OFMR visits SOME

By Judie Cooper

SOME logoOn July 6, 2015 Judie Cooper and Stephanie Lieberman spent part of the day with 15 students in the Center for Employment Training (CET) of the well-known Washington, DC organization So Others Might Eat (SOME). Read on to learn more about SOME CET and why OFMR is working with them.

Founded in 1970 by an interfaith group of laypersons and clergy, SOME began as a handful of people who appeared each day at a soup kitchen on North Capitol Street. As the numbers of hungry and homeless people in DC grew, so did SOME. Initially, SOME fed people but they also identified that the people they were feeding had many other pressing needs so SOME expanded their mission and role to help meet those needs. Today, SOME exists to help the poor and homeless of our nation’s capital. They meet the immediate daily needs of the people they serve with food, clothing and health care. They help break the cycle of homelessness by offering services such as affordable housing, job training, addiction treatment and counseling to the poor, the elderly and to individuals with mental illness.

The training aspect of SOME’s mission is what brought Judie and Stephanie to the Center for Employment Training on Martin Luther King Avenue SE. The mission of SOME CET is to empower people out of homelessness and poverty and into living wage careers through hard and soft skills training, adult basic education and career development. This training uses a holistic approach, integrating hands-on skill training in a simulated work environment.

OFMR works with SOME CET students who are enrolled in the Building Maintenance Service Technician program where students learn carpentry, electrical, engineering, plumbing, HVAC and safety standards for those jobs. Judie and Stephanie were at SOME CET to introduce them to the new OFMR Technical Internship program and share with them how to apply and be considered for a 10 week internship in OFMR.

The SOME CET Building Maintenance Service Technician program is six months of licensed and credentialed technical skills instruction and training. As part of their training program, students are encouraged to work in an internship capacity with a willing and supportive organization. OFMR is working with SOME to provide internship opportunities to several of their students which will give the student hands-on, real-world work experience with an organization where they can apply the knowledge gained from their training.

Each student was provided a laptop from SOME and they were shown how to reach the facilities.si.edu website where the internship opportunities are located. Judie and Stephanie circulated with the students and helped them navigate the website, understand the application process and shared job hunting advice and guidance as well as answered questions about working in OFMR, being part of a high-performance facilities team and even how to try to use USAJobs to try to get a position in the federal government.

Each student finished the time together with a completed application and knowledge about what other information they needed to provide to OFMR. Technical internships are a brand new program and they reflect one more way that OFMR reaches out to try to ensure that our workforce reflects the diversity of our local community.