Archived Story

Community Investment Program assists those in need

Published 9:35pm Sunday, June 10, 2012

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

CHELSEA – Master tile craftsman Michael Bourg, president of We Connect Birmingham, founded the Community Investment Program to assist locals with job skills.

Bourg began the program by teaching tile and stone craftsmanship skills to men at the Foundry in Birmingham. After only five weeks of courses, the men tiled an entire home in about 11 hours for Habitat for Humanity.

“Our vision is to reach the global community, and have other people from across the country to take this same model and use it,” Bourg said. “We are just wanting lives to be changed.”

Michael Bourg.

The program expanded to Shelby County when representatives from King’s Home in Chelsea attended a career day Bourg held at the Foundry.

Director of Preparedness Scout Newberry, who has a sales background, held a seminar for about 15 women at King’s Home recently.

“We talked about them setting goals and how to reach their goals,” Newberry said. “I’m going to meet with them periodically over the next few weeks and months to work on their resumes and cover letters.”

Newberry said the CIP is trying to partner with local companies in the U.S. 280 area with which the women can interview.

“Our main thing is partnering with local companies so they’ll have the chance to interview with companies they want to,” she said. “I’m working with them and teaching them classes. Hopefully when they leave there, they’re not just better, but have hope and a place to go, a new skill and job opportunities.”

Scout Newberry.

Newberry said she plans to meet with the women during the evening to assist with job preparation.

“I think this is going to help them. I think I’m going to be able to help them with cover letters and resumes as well as interview techniques,” she said. “I’m just going to try to help them in any way I can.”

For more information about the Community Investment Program, visit Weconnectbirmingham.com.

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