THE SERVICEWORKS® MODEL
The Riverview Gardens® ServiceWorks program is not only about getting people a job; it is about creating resilience, community and a sustainable future for the people we serve and, therefore, our entire community. ServiceWorks job-training creates opportunities for employment and self-sufficiency. People build permanent, positive change in their lives through:
The model provides for critical transferable job training for our community members who are:
The people we serve are determined to get on the right track and build new lives. We meet people where they are socially and emotionally when they enter the program and help them build on successes from that point. We collaborate with organizations throughout the community to connect their clients with ServiceWorks.
Riverview Gardens’ five social enterprises are the mission muscle for our non-profit mission to provide job training for people in need. Reusing existing resources on the former golf course and country club, we offer five different social enterprise businesses where job-training participants can receive real “on the job” training that they can use immediately upon graduation from ServiceWorks. The social enterprises are varied enough in the types of work they offer participants such that individuals with a variety of interests and abilities can participate, and include: (1) certified-organic urban farm on former golf course fairways; (2) hydroponics greenhouse built over country club pool (only known hydroponics operation over former pool in U.S); (3) event and park space at former country club building and golf course fairways; (4) maintenance contracts for other non-profit organizations; (5) donated downtown Appleton building converted into collaborative and creative space to serve the mission. Work is a great venue for the motivation for lifelong learning. The work is customized and open-ended to allow people to start succeeding immediately. We have a triple “bottom line”: unlimited work for ServiceWorks participants; source of revenue for financial stability and opportunity for the community to engage as mentors.
THE SERVICEWORKS PROGRAM
Riverview Gardens’ ServiceWorks job-training model is transformative. It is a 90-hour, no fail program that trains four principles of transferable work skills to help people obtain stable, permanent employment: (1) use of time; (2) quality of work; (3) relationships with peers; and (4) attitude toward supervisors. Through our confidence-building program, participants establish a positive employment record, secure job referrals and placements with companies well-suited to the employee’s well-being, and build a support network.
High school youth in the Appleton Area and Little Chute School District receive 1/2 credit of independent study for completion of ServiceWorks.
After graduation from ServiceWorks:
The ultimate outcome of the ServiceWorks approach is that people are empowered to lift themselves out of poverty for good and create a strong and more just community.
Riverview Gardens’ three-year success program is an important measure of the success of the ServiceWorks model. We help connect graduates to permanent employment, and as assist with their progress and stability. Graduates (and employers, as appropriate) are engaged by our staff social workers on a regular basis where they are offered continued support, wraparound services, referrals and encouragement. Best practices prescribe 6 months of post-employment services and many programs do not offer post-graduate programs. However, to create lasting, measurable change for the people we serve and the greater community, we promise ServiceWorks graduates and employers who hire three years of support.
ServiceWorks programming is ongoing throughout the year.
PROGRAM METRICS AND OUTCOMES
We track and keep detailed records regarding the impact of the ServiceWorks program:
Our metrics and outcomes for 2019 are:
Currently in our continuing three-year Placement Success Program, we serve approximately 328 graduates who we have helped place into permanent employment, with a 70% success rate of continued employment. For individuals in the success program not employed, we work with them on moving forward to another more-appropriate placement or re-engagement with ServiceWorks.
For more information about the ServiceWorks program, please contact Nick Bischoff at 920-840-3336 or [email protected].