We provide dignified employment and on-site childcare while engaging our employees and their families in improving their skills and capacity as leaders. We have a holistic and multi-generational approach to employability and access to education.
Our Working Families Program includes:
CHILDCARE + SUPPORT FOR NURSING MOTHERS | On-site childcare has been a central part of Southwest Creations since our inception. Our employees can work and develop their skills while their children are cared for in a nurturing environment. Safe, affordable childcare for $.25 an hour frees parents from concern, and money saved on childcare can be spent on necessities. In turn, our employees remain focused on their work and are more productive. We provide vital links to Headstart while also promoting early development by supporting nursing mothers who can breastfeed and bond with their infants on breaks and at lunch.
PREPARING FOR COLLEGE AS A FAMILY: Hacia la Universidad | Our intergenerational training and mentorship series, Hacia la Universidad (Toward the University), promotes college attendance and focuses on the needs of immigrant and Latino families. We work with students from elementary school through high school in 41 Albuquerque Public Schools. In 2012, the Albuquerque Public Schools’ counseling department invited Southwest Creations to launch a 4-year pilot program in 3 schools: Albuquerque High School, Washington Middle School and Reginald Chavez Elementary. We adapted the model to begin in third grade with both Spanish and English-speaking families, supporting and tracking their progress through 2016. We have also expanded Hacia la Universidad to more Spanish and English-speaking families through our collaboration with charter middle school, South Valley Preparatory School, integrating the curriculum and college readiness techniques into the school structure.
In 2013, 98 percent of our Hacia la Universidad seniors graduated from high school and 86 percent of our graduates were accepted to a university or college.
PARENT-SCHOOL ENGAGEMENT | Our employees don’t have to choose between receiving a paycheck and engaging in their children’s education: all employees receive paid School Involvement Leave. Research shows that parental involvement improves academic achievement, and this year, 98 percent of our Hacia la Universidad seniors graduated from high school. This stands in stark contrast to other families in New Mexico where only a quarter of fourth graders are proficient in reading and just over half of all students graduate from high school. Most parents in New Mexico don’t have the workplace flexibility they need to engage in their children’s education, but at Southwest Creations, our employees work collectively to build their own leadership and analysis around the U.S. educational system, and they support one another while advocating for equal access to education.
LEADERSHIP + EMPLOYABILITY | In today’s uncertain economy, we believe it is our responsibility to ensure our employees have up-to-date skills, which are vital for family stability and ending cycles of poverty. At the same time, working families have few options for accessing the training they need, citing the ability to balance work and family commitments as a major concern. With this in mind, we created our leadership and employability programs that provide both on and off-site opportunities for employees to improve English skills, prepare for the GED, and build skills in facilitation, tutoring and program oversight. Our employees establish their own goals for personal and professional growth and commit to a specific amount of study; we provide compensation for half of that time while the employee completes the rest on her own. We have integrated an intense focus on leadership development throughout this process in addition to skill development and analysis that build upon employees’ capacities in their workplace, home and community.
HEALTH + WELLNESS| We recognize that there is a direct link between a family’s economic success and their physical well-being; therefore, we’ve developed a health program that focuses on access and prevention. We ensure each employee has some type of health coverage and an established primary care provider. We provide employee workshops on preventative medicine and family education focused on health-related issues that are prevalent in the Latino community. We are also involved with immigrant women’s health issues and advocate for increased access to publicly-funded programs.