Workforce development initiative formally recognized by state Department of Labor

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A representative for Ambassador Enterprises hands over a check, marking a grant of $20,000 to Joshua’s Hand Inc.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A local non-for-profit organization has been recognized by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Joshua Works has been certified as a State Earn and Learn program.

“We’d like to touch anywhere from 75 to 100 people a year,” Joshua Hand founder Cedric Walker told WANE 15. “And that may even be stretching it, because it takes time to help a person to get through the challenges and struggles that they have to rediscover or even discover the dignity of labor and to understand how wonderful it is to be able to bring your head, your heart and your hands together to do something creative and significant and be a contribution to your community.”

Joshua Works, was founded as a division of Joshua’s Hand. Joshua’s Hand was designed to revitalize the city’s southeast side through workforce development and affordable housing. The now certified program offers pre-apprenticeship training in the construction trades and industry.

“We see ourselves as a human resourcing kind of center where we’re helping people to become their best person and then to provide their gifts and talents as a gift to industry,” Walker said

“To have someone outside of your mom, and outside of your family and people you don’t even know to encourage you is kind of cool, for them to have the vision and see in you that you can do more than you think and then to help you not fall on your feet,” Savannah Hammond added, who benefitted from the program.

People who go through the program develop employability and construction skills over a period of 10 weeks. Graduates can earn employment and educational opportunities.

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