As of May 1st, Employment Opportunity Saba (EOS) has been transferred from The Public Entity Saba to Saba Reach Foundation. EOS is a social assistance program that assists persons who have difficulties finding jobs in the regular labor market. As part of Saba Reach Foundation it will be another development trajectory within that organization, which assists persons in receiving educational qualifications to enter the job market or places persons who may not be able to enter the labor market within a sheltered working environment.
It was the initiative of the Saba Reach Foundation to request that EOS be placed within its scope of programs, because the organization felt that it was missing one aspect in its current offerings and that was a program to facilitate the transition of persons to the regular labor market. The Executive Council was approached and agreed after they were presented with a concept plan that outlined why it would be valuable to all parties to have EOS transferred.
Within the government apparatus, EOS operated as a lone entity and not as part of a larger organization. Having EOS placed under the umbrella will be beneficial to participants as they will have better access to a stronger care network, which includes a care coordinator and an employment facilitator with an emphasis on ethics in the workplace and social skills. Additionally the SRF team can also evaluate whether an applicant may be able to be placed in the workforce or may need to go through one of its other programs such as Second Chance Education, which promotes educational learning and practical internships.
The program, which will be evaluated annually to ensure it meets the required benchmarks, can assist eight persons at a time in finding and maintaining employment. Applicants are considered to have successfully completed the program when they can obtain a contract or an employer has intentions to give a contract after one year.
Employers will also receive assistance in working with applicants. From the beginning there is an initial initiation meeting between the candidate and the employer, after which there is a two week orientation period before formal placement begins so both parties can decide if the placement is a fit for both. La-Toya Charles, Director of Saba Reach Foundation said that the emphasis is “not only on placement but on development.” Ms. Charles says that each candidate will be part of a clear process which will look at their overall development throughout the program.
Ginno Romero, who has overseen the program since its implementation within The Public Entity Saba says that he believes the transfer is “positive” and he is looking forward to working with his new colleagues to assist the applicants. “There will be more coaching and more conversations so that participants can receive more individual attention, which will help them in their personal growth”, said Mr. Romero.
Press release GIS Saba