On September 28, the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE) honored 45 individuals who have now found jobs through ACE’s workforce development program. At the graduation ceremony, more than 150 supporters celebrated their achievements.
Each graduate addressed the audience and spoke about their personal journey to economic self-sufficiency.
“ACE put my life in the right direction and guided me to where I can navigate my own calling,” said William Lester, who is now employed as a construction worker.
ACE’s program, which runs up to six months, teaches participants the necessary skills and provides proper certifications for jobs in sectors like hospitality, sanitation, food services, social services and maintenance.
At the end of the graduation ceremony, all of the newly minted graduates joined ACE’s employment retention program, Project Stay. ACE’s staff stays connected to the graduates to make sure they maintain their jobs while increasing their earning capacity.
Since 1992, ACE has helped more than 2,800 homeless people find jobs, according to executive director James Martin.
“ACE remains in close contact with hundreds of our graduates that have been employed for years,” Martin said. “Forty-five more of our fellow New Yorkers overcame the extreme barriers that are faced by those experiencing homelessness in our city.
“These graduates will be heading to work tomorrow instead of a shelter or program,” he added. “They are now in a better position to take care of their families and give back to their communities.”