PHOENIX, Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As many as 25,000 individuals in Arizona were homeless over the past year, many due to a recent job loss. Yet six out of 10 adults living at UMOM New Day Centers for low-income and homeless families don't have a high school diploma or GED, or the skills needed to find a job in today's challenging economic market.
To help address this need, ARAMARK, the global professional services company, will establish a hub for job readiness at UMOM and provide ongoing resources and expertise to help individuals prepare for and secure meaningful jobs.
"Without an education or training, it is difficult for our families to afford the rent for an average apartment and achieve economic independence," said Darlene Newsom, CEO, UMOM New Day Centers.
The ARAMARK Building Community (ABC) Opportunity Zone will include offices that will be redesigned into efficient spaces for case management and meetings with employment specialists. A large under-utilized conference area will be updated with fresh paint and inspirational murals, creating a place for residents to learn new skills, search for jobs, obtain Graduation Equivalency Diploma (GED) tutoring, work on resumes or participate in workshops to enhance self-esteem and interviewing skills. Volunteers will also update UMOM's computer skills training room.
Throughout the year, ARAMARK will provide support for UMOM's workforce programs, providing monthly tutoring, and workshops for developing resumes and practicing interview skills. In addition, volunteers will create and distribute GED preparation kits and hold an office furniture donation program.
"ARAMARK is proud of this ongoing partnership with UMOM," Sandy Heilman, Vice President Sales and Marketing, ARAMARK Parks & Destinations. "By lending the talents of our employees and our resources we hope to help people learn the skills they need to find jobs and achieve financial independence, ultimately resulting in stronger families and a thriving community."
UMOM, which has served the Greater Phoenix area for more than 45 years, is the largest homeless shelter for families in the state, serving more than 6,000 people annually, and offering a variety of services including food, transportation assistance, child care, programs for teens, education, job search workshops and medical care.
The project is part of ARAMARK Building Community (ABC), the company's global volunteer and philanthropic program, ARAMARK strengthens local community centers and helps struggling families in the U.S. and abroad.
Since the start of the partnership with UMOM in 2009, ARAMARK has renovated the center's clothing processing and storage room and donated much needed clothing; updated outdoor play areas to provide families with safe recreational facilities, and created a computer lab for residents. ARAMARK volunteers have also been part of the UMOM Wellness Center's Health and Wellness fair, hosting healthy cooking demonstrations and providing nutrition education classes.
"We are fortunate to have a partner like ARAMARK. The commitment of their employees, and these additional job readiness resources will help us provide the programs necessary for people to succeed," Newsom said.
UMOM New Day Centers, Inc. (UMOM) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization serving homeless and low-income families. It houses the largest homeless shelter for families in the State of Arizona and has served the Greater Phoenix area for more than 40 years. UMOM serves more than 550 individuals each day through a continuum of services that include shelter, food, case management, transportation assistance, child care, teen programs, education, housing, job search assistance, relocation assistance and medial care.
About ARAMARK Building Community
ARAMARK Building Community enriches the lives of families in need by supporting local community centers to help people of all generations learn, earn and thrive. ARAMARK recognizes the important role community centers play in addressing the comprehensive needs of individuals and families and is providing a range of resources including grants, volunteers and in-kind contributions. Since 2008, ARAMARK has invested more than $7 million in volunteer expertise, cash and in-kind resources to strengthen the capacity of local community centers, involving 15,000 ARAMARK volunteers through over 500 volunteer activities. Nearly 3 million individuals and families served by community centers have been aided by the program through workforce training and job placement; nutrition education and awareness programs; access to food and clothing; and by having a safer place to learn and thrive. Visit ARAMARK for more information. Please join us on Facebook.
ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, parks and destinations and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by the Ethisphere Institute, one of the "World's Most Admired Companies" by FORTUNE magazine and one of America's Largest Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 250,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at www.twitter.com/aramark.
Contact: Mary Rucci, ARAMARK