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State Staff Witnessed the Commitment of the Foundation For An Independent Tomorrow Nearly 20 Years Ago

Nevada Job Connect and the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow work together well.

Nevada Job Connect employment services representative Zynda Young helps people find jobs at the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow each Tuesday from 8 a.m. until noon.

FIT, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary later this year, provides the workshops and training for the clients with help that includes a myriad of topics.

Meanwhile, Nevada Job Connect brings the employer aspect to the equation for what is the perfect teamwork performance.

“We have been co-located with FIT for almost two years,” explained Nevada Job Connect employment services representative Zynda Young, who has been with the state agency for more than eight years. “I love helping people and working with Nevada Job Connect is the ideal way to knock down the barriers that we have all experienced at one time or another.”

Young, who offices out of FIT every Tuesday from 8 a.m. until noon, said the recovery of the economy that collapsed in 2009 has changed matters as it relates to employment.

“Many people don’t have the tools to find work,” said Young, a 25-year resident of Southern Nevada. “For instance, some people who need employment do not have work cards that are required; uniforms needed for work; and short-term training that gives people the necessary skills to return to work.”

Young recalls a very poignant story about a young single mom with children who was at her wit’s end before receiving help from Nevada Job Connect.

“With the assistance of FIT case manager Anthony Gilyard, we were able to put the young lady through training at the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas,” Young explained. “She took kitchen steward training and is now a kitchen steward at a high-end movie theater. It was perfect networking, at its best.”

Then, there was another FIT client who had recent background issues. Nevada Job Connect funded the training while the young woman was attending the FIT workshops.

Young said the stories of clients recovering from tough times are getting better all the time.

“Most times, the confidence level of those suffering has been shattered,” she said. “It’s our job to instill the confidence in people needing help. We advise those people to take advantage of the workshops and counseling that is available to most everyone.”

As is the case with those who work in social services, there is also big satisfaction in knowing that clients have re-entered the work force.

“Many people discover that re-entering the work force produces a high level of satisfaction and confidence,” Young explained. “Confidence is half the battle, and you need to be able to sell yourself in front of that potential employer.

“Our main goal is to get people back to work, no matter what the challenges.”

The Nevada unemployment rate is now about five percent after hitting an all-time high of about 14.4 percent in 2010.

“That was a frightening time,” said Young “I started with Nevada Job Connections in 2008 and the Nevada Job Connect offices were swamped with people just trying to survive.”

Lynda Parven, who is deputy administrator with the Employment Security Division, agrees that the teamwork effort is vital, if jobs are to be linked with potential employees.

“Over the years, our organizations have worked very well together to ensure that many out-of-work individuals receive training that allows them to return to work,” said Parven, who has been with the State of Nevada for 26 years. “We’re enjoying some good times now and the training opportunities are also getting better.

“We have had a close working relationship with FIT and Janet Blumen for more than 19 years,” said Parven, a 30-year resident of Las Vegas.

Ron Fletcher, Chief of Field Operations for State of Nevada Employment Security Division and affiliated with Nevada Job Connect said employment is key to so many factors as it relates to the family structure.

“It’s pretty clear that this job is all about trying to help people get employment,” analyzed Fletcher, who has worked with the state of Nevada for about 42 years. “However, it’s much bigger than employment, and it’s more than helping someone get a job.”

Fletcher explained that the stress experienced by those who are unemployed stretches to everyone in the family.

“Children in low-stress families are better students, and that’s a proven fact,” he said. “When the recession hit, it put thousands of people out of work.”

Fletcher added that employment is the key to a functional family.

“Employment ties society together,” he said. “When we help someone get a job, we’re also helping the family become more stable.”

Fletcher said he and an associate visited FIT about 20 years ago and both were impressed by the dedication they saw at the agency’s complex situated at 1931 Stella Lake Drive south of Lake Mead Drive and west of Martin Luther King Boulevard.

“The commitment was evident in both (founder and CEO) Janet (Blumen) and her staff,” Fletcher recalled. “In addition, there were expectations of those who came to Janet and her staff for help.”

Nevada JobConnect has 10 offices throughout Nevada. Further information can be found by visiting

NJC and Fit combine their talents to place those needing employment with the ideal employer.

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