Significant Elements’ Work Preserve Job Training Program achieved yet another successful job placement recently! Jerbin Sternberg, who started at Significant Elements in January, was recently hired by Challenge Workforce Solutions in their Contract Staffing department.

From day one of his Work Preserve training at Significant Elements, Jerbin, who has lived in Caroline for the last four years, “was great at being on time and prompt,” explained Work Preserve Warehousing and Traditional Skills Trainer Peter Walz. “He never missed a day,” he noted of the 21-year-old participant.

Jerbin in turn gained focus and confidence from working with Peter. “It was awesome working with Peter,” noted Jerbin. “He’s pretty detailed in explaining things that need to be done,” showing Jerbin how to sand table legs for a refinishing project and remove caning from a seat for a chair repair. Jerbin’s tasks spanned a range of duties necessary for the day-to-day upkeep of the store. He cleaned bathrooms and vacuumed floors and restocked tile, lumber and other store items. Jerbin feels a sense of pride that he helped tackle the recent store reorganization in which the salvaged door display was moved, giving the first-floor show room a more open and spacious feel.

After four months of individualized training and mentorship, the Work Preserve experience has prepared the Jerbin for his new job. Work Preserve, says Peter, is a stepping stone to gaining more confidence in transferable work skills. Jerbin particularly enjoyed working with other Work Preserve program participants, and the Work Preserve training team noticed that he witnessed significant growth in his confidence in interacting with others, citing his easy smile and calm demeanor. Peter relishes bringing out this sort of potential through the hands-on training all Work Preserve participants receive.

Funding for Work Preserve has been provided by the City of Ithaca Community Development Block Grant Program, the Park Foundation, and from donations from our supporters.

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