Job-seekers in our workforce programs interview at MyLocker hiring event

July 24th, 2015
Brittany Thompson, a participant in Southwest Solutions' PATH program, interviews with Dave Byram, digital division lead at MyLockerBrittany Thompson, a participant in Southwest Solutions' PATH program, interviews with Dave Byram, digital division lead at MyLocker

MyLocker is looking to hire 40 people at its custom-apparel facility in Corktown as it increases production for the school and holiday seasons.

Brittany Thompson interviewed for one of the positions. “I have a one-year-old son, and I’m trying my best to set a good example for him at a young age so he will understand that it’s important to work hard to succeed in life,” said Brittany.

Brittany is with Southwest Solutions’ PATH program, a work-participation program mandated for individuals applying for cash assistance through the Michigan Department of Human Services. PATH stands for: Partnership. Accountability. Training. Hope.

Brittany, 19, dropped out of high school as a senior because of her pregnancy. She is now working on her GED. She feels that her interview at MyLocker went well, and she hopes it will become a stepping stone toward her goal of returning to school and becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant.

To fill the 40 job openings, MyLocker contacted Barbara Gray, who oversees the Supported Employment program at Southwest Solutions. Barbara then worked with Maureen Sheahan, who manages other workforce development programs at Southwest Solutions. Participants in PATH, Supported Employment, Earn + Learn, and HVRP (Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program) attended the hiring event on Thursday, July 23.

“MyLocker is particularly interested in hiring from our community,” said Barbara. “Anytime an employer in southwest Detroit is hiring that many people, we’re thrilled to be a part of it. We debriefed with MyLocker staff after this event in which 73 people received their first interviews. MyLocker said there were many viable candidates.”

When the founder and CEO of MyLocker, Robert Hake, moved the company to Corktown last year, he emphasized reaching out to the community and employing residents, said production manager Paul Cody. “There are so many stories in our shop of individuals who’ve achieved economic independence because of the job opportunities we’ve been able to offer,” Paul said. “We also recognize the challenges that those we hire may face, like being a single parent or needing to use public transportation, and we do our best to accommodate their needs, through flexibility in scheduling and other ways, and still maintain productivity.”

Mica, who participates in our Supported Employment program, understands these challenges all too well. She had been homeless for a year after fleeing a domestic abuse situation. Last fall, she moved into an apartment building in southwest Detroit renovated and managed by Southwest Solutions. She last worked full-time in the trayline at a major local hospital, and feels she is ready to return to work.

“I was nervous about my interview with MyLocker, but I was happy about the way it went,” said Mica. “I don’t know if I will get the job, but it was a good experience to get back into the job market. My goal is to get stable employment where I can grow and get ahead.”

Southwest Solutions invited other agencies to bring individuals served by those agencies to the MyLocker hiring event. The agencies included: Community Care Services, Detroit Central City, The Guidance Center, New Center Community Services, Northeast Guidance Center, SER Metro, and STEP (Services To Enhance Potential).

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