People are dropping out of society, often lacking the hope to see they can take control of their future and realize available opportunities. This creates cycles of poverty and dependency in our community. Our plan is to identify young at risk men and build life skills via mentoring, training and ongoing support for successful entry into unskilled, laborer and helper jobs at the industrial construction projects coming to SWLA. We plan to utilize the huge volunteer capacity of churches to provide support with vastly lower cost. Read more about our plans below.
Phase 1: While operating businesses and investing in the life of the community, we observed first hand the need for young men to get engaged in the productive life. We got involved directly mentoring young men and employing them as interns. This experience generated insights. Moreover, we have developed broad relationships with government, business, education, and church leaders which will help us move forward.
Phase 2: To Launch a Neighborhood‐based outreach to pique the interest of young men, involving them in a multi‐week program with both activities and training. Activities means working along side men from the church doing real-life projects, such as fixing a fence at a nearby widow. Men learn and grow working shoulder-to-shoulder with other men. Life-Skills Training will be embedded along the way, and include the things needed for success on an industrial construction site such as common tool names, common safety practices and cultivating a positive attitude. “Graduates” of our initiative are to have a grasp of life skills needed on the job, have TWIC and Safety cards, work clothes needed to start, and undergo successful drug screens. We help connect them with existing local contractors, give them a ride to and from work for 6 weeks, and continue the mentor/coach relationship during their new job to increase the probability of success. We will involve “Graduates” in supporting the next class to do the same.
Phase 2 is about to launch at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Lake Charles.
As Phase 2 proves successful, Phase 3 will involve utilizing multiple Churches and sites and ramping up based on the learnings and evaluations from Phase 2.