2. Establish a job training program that is useful, fair, and life-changing

A colleague I really admire likes to say, ‘If you don’t know where you are going than any road will take you there.’ While he likes to open meetings with this line and stress the importance of goal setting and careful planning. It’s only when you’re standing wide-eyed and panicked that you’ll end up nowhere.

I say all of this because it’s a perfect way to introduce our job training program. Kristen and I have worked out the end-plan, but it’s actually putting our ideas to action and etching out a path to get there that has been one of our greatest challenges. Ultimately we would like to create a job training program for women who have been caught-up in the human trafficking industry. Our training program will introduce women the women to all aspects of our business: manufacturing, sourcing, buying, and office management. Greater emphasis will be placed on the manufacturing side of the business as this area will provide the greatest number of employment opportunities. (However, we are still quite eager to support ambitious women who aim to take more of a leadership role within the business.)

We think that it is important to stress that we will not be responsible for housing the women, providing legal services, or counselling the women, as we readily admit that there are many organizations far more suited to these activities than us. Rather, we’ve identified a serious need in the rehabilitation process for more job placement activities. Many wonderful organizations that work with this group of women do a fantastic job providing counseling, job skills, and basic education training, but what they lack is the ability to actually provide the women with real employment opportunities. Due to a lack of relevant work experience and education, many of these women struggle to find genuine and lasting employment opportunities. That is precisely the void we would like Mission to fill. We would like to provide the women with specialized training to take on meaningful roles within our business and allow the opportunity for advancement within the business, providing a truly fresh start for women in need of new beginnings.