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Volunteerism: A Mechanism to Alleviate Unemployment . F∙E∙G∙S Health and Human Services System . Agenda: . Project history Goals Partnership with employment services Results Steps for building a volunteer consulting program Challenges and benefits Discussion

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volunteerism a mechanism to alleviate unemployment

Volunteerism: A Mechanism to Alleviate Unemployment

F∙E∙G∙S Health and Human Services System

  • Project history
  • Goals
  • Partnership with employment services
  • Results
  • Steps for building a volunteer consulting program
  • Challenges and benefits
  • Discussion
  • Questions and answers
  • Summary
connect to care job services
Connect to Care job services:

Enhancement of job search skills through employment workshops such as resume writing, interviewing, networking, internet job search, computer workshops and tutoring, etc…

Individual consultation and guidance

Networking events

Volunteer consulting placements

goals of engaging job seekers in skill based volunteer assignments
Goals of engaging job seekers in skill-based volunteer assignments:

Offer unemployed New Yorkers the chance to reinforce their skills within new environments

Provide valuable recent employment experience

Uplift and maintain job seekers’ spirits through continued activity and engagement in their areas of expertise

Assist companies coping with the economic downturn by connecting them with skilled professionals, ready to work free of charge

who are connect to care job seekers
Who are Connect to Care job seekers?


29 and Younger: 9%

30-39: 17%

40-54: 46%

55-64: 24%

65+: 4%

volunteer engagements
Volunteer Engagements:

Facilitate workshops related to job search such as resume writing, internet job search, Microsoft workshops, Networking skills, etc…

Provide mock / practice interviews to job seekers

Consult non-profit organizations in the area of your expertise such as marketing, finance, event planning, etc…


Community Volunteers

Job Seekers

Community Volunteers

Job Seekers

Host Sites


Employment Services

Volunteer Services

key players
Key players:

Job Seekers

Employment Program

Volunteer Services


Community Volunteers


From June 2009 until April 2010:

Total number of engaged volunteers: 196

Number of volunteer workshop facilitators: 20

Number of I-PREP interviewers: 131

Number of placed consultants: 45

Number of workshops presented by volunteers: 93

Number of Connect to Care job seekers

receiving services from volunteers: 446

results continued
Results continued:

Community Volunteers / Workshop Facilitators:

Out of 20 recruited facilitators 17 (85%)were unemployed when they started their volunteer assignment

So far 5 individuals (25%)found employment (2 of them opened small businesses)

All 17 volunteers were given the option of receiving employment services

i prep interviewers
I-PREP Interviewers:

Out of 131volunteer mock interviewers 67 (51%) were unemployed.

All unemployed individuals were given the option to receive employment services

consulting opportunities
Consulting Opportunities:

Created relationships with 25 host-sites

Placed 45 recently unemployed individuals as skilled volunteer consultants within 18 host-sites

So far 19 individuals found employment (44%)

examples of consulting positions
Examples of consulting positions:

Event planning

Grant writing

Gardening project consulting

Graphic design

Web Design

Financial analysis and advising




steps for building a volunteer consulting program
Steps for building a volunteer consulting program:

Establish relationship with employment services

Define the referral and communication procedures

Establish relationship with host-sites

Define an agreement, referral and follow up procedures

Train host-sites on defining short term assignment (6 week assignment)

steps continued
Steps continued:

Receive a list of assignment descriptions from all sites

Hold orientation sessions to inform job seekers / prospective volunteers about the available openings, placement process, application and interview

Interview, select and match prospective volunteers with the appropriate host-site and assignment

steps continued18
Steps continued:

Refer prospective volunteers for an interview at the host-site

Follow up on volunteer placement

Keep in monthly contact with the volunteer

Keep in contact with host-site and address issues as needed

factors involved in the selection of host sites
Factors involved in the selection of host-sites:

Non-profit organizations

Organizations that meet the needs and employment interests of our clients such as arts organizations, environmental projects, etc…

Sites that are willing to invest time and attention in guidance and supervision of volunteers

factors continued
Factors continued:

Experience and/or interest in working with volunteers

Organizations located in desirable locations

Organizations that have potential to hire

challenges we encountered
Challenges we encountered:

Volunteer Services:

Staff / civic corps members were inexperienced and had to be trained to interview, select and place volunteers


Job description did not accurately reflect actual work

Lack of experience working with skilled volunteers

Slow response by host-sites. Some potential volunteers got discouraged.

Limited or no supervision

challenges continued
Challenges continued:


Confusion about interest and direction

Lack of familiarity with non-profit organizational culture vs. corporate culture

High expectation to be hired

Saying “find me a volunteer position” however meaning “find me a job”.

Presenting some rigidity when selecting a volunteer position.

benefits of the volunteer consulting program
Benefits of the volunteer consulting program:

Benefits to Job Seekers:

Assists job seekers by enhancing job search and gaining employment through volunteerism as volunteerism provides opportunity to:

Network with other professionals

Enhance and expand job skills

Transfer existing skills to new field of work which expands possible work opportunities

Keeps one’s spirits up which contributes to active search rather than withdrawal and depression.

Get hired

benefits continued
Benefits continued:

Benefits to Employment Program:

Assists the program by engaging their clients in active job search and increasing their employability potential

Increases job placements

Benefit to Volunteer Department:

Ensures on-going referrals of skilled volunteers

Expand network with other non-profit organizations

Increase visibility of F∙E∙G∙S

benefits continued25
Benefits continued:

Benefits to Host-Site:

Receive free services from highly skilled professionals

Opportunity to work with potential new hires

benefits to community volunteers
Benefits to Community Volunteers:

Opportunity to give back through facilitating workshops, mock interviews and panel presentations for unemployed professionals

Connecting with employment service and receiving services such as resume writing, interviewing and networking workshops and consultations while giving services such as computer workshops and mentoring

Increases opportunities to be hired


Volunteerism impacts job search and employment

Volunteer partnership with employment services enables exchange of services

Your client (job seeker / service receiver) is also your volunteer (service giver)

Volunteers enhance their job search while assisting other organizations by doing consulting projects

Development of strong working relationship with partnering organizations (host-sites) is paramount to the success of the volunteer program

Volunteerism is about exchange