By Jade D.
At JEVS Human Services (JEVS) we value our relationships with local employers and their support in providing employment pathways for our participants.
Here’s what Rob had to say about his experiences with our participants and the impact they’ve had on the company as a whole.
What made you begin your relationship with JEVS Project WOW/IT Pre-Apprenticeship?
When I started at i2m five years ago, I was excited by the work we do with nonprofits, supporting those who are supporting the community in which we live. Our first intern, Jonathan R., is still with us and has received multiple promotions and is now working as a Systems Administrator. He is one of our shining stars and I believe that his work and dedication is what convinced us that this was a program that benefited us as much as we could benefit JEVS. Since then, we’ve expanded our work with these students and the time we volunteer with JEVS to assist this program. We take on as many interns as we can, I give presentations to the cohorts on resume building, what the IT interview process will look like, and my experience in the field. Personally, I am very passionate about this work because of my background. I was a first-generation college graduate who came from a family who had very little, and I saw what a struggle it was for my parents to be able to support me and my siblings. I also found that it was a field dominated by a single demographic of people that didn’t look like me and didn’t come from the places I came from. Working with interns out of this program allows for folks who don’t have traditional opportunities to break into IT to get their first real chance working in a field that can give their families better opportunities.
How many program graduates are currently working at i2m?
Out of our 18 full-time employees, we currently have seven employees who have come out of JEVS Project WOW/IT Pre-Apprenticeship. On top of that, we’ve hired five other interns who have moved on to bigger and better things outside of i2m.
What support do they receive at i2m to further their skills?
If they’re interning with us our objective for them is to take what they learned in class and see real world examples of these theories in action. Our goal is for the intern to walk into interviews for their first jobs, full of confidence about what they know and how well they know it. These internships can be four, six, or eight weeks in length and we try to expose them to everything a first-year technician will come across. If they get hired out of internship, our pre-apprenticeship program begins. This program is far more intensive and focuses on the many different opportunities in IT to expose the apprentice to as much as we can outside of their daily duties. This also helps i2m start to gauge what skillset or natural aptitudes the apprentice has and help guide them to future positions within i2m.
What has been your experience working with our graduates?
Our experience has been great. Graduates come to us full of excitement about this field and ready to tackle it. We’ve built our employment funnel around the internship program. We very rarely hire outside of these programs, then we promote from within to fill vacancies. This has allowed i2m to grow, for our staff to be as diverse and representative as our clients, and to allow us to have staff members who are excited about their work.
Learn more about JEVS Employer Services here.