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Avivo program helps Minnesotans, struggling with significant barriers to employment, to find help and advancement

Avivo provides specialized support for adults who have been laid-off or are caught in low-paying jobs. Avivo program manager Tara Munroe oversees two targeted employment programs that offer training, career counseling, and job seeking support for individuals who face these experiences. Tara answers questions that give insight to why these services are so important.

What’s this program about?

Our employment programs at Avivo are seeing people arrive with more barriers than ever right now,  which range from a lack of transportation and childcare to gaps in work history or finding work after a conviction.

We want to help people who come to us find the employment they want or need to support themselves or their families. Having a support system through a dedicated career counselor at Avivo helps with that.

We help with resumes and cover letters, as well as setting up practice interviews (which sometimes lead to real interviews) with employers. A lot of people are uncomfortable or not super sure of how to network and that’s another thing staff work on with them.

“It’s amazing to see people come in unemployed for whatever reason and leave our program with credentials and/or employment in well-paying careers, like nursing with a CNA certificate or as a truck driver with a CDL license.”

Why is this so important for participants?

It’s amazing to see people come in unemployed and leave our program with credentials or employment in well-paying careers, like nursing with a CNA certificate or as a truck driver with a CDL license.

What’s also exciting is that through a variety of funding sources we’re able to finance scholarships and emergency funding for eligible program participants. So, if a program participant needs an emergency rent payment or a car payment, we can usually help, as long as it’s guiding them towards their goals that they created with the program.

Another important piece of our employment programs at Avivo is that people get one-on-one assistance from somebody who is an expert in the field of employment. You can write a resume or cover letter on your own but having a second set of eyes to look at them and help fine tune them is invaluable.

What’s unique about Avivo?

Avivo holistically supports the people that come into this program in every way we can. We work to the get them connected with the resources in the community that will support them. The same goes for things like mental health supports and housing.

We make sure to get program participants connected to the best educational/training programs possible, so we’re constantly working on solidifying relationships with our educational partners in the effort to assure the ultimate success of everyone.

We want to build a strong relationship. As people work on improving their skills, we regularly check in with them to see how things are going and how we can continue to be of assistance. For the first couple of months a career counselor is probably communicating with participants at least once or twice a week, so we get them to the point that they are truly ready to do that job search and find employment.

How can someone help through donations or volunteering?

Businesses can get involved by sharing employees to conduct practice interviews, connecting on hiring, and joining our Business Partner Council. Individuals can also volunteer directly outside of their employers.

Our program relies on donations to support people in need with things like gas cards and bus cards to travel to job hunt and interview. Financial support also helps connect participants to Avivo’s other services to help them achieve their personal and professional goals.

How can I learn more about this program if I’m looking for work?

If someone is reading this Q&A and thinking about how they could use help finding full-time employment or improving their career options, they can submit a simple form to contact us about Avivo’s employment services and career training programs.

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