Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Non-Profit Spotlight: SAGEWorks

SAGEWorks exists to help the LGBT community thrive in later years. SAGEWorks is a national employment support program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people age 40 and older that expands participants’ job hunting skills and career options, and connects employers to diverse high-caliber candidates. Recognizing the importance of remaining employed and fulfilled in today's competitive job market, SAGEWorks provides hands-on workshops, technology training and personal coaching at various sites nationwide.

SAGEWorks operates in five cities:
Ft. Lauderdale
Palm Springs, California

SAGEWorks is a program of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) which is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources for LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, and provides training for aging providers and LGBT organizations, largely through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. With offices in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of 28 local SAGE affiliates in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Michele D’Amato, Program Manager at SAGEWorks was kind enough to take time to share what’s new at SAGEWorks and how we can all get more involved.

Michele D'Amato
Program Manager, SAGEWorks

How have things changed since you first started at SAGEWorks? 
When we started in 2010 we offered an a la carte menu of services, (workshops, technology classes, 1:1 job coaching), but as of 2014 we added a two-week intensive employment “boot camp” program.  This required jobseekers to complete an online application allowing staff to assess employment readiness, motivation and core competencies.

See boot camp video here.

What areas have you seen more need for the Elders at SAGEWorks?
In addition to improving individual lives SAGEWorks is helping to build visibility around LGBT aging employment issues on the local and national level.  SAGEWorks builds relationships with local employers in an effort to create a more LGBT-and age-affirming employment market pipelines for SAGEWorks participants. 

Tell us about 2 key activities/projects SAGEWorks is currently working on. 
We are always seeking collaborative partners, specifically engaging corporate partners to offer pro bono services either through 1:1 assistance with SAGEWorks program participants, presenting on panels and facilitating skills-building workshops.  We are also seeking additional funding for the program so we can continue providing the services free of charge. 

Where do you see opportunities for the nglccNY community to engage SAGEWorks?
Access to companies/organizations that are hiring.  Networking opportunities, volunteer career coaches, HR and employment experts to facilitate workshops or participate on a panel.  In kind donations for special SAGEWorks networking events.

How can members of the chamber hiring connect with SAGEWorks looking for Internships/employment?
They can go to our website to learn more and apply for either “basic” a la carte services or the employment boot camp.

What events are coming up?
We have two workshops coming up in July: Career Transition: How to Enjoy and Be Empowered by The Process of Changing Jobs” and Strategies to Overcome Barriers to Employment Success (TBD).  We also have an employment boot camp starting on July 25th.

If members want to volunteer, what is the best way to connect? 
Anyone that wants to volunteer at SAGE must go through a volunteer orientation.  These are held once a month and facilitated by Bertis Shankle-Reyes, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator at bshankle@sageusa.org.

To learn more about SAGE and SAGEWorks you may chat up Michele D’Amato at our next M3 or

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Written by Ingrid Galvez,
Chair, Diversity & Inclusion, NGLCCNY
Organizational Development Consultant, Strategic Remedy Group

Intersted in being featured? Please contact me at ingrid@NGLCCNY.org

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