Cataloging Communities

Camilla Bacolod stands next to a painting referencing games of chance and hand guns
July 23, 2018
Camilla Bacolod

My experience in Buffalo over the past few weeks gave me insight on the ways different organizations collaborate to continue their social impact in the community. Different groups make a long lasting effect on the livelihood of the city’s residents because of the interpersonal relationships they are forming with one another. Without these relationships formed through collaborations, each organization would not reach their goal as efficiently.


The importance of interpersonal relationships between the staff and participants of an organization are also vital in producing desirable outcomes that benefit the city’s social and economic development. I observed this importance during my time so far at the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), which provides comprehensive, immediate, and effective employment services for previously incarcerated individuals. CEO’s Pathway to Employment program have comprehensive steps that ensures employment if the participants are actively engaging with the staff. The Job Coach consults participants on life skills and job readiness through resume writing assistance and mock interviews. After participants become job ready, the Job Developer meets with them to discuss which types of jobs they are seeking and assist them with setting up job interviews. After the participants secure a job placement, the Retention Specialist maintains communication with the participants and provide rewards for those who retain their job for a certain period of time.


From the beginning of placement, I observed how the organization’s staff collaborated with one another to make sure they provide the best services for the participants. The most important factor in providing the best services is the relationships the staff form with the participants. By forming these relationships, the staff understands the participant’s true purpose in the program and provides assistance that best suit their needs if they have genuine intentions in seeking employment.


My role in CEO is to construct a community resource binder for the participants, ranging in educational, housing, health, food, and clothing resources. Along with providing information about different community resources, the binder will also provide information about free or reduced cost recreational activities. For this project, I’ll get to research the services that various organizations provide for the community, specifically the reentry population.