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Learn how WorkLife Partnership provide wrap around services to apprentices, ensuring their graduation
Employment opportunities don’t exist in a vacuum, and securing employment doesn’t mean all your problems are solved. Figuring in reliable transportation, childcare, continuing education, and all of life’s other tiresome duties into a work schedule is nearly as stressful as a job itself. For many Americans, one misstep on any of the above can result in grave consequences.
The same is true for apprentices, especially those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Even the most motivated and dedicated apprentices are bound to stumble despite their best efforts.
That’s why Apprentix has built-in functionality to help you define the supportive services you offer and are interested in offering, so apprentices can focus on graduating.
While many resources are available for apprentices in need of rental assistance, mental health services, or affordable childcare, finding such wrap around services is not so obvious. That’s where WorkLife Partnership comes in.
WorkLife Partnership is a nonprofit dedicated to helping workers solve life issues that can impact their health and well-being on the job. WorkLife deploys its Resource Navigator benefit inside of businesses to provide personalized, immediate, one-on-one assistance when workers need it most.
Worklife’s Founder, Liddy Romero, decided to join forces with Apprentix because she believes the apprenticeship model is a path to earning better wages, especially for young people who don’t see college as a viable option.
“Apprenticeships are pretty strenuous. They’re juggling multiple things at once – going through schooling, training, trying to make money, and they still have their family life,” says Romero.
“I recently learned of a woman who was missing work over and over again. She was late because she was taking her daughter to doctor appointments.”
Here’s how WorkLife Partnership works;
Resource Navigators are real people that provide one-on-one support for employees who need help with tasks such as understanding the mortgage process, choosing an affordable therapist, or organizing care for an older parent. Employees are able to call, text, or email their Resource Navigator when they have a question or concern.
“We’re that trusted source that works hand-in-hand with employees to help them overcome life’s challenges because we understand that one small situation can make a mountain out of a molehill,” says Romero.
In essence, WorkLife Partnerships is an employee benefit that covers the full gamut of what many other services do not – and it’s hardly ever a one-and-done situation when it comes to assisting employees. Certain issues are at risk of growing exponentially worse if not addressed promptly, and that’s one of WorkLife’s many assets – helping overwhelmed employees untangle the web of life’s complicated administrative work.
“These issues are almost always layered,” says Romero. “I recently learned of a woman who was missing work over and over again. She was on her last strike. It turned out her daughter’s asthma was acting up because of the lack of heat in their apartment. So she was late because she was taking her to doctor appointments.”
If WorkLife Partnership didn’t step in, there’s a chance this employee could have lost her job over something entirely out of her control.
“This employee didn’t have money to buy an adequate space heater for her apartment and was afraid of buying a cheap one that could potentially be a fire hazard. So we found money to buy her a $100 space heater and helped her navigate her medical bills so her daughter could get consistent asthma medication.”
Data Source: WorkLife Partnership
While buying items for employees is not always possible, WorkLife Resource Navigators are skilled in finding creative solutions that get everyone back on track. WorkLife has found that employees who utilize their services are less stressed, less distracted, and more present at work. What’s more, the organization’s recent impact report shows that 78% of employees they helped reported they’re more likely to stay at their current company.
While offering wrap around services is simply the right thing to do, they also play a vital role in graduating your apprentices. An apprenticeship is an investment that will lead to a full-time employee – so it’s in your best interest to ensure they have the tools they need to graduate.
An apprenticeship program is a two-way street, and apprentices can only achieve their full potential if their basic needs are met. Just as college students are given resources to succeed like tutoring and mental health services, so should apprentices.
“If your workers are well, feel whole and safe, and feel like they can trust you – your business will do better,” says Romero.
Using the space heater situation as a hypothetical scenario – is it less expensive to help an employee solve her daughter’s asthma problems or fire her for tardiness and onboard a new hire? Ethics aside, the answer is still obvious.
WorkLife’s 2021 impact report reinforces disparities exacerbated by the pandemic, including the number of moms who left their jobs during the pandemic and are slow to return (1.6 million) and the hourly wage difference between Black and white workers (nearly $5).
This data tells a story that Romero says is useful when providing consultation services to employers that hire WorkLife because it encourages them to be proactive rather than reactionary to individual issues.
“We go directly to employees and figure out the myriad of difficulties they have over time, the depth and breadth of those issues, and what demographics are being affected,” she says. “Our hope is that we can get employers to think about providing benefits and thinking about wellness in a whole different way.”
In other words, if you know an apprentice comes from a marginalized community that faces specific challenges, you have the knowledge you need to shift your program to alleviate stress from said challenge before it presents itself in the workplace.
This is how genuine equity efforts are actualized. When you develop a rapport with apprentices, show them flexibility, and structure programs in a way that works for everyone, you open up your business to recruit incredibly talented folks from marginalized communities that might not have felt confident enough to apply otherwise. When you offer wrap around services to your people, everyone benefits.