ComeUnity Cafe offers job skills training to volunteers, community members

JACKSON, Tenn. — Most days of the week, the men and women behind the counter at ComeUnity Cafe are preparing a fresh meal at the downtown lunch spot.

Before food preparation, however, they were gathered around the table with a different mission in mind.

“We go through in the morning, we go through the same thing. Then we go to bed at night and you’re still thinking about what am I going to do tomorrow. It’s stressful,” Brian Neu said.

Neu said he was in the right place at the right time Friday, coming across the Job Skills Training program.

“It’s always been a dead end or something. There’s just been a snag in the road,” Neu said.

It’s for people like Neu who Mallory Lamm said they’ve launched this new endeavor to help their volunteers.

“It could be landscaping jobs, working as a cook, working in maintenance,” said Lamm, who along with other staff at the cafe put the training together. “We want to highlight their strengths and pull those strengths out, and then help them tailor their job search to what they’re good at.”

Friday was just the beginning of the monthlong series of resume building, mock interviews and learning to act and dress professionally.

“A bunch of the staff here, we got together and thought about what needs to be done and what skills need to be taught, and we did a lot of research and kind of compiled all of it together,” Lamm said.

With those skills and determination, Neu believes he’s close to success.

“I’m fishing. That’s what I’m doing,”┬áNeu said. “Sometimes it’s in deep water, sometimes it’s on the shore, but you keep fishing and eventually something’s going to bite.”

If you’d like to take part in this training, it is free. It begins Friday morning at 9:30 and runs for one hour. The next three sessions will take place March 3, 10 and 17.