Real support for real life
While the central component of Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) is full-time, transitional employment, we also have a myriad of support services and resources to prepare trainees for the world after RWA.
Most of the services and resources offered through RWA are voluntary and fall within two categories:
- Removing barriers to self-sufficiency
- Improving skills
To make sure each individual receives the right services, each trainee is immediately assigned a Case Manager with whom they meet regularly throughout the program. RWA has four departments that oversee or administer support services both during the program and after graduation:
- Case Management
- Career Development
- Education Services and Occupational Training
- Graduate Services
Confidants and advocates
Case Managers guide trainees through Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) by creating a service plan that sets goals concerning:
- Physical and mental health
- Legal and financial issues
In addition to regular caseload meetings, Case Managers meet with each trainee at least biweekly to follow up on appointments, classes, and individual concerns. Case Managers also communicate with parole officers and assist with open court cases on the participant's behalf to ensure any barriers to success are dealt with during the course of the program. Case Managers create biweekly reports in our comprehensive database that tracks the progress of each participant's personal and work performance.
The education to succeed
Education is a huge component of success in any person's life, and even more so for those at Ready, Willing & Able (RWA). They are each given the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) to assess them and provide tailored occupational and educational services.
Listed below are some of RWA's current classes:
- Adult Education
- Computer Classes
- Computer Lab
- Budgeting/Crediting Class
Finishing RWA and beginning a career
This is what it's all about. Becoming a responsible member of the community with a steady job to support a steady life. All Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) trainees must obtain full-time employment in order to graduate from the program. Our Career Development Department helps each potential grad by acting as a liaison to employer partners in the region. They also help trainees:
- Create résumés
- Learn how to search for a job
- Practice their interviewing skills
RWA Career Development pre-screens trainees based on employer needs and provides a support network for both the trainee and employer during the hiring process and afterward. To contact RWA's Career Development Department click here.
Preparation for self-sufficiency
Ready, Willing & Able (RWA)'s financial management courses teach the basics, such as budgeting and debt reduction, and help trainees prepare themselves for life after graduation. Many trainees come to RWA with significant debt or financial obligations including child support. RWA provides trainees with the tools to face these challenges head on and to have a clean slate at graduation.
Trainees receive weekly pay:
- 53 to 60% of trainee pay goes directly into savings or to pay room and board
- The rest is left for each trainee to spend at his own discretion
We believe the savings component of RWA prepares trainees for financial realties they will face after graduation, while the discretionary portion allows them to experience some of the benefits and freedoms of earning money from their hard work. Just like in real life.
Getting and staying sober
Substance abuse can sabotage even the best-laid plans. All Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) trainees must be drug and alcohol-free, without exception, and are randomly drug tested twice a week. These tests remind trainees that they have made a choice to pursue a better life and they must stay clean to succeed.
Additional support is available through on- and off-site resources including:
- Narcotics Anonymous
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Relapse prevention
- One-on-one counseling sessions
Our success has proven that the balance of testing and support promotes personal responsibility and the importance of social networks in dealing with addiction.
You can go home again
The relationship a trainee builds with Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) lasts long after graduation. Each person becomes part of our family and the common struggles of our trainees bond them for life.
Graduates are always encouraged to:
- Continue attending on-site classes
- Come back to share meals
- Talk with staff and trainees
- Attend monthly meetings
One of the most attractive aspects of Graduate Services is the RWA grant program. The program consists of $1,000 in grant money that is paid out over a five-month period conditioned on passing a drug test and providing rent receipts and pay stubs. These grants significantly help graduates transition into their new lives and they help RWA staff document the program's lasting success.
RWA Graduates are:
- Sober, employed full-time, and independently housed
- Contributing and responsible members of their families
- Tax-paying, law-abiding, and self-sufficient members of their communities
- 56% RWA graduation rate, 39 RWA graduates in 2008
- $9.54 average starting hourly wage of an RWA graduate