NONPROFIT: Bright Offerings connects candidates to companies and colleges for apprenticeships

Left to right: Salim Nathani, Noureen Nathani and Sadruddin Currimbhoy are members of Bright Offerings' board. Bright Offerings aims to economically empower people through apprenticeship programs. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Left to right: Salim Nathani, Noureen Nathani and Sadruddin Currimbhoy are members of Bright Offerings' board. Bright Offerings aims to economically empower people through apprenticeship programs. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)

Left to right: Salim Nathani, Noureen Nathani and Sadruddin Currimbhoy are members of Bright Offerings' board. Bright Offerings aims to economically empower people through apprenticeship programs. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Bright Offerings, a Sugar Land-based nonprofit, has worked to economically empower 75 job candidates through its apprenticeship program in the past two years.

“There seems to be, in the general public’s mind, a [misconception] about what apprenticeships are,” Bright Offerings co-founder and chair Salim Nathani said. “The moment I say apprenticeship, they think about skilled labor. That’s not what it is. I don’t know when we separated education from actual work. Apprenticeship, to me, is where you bring those two together.”

Using its slogan “Learn and Earn from Day 1” as a guide, the nonprofit partners with local colleges and employers to support job candidates through the application, training and certification requirements for employment, Salim said.

Bright Offerings has six different apprenticeship programs in machines, pipe fitting, welding, early-childhood education, accounting and computer science. Salim said he has seen the biggest demand for qualified job candidates in these sectors.

“The apprenticeship model is as old as time,” board member Sadruddin Currimbhoy said. “Well before universities existed, if you wanted to become a shoemaker, you went and you worked at that shop, and that’s how you learned the craft. This model sustained humanity for millennia.”


Noureen Nathani, the vice chair of the board and Salim’s wife, said three different types of people typically go through Bright Offerings’ apprenticeship program: high school graduates who feel college is not right for them or who do not have the means to attend college, adults who are looking to change careers, and skilled immigrants who may not have documentation of their qualifications.

“It was such an eye-opener that people are not able to get employed because they’re not getting the training,” Noureen said. “[Our program] is not just for individuals who are not able to afford college, but for people who are trying to find a new career path or need guidance.”

Salim said the nonprofit is able to connect candidates, companies and colleges in a seamless and integrated process that is beneficial for all three stakeholders.

“There’s a lot of momentum that’s going behind this,” Salim said. “Every student that wants to go to college, should. This is an alternative. This is something where they can come and say, ‘Here’s one more way that we can better our lives.’”
By Claire Shoop
Claire joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2019 as the reporter for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 where she studied journalism, government and Arabic. While in school, Claire was a fellow for The Texas Tribune, worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and spent a semester in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing cards with her family and listening to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.


MOST RECENT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Phase 3 of his Open Texas plan June 3. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott's June 3 guidelines allow most Texas businesses to operate at 50% capacity

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to lift coronavirus-related business restrictions.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates in Fort Bend County. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: Fort Bend County reports 35 new cases, 2 deaths June 3

The new cases brings the county total to 1,951 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 1,165 active cases, 719 recoveries and 47 deaths.

Participants held fists in the air during a moment of silence at a June 2 protest over the death of George Floyd. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Criminal justice research expert weighs in on George Floyd protests and the sentiments driving them

"I think the data is clear and convincing that there is a problem. I think that we now have societal consensus of that problem and accepting that data."

The Texas Department of Transportation will be performing pavement repair on Hwy. 6 in Sugar Land on June 3-4. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Nighttime lane closures to occur on Hwy. 6 in Sugar Land June 3-4

The affected portion of Hwy. 6 is between Fluor Daniel Drive and University Boulevard.

Houston Food Bank is looking for more volunteers as it handles increased food distribution during COVID-19. (Courtesy Houston Food Bank)
Houston Food Bank: Volunteers needed now more than ever

The Houston Food Bank is distributing more than double the usual amount of food throughout the community.

Big Group Events manages the Sunday farmers market in Sugar Land, which was previously held at Mercer Stadium. (Courtesy Big Group Events)
Sugar Land farmers market to reopen, move indoors starting June 14

Moving the market indoors will keep vendors and customers out of the Texas heat.

Twenty cases in Fort Bend County were currently hospitalized according to data available on June 2 and June 3 on the Fort Bend County Community Impact Dashboard. The total confirmed cases was 1,916 on June 2 and 1,951 on June 3. (Designed by José Dennis/Community Impact Newspaper)
Fort Bend County official: Severity of COVID-19 is ‘affecting us less than it did in the beginning’

June 2 data shows 20 cases are hospitalized out of 1,916 confirmed positive coronavirus cases.

(Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)
PHOTOS: Scenes from the downtown Houston march for George Floyd

People of all ages, colors and creeds packed downtown Houston June 2 to march in memory of former Houston resident George Floyd.

Nola Z. Valente/Community Impact Newspaper
60,000 gather in downtown Houston June 2 in solidarity with George Floyd's family

Among a series of marches across the U.S. to honor George Floyd, his hometown of Houston turned out in the thousands June 2.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Fort Bend County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
5 of Fort Bend County’s 35 new coronavirus cases June 2 located in Sugar Land, Missouri City ZIP codes

The 35 confirmed coronavirus cases reported in Fort Bend County on June 2, bring the total countywide case count to 1,916.

Mark Flathouse, the county’s fire marshal and emergency management coordinator, said the office of emergency management is closely watching Tropical Storm Cristobal in case its path crosses into Fort Bend County between June 6-8. (Screenshot via Fort Bend County)
Fort Bend County prepares for Tropical Storm Cristobal

“In the next few days, we are going to see heavy rainfall in pockets in Fort Bend County," County Judge KP George said.

During the June 1 City Council meeting, council members expressed their condolences to the Rule and Floyd families and offered words of encouragement to Missouri City residents. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Missouri City City Council members respond to deaths of Caleb Rule and George Floyd

During the June 1 City Council meeting, council members expressed their condolences to the Rule and Floyd families and offered words of encouragement to Missouri City residents.