Trinity Opportunity Alliance (TOA) is “a cutting edge program begun and launched by North Scottsdale United Methodist Church. TOA’s mission is to recruit, train, and support businesses that will offer young adults opportunities to transition from foster care to thriving adulthood through meaningful employment.” The article below recently appeared in the Opportunities for Youth newsletter. Opportunities for Youth is part of the Maricopa County Education Service agency.
Trinity Opportunity Alliance got its start three years ago when the Arizona foster care community began an appeal to local faith communities to help in finding foster homes. North Scottsdale UMC had something else in mind– transitioning foster youth. They began by leveraging business connections within the congregation. While conducting local and national research on similar organizations they found many organizations that match youth to employers with good intentions but few that train employers on how to support youth.
Through its business partners and youth matching agencies that directly serve transitioning foster youth by providing them with job readiness training and coaching, TOA estimates its outreach to 75-100 participating youth or those in the pipeline by the end of this year. Outreach is defined by one who has learned to build application skills, had interview opportunities and in some cases hired. Thanks in part to generous grants including $355,000 from Los Arcos United Methodist Building Corporation, TOA looks forward to expanding its program to enlist additional employers, faith congregations, and youth-serving agencies to reach more youth.
The following questions were compiled from an interview with Janice Grandy, Co-Founder, and Director of Trinity Opportunity Alliance.
WHY HAS TOA CHOSEN TO PARTICIPATE IN Opportunities for Youth (OFY)?
“TOA’s mission aligns with the efforts of MCESA to serve opportunity youth.”
WHAT DOES TOA HOPE TO GAIN THROUGH PARTICIPATING IN OFY?
“To tap into OFY’s collective vision and collaborative efforts that leverages our independent work to achieve interdependence for positive outcomes for the youth being served by our respective organizations.”
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE EMPLOYER TRAINING OFFERED BY TOA?
“It is comprised of several modules that are presented in person with intentions of creating webcasts in the future. The employer coach curriculum provides basic information and context about working effectively with youth, specifically in the foster care system. However, the content richness is applicable to ALL youth.”
WHAT ARE THE INCENTIVES TO EMPLOYERS TO PARTNER WITH TOA AND SIMILAR ORGANIZATIONS?
“Employers partner with TOA for several reasons; recognition, corporate social responsibility, to be part of something bigger, and to gain retention tools to keep our young people growing in skills that are portable to career advancement.”
HOW CAN OPPORTUNITY YOUTH CONNECT TO TOA SERVICES?
“TOA aligns with the Career Connection track that is part of OFY. We connect with potential employer partners, consider selected criterion and distinguish whether there is a match that will serve the youth.”
HOW CAN THE COMMUNITY PARTNER WITH, OR SUPPORT, TOA IN THEIR PROGRAMS TARGETING OPPORTUNITY YOUTH?
“Youth serving agencies that have foster youth aging out of the system and seeking employment in Maricopa County should connect with the program director. “
Find out more: