Author: Jeffrey Magada, Founder and Executive Director of Flying HIGH Inc.
Jeffrey Magada is the founder and executive director of Flying HIGH Inc., a Youngstown, Ohio-based nonprofit that focuses on providing educational and economic opportunities to people in need.
In his own words below, Jeffrey explains his organization’s approach to case management and job development as a strategy to ensure that participants are receiving the support and resources they need to successfully transition into new jobs. Additionally, he says Flying HIGH emphasizes customer service in an effort to ensure that it moves quickly to address any concerns or issues that its employer partners may experience early in the employment process.
Integrated Training and Support Services
At Flying HIGH Inc., we employ an integrated case management and job development approach that pays off for our customers. To ensure that our clients are equipped to successfully complete training, our case managers regularly evaluate participants’ progress in the program while assessing their attitude and aptitude. When case managers identify a participant need (which could range from bus fare to drug counseling), they are able to immediately address it, bringing in the required solutions as needed. Once a participant successfully completes skills training, the case manager performs a “soft handoff” to a job developer who works to place the well-equipped graduate into a career opportunity immediately. Case managers stay involved after job placement and are able to address any issues that may arise during the transition.
Post-Placement Visits with Employers
Good business engagement is essential to our model. As an example, our job development teams make monthly visits to partner companies that have agreed to continue training during the first six months of a participant’s employment. Our job developers are trained to ask our business customers insightful questions during these visits so they can identify any concerns and take immediate action. If there is an area that needs attention, the job developer speaks with the employee and helps him or her work out a solution. This process is an important aspect of what we do to ensure that are business customers are satisfied and are willing to retain our participants as employees. These visits give employers confidence in our process and help ensure that our future graduates will be attractive candidates for employment.
Here’s an example of how we address employers’ concerns: One of our employer partners expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of a Flying HIGH graduate who was working as a welder, even though the graduate had passed his welding test before going to work for the employer. The type of weld that the employer needed was something that the client had executed proficiently while participating in our skills training, so the Flying HIGH job developer who worked with the employer reached out to an instructor in our professional development center who had trained the employee. The job developer brought the instructor to the job site to determine how the graduate could improve his welds. The instructor was very familiar with the welder’s tendencies and was able to address the problem right away. We also allowed the employee to re-enter the training program for two weeks of additional practice. The employee’s performance improved a good deal, and after he completed his on-the-job training, the employer remarked that the employee was “as good as any welder in the place.”