When Spring-based Northwest Bible Church created Between Jobs Ministry 23 years ago, the ministry was a small group that helped the church’s unemployed members transition back into the workforce.
Today, the group has grown to include job seekers who are not formal members of the congregation, including many residents in Spring and Klein, NWBC pastor Roy Farmer said.
The organization has helped place more than 13,000 people in a wide variety of industries, including oil and gas, retail and manufacturing.
He said BJM has grown because community members are attracted to the program’s message and success rate.
“[We] started it 23 years ago real small with just church members,” Farmer said. “A little over 13 years ago, people began to hear about [BJM]. People said, ‘We hear so much about it and the work you’re doing. Can we come?’”
The Christian-based group provides free job-hunting assistance for the nearly 400 job seekers who attend the ministry’s five-hour seminar every Wednesday. The weekly session covers topics such as networking, financial planning and tips on dressing for work, Farmer said.
“We have everything from CEOs to supervisors to assistants to people that do manufacturing,” he said. “We have all walks of life [who] come here.”
The organization offers specialty courses that are required for first- and second-time attendees that explain the ministry, help them make business cards and provide interview training. BJM receives about 90 first-time attendees each week, Farmer said.
Those sessions are followed by a 10 a.m. general meeting where between five and 15 job recruiters present opportunities from their organizations. Companies that have presented at the session include those in a variety of fields, such as administration, oil and gas and retail, Farmer said.
The weekly seminar showcases guest speakers who were former program members and were hired because of BJM.
In addition to the seminars, BJM annually hosts a fair that connects job seekers with employers. During its most recent job fair Oct. 6, about 40 hiring managers and human resource representatives connected with 800 program participants, Farmer said.
Farmer takes pride in helping families becoming more financially stable in a Christian setting, he said.
“We teach God first, your family second and work third,” Farmer said. “We teach them how to be helpers.”