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New program in Niles helps people with employment barriers find jobs

NILES, Mich. – A new program in Niles wants to help people with employment barriers land a job.

Gateway to Greatness launched last week. It’s designed to give people with felonies or past drug addictions the tools needed to find a job.

The free six-week, faith-based course is part of Gateway Services.

Ric Pawloski is the program manager. He says as a former Niles businessman, he noticed a need. Pawloski also ran a similar program in Benton Harbor that saw tremendous success.

Participants will learn how to interview like a pro, perfect their resume, build self-esteem, and more.

“It’s important for us, for them to be solid emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually,” said Pawloski. “So, we deal with all of those aspects and that’s through introspection. Most often, I see people that are very gifted and talented and intelligent. They made some mistakes, they’ve paid for them, but they don’t want to be who they are on paper and so, this gives them that opportunity.”

He says this program is open to anyone who feels like they need help.

“It’s not just about a job either,” said Pawloski. “It gives them the opportunity to function better in a workplace culture. Often times it makes a difference in their family lives.”

Pawloski says it’s hard for a person to transition back from jail. This program hopes to bridge that gap and lower recidivism.

"The way things work change so rapidly, that when you’re out of the mainstream for five years and you come out of prison or you come out of jail, it’s hard to figure out, ‘Ok what do I do next? Where do I go? How do I even apply for jobs?’" said Pawloski. "It’s a way to help them get back into the stream of things.”

Those interested in this program can email Pawloski at rpawloski@gatewayvro.com

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