“Change your outlook. Change your life.”
An Interview with Lieryn Jacobs, Human Resources Director at SSP America in Phoenix and friend of St. Joseph the Worker.
By Clifford Jones for St. Joseph the Worker
One of the true leaders in the Phoenix area is our Business Partner Award recipient for 2015, SSP America. We recently talked with Lieryn Jacobs, the Human Resources Manager at SSP, about their significant commitment to working with St. Joseph the Worker (SJW).
The company’s passion for SJW’s mission for removing the barriers to finding work has led SSP America to focus on providing high quality job placements for disadvantaged clients, financial support for our fundraising campaigns, volunteers and board leadership.
How does SSP America make such an impact on our community? First, by hiring more than 800 people to work at the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport and the many restaurants that are managed by the company. From 2013 through most of 2014, Lieryn and her staff of three hired hundreds of new workers to serve travelers coming through the restaurants at Sky Harbor. Now that’s a significant impact for all of us to celebrate!
When Lieryn was asked about why SSP America and her team is so committed to helping St. Joseph the Worker people, she said it is because of the transformation she witnesses from the time she meets people for the very first time. Down on their luck and desperately wanting to get back on their feet, Lieryn describes the first encounters, the interviews and the job offers that happen for many, as personally rewarding for her and everyone on her staff.
The key word comes down to, “Transformation.” People are transformed with hope and a burning desire to work. They are prepared and come to work with the tools they need to work hard because SJW’s teaches everyone how to be ready for work. It’s that simple. SSP America takes great satisfaction in helping to make this happen.
SJW’s programs get people ready to come to work at SSP America and many other employers in the Phoenix area. Lieryn went on to tell us that the impact our programs have on job readiness make all the difference for her and her staff of three who do all the hiring for SSP America.
The impact is described by Lieryn with words like, “Hugs,” and “Celebration” for the people who come to work, secure their new apartment and show up with their pictures proudly revealing their new couch, for example. There’s a huge impact on the company because St. Joseph the Worker people are ready to go. They want to really go to work. And it’s amazingly rewarding on a personal level for Lieryn, because she and her team get to see people become self-sufficient again.
As for the contribution for the Phoenix community and everyone involved at all levels of St. Joseph the Worker, the benefits can be stated in a few simple words; dignity through work. Everyone who comes through the Job Readiness program at St. Joseph the worker has access to the resources they need to get work. There are many job opportunities available for the men and women who come to our facilities in downtown Phoenix.
The best way Lieryn summarized her view on how this experience can help others is by sharing the thought for all of us to, “Change your outlook. Change your life.” She went on to explain that every employer in the Phoenix area should learn about and get involved on some level with St. Joseph the Worker. SSP America is proud to support SJW’s and many other active organizations in the Phoenix area working hard to make a difference.
Everyone here at extends our deepest gratitude to SSP America for their ongoing support of our mission.