The LIFT™ Program is HHPLIFT’s career development Program, where people in Chicago overcoming significant life barriers to fair wage employment work hands-on in the LIFT™ Workshop, learning critical and translatable career development skills. HHPLIFT’s affiliate associates come from various workforce development programs in and around Chicago, one being READI Chicago (“READI”): a Heartland Alliance program whose purpose is to decrease shootings and homicides among those at highest risk of gun violence; create new opportunities for these same individuals to change their life trajectory and decrease their involvement with the criminal justice system; and help build an infrastructure at the community level to promote long-term safety and opportunity in Chicago's most impoverished communities.
Over the past few months, affiliate associates from READI have participated in unique onsite & offsite experiences, in furtherance of their work in the LIFT™ Program.
NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT:
As you may know, our Ravenswood candle was created in its entirety by READI affiliate associates. It represents teamwork, creativity, and both career & personal growth for those associates. They worked closely with Alejandra Camargo, the LIFT™ Program Manager, learning the research & development process, the science behind candle making, and order fulfillment, which culminated in them determining the size & color of the vessel, the scent notes, and the candle’s name.
The Ravenswood candle was inspired by Beth Adler’s, a local artist’s, painting of a crow. The business experience the READI affiliate associates gained in new product development culminated in an offsite, HHPLIFT sponsored event where they got to meet Beth Adler and see her work live at a gallery.
Learn more about the new product development process, here.
NETWORKING AND NUTRITION:
One of HHPLIFT’s longest standing traditions is our weekly community lunch, with salad & vegetable fixings from Growing Home. Growing Home is also one of our employment partners, and is a farm-based training program, located in Englewood, for people facing barriers to employment. In their 25 paid work hours per week, Growing Home participants get on-the-job experience, job-readiness training, and wrap-around services such as support to conquer issues like criminal records, medical needs, child-care, and housing.
In September, READI affiliate associates went to Growing Home and met & shared a meal with their staff, participants, & community members. They ate plant-based burgers along with grilled vegetables right from Growing Home’s farm, while touring and gaining an understanding of the inner workings of the organization. They also learned about Growing Home’s bees that provide honey for our new HoneyBun products.
And finally, last month, READI affiliate associates participated in an educational workshop called Clarifying Passions and Values. Through a combination of self-reflection, sharing stories, and discussion, they mined fulfilling experiences in their lives to identify personal values and passions. Individual and group reflection was a perfect continuation of the work they did when creating Ravenswood, providing them with self- and professional- development tools.
We have exciting things planned for 2022 and can’t wait to share them with you!
Until next time,
The HHPLIFT team
For more information, please contact info@HHPLIFT.com