Donuts and Bowling: Winter Job Development

Maple Donuts hires refugees!

Maple Donuts hires refugees!

More Good Ideas to Increase Job Opportunities for the Surge in Arrivals

Clients arriving during the August-October arrival surge will need to start jobs at the same time that cold, snowy winters create seasonal employment slow-downs. Click here for a previous blog post with 7 ways to prepare for the arrivals surge.

Here’s how Catholic Charities Diocese of Erie, PA and Higher came up with new ideas for a winter placement strategy and some of the added employer targets we identified:

Team Meeting to Identify Winter Job Opportunities

  1. Carve out a couple of hours and gather your team. Consider including everyone from leadership to case managers and even active volunteers.
  2. Put yourselves into a brainstorming mindset. Pick a common object (we used an empty sugar bowl). Spend a few minutes going around the room and shouting out alternative uses. Our bowl became a baby hat, a rice mold and a tracing pattern.
  3. Then, talk about what you want or need to do during the winter. What services will people pay for? What comfort food or winter activities are in demand in your town? Those are the beginning of a list of potential winter employers to reach out to now.

Donuts, Bowling and More

Future refugee employer?

Future refugee employer?

In Erie, donuts are a popular comfort food and there are several busy bowling alleys around town. A mix of new and established employer partners in those businesses topped our target list.

We came up with many good ideas based on existing industries in Erie and the kinds of goods and services in high demand in the long Erie winter. Here are three examples:

  1. Delivery and snow removal services for people with reduced mobility due to snow and ice. (Erie has a growing senior and retiree population and is in the top five snowiest cities in the US with average snowfall of 100.8 inches a year.)
  2. Holiday seasonal jobs. Presents and celebration with friends and family happen no matter the weather. Some people even dream of a White Christmas. Businesses are already thinking about seasonal hiring so now’s the time for everyone to target those jobs.
  3. Car detailing for business and individual use. All that snow and salt is bad for vehicles. Car dealerships, rental agencies and families want their vehicles to last. Keeping them clean in the winter is an important part of that.
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