How does Talent Ready work?
There can be many obstacles to being employed such as mental health challenges, lack of childcare, lack of proper job skills and drug/alcohol addiction, just to name a few. Further, there are many social service programs administered by federal, state, and county agencies that operate in silos, sending the individual from agency to agency to fill out forms that request the same information. In addition, there is very little follow-up with the client as to how they are doing. Talent Ready is designed to help the individual navigate these bureaucratic challenges.
With regard to businesses and other organizations with an employment base, Oregon City’s Economic Development Department assists these organizations with overcoming labor shortages. The Talent Ready Initiative is systemic, long-term, and patient initiative partnering with businesses to train potential workers and working with potential employees to overcome life’s obstacles so that new hires stay.
When individuals (‘clients”) sign up with Talent Ready, they are matched with a navigator: a person who will work with the client to identify barriers to employment and job-related goals. Instead of having the client run between numerous human service agencies to find services they qualify for, the navigator does this work for the client, identifying appropriate wrap-around services to help the client prepare for employment. Many times, the navigator will start a conversation about the client’s perception of their mental health. The navigator will initially offer access to at least one mental health counseling session to help the client become familiar with the behavioral mental health services available to them. Regardless of what human services are eventually provided, the navigator checks in with the client to monitor their progress.
With an established partnership with an employer or business client, the navigator will work to identify the employers’ labor force needs and expected qualifications of job candidates. Working with the various public agency partners, the navigator will coordinate a relationship with the various job skill-training programs. The navigator will check-in with employers to monitor their satisfaction with program partners and progress with hiring qualified candidates.
With regard to keeping the worker pipeline full for employers, Talent Ready works with the Oregon City School District and employers to establish internships for high-school students.