The Foundation for Behavioral Resources began offering employment services in 1984 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to enhance employability for eligible participants and decrease dependence on Federal programs. In 1994 the programs became Work First/Welfare Reform Job Clubs, and the Foundation expanded its programs to 15 counties in the State of Michigan.
Work First strives to place eligible unemployed and under employed people into unsubsidized employment leading to self sufficiency. The Foundation offers access to allowable employment and training opportunities, career counseling, and supportive services for all eligible participants. Case managers coordinate with other Michigan Works! providers to insure that participants receive additional services needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Participants gain self confidence, benefit from the encouragement of other of job seekers in their group, are encouraged to reorganize their lives to be successful, and are supported during the transition to self-sufficiency.
Job Club participants learn to make employer contacts, share job leads, and find jobs based on current skills or those acquired through training. They receive career counseling from case managers, develop resumes and cover letters, learn effective interview techniques, and set employment goals. Participants initiate their job search, and once employed, are monitored to insure employment retention. They gain self confidence and learn to reorganize their lives (arrange daycare, transportation, etc.) to be successful in job search and in their jobs. They learn that finding a job and planning for a career is a full time job.
From the beginning, the Foundation developed Job Clubs based on research reported in Job Club Counselorís Manual, by Dr. Nathan J. Azrin. Dr. Azrinís ground breaking study examined the effectiveness of using a behavioral approach in providing employment services to unemployed individuals. His findings demonstrated a higher than 90% effectiveness rate in people obtaining jobs within the first two months of job search. Subjects also found jobs with higher than average wages and showed higher retention rates.
As a result of implementing Dr. Azrin's model, the Foundation has, since 1984, served over 70,000 people on public assistance, and has successfully assisted nearly 50,000 to become employed.
Dr. Azrin's model continues to direct the Foundation's work. He has served as consultant to the Foundation from the beginning and continues to provide technical assistance on a ongoing basis to all of the Foundationís Job Clubs.Home