As many as 25,000 individuals in Arizona were homeless over the past year, many due to a recent job loss. Yet six out of 10 adults living at UMOM New Day Centers for low-income and homeless families don’t have a high school diploma or GED, or the skills needed to find a job in today’s challenging economic market.
To help address this need, ARAMARK, the global professional services company, will establish a hub for job readiness at UMOM and provide ongoing resources and expertise to help individuals prepare for and secure meaningful jobs.
“Without an education or training, it is difficult for our families to afford the rent for an average apartment and achieve economic independence,” said Darlene Newsom, CEO, UMOM New Day Centers.
The ARAMARK Building Community (ABC) Opportunity Zone will include offices that will be redesigned into efficient spaces for case management and meetings with employment specialists. A large under-utilized conference area will be updated with fresh paint and inspirational murals, creating a place for residents to learn new skills, search for jobs, obtain Graduation Equivalency Diploma (GED) tutoring, work on resumes or participate in workshops to enhance self-esteem and interviewing skills. Volunteers will also update UMOM’s computer skills training room.
Throughout the year, ARAMARK will provide support for UMOM’s workforce programs, providing monthly tutoring, and workshops for developing resumes and practicing interview skills. In addition, volunteers will create and distribute GED preparation kits and hold an office furniture donation program.
“ARAMARK is proud of this ongoing partnership with UMOM,” Sandy Heilman, Vice President Sales and Marketing, ARAMARK Parks & Destinations. “By lending the talents of our employees and our resources we hope to help people learn the skills they need to find jobs and achieve financial independence, ultimately resulting in stronger families and a thriving community.”
UMOM, which has served the Greater Phoenix area for more than 45 years, is the largest homeless shelter for families in the state, serving more than 6,000 people annually, and offering a variety of services including food, transportation assistance, child care, programs for teens, education, job search workshops and medical care.
The project is part of ARAMARK Building Community (ABC), the company’s global volunteer and philanthropic program, ARAMARK strengthens local community centers and helps struggling families in the U.S. and abroad.
Since the start of the partnership with UMOM in 2009, ARAMARK has renovated the center’s clothing processing and storage room and donated much needed clothing; updated outdoor play areas to provide families with safe recreational facilities, and created a computer lab for residents. ARAMARK volunteers have also been part of the UMOM Wellness Center’s Health and Wellness fair, hosting healthy cooking demonstrations and providing nutrition education classes.
“We are fortunate to have a partner like ARAMARK. The commitment of their employees, and these additional job readiness resources will help us provide the programs necessary for people to succeed,” Newsom said.