A hush fell over the dining hall at Toby's Place as the doors swung open. In walked 6 graduates dressed in their Sunday best with their heads held high. Each was one step closer to a future that was in their control.
Every weekday, residents at Toby's Place attend two hours of career development classes and essential life-skills training. Throughout the beginning of 2023, our guests had the opportunity to complete the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) "Back to Work" program.
"Back to Work" began in 2016 to assist individuals in transitional housing programs as they rejoin the workforce. Residents at Toby's Place attended 9 different classes, covering topics such as:
Listening and Communication Skills
Teamwork and Problem-Solving Strategies
Once they completed each class, it was time to apply their knowledge. Mock job interviews were held, and residents pitched their talents to employers. These were followed by a hiring event, where guests applied the soft skills they learned to have conversations with employers across the Midlands.
"Back to Work" concluded with an intimate graduation ceremony. Oliver Gospel staff gathered to celebrate the 6 residents receiving certificates of completion. A keynote speaker, Reverend Gregory V. Mallory, encouraged the graduates as they moved to a new chapter in their careers.
"Without struggle, there can be no progress,"
Mallory told the graduates, echoing the words of renowned writer and abolitionist Frederick Douglas. The journey will not be easy, but the courage Toby's Place residents demonstrate daily will take them far throughout their careers.
At Oliver Gospel, we strive to equip each person who walks through our doors with the resources they need to live successful, faith-filled lives. Your donation today allows programs like "Back to Work" to continue visiting Toby's Place and developing our residents into hard-working and driven individuals.