On the morning of Thursday, March 18th, a crowd of women flooded into a conference room at NYLAG for “Put Your Best Foot Forward,” a program aimed at providing a holistic approach to job preparedness by helping clients recognize their personal barriers to employment. NYLAG’s Immigrant Protection Unit hosted the employment readiness seminar for its clients, in conjunction with FEGS, New York’s largest social services provider. The program is the first of its kind held at NYLAG and was initiated in response to the particularly difficult job climate of today’s economy.

The goal of the seminar was to provide step by step instruction on how to obtain employment in today’s market. Additionally, clients were given information regarding various programs in the five boroughs that assist low income individuals with securing employment. NYLAG Program Coordinator Emily Pearl provided information on ESOL, GED, computer literacy, and vocational training programs before discussing résumé and cover letter preparation. Paul Herzich, a manager with FEGS Individual and Family Services Department, spoke about FEGS services and the importance of clients staying motivated in their efforts to improve their lives and obtain self-sufficiency. Although clients were encouraged to practice their English, NYLAG paralegal Aida Rosario-Gil translated the entirety of the presentation into Spanish.

The event itself was an important opportunity for the women to speak candidly about their experiences in the job market and network with one another. The women at the program were energized and excited to begin moving down the path to employment, and many remained after the presentation to have further discussions with NYLAG and FEGS staffers. NYLAG will hold more job preparedness trainings in the near future.

NYLAG’s IPU and Job Readiness Program are generously funded by a grant from the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development.