On Thursday, October 21st, and Thursday, November 5th, JFS refugee clients were given the opportunity to practice work skills by working as a team to distribute food at a mobile food bank distribution site in partnership with The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Our Employment Skills Training Program is designed to help our clients prepare to become work ready by learning the importance of showing up on time to work as part of a team. For many newcomers, especially if they are coming from a refugee camp, this may be their first formal work experience. At the Food Bank Distribution Center in Springfield, with the help of JFS staff including bilingual staff members, our clients were paired with Food Bank volunteers. Together, they distributed food to people in need. 
Work plays an important role in financial independence, but also in helping build English vocabulary and common day to day language skills. We have more than 30 new ESL and digital literacy volunteers working to prepare refugees to enter the workforce. If you are interested in partnering with us to create an employment skills training day at your organization or business, please contact Rebecca Steinberg, JFS Employment Specialist @ r.steinberg@jfswm.org.