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70% of Vimenti programs participants get jobs upon graduation

Vimenti — a Boys and Girls Club program originated in Santurce in 2018 — has established empowerment and job programs that have helped 7 out of 10 of its participants to find jobs in several areas, its Executive Director Bárbara Rivera, confirmed.

The nonprofit created the “Empleabilidad y Carreras” program that helps people get jobs and the “Project Makers” program has four phases that help create empowering projects, such as small businesses.

The “Empleabilidad y Carrera” program, founded in October 2018, offers a series of intensive five-week workshops consisting of more than 125 contact hours in which participants acquire job searching skills and develop professionally to get a job, the nonprofit officials explained.

This also includes mentorship for six months, for up to a year in which the participant receives additional help if needed.

Initially, the programs focused on opportunities in the hospitality and customer service areas, but will soon expand to tourism, health, and technology as well in the Santurce area through a hybrid or virtual modality.

“Seven of every 10 participants have been able to get a job in the first 30 to 90 days and have lasted in it, with the chances of growing in it as well as completing personal goals set,” said the Coordinator of the “Empleabilidad y Carrera” program, Felix Garcia-Hiraldo. 

Upon graduating, participants are awarded an incentive of up to $225 and additional services to get them ready in a final stage of preparation.

This program will soon announce an opening for people interested in participating in January 2022 and will expand its services to six new facilities, including Aguas Buenas and Bayamón, said Rivera.

And as for Vimenti’s newest program, Project Makers promotes empowerment as a tool to help eradicate poverty and find solutions to its challenges as well, said Ivan Ríos, interim director of Project Makers.

At present, the first two phases underway are “Startups” and “Apoyo y Mentoria,” which provide educational workshops — such as marketing, model design, among others — for its participants for six months to help them create their own businesses, no matter the topic.

Through them, the nonprofit provides individual guidance to each participant for the six months and help them in their specific situations.

There are currently 20 people participating as the pilot group for “Startup,” which have several targets, such as food and technology.

The second group begins in January 2022, and Vimenti will also launch another of the Project Makers phases, called Accelerate.

“This phase is aimed at entrepreneurs whose project focuses on wanting to solve a specific problem that is the result of poverty, since we consider that there are solutions to solve parts of poverty,” said Ríos.

Regarding the Support and Mentoring program, it is not a requirement to be part of the other programs to receive help from professionals such as accountants.

The last program to be created is for students for a follow-up and resource network for former participants of the program.

Finally, both Project Makers and Employability and Career are free to the communities, the executives said.

Author Details
Author Details
Yamilet Aponte-Claudio was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She graduated from Colegio Nuestra Señora de la Providencia and is currently a junior at Sacred Heart University. Majoring in Journalism and adding a minor in sustainable development and foreign languages, she aspires to study law after obtaining her bachelor’s degree.

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