A Nonprofit Certification Training Program That Gets Results
Lab Four Professional Development Center was formed in response to acknowledging the reality that individuals stuck in low-paying, low-skilled jobs are highly unlikely to escape the cycle of poverty and achieve self-sufficiency without increasing access to opportunities for work advancement. The transition from getting by to getting ahead requires several steps. Technical training leading to industry certifications in high demand fields is one step that leads to financial gain. Many job training programs offer comprehensive “soft skills” training individualized to the target population served. Although these programs excel in soft skills development, they often lack the capacity to also offer high-level technical training. We use a strength-based approach to developing partnerships that results in optimal workforce training.
Lab Four’s mission is to become a key workforce development partner in three ways: by providing the best possible technology training to help businesses become more successful, providing the skills and credentials necessary for individuals to secure stable employment in a high-demand industry, and partnering with non-profit organizations to help our community fulfill its vast potential. We will accomplish this through the most innovative, effective, and ethical methods possible from top to bottom.
The Urban League of Middle Tennessee is part of a nationwide movement to help minorities and disenfranchised groups to secure economic self-reliance, power, parity, and civil rights. ULMT has long been a key community partner in Nashville’s workforce development community, and has changed countless lives.
ULMT is dedicated to finding innovative and effective solutions to put people into meaningful, well-paid careers, and Lab Four has long partnered with the Urban League outside of Nashville, so when ULMT decided to offer an amazing workforce development program focused on helping individuals acquire industry-recognized certifications, partnering with Lab Four was natural. Working together, these two amazing organizations will be changing workforce development as we know it and providing Nashville employers with a pipeline of highly skilled workers while helping get people the skills and credentials they need to acquire meaningful employment.
Our vision is to serve as a key workforce development partner, a community and regional training resource, and center for industry certified training in the tri-state area of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Our current local workforce is comprised of a large portion of unskilled and low-skilled workers whose highest educational attainment is a high school degree/GED or less, and who are often trapped in low-paying jobs in the service industry. This subset of the workforce is more likely to be unemployed or underemployed, working multiple jobs without benefits, and at the fringe or below the poverty level. Due to these and other socioeconomic disparities, the pathway to completion of a college education has narrowed and is largely non-existent for many of these individuals.
Our goal is to create a local pipeline of highly skilled workers that will be competitive in the 21st century job market. These workers will have the knowledge, skills, credentials and abilities to secure stable employment at a living wage leading to self-sufficiency, a higher standard of living for themselves and their families, and career growth in a high-demand industry.
What we do
Lab Four specializes in providing technical training using industry recognized curriculums that lead to industry certifications. We focus on technical training within industries showing potential labor market growth. Our training is a viable alternative to premature college entry for high school/GED prepared individuals and a source of re-training for displaced workers.
Benefits of Collaboration
Successful workforce development requires a more comprehensive approach that includes “soft skills” or personal leadership skills, “hard skills” or technical training, on-the-job training (OJT) and innovative strategies toward job placement. Rarely can one agency or organization alone provide quality, comprehensive workforce development services. We collaborate with other organizations that excel in soft skills training and provide additional opportunities for OJT and job placement to ensure that our technical training is optimized for each client.
We believe that communities must be a part of the solution to challenges they face. Therefore, we employ a community-based approach to workforce development. We rely on collaborative relationships with community-based organizations and businesses committed to improving economic livelihood and prosperity within the community they serve. Through collaborative relationships we employ a comprehensive workforce development model individualized to the needs of community members. There are a number of ways to create innovative solutions that can benefit our clients, organizations and communities at large. See our partners to find out more about our projects.
A strong workforce is an indicator of a healthy community in which people can find good jobs and create new economic opportunities. Community leaders committed to achieving economic prosperity emerge through collaborative efforts, becoming positive role models and instilling hope in their communities. The community shows signs of growth such as stable housing, lower crime and more assets and resources. Vibrant communities benefit the well-being of all residents.