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Thousands of men experiencing career success thanks to Fathers and Families Center

Hiring Hoosiers
Posted: 6:00 AM, Jun 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-14 10:06:38-04
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Hiring Hoosiers is a new initiative from RTV6 that works to connect Hoosiers to employment opportunities, career development resources, training programs and educational paths. In our Hiring Hoosiers reports we are taking a closer look at barriers to employment and things that get in the way of people getting the jobs they need to support themselves and their families. For more information, visit HiringHoosiers.com. See new stories weekdays at 6 a.m. on RTV6!

INDIANAPOLIS — RTV6’s Hiring Hoosiers initiative was created to not only help you better your life but improve the life of your family.

It’s a mission similar to the Fathers and Families Center, that has been helping fathers succeed in the workforce, and at home, for more than 25 years. In that time, they’ve helped thousands of men find and maintain employment.

“I’m tired of the foolishness and living this type of life," Randolph Weather Jr. said. "I’m looking for a change, and then I already had a son at that particular time as well.”

FIND JOBS | Find open positions in central Indiana with the Hiring Hoosiers job board

It was a challenging time for Weather.

“I was going through difficulty with jobs and employment in my life. Friendships, different relationships,” Weather said.

Then someone told Weather about the Fathers and Families Center.

“We are a beacon of hope to a lot of young men who do not want a hand out, but a lift up,” Wallace McLaughlin, the president and CEO of the Fathers and Families Center, said.

The center not only helps dads become providers, but nurturers.

“We realized that fathers were not dead beat, but dead broke and needed some assistance, particularly those who are entering into the role of fatherhood at an early age as a teenager," McLaughlin said. "We have a number of men who are fathers, but who have gotten involved in the criminal justice system. They’re dealing with mental health, drug and substance abuse. Those societal ills impact families, therefore our premise is if you make strong fathers, you will have strong families because if you have strong families, you have strong communities.”

McLaughlin also said they realize many unemployed men want to work.

“People are unemployed because there is a lot of systemic and personal social barriers that may get in the way for them finding meaningful employment," McLaughlin said. "But when they come here, we don’t judge them. We examine where they are, but we also take an asset model that you’re bringing something to the table otherwise you wouldn’t have come here.”

LEARN MORE | Fathers and Families Center

Men who seek out the organization are in class for three weeks, taken on job tours, and learn soft skills needed to succeed.

“We have a strong employment workforce development program to help men find meaningful and gainful employment,” McLaughlin said.

It’s a job they won’t just help them find, but retain. Once that happens, life at home improves too.

“We have fathers from 16 to 72 who need help and I think what is so meaningful to us is that we’re making a difference, that a child now has better life options, that there’s a hope for the future that they can look forward to," McLaughlin said. "We always tell the men the children ought to do better than you, and we’re allowing them to be able to set a solid foundation. We’re really trying to turn the hearts of the fathers towards their children.”

That’s exactly what Weather did, now a full-time guest services supervisor at the Hyatt downtown.

“You gotta start somewhere," Weather said. "I’ve always been told you’ve just got to get your foot in the door, and just show who you are and be yourself and be true to who you are, and when you do good things, good things happen.”

Fathers and Families also offers a high school equivalency program, and counseling services.

They welcome anyone to walk into their location on North Illinois Street to learn more.