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2 min read

How UGM Does On-the-Job Training

Work is a huge piece of recovery. Just participating in constructive activities in a team is a valuable growth opportunity, especially for people who have been isolated and disconnected from the workforce for a long time. Plus, of course, there's the satisfaction of a job well done and earning a living!

Here's an important tool UGM shelters use to help people on their journey back to work. 


By Marsha Reese, Vocational Advancement director at the Coeur d’Alene Center for Women and Children

No, the residents at the Union Gospel Mission are not playing video games!  PADMAN is an acronym of desired workplace behaviors that is taught in UGM’s LIFE Recovery and Employment Ready Programs.

From the beginning of the residents’ time at our facilities, Work Therapy is an integral part of their programs. Their time at UGM is an opportunity to review or gain workplace skills, to practice the behaviors that will help them to get a job and to earn a promotion, to investigate various career fields, and to gain confidence.

Work therapy includes the PADMAN tool for building positive workplace behaviors.This picture shows a general meeting at the Center for Women and Children where PADMAN is being discussed and goals are being set in the various Work Therapy teams.

The PADMAN model is taken from the WorkNet curriculum, created by the WorkNet Solutions company, and it is designed to help with career development and job placement for people with barriers. PADMAN represents what employers are looking for:

Presentation – What are you communicating with your clothing, hygiene, posture, eye contact, etc.?

Ability – Are you teachable?

Dependability – Can you be counted on to do what you say?

Motivation – How well do you work without being watched or pushed?

Attitude – What are your words, tone, and body language saying?

Networking – What kind of relationships are you building in the work arena?

PADMAN provides a framework for Work Therapy supervisors and Vocational Education staff to teach the residents about employer expectations, to set personal goals to improve workplace behaviors, and to coach the residents. Since PADMAN is taught throughout their stay, supervisors and residents alike can communicate clearly and are familiar with the expectations.

Work therapy is designed to help learn skills that will benefit them in the workplace.

Residents and supervisors meet regularly to review progress and to set individual goals in each of the six PADMAN categories. For example, if a person was frequently late for her shifts in the past but has been on time for the past two weeks, she can be recognized for improved Dependability. If she’s slipped into lazy habits at work, her supervisor or counselor might help her figure out why she seems to be struggling with Motivation. 

Job training starts with work assignments at UGM.

Helping our residents to become “God-dependent, contributing members of society” is key to everything we do at the Union Gospel Mission.  When finding purpose and satisfaction in their God-given mandate to work, people are more stable in their recovery and identity, which obviously affects their family stability as well.

PADMAN is one way your partnership with UGM helps people on a sustainable pathway out of homelessness.


If you're a business owner, manager or supervisor, you can help the homeless get back to work in a way that's mutually beneficial. Click below to learn more about UGM Business Partnership.

Click here to get more info on becoming a UGM Business Partner. >

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