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 Buena Fe Working Families programs include:
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.
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, 100 percent of our Buena Fe seniors, a total of 28 students, graduated from high school. Over the course of Southwest Creations’ history, we have achieved a 98 percent graduation rate for students participating in our Buena Fe programs. 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.
PREPARING FOR COLLEGE AS A FAMILY | Our intergenerational training and mentorship series, Hacia La Universidad, promotes college attendance and focuses on the needs of immigrant and Latino families. We work with students from eighth to eleventh grade, and our goal is to build an increased understanding of what it takes to be on the path to college. In 2012, twenty-seven (96 percent) of our Buena Fe high school graduates were accepted to a university or college upon graduation from high school. Buena Fe students have actualized an 89 percent college attendance rate over the course of our history.
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.