Work Leadership Institute
The Work Leadership Institute began as a program we called Entrepreneurship, an outgrowth of our hugely successful life skills class, Nehemiah’s Workshop. In this popular Wacky Wednesday class, students learn woodworking skills; in Nehemiah's Workshop a select few high school students were hired to produce and sell corn hole games, picnic tables, bird feeders and other products.
In recent years, this work program has expanded to include Urban Farming, where students plant, nurture and harvest vegetables. They also plant fruit and nut-bearing trees in the neighborhood, and even make homemade salsa and ice cream. Harvests and homemade items have been sold at local farmers markets, including the South of the James and St. Stephen's markets.
The final work program option is Screen Printing, where students make and manage orders of hundreds of t-shirts for CHAT and other clients.
Now we are the proud recipient of the Lora M. and E. Claiborne Robins Community Innovation Grant, which will create more opportunities for students to participate in on-the-job training and job-readiness classes that foster a deeper understanding of the challenges and fulfillment of the work environment.