One of the greatest kindnesses one human can do for another is help them gain self-sufficiency. Michael Grobserg, an Employment Specialist at Urban Pathways since January 2020, can vouch for the potency of such efforts.

The Bronx native is responsible for helping clients find and secure employment. Preparing formerly- homeless individuals to enter or rejoin the workforce is a multistep process that begins with meeting with clients to understand their goals, preparing and submitting psychological evaluations and pre-vocational assessments, and steering clients through the often-daunting resume-writing and interview-prepping process.

Only then does the job hunt begin in earnest.

Michael helps clients review job listings—while empowering them to do so on their own—and aids technologically-challenged clients with online applications. He provides input, schedules meetings, and puts in a good word or two for his prospective employees. He’s a good-natured role-player in mock interviews—and he’s happy to chaperone jittery clients to the real thing.

Throughout, Michael collaborates with case managers and clients to formulate individual employment plans. The goal always is a job that matches the client’s experience and skill set, often in maintenance, retail, or administrative work. At times, Michael directs clients to training programs in security, construction, or other industries to boost their employment prospects.

With the COVID-19 crisis and a shrinking economy, Michael’s role has taken on new urgency. It’s harder to find jobs now than it was a year ago. Still, Michael remains an unfaltering supporter of his clients and as resolute a client advocate as ever. Interview prep over the phone, resume-prep via text, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink over Zoom—whatever it takes.

On the upside, there’s been no paucity of maintenance jobs, a sector Michael says is booming. On the downside, it’s often harder to obtain documentation such as I.D.—which Michael helps clients secure in advance of employment—on the phone or online.

All told, Michael reports, clients are doing well. They’re educated on COVID regulations, and while many are concerned about risks to their health, most clients are eager to find work. And when they are, Michael is ready to assist.

By Urban Pathways on December 10, 2020