James Neitte, the Workforce Development Program at St. Vincent de Paul

James Neitte, a graduate of the WFD program at St. Vincent de Paul, sits outside the job he has held since graduating.

The Workforce Development Program at St. Vincent de Paul is a paid job training program aimed at helping the unemployed re-enter the workforce and find stable employment. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen millions suddenly find themselves out of work. In these hard times, it is more important than ever that job applicants understand workplace expectations and have the soft skills to be a contributing employee. The 24-week program teaches participants the skills and techniques to find a job and to be successful in the workplace by: offering training in resume development, interviewing, and organizational skills in a supportive & compassionate environment.

With mandatory orientation sessions, applicants should choose either the Pittsburg or Brentwood sessions, which will take place on Wednesday, April 21 and Saturday, April 24 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 2210 Gladstone Drive, Pittsburg, and on Wednesday April 28 and Saturday May 1 from 2-p.m. to 5 p.m. at 8890 Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood. To register, call (925) 439-5060. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

The Workforce Development Program aims to help tear down the barriers that stand in the way of employment for individuals who have struggled to obtain and maintain employment. Participants work with mentors and take weekly classes to develop workplace skills. A new class of participants is selected every three months.

Participants gain paid, part-time, (22.5 hours per week), work experience in a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store or SVdP’s trucking and transportation department. Additional training in retail operations including cash register operations, inventory display and optimization, and warehouse operations is also provided.

James Neitte, a graduate from SVdP’s 2017 WFD cycle, said, “SVdP was kind of a last ditch effort for me. Going through that program really changed my life.” Convicted of multiple felonies in 2011, Neitte has maintained a steady job since his graduation.

St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County has provided safety-net services in the county for over 57 years, serving 100,000 people annually and distributing over $1 million of direct financial assistance and over $1.5 million of in-kind aid. Over 750 SVdP volunteers and a small staff lead operations in Contra Costa including the SVdP Family Resource Center in Pittsburg, 28 branches, and 3 thrift stores. One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, St. Vincent de Paul is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of more than 800,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 155 countries on five continents.

For more information, contact: Barb Hunt, of St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County at (925) 330-6732 or b.hunt@svdp-cc.org.

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