Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Part of the vision of East Cooper Community Outreach is to eliminate poverty in the area through education and decent jobs. Their idea is to get their clients to a point where they are self sufficient and send them out with all the tools they need so they can willingly pull themselves up. The end result helps strengthen the community.
A new partnership will help with that goal.
Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina and East Cooper Community Outreach partnered to bring employment services to the East Cooper Community through a new Job Link Center.
The grand opening took place Thursday at 1145 Six Mile Road.
The Job Link Center, located within ECCO’s facility (directly behind the Goodwill retail store), is now open and providing services to the community. The center features computer stations that can be accessed for job searches and resume building at no cost to the community.
ECCO’s executive director Jack Little said that “neighbor’s to East Cooper think this is the land of milk and honey. There is an under served population here and we lag in resources to help these folks.”
He said the Job Link Center will help towards turning that around.
The Center’s hours are 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and open to everyone in the community offering career coaching, job training and other employment services.
Little said it is the only place east of the Cooper to offer assistance to those looking for work.
Goodwill and ECCO have partnered together in an effort to provide the East Cooper Community with job training and employment services that will help the unemployed and underemployed achieve financial stability and self-sufficiency.
“Our partnership was a natural fit as both ECCO and Goodwill are striving to build stronger communities,” said Robert Smith, Goodwill President and CEO. “When people have economic independence, they tend to be happier, more confident and contribute more to their community.”
Paul Miloni, of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce applauded the partnership and the synergy, “It takes three sturdy strands to create a strong cord, (The Town of Mount Pleasant, ECCO, and Goodwill). We look at ourselves in this partnership as the fourth strand making it an even stronger cord.”
Long-term employment is an essential component of financial stability and self-sufficiency. ECCO will help prepare clients by assessing and addressing any barriers currently standing in their way of employment and will continue to monitor and support the employee for a year. Goodwill will assist individuals in finding competitive employment in the community or receiving necessary training.
“The partnership with Goodwill Industries is a great opportunity to join hands and help boost our efforts to those who need it the most in our East Cooper area.” said Little. “Helping the chronically unemployed transition to long term employment is the first step to helping them become self-sufficient.”
Rex Atkinson, ECCO board member summed up the partnership by adding, “we need help from the community to serve the community.” He encouraged business with available positions to contact ECCO for potential employee placement.
Palmetto Goodwill is a nonprofit social service organization whose mission is to help people achieve their full potential through the dignity and power of work. Over 90 percent of Goodwill’s revenue goes to fund mission related services. Goodwill serves their mission by providing career counseling, job training, and other employment related programs to people with barriers to employment. Last year, Goodwill placed over 800 people into new jobs and served over 37,500. For more information about Goodwill’s programs and services, please visit www.palmettogoodwill.org.
East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) is a community supported nonprofit, with the mission to provide safety net services to our low income neighbors, while empowering them to create a better future for themselves, their families and communities. ECCO helps more than 4,500 households each year through a range of programs related to Basic Needs, Health and Wellness, and Empowerment. Services for our neighbors in need include emergency relief for food, clothing, household furnishings and financial aid, as well as on-site dental care, nurse practitioner appointments, prescription assistance, education classes, counseling, case management and our new job readiness initiative. www.ECCOcharleston.org.