CXWorks launched in September of 2016 with the goal of training young adults in the Las Vegas community with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in the customer service and call center industry. After a successful pilot program, the program’s second session is getting ready to kick-off on February 6th! And when it comes to CXWorks, it truly takes a village. Read on to learn about what makes this program so unique and all the amazing people who helped get it started.
When asked about who could benefit from CXWorks, the Director of Programs at Tech Impact – Grace Harpole – couldn’t pick just one audience. “Young adults who are interested in starting on a career path should look at CXWorks as a great, free opportunity. Entry-level call center jobs are a foot in the door, not necessarily an end point. Students graduating from the CXWorks program will have skills to start and grow their career, with support from our staff. Additionally, call center hiring managers can benefit from our program by hiring graduates, who have more technical knowledge and soft skills, into entry-level positions. They are skilled, and motivated, loyal employees,” she concluded when asked about the new program in Las Vegas. And she couldn’t be more right!
The idea for the CXWorks program garnered support from the Las Vegas business community because they knew that the need for customer service professionals was immense, and only continuing to grow. This robust call center industry includes one for Barclaycard US. So, when Barclaycard US saw the opportunity to get behind the CXWorks program, they jumped at the chance. According to Jocelyn Stewart, Senior Director of Community Relations at Barclaycard US, they “…wanted to be able to train people not just in technology but to also enter into the call center.” The Barclaycard US team sees the benefit in this program because they can provide input on what students are learning. Stewart went on to say that, “We are truly excited about the opportunity of training people that wouldn’t necessarily be our traditional employee and getting them on a path of excellence.”
With the support in class, the CXWorks team at Tech Impact set out to find other partners and volunteers that could make the experience that much more dynamic. One of the pilot class’ most memorable moments was the time they spent immersed in the field at Three Square Food Bank. This opportunity provided them with a chance to practice the skills and knowledge they learned in the classroom by taking live calls with clients. “Three Square is proud to collaborate with CXWorks to help pair their excellent formal instruction with practical experience gained from helping us advance our outreach efforts to make a difference in the lives of those in need in Southern Nevada,” said Alice Gonzalez, Benefit Services Outreach Director for Three Square Food Bank. “This combination of skill development and foundational focus has the young people we both work with set up for success as they begin their careers as professionals.”
CXWorks utilizes volunteers in a variety of other ways – professional development sessions on Fridays, tours of call center environments, and one-on-one career mentoring for the students. Christine Heinrich, Office Manager at Taurean Consulting Group, got involved with the inaugural CXWorks class and recently reflected on her experience: “I have a background in customer service, so it seemed like it would be a great fit. I led a Friday Session for this inaugural class on Time Management. It was the first Friday Session for the class! I also wanted to mentor one of the CXWorks students. I actually met her at the Friday Session I taught and we had such a great connection, so I chose to work with her. I feel lucky to be involved with this organization.” When asked about why she chose to get involved as a CXWorks volunteer, Christine considered it a no-brainer. “It doesn’t take that much time to host a Friday session or share your experience with these young people. There are Lunch and Learns or mentoring opportunities for those who may not have the same resources. I met with my mentee each week, and it was not only valuable for her, but it taught me a lot as well. There is not a lot of investment, and the return is great.”
Of course – CXWorks wouldn’t be preparing for the next session if there weren’t students to fill the classroom! The feedback from the pilot class was unanimous; this program has the potential to change lives. One graduate even said, “Before I started CXWorks, I had no idea where I was going. I would almost say I was lost. I am now a confident woman who perceives herself in a very different way than I did before, and I know I will be a valuable asset wherever I go.” The Community Manager of Tech Impact’s Las Vegas office, Cami Lewis, agrees. She has seen that this program can take graduates to great heights: “They will have the skills necessary to obtain an entry-level call center position and stand out among their peers. They will be able to leverage what they have learned into a successful career. And she’s great! The quoted graduate above has been hired by the Barclaycard call center!”
The entire Tech Impact and CXWorks family is excited to get the Winter 2017 session started next week. We hope you’ll check-in regularly to see what our students are up to. Check out our social media pages to see the most up-to-date information:
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Do you want to be part of the next CXWorks class? Apply today!