Interview between Erin Roesch (StepUp Employment Recruiter) and Terry Govoreau (HR Director at Croasdaile Village).
How did you hear about StepUp for the first time?
You [Erin Roesch] told me about it. You told me that StepUp had some incredible candidates and that you wanted to share them with us. You said maybe we would be a good fit to help them and they could help us, all while helping the community.
What was your first impression when you met with StepUp staff and heard about our mission?
My first impression was, “What an incredible organization.” You’re doing this work for the right reasons. I also like the fact that there is spiritual backing behind the work you do. I felt from the start that you really cared, as opposed to being in this work for money or status. StepUp seemed like an organization that was truly trying to help people from the heart. After going to one of StepUp Durham’s tours, I saw that that was actually true. I felt it and then I experienced it.
Describe what it was like to visit StepUp. What did you see? What did you hear?
I saw a lot of positivity, accountability, and lifting people up without giving people false hope. StepUp doesn’t do the work for participants. It is there as a resource.
Do you remember which participant wanted you to sit at their table when you visited StepUp's Employment Readiness Workshop? How did it feel to be invited to sit down with job seekers?
I introduced myself and two people jumped up and said, “Oh, please sit here!” It made me feel really good that we were in demand—that people wanted to hear what we had to say and who we were.
The fact that StepUp wants you to do what you already do for a living as a human resources professional—was that new to you? Have you ever been able to give back to the community in that way?
No. No one has ever asked for that before. I’ve always kind of done it [coach people on employment and interviewing skills] on my own when I meet people and when I owned my business—it was a staffing agency. So it was kind of natural and I was glad when StepUp approached me and asked me to do something I naturally do anyway. The more people that we can help—that I can help—I’m all for it.
Your colleague, Kizzy Bell, is going to sit on a panel at StepUp Durham’s inaugural Impact Luncheon on May 24. Are you excited to see Croasdaile leading the way as a cutting edge employer when it comes to this work?
What would your message be to other employers in Durham that are thinking about ways to find talent?
Get involved with StepUp. Make a difference. The thing I like about StepUp is that it’s more than just helping people get jobs. It’s helping people be successful in life skills—their finances, budgeting, goal setting. I was really impressed with that, as well as the spiritual component of the program.
You have hired one StepUp graduate so far. Have you heard anything about how she is doing?
She is very friendly, and her coworker says she is doing a great job.
What is your advice for StepUp participants?
Don’t beat yourself up about mistakes you made in the past. Look forward, not backwards, and be the best you can be.
What would you tell people about investing in Durham’s job seekers by giving to StepUp?
If you’ve got it, give it. The folks StepUp helps have the opportunity to help others. If a son sees that his dad was able to do it then he knows he can do it too. StepUp helps one person, that person helps two, and so on. It’s a ripple effect.
Is there anything else you want to say about StepUp?
StepUp has wonderful representatives—people who truly care and want to make a difference like Baqir Mujahid [StepUp Employment Counselor] and you [Erin Roesch]. When you spoke to us about StepUp when we visited, I saw the passion and conviction in your eyes. It was so selfless. There was passion. It was from your heart. I was impressed—very impressed. So many organizations are in this for some other reason, but this is in your heart. I saw, felt, and appreciated that from the StepUp staff.