Workforce Development Staffer Accepted into Prestigious Leadership Program

Workforce Development Staffer Accepted into Prestigious Leadership Program

When he came to the RPC, Robert Joe hoped to feel like he was helping the community. Now the Workforce Development Career Coach is taking another step towards that goal with his acceptance into Emerging Community Leaders (ECL), a personal development program through the United Way of Champaign County that is designed for young professionals to learn how they can impact our community through nonprofit volunteerism.

Over the past 17 years, nearly 700 people have graduated from ECL, representing people from all backgrounds and workplaces who are passionate about improving Champaign County. The program is structured like a class, with Robert joining a cohort of young professionals generally between the ages of 21-40 to participate in four educational seminars this spring (Finding Your Why, Nonprofit Basics, How to Be an Effective Board/Committee Member, and Fundraising for Impact). All that new knowledge will then be put to work over the summer when the group participates in a team project that addresses a community challenge identified by the United Way.

Before coming to the RPC, Robert was the warehouse manager at Sagamore-Venture Publishing, while also spending time at Parkland College in a data management and systems development.

“What I like about my role as a Career Coach is that I am directly helping people find themselves in a better financial situation,” Robert says. “That can be through creating resumes or cover letters in the Resource Room or by helping people through their training programs while they are enrolled in the WIOA program.”

Providing that kind of guidance fits perfectly with the philosophy of ECL, which aims to give graduates the skill set necessary to become effective nonprofit volunteers, committee members, or board members, not to mention helping them make new friends with fellow ECL members. They also plan social and volunteer events throughout the year, with a graduation event held at the conclusion of the program.

“I am very excited to start the United Way program to develop skills that I can apply to my personal life as well as my career in public services,” Robert comments.

Congratulations Robert, and best of luck becoming one of Champaign County’s Emerging Community Leaders!