-directed  Career Center’s role as a connector, not the ultimate decision maker or placement agent  Value for participant is strategic career experience and networking  Program is efficient and financially sustainable Q&A
  28. 28. Feel Free to Contact Us Wendy J. Gould Program Specialist , Workforce Central Career Center 508-373-7640 Amy R. Mosher Strategy and Innovation Leader, Workforce Central Career Center 508-373-7641 Jeff Turgeon Executive Director, CMWIB 508-799-1509