Hello, I’m Marcella. I am serving with the Metro Detroit Partnership at MNA’s Detroit location. This program is very different from the other MNA VISTA programs. I engage in activities that support and augment the efforts of organizations that aim to reduce the unemployment rate in Detroit and decrease barriers in Detroit that limit economic growth. In August, two of my fellow VISTA’s ended their year of service. We remain close and continue to support one another. This VISTA program will end with my departure.
Currently, I am wrapping up engagements with three Detroit workforce development organizations. The activities have been very diverse in depth and range, allowing me to learn new skills such as copyediting, survey design and project management. In addition to providing services to workforce development organizations there were community development meetings that informed me of all the innovation taking place in Detroit. Good time management skills were essential to being able to complete service commitments, attend informational meetings and take advantage of professional development opportunities.
Since my last blog my there have been several changes. Last spring, the MNA Detroit office moved to the financial district. This was an exciting time for the VISTA’s; we were now closer to the organizations that we serve and were able to enjoy the various festivities in the area. The creation and distribution of a workforce development newsletter, as well as the publication of five white papers on various workforce development topics was a really great source of pride for us.
In July, round two of the project began in earnest; this was a chance for me to contribute to the redesign and selection process. We were fortunate to have our invitation accepted by three unique organizations; Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN), Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) and the Payne- Pulliam School.
To date, I have provided over 137 resources, including 50 funding sources to assist these organizations and their clients. My final service project is the planning and execution of an Open House to be held at the end of February.
My year as an MNA VISTA has been full of friendship, learning and growth. MNA is an exceptional organization with great leadership. I want to thank MNA for hosting and mentoring me this past year. Meeting the goals of my VAD was extremely challenging and I was surprised by my ability to exceed my own expectations. As this journey comes to a close, I would like to provide some unsolicited advice for current VISTA’s; serve with humility, utilize all of the opportunities offered to you and when it is your turn--open your door to a VISTA.
My name is Marcella Fox and my host site is the Metro Detroit Partnership (MNA Detroit Office). Our gifted and innovative team is working on executing strategies that support service delivery in the Workforce Development sector. Our community partners are industry leaders such as: Focus Hope, SER Metro, Southwest Solution and etc… We have created a Workforce Development Newsletter and are hoping to have it approved for distribution. Our resume workshop in collaboration with Focus Hope is an exciting event that we are looking forward to.
From my first day of service (a short 8 weeks ago) I have been entrenched into the activities and goals of my VAD. I am working as part of a team that are meeting the goals of the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS), AmeriCorps VISTA and the Michigan Nonprofit Association. We are building capacity in the Workforce Development sector of Detroit. We are serving the community in its effort to reduce barriers to employment. We have a positive impact on our country by assisting in the processes and programs that reduce poverty. Having created a supportive services asset map we are able to identify the gaps in service.
I am especially enthusiastic about my VISTA Year Initiative project. My goal is to create and present a Project Proposal for an Informational and Referral Network. A one stop center that would provide all direct and referral services for Detroit residents that have barriers to economic mobility. It would relieve the additional burden that the Workforce Development sector is currently carrying. The adoption of my plan would allow Workforce Development organizations to concentrate on their core services and administrative responsibility. It would also eliminate the duplication of services; thereby, increasing efficiency for all.
In past eight weeks; I have been able to expand my professional network, utilize the concepts and practices that I learned in graduate school and make an actual difference in this community. Ecstatically looking forward to the next 10 months of service.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!