Center for Employment Opportunities – Luis
Center for Employment Opportunities offers comprehensive employment services for people with criminal records
Issue area: community and economic development
Nate Mandel’s title at the Center for Employment Opportunities is program innovation analyst. But since the job-training organization last year started systematically surveying clients about how they feel about CEO, he sees himself as much as a customer advocate as anything else. Any client who gives CEO a rating of six or less on the surveys, on a scale of zero to 10, gets a call from Mandel or one of the growing number of staff members at CEO’s offices around the country who are training to make customer-service outreach calls.
Luis, who had given CEO a rating of four on his survey, got one. During the call, Nate learned that Luis had shown up at one of his weekly appointments, dressed for a job interview, as is required after a certain point in the program, but hadn’t gotten an interview that day. Luis was discouraged, and he was considering not returning. Nate explained the dress policy and how the interviews are arranged, and encouraged Luis to try again. He also huddled with Luis’ job developer to convey the feedback.
The following week, Luis showed up in the proper attire, was sent on an interview, and landed a job that same day.
“I was ecstatic,” Luis says, adding that he had appreciated the call, because it made him think, “Okay, these people care”.
Says Nate: “With the surveys, we can have conversations that can go outside the service-delivery model and engage in conversations with participants by truly listening to what they have to say.”