September Graduation at The Crosby Street Hotel

Thanks to everyone who attended the graduation last week, and a very big thank you to the Crosby Street Hotel for hosting our celebration!  We are already excited for the next one, as job developer Harvey Semler reported at today’s staff meeting that we already have four new job placements since last week.  Our graduations are the best way to learn about ACE and become personally acquainted with those whose lives have been touched by our programs.  Be sure to join us at the next ceremony – most likely in November of this year.  And more pictures will be posted soon on our Flickr page – thanks so much to volunteer photographers Erik Hup and Joe Quint!

ACE Graduation sept 2010
Photo by Erik Hup
Photo by Erik Hup
Photo by Erik Hup

This Week in Project Comeback 8

John Ellert teaching an ACE Project Comeback Workshop
John Ellert teaching an ACE Project Comeback Workshop

Hello, it’s John Ellert here, Case Management Coordinator of Project Comeback. I would like to take this opportunity to share the progress of our program’s operations during the last month.

I am privileged to share a participant’s journey from intake until completion. In the four to six months that individuals participate in our program; they address four phases of vocational job-readiness training. During these phases of training; participants will learn to demonstrate a professional work ethic, secure identification, attend and complete fifteen workshops, prepare for and participate in job search, and secure full-time permanent employment. I would like to share some of our current demographics with you. We have 49 people in our job readiness program. 22% of our program participants are women, and 78% are men. Our new phase program is a resounding success. 49% of our program participants have transitioned to Phases II, III, and IV. After completing Phase IV and graduating from our program, these individuals begin working a full-time permanent job.

We are pleased to announce our next graduation on Friday September 24th at 12pm, at The Crosby Street Hotel. Please join us as we celebrate the success of ten graduates. For more information on the graduation ceremony, please email info@acenewyork.org.

This Week in Project Comeback 7

Hi everyone! This is Liz again. I wanted to share a bit about some of the things Project Comeback and Project Stay do “after hours.” Every few months, we hold a social event for ACE clients, graduates and staff. These events can be a range of activities, including trips to see movies, plays and concerts, going bowling, attending sports games, visiting museums, etc. Our most recent event was held this week: a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game in Coney Island. (Cyclones won!)

Our social events are designed to bring together ACE clients and graduates to reward everyone for their hard work and to build a sense of community. We also invite participants to bring guests to social events, so they can introduce their families and friends to the staff at ACE. This helps strengthen our participants’ all-around support systems by connecting the positive work they do with ACE in the daytime with the broader transformations they’re making in their lives. Many participants have told me that social events provided them with the opportunity to meet new friends, spend time reconnecting with family members, de-stress and, last but not least, have a great time with great people!

This Week in Project Comeback

Rachel on Staff Sweep DayHello again.  Rachel here, back to update you on Project Comeback’s classes. This week we will be leading two job-readiness workshops. The topics are “Skills: How Do I Talk About Myself” and the first part of “Interviewer’s Questions: What They Really Mean”.

Both of these classes will focus on improving our clients’ skills in speaking positively about themselves and in the interview process in general. We will cover the trick questions like “What is your greatest weakness?” and the difficult questions, such as those addressing criminal history. These lessons also provide a great chance to conduct some casual mock interviews. At the end of these lessons, we typically pair off into twos and practice answering some interview questions.

In addition to practicing interviewing skills during the workshops, we also have mock interview sessions once a month with volunteer interviewers. Since these interviews are conducted by strangers, they seem much more real, and it is easier to really get a sense of how comfortable a client is with interviewing. We will be holding these interviews on Monday, August 23rd and Tuesday, August 24th. We are still looking for volunteers to help out with this, so if you would like to come down to our office for a couple of hours next week, and act as an interviewer, please contact me. We love to have new people involved in our program, and adding their enthusiasm.

And from our job developer, Harvey Semler, this week: “There was one new placement in the last two weeks which brings our total new graduation class to seven at this time!” Be sure not to miss our next Project Comeback graduation ceremony on September 24 at 12pm, hosted by The Crosby Street Hotel at 79 Crosby Street.

This Week in Project Comeback 5

John Ellert
Hello, I’m john Ellert. I’m the Case Management Coordinator of Project Comeback, ACE’s job readiness training program. I would like to take this opportunity to share the progress of our program’s operations during the last month.

In the last month, 45 consumers were interviewed for admittance to our program. Of this number; we accepted 15 or 33%. We currently have a total of 45 men and women in our program.

I am privileged to share a consumer’s journey from intake through completion. In the four to six months that participants are in our program, they address four phases of vocational job-readiness training. During these phases of training; clients will learn to demonstrate a professional work ethic, secure identification, attend and complete fifteen workshops, prepare for and participate in job search, and secure full time permanent employment.

Our last graduation was on Friday, July 16th. At that time, we celebrated the success of 20 graduates. We are pleased to announce our next graduation on Friday September 24th and we hope to see you there!

Project Comeback Information

Our intensive four to six month job training program provides real-time work experience, job readiness workshops and one-on-one counseling. Our clients are referred to us from outpatient facilities, shelters, substance abuse treatment programs, and transitional housing programs throughout all five boroughs of New York City. They work 20-24 hours each week on structured service crews cleaning the streets and sidewalks of lower Manhattan and receive a living stipend for their work. Working on the crew teaches the rules and requirements of the workplace and provides valuable recent work experience for resume building.

Project Comeback participants attend mandatory job-readiness workshops in 15 different subjects, including: interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, hygiene and attire, resume writing, interviewing skills, financial management, and employment rights (in relation to criminal histories). We offer weekly Adult Basic Education classes in Math and English as well as introductory computer classes to help our clients develop a working knowledge of computers, Internet usage and basic typing techniques.

We partner with 11 other human service organizations in the city to provide comprehensive assistance in the areas of housing, substance abuse, mental health, and career counseling. Our clients must also continue to attend their ongoing treatment programs to help them maintain sobriety and stability throughout the duration of our program.

Our counselors meet with our clients individually to identify and address any problems that may arise during the program. We believe our unparalleled level of individual attention and support sets us above similar organizations and helps our clients to succeed.

Our clients “graduate” once they have successfully completed our curriculum and secured employment. Every three months, we honor their accomplishments with a commencement ceremony. Past graduations have been generously hosted by the TriBeCa Film Center, Saint Anthony’s Church, Scholastic, and the Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral Youth Center.