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Economic Empowerment in Action

This month, we’ve been focusing on our economic empowerment department. They work alongside our families to help prepare them to enter into the workforce, and they also partner with companies to bring in new employees. We spoke with Leigh Ann Frazier, who works at SIMOS Solutions, about our partnership.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Can you tell me a little bit about your role and what Simos does?

SIMOS is a staffing partner that helps companies fill jobs in distribution, fulfillment, reverse logistics and light manufacturing. We hire workers for a client warehouse site and we manage that part of the business for the client.

My role as the recruiting manager is to manage the recruiters that interview, select, and assign the people that come and work at the warehouse with SIMOS.

How did World Relief come to get connected with you all?

I connected with World Relief back in 2016-17 while working at a warehouse in South Memphis, and we would have some of your employment counsellors come and help with applications, help with orientation, help with the first day of training [for WRM clients].

One of our clients really valued themselves on the diversity of the site and had flags for every country that we had people working, and it was like thirty flags. There were tons of flags, and we were able to add three flags to the display by working through World Relief.

But sometimes there were language barriers and we needed help translating so that people could learn how to do their jobs and fill out necessary paperwork. We partnered with World Relief and once we started to get a bigger group of specific nationalities, there was always somebody that we would be able to communicate with.

We were really proud of what we did at this organization.  

Do you still work with the same warehouse or are there multiple different ones?

There’s multiple different warehouses.

So at each warehouse the role looks a little bit different, but each time World Relief helped with applications, and it’s not necessarily a job where they need English?

Right. That’s how my relationships started because they welcomed people that didn’t speak English.

Over the past couple of years, how would you say your partnerships have evolved?
Recruiting has taken a totally different flavor over the last couple of years, especially with the pandemic so I will say that we haven’t been as involved with World Relief as I wanted to.

I was really excited to get an email from Donroy that things are opening back up, that you guys have a new employment specialist there working in Memphis, so hopefully I can start a new relationship growing and fostering again.

Since you have worked with so many different warehouses and World Relief clients, have they said anything about the benefits of having such a diverse applicant pool?

Of course. Their reliability and work ethic are both strong, and they’re great workers. They don’t have as many opportunities, so when we give them that opportunity, they tend to be really reliable workers.

If other people were looking to join us as employment partners, would you have any advice?

Have an open mind. You have to be willing to flex outside of your normal onboarding and training procedures. You have to be able to flex and go because it’s different, and it takes a little more work but the benefits are there if you put in the effort.

Leigh Ann, thank you for your continued partnership and for taking the time to speak with us. If you would like to join us in welcoming our neighbors as they prepare to enter the workforce, see how you can do so here. If you want to get involved in another way, consider volunteering or donating items to help provide a warm welcome to the 901.

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