Bridges at the Missions is an apprenticeship program that bridges the gap from unemployment to employment. Through our program, recently unemployed individuals are placed in three areas of Missions operations: social services, food services, and building and grounds. We typically spend 6-12 months with each program participant building their experience, improving their resumes, and conducting job-enhancement classes in areas such as interviewing, appropriate workplace behavior, goal setting, and time management.
These small improvements to behaviors, in addition to the dedication of our apprentices, are leading to successful interviews, positive performance reviews and all of the other makings of a long-term employee. This consistent employment is changing generational patterns of poverty and creating a ripple effect within our community.
Tonya, one of our first graduates and a mother to a young girl, is a perfect example of what our program can do. Tonya joined the Bridges Program in March 2017. Having already earned her degree as a certified nursing assistant and excelling in the workplace, Tonya felt hopeless when her employer abruptly closed and no openings were available. The Bridges program was exactly the help Tonya needed. Our Senior Activity Program was a perfect fit for her. There she spearheaded an outreach program for the residents of local nursing homes. One nursing home was so impressed by her skills with their patients they offered her a full-time job. She graduated in October 2017 to begin working with the nursing home—but her success didn’t stop there. With the confidence found in our program, she decided to pursue her true passion of cosmetology with plans of opening her own salon. She is so grateful for the Bridges Program, saying “I never thought I could be successful before this program. I never thought I’d be confident in interviews or know how to use computers. Thanks to Bridges, I am sure the sky is the limit!”