The Employment Specialist (ES) position is held within the Homeless Services Department at Catholic Charities of West Tennessee (CCWTN). Homeless Services provides permanent housing, wrap around case management, financial assistance and outreach support to over 500 people annually who are experiencing street homelessness or at imminent risk using federally and privately funded programming in Memphis and Shelby County, and the Memphis and Shelby County’s Homeless Consortium. The ES will serve as an advocate, networking partner, and collaborator with households in need of income growth, livable wages, and continued education/training crucial to achieving self sufficiency as they exit homelessness.
The ES will grow a network of employment partners who understand the value of second chances, low barrier opportunities, and livable wages. Every household who is enrolled in homeless services has the choice to engage with and participate in assessments provided by the ES. ES will work hand in hand with each client and the client’s housing case manager, to prepare, educate, coordinate, and communicate on both sides, client and employers, until successful job placement is reached. Client data, employment information, job preparation, and other counseling services are required to be entered into databases and tracked for grant funding purposes. Participation in the Continuum of Care System, as well as various committees, contractual regulations and compliance, and performance metric monitoring are all crucial to the success of this role.
Catholic Charities of West Tennessee and its Homeless Services participate in the Memphis and Shelby County Homeless Consortium, and TN-501 Continuum of Care. All staff will work with clients while using a person-centered, low barrier, approach, in a multi-agency environment, practicing Harm Reduction, Trauma-Informed Care, and Motivational Interviewing.
Duties and Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
- Build and maintain a large network of second chance, background friendly employers crucial to connecting vulnerable populations to livable wages, stability and independence. ∙ Assess enrolled households for work history, education level, skillset, employment goals, resume and interviewing status, and then coordinate those needs and services while remaining in alignment with the participants’ choices, skillsets and long term plan for self-sufficiency. ∙ Collaborate with housing staff, assessing housing and employment barriers for persons experiencing homelessness in order to adequately determine service needs and status of progress. ∙ Provide mediation and advocacy with potential employers on the client’s behalf while navigating the application, interviewing, and hiring processes.
- Help clients to develop a functional resume, interview skills, and access to job training as needed. ∙ Enter in all employment counseling services into the Homeless Management Information Systems Database (HMIS) as well as the paper client file for mandatory record keeping purposes. ∙ Work with the Director to meet organizational goals and system performance measures. ∙ Create and/or maintain the appropriate documentation, to include a working database of employers and client progress during enrollment.
- Ensure that each housing and/or employment opportunity offered by CCWTN meets quality and regulatory standards per federal contracts.
- Represent CCWTN as an active member of the Employment Committee for the Continuum of Care (CoC) as well as other Committees as deemed appropriate.
- Regularly report on statistical data related to successes and opportunities for improvement within the framework of addressing the clients’ most critical employment needs.
- Implement Housing First practices by developing employment initiatives that do not involve preconditions and/or barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment or service participation. ∙ Other duties as assigned.
Qualifications, Experience and Abilities
- Bachelor’s Degree, with at least 5 years of related experience in working with vulnerable populations while utilizing project management, communications, administrative, planning and networking.
- Strong knowledge of the Memphis Workforce community partners, our city’s challenges across economic and housing barriers, and local agencies sharing in the mission to serve the underserved.
- Excellent written and verbal skills in the English language.
- Excellent computer skills, including experience in Excel, and databases such as HMIS. ∙ Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
- Ability to act in accordance with varying and changing consumer needs, some unpredictable. ∙ Demonstrates cultural sensitivity and perspective, as well as respect for the client’s individualized and client-focused care.
- Ability to establish and maintain professional boundaries in working with clients. ∙ Demonstrates a positive attitude, self-motivation, organization, and resourcefulness while maintaining a team and client focus, willing to assist where/when needed.
- Knowledge of local resources and services, social and environmental determinants of health, health promotion, disease prevention, curative, rehabilitative, and supportive services. ∙ Ability to work independently.
- Must excel in organization and task prioritization.
- Ability to manage multiple projects with demanding and competing deadlines, superior organizational skills and the ability to maintain a quality work place in a diverse, fast paced, stressful and changing environment.
- Demonstrates professional development by participating in and seeking training opportunities. ∙ Ability to negotiate different work personalities and work under competing priorities. ∙ Ability to lift 25 lbs.
- Requires valid driver’s license with acceptable driving record.
- Driving Status Primary (25% or more).
- Unrestricted Driver License.
- Must be able to pass a background check.
Disclaimer: This is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, duties, requirements, efforts or working conditions associated with the job. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current job, management reserves the right to revise the job description or to require that other or different tasks be performed when circumstances change (e.g., emergencies, changes in personnel, workload, etc.)
*** Grant funded positions and salaries are dependent on funding availability. Position can be eliminated at any time because of lack of funding to support this position. ***