Aneesa Monford never thought she would be searching for a job in her late 50’s. After four years of unemployment, she began to feel like she was a disappointment to her six children and 17 grandchildren.
“It was very difficult. Applying and reapplying for jobs and not seeing any results. I even got down to a homeless situation—living with different people to make it,” Monford told FOX 5’s Portia Bruner.
The 59 year old recently learned about the Direct H.I.R.E. Project.
H.I.R.E. is an acronym for Helping Individuals Regain Employment. Africa Roberson created the program with the hopes of providing an alternative to the traditional job training models. Job hunters do not have to pay for assistance and if they are qualified, they are hired on the spot.
“After they are hired, we teach them how to get a checking account, a savings account, financial literacy, business etiquette, conflict resolution, how to buy your first home. But we do all of this afterwards so that they can at least get them employed and then learn how to stay on their feet after they back on their feet," Roberson told Bruner.
Roberson’s job training model is what garnered the support of BB & T Bank. He was on hand at New Life Church in July when 1,700 people attended the first Direct H.I.R.E. job fair. According to Roberson, 487 people were hired that day on the spot.
Vincent Cain was impressed. He’s the Vice President of Business Development for BB & T Bank and the executive who decided to support Direct H.I.R.E.’s mission.
“This was all about impact. You got a job today. You can eat today. You can feed somebody around you and start saving as well. And If you're renting, you can start thinking about getting a mortgage,” Cain told Bruner at the training headquarters for Direct H.I.R.E. in DeKalb County.
“Monford was hired by a private company that supplies aircraft maintenance workers to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Roberson says as soon as the background check clears,Monford will be working as a supervisor of maintenance crews—a great job to land after four years of a fruitless job hunt.
“It feels inspiring to be able to move forward and feel some degree of independence after all this time. I want to show my kids and my grandkids that you have to be responsible and accountable and that you just have to stick to it,” Monford said.
The next Direct H.I.R.E. Project Job Fair will be held Friday, August 5 at the Johnson Recreation Center in Conyers.
Candidates must have 2 forms of government-issued identity cards and must be able to pass a drug test administered on the spot. You can learn more about the program by visiting http://www.morningstarurbandevelopment.org/.