Working Wardrobes Launches New Training Program to Aid Under-Employed and Local Businesses in Orange County

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New Working Wardrobes training program funded by The Power of a Paycheck Giving Campaign.

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Working Wardrobes, The Power of a Paycheck

Under-employment creates unnecessary stress on those who work part time jobs but who want full time jobs – or people who can’t find jobs that pay salaries proportionate to their qualifications. Our new training curriculum helps combat this issue.

Working Wardrobes, an Orange County, California nonprofit specializing in helping people overcome difficult challenges to find work and achieve self-sufficiency, today announced it has launched a new training program designed to assist the under-employed in Orange County, as well as to aid businesses looking to tap into a more talented, well-rounded pool of employee prospects here.

The training program is being funded by the nonprofit’s “The Power of a Paycheck” campaign (http://www.workingwardrobes.org/paycheck) which launched this week. The campaign asks donors to set aside a portion of their paychecks each month to help Working Wardrobes clients earn a better living by enabling upward mobility in their careers.    

Jerri Rosen, founder and CEO of Working Wardrobes, says the nonprofit has long provided services for those who are unemployed, but recently developed a program geared towards under-employment due to increasingly alarming statistics:

*The average cost of living in Orange County is a staggering 22 index points higher than the national average.1
*Nearly 12 percent of the county’s population lives below the poverty level.2
*Orange County’s median home price is almost 40 percent higher than California’s median home price.3
*Approximately 78,500 people are unemployed in Orange County4, however, under-employment impacts more than double the amount of people who are unemployed in our state.5
*Those who earn only minimum wage in Orange County would have to work an impossible 133 hours per week just to afford rent for a one bedroom apartment.6

“Under-employment affects more than twice the amount of people who are out of work,” said Rosen. “It creates unnecessary stress on those who work part time jobs but who want full time jobs – or people who can’t find jobs that pay salaries proportionate to their qualifications. Our new training curriculum helps combat this issue.”

Rosen says the new program, entitled the Workplace Excellence Series, was developed in conjunction with Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation and WorkNet Solutions. It is based on findings that soft skills development is critical in enhancing upward career mobility – from part time to full time work, or from low-wage jobs to higher-wage jobs that maintain a normal standard of living.

Rosen says local Orange County businesses stand to benefit greatly from the Workplace Excellence Series which helps to create a more talented and well-rounded pool of employee candidates here. Clients who are enrolled in the series participate in training modules designed to improve:

  • Communication
  • Interpersonal interaction and teamwork
  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Networking
  • Professionalism

“We have long been committed to offering education, financial literacy, health programs, and housing assistance to improve the lives of residents here in Orange County, and we support Working Wardrobes’ efforts,” said Max Gardner, President and CEO of Orange County United Way. “Initiatives that promote upward mobility, like workshops that enhance soft skills, will be key in aiding and expediting post-recession family income recovery in Orange County, and to narrowing the high- and low-income gap that exists here, and it all fits into the United Way Face 2024 plan.”

Gloria Robbins, CEO of SMS, a full service marketing organization in Santa Ana, California, turned to Working Wardrobes recently to locate a well-rounded job candidate who had completed the Workplace Excellence Series.

“The candidate we hired is intelligent, organized, and a very hard working individual who is a wonderful fit at SMS,” said Robbins. “He is doing a stellar job. As a result, we are looking to Working Wardrobes once again to fill an open position at our organization.”

Local business professionals who are interested in additional curriculum and employee details can contact Mary Ann Profeta, Working Wardrobes’ VP of Career Success Institute/VetNet, at
(714) 210-2460 or by email at maryannp(at)workingwardrobes(dot)org.

1 Source: City-Data.com, Orange County, California, 2012: http://www.city-data.com/county/Orange_County-CA.html)
2 Source: U.S. Census Bureau: State and County QuickFacts, July 2014: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06059.html
3 Source: U.S. Census Bureau: State and County QuickFacts, July 2014: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06059.html
4 Source: CA Employment Development Department from the Center for Demographic research: http://www.fullerton.edu/cdr/ocff.pdf
5 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, California Q4 2013 – Q3 2014: http://www.bls.gov/lau/stalt.htm
6 The 2012 Community Indicators Report, Orange County, California:

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