Citygate Network

From the creators of When Helping Hurts Helping people on the margins find and keep meaningful work

Get resources and training to address poverty at the roots—and bring lasting change to your community.

Get Trained

Develop Your Staff

Give your team the skills and confidence to help clients move out of poverty and truly flourish.

SECTORS Philanthropy

Train Your Volunteers

Help volunteers develop transformational relationships with the people you serve.

BELIEFS Learning Practice

Become a Thought Leader

Help community partners, churches, and donors discover long-term solutions to poverty.

What is a “Job Readiness Program” and Why Should Your Organization Have One?

Simply put, a job readiness program focuses on developing skills in job searching, interviewing, and keeping a new job. 

While these skills are incredibly important, they fail to address the deeper worldview questions, individual choices, systemic barriers, and relational complexities that people in generational poverty face when seeking to join and flourish in the workforce.

Work is good. It is the most effective way to provide for our material needs, but it also provides dignity, purpose, and tangible ways for us to contribute to our community. 

However, it is much more common to find ministries focused on food, clothing, housing, healthcare, etc.—often downstream symptoms of the lack of sustainable work—rather than on work itself.

We'll train you to start a job readiness program to help people find and keep meaningful work.

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Challenges that keep people unemployed or underemployed:

Lack of skills

Poor education


Past incarceration

Transportation issues

How can your organization shift its focus to address the root causes of material poverty?

Hosting a Work Life job readiness class at your organization connects the unemployed and underemployed to your organization and business community.

How To Get Certified as a Work Life Site

Step 1: Complete the free Intro to Work Life course

  • Get familiar with our Work Life curriculum
  • Recruit the right people for your Work Life team
  • Create a detailed ministry plan
  • Develop an operational budget for your class

Work Readiness Training

Train your staff and volunteers to help people on the margins find and keep meaningful work.

Step 2: Once you complete Intro to Work Life, we'll contact you to enroll in the next Work Life certification training.

Training Overview

What You'll Learn in Work Life Facilitator Training:

Connecting Jobs to God's Kingdom

Navigating the Systems

Understanding the Effects of Relational Poverty & Trauma

Facilitating the Work Life Curriculum

Topics Covered in Work Life Facilitator Training:

Creating a 60-second Commercial

Resolving Conflict

Discovering How the Work World Works

Overcoming Your Roadblocks

Building on Your Past Experience

Putting Best Practices to Work on the Job

Practicing Communication Skills

Building Character and Skills

Examining God's Good Design Gone Bad

It Takes a Team!

To become a certified Work Life site means that a core team from your organization has been trained to use the curriculum to prepare economically challenged individuals for work and life skills AND to connect them to employment opportunities upon graduation.

Each core team member has a specific role that collectively ensures the success and sustainability of your site in the future. A strong core team will need at least 4 members, who will go through the site certification together:


  1. Administrator - coordinates the logistics, schedules, and records for Work Life classes
  2. Ally Coordinator - recruits, trains, and supports the volunteer allies
  3. Business Liaison - builds and maintains rapport with potential employers in the community, sharing the benefits of hiring graduates
  4. Facilitator - leads the Work Life classes with job-seekers


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Site Certification

At the end of your Work Life training, your site is eligible to be certified as an Active Work Life site.

Benefits of Certification

Being certified as a site ensures that if one person can no longer fulfill their duties, the rest of the team is empowered to carry on the ministry while they recruit and equip new leaders as needed.

Included in the cost of certification, sites will have access to one year of follow-up coaching and support from Work Life coaches at the Chalmers Center. 

How Long Does Certification Take?

It will take your core team approximately 20 hours to complete your Work Life Site Certification training.

As you launch your jobs ministry your team should collectively plan on spending at least 15-20 hours per week in order to devote adequate time to a) hosting the class, b) networking for employment opportunities, and c) assisting graduates of previous classes with their employment search. 

Your site certification will enable your core team to share the responsibility of facilitating the course, recruiting and matching allies/participants, networking with the business community, coordinating dinners and childcare, fundraising, and educating the and community and your stakeholders about the program. Having a strong core team helps the Work Life program to become sustainable over the long term.

Get Certified as a Work Life Site

Strengthen your organization with training and support from expert coaches.

Work Readiness Training

Train your staff and volunteers to help people on the margins find and keep meaningful work.

Save 20% with code CITYGATE20

Pricing for Citygate Members

As a Citygate member, you get access to the Chalmers Center’s online courses and training at a special discount. To receive your 20% discount, just use discount code CITYGATE20 at checkout.

30-Day Money Back Guarantee

Our guarantee

If you’re not completely satisfied with this training within 30 days of your purchase, we will give you a full refund.

Working Together

You may be thinking that your organization doesn’t have the capacity to start a jobs program on your own - and maybe that is true, but we’ve found that many successful jobs programs are collaborative efforts between multiple nonprofits and churches in your city. If you believe a jobs program would benefit your community, think of organizations and churches in your area who might want to partner with yours.

Testimonials from Citygate members like you

Since 1999, Chalmers has equipped thousands of ministries to think differently about poverty, and do something about it. We can help you too!

Jonathan Rocke

“The Chalmers Center has given us a theoretical and theological framework for biblical poverty alleviation. They provide practical principles—and the resources and tools to help us apply those principles in our rescue ministry work.”

Jonathan Rocke
Executive Director
Peoria Rescue Mission

John Hull

“Chalmers has helped our rescue mission think more systemically. Their resources and training have transformed our own work—and helped us encourage churches and partners in our community to move toward helping people in long-term, holistic ways.”

John Hull
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Everett Gospel Mission

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