Thriving Generations Employment Agency (CCC) Inc. is a social enterprise that launched their Bridge2Work (B2W) job placement model to empower single mothers transitioning back into the workforce.
A pilot of their innovative model was launched in June of 2016, combining skills training and wellness workshops to support single mothers in the Lower Mainland to gain professional work experience and earn a living wage. We spoke with Darlene Gering, the Co-founder of TGEA, about how Bridge2Work is creating social impact in Vancouver, BC.
Gering explained that the B2W model supports single mothers with the transition back to work in their career field, while providing employers with quality client services.
The B2W model includes temporary staff solutions, part-time job positions and internships, supports single mothers find childcare placement and counselling, and holds professional workshops throughout onboarding that include yoga and mindfulness exercises. Gering says that the most important thing B2W provides is economic empowerment to single mothers and their families.
“Without this piece, it’s not as impactful for these mothers,” she says. “It’s a huge boost for their self-esteem.”
Gering was inspired to launch B2W to help alleviate income inequality among BC families. The poverty rate of children living in single-parent families was 50.3% in BC for 2016, with the vast majority of those families represented by single-mothers.
Gering says she understands the struggles they face, having been a single mother herself, and that trying to manage parenting and work without a support network presents an incredibly stressful challenge. The wellness piece of B2W is included in the transition process for this reason.
“These tools can help with a holistic approach of mind, body, and support that can help lead single mothers to full time employment,” Gering says.
When asked about a success story, Gering had many to share. One woman she spoke of was a mother who had suffered from domestic violence and had been involved in a car accident, causing her to be out of work for two years. This mother had a background in accounting, so B2W tailored its approach to help her transition back into her career track.
Now, she has completed three months of working in an accounting department and has been offered a permanent position there. This woman told Gering that B2W had made an enormous difference in her life.
Gering says that B2W helps these single mothers build up their self-esteem through the ability to support themselves and their children, and the feeling that comes with people valuing your work and paying for it.
“We’re helping them build self-empowerment,” says Gering. “They’re the ones showing that they can do it – we know that they can do it but we’re just providing the bridge.”
Buy Social Canada is pleased to welcome Thriving Generations Employment Agency (CCC) Inc. to the Buy Social network and is excited to see their social enterprise continue to make a positive impact in Vancouver communities.
Please visit http://www.bridge2work.net/ to learn more.