4 Ways to Utilize Volunteers in Employment Services

Sometimes it’s difficult to channel volunteer energy into employment services.  Greeting new arrivals and preparing apartments are often more easily understood roles.  Volunteers interested in employment often have availability after working hours, which is often a mismatch for employer, client and agency schedules.

Here are four great ideas from Cafe Clarkston (GA) at Friends of Refugees.  Note the specific time commitments and use of lead volunteers to channel other volunteer energy and expertise.  Click this link to learn more about this very effective volunteer program and how volunteers can apply and connect.

1. Job Class
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursday, and Fridays
9:00am – 12:00pm | 2:00pm – 5:00pm

This class is taught by a lead volunteer, with some assistance by other volunteers. Students learn how to conduct an online job search and how to complete an online application.  Volunteers can review the course material ahead of time and assist teaching in small groups or one-on-one.

2. Mentor Fridays
2:00pm – 3:00pm

A few guest speakers participate in the first portion of class talking about their testimony with students and “what not to do” in the job search. Real stories are shared and mentor/disciple opportunities are opened.

3. Career Coaching Sessions
Tuesdays and Thursdays
2:00pm – 5:00pm | 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Individuals can schedule a one-on-one appointment to discuss career-related goals and possible job leads connected through the Cafe. People must have their resume completed and have worked with a volunteer on a prior job related activity.
4. Drop-in Center
12:00pm – 3:00pm
During Drop-in Hours, people practice the same skills introduced at the Job Ready class, work on resumes, look for jobs, learn how to type, etc. Anywhere from 15-20 people come through on a typical day – most of them will stay for more than an hour, some for the entire time.  Volunteers don’t have to stay the whole 4 hours – whatever works with your schedule.


In FY2013 at Friends of Refugees, more than 50,000 volunteer hours served over 2,000 individuals across 10 program areas, including hundreds of job placements, 7,000 meals served in kids’ summer camp, hundreds of moms and kids learning English together, dozens of babies born to healthy moms and over 70 family kitchen tables filled with fresh produce from their plots in the Jolly Avenue community gardens!

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