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Old 01-30-2010, 09:36 PM
25 posts, read 57,066 times
Reputation: 20


I plan on sending this e-mail to the city of GR email address they have listed on the city website. I didn't want to send it at 11:30 p.m., even though that's when I get most of my business done I know it looks kind of bad, heh.

Anyways, it looks long so if you don't want to read through it then the cliff note version would be that it's a proposal for a city program that would help to put people back to work either through job placements or through community development projects. Find companies that wouldn't mind having an extra hand and let people go to work, even if they're not getting paid for it. Something is better than nothing.

I have an idea for a non-profit organization with the working title "Work To Work." The mission of the organization would be to provide an outlet for people seeking to gain work experience and become involved in community development projects. Being young, educated, yet unemployed, I find myself filled with ambition and with a desire to be a productive member of our community. Ones productivity shouldn't stop just because they're not being paid. It seems that there are plenty of community projects to be done and I can only imagine that our local companies and businesses would appreciate being able to tap into the rich talent pool our community has to offer. The program would be aimed at helping unemployed people keep themselves occupied while gaining work experience and help them find more permanent work while being an active part of the work force, rather than a spectator, sitting at home reading through the classifieds. This interactive approach would help those involved by allowing workers to promote themselves as valued assets on site, while helping to serve our community and while also increasing their opportunity to find more permanent work. It seems, at least for me, that "work" environments often lead to the availability of more work. A depressed economy is all the more reason to consciously focus our efforts on lifting our spirits and allowing our deep seeded American values of hard work, productivity, and that will to improve our surroundings carry us through the hard times, unite us as a community and help us grow together.

I'm not asking for any funding or anything- this is simply an idea, a reflection of my own experience, but I feel that a service of this type would truly help to give the residents of Grand Rapids a channel through which they could better focus their energies. Logically, this not-for-profit would be run by the exact types of people that it would be helping; the laid off, the college aged, the impoverished, the retired folks that want nothing more than to feel they are a part of something.

I hope you consider these thoughts and if I am regurgitating the mantra of a preexisting program that the city already has then please let me know. I know numerous volunteer organizations exists as well as job placement services, however, this would be different in that it would act as an umbrella organization for the pre-existing programs this city offers as well as specific internship like placements along with community development opportunities.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:30 PM
Location: Currently in Oscoda!!
274 posts, read 570,934 times
Reputation: 143
Great Idea!! It would also be a good way for those unemployed or those fresh out of college to be able to get some good references or letters of recommendation. Those always help when it comes time to find work.

Plus I think I would boost moral for those struggling to find work. I knew quite a few of my friends who when they lost their jobs they became depressed. The would just wake up everyday, spend hours online or going through classified ads and just sit and wait. This way you can go out there, prove your work ethic and show off your personal skills and not only help yourself but the community you live in.

I was born and raised in SE MI about 20 miles south of Ann Arbor and lived there for 30 years. I moved down to FL Jan 05' (biggest MISTAKE of my life) and I now currently reside in Atlanta, GA.. which I do not like at all!! I am moving back to MI this June and will be moving to Grand Rapids area.

I don't have a job lined up but I have a few years of living expenses saved up and I work in IT as a Network/Telecomm/Security Engineer. I would volunteer in a heartbeat not only to become involved and help out, but also to get my name out there. Nothing looks better on a resume then volunteer work. Plus nothing makes you feel better then helping others and just going out there and making new friends.

Keeps us updated or at least me so I can come and join you this summer!!
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:45 AM
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,748,233 times
Reputation: 3833
I think it's a great idea. However, I don't know that you'll get very far with the city. Not that the city is bad, they're just not tapped into the local employer networks and have very little resources to help much with something like this. You might try contacting the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, or some of the other foundations (Wege, Frey, Devos, etc.) for some ideas on how to set it up. Or maybe even GRCC and their workforce development program.

The big question you're going to get is "are you setting this up as a formal 501(c)3 non-profit organization." Might not be a bad idea to have a good answer to that question. Foundations can give grants and support to non-profits.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:06 PM
25 posts, read 57,066 times
Reputation: 20
Glad you guys are receptive to the idea. I know what you're saying Snow, I have been one of those guys (and I guess I still am) who has spent a little time online looking through classifieds, even when I know better. I guess I would try to set it up as a formal 501(c)3. I have no idea of how to set up a non-profit or how to procure funding or how this idea would actually be realized into a working system. Lots of kinks but I think i'm going to try to get some feedback from some other avenues and see if it's worth really sinking some time into. Nice to get the ball rolling though and please, please, send me your ideas and feedback as I am in the process of learning.
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