Getting, Giving, and Growing Hope | Hear From the Leaders Behind Repowered’s Work Readiness Program

Amanda at St. Paul wirecutting party

As we wrap up our We Are Repowered campaign, we wanted to share a bit more about the Work Readiness Program from the perspective of the leaders on our team who work to create the structure and system of support that powers our social mission forward. 

We sat down with Tim Dorway, Work Readiness Program Manager, Kelly Woods, Work Readiness Coach, and Amanda LaGrange, CEO, to further discuss the Work Readiness Program as well as their specific roles and responsibilities within the program. 

Tim, Kelly, and members of our Work Readiness Program at Small Sums

We kicked off our conversations by sitting down with Tim, a warm and vivacious person with a knack for making people laugh. 

Tim came to Repowered after 40 months in the Minnesota Corrections System. He shared, “I am blessed to work and reintegrate in a healthy and productive way with the men and women that I serve each and every day through the Work Readiness Program at Repowered.” 

Tim continued to explain the program structure: 

Our Work Readiness Program focuses on three main goals: getting hope, growing hope, and living hope. The program is roughly 18 months long and is broken into three phases centering around hope. Within the first 90 days, our initial goal is to help remove barriers for a successful reintegration, focused on stability: housing, transportation, and employment. 

Our second goal is to grow hope by increasing earning capacity. This is done by providing Work Readiness Employees with the opportunity to earn digital literacy certifications, on-the-job training, and industry-recognized certifications. 

Finally, we grow into living hope by increasing self-efficacy and confidence. This is supported by employee assistance plans, mental health services, celebrating sobriety milestones, and so much more. 

Tim Dorway and his Bernedoodle Poppy

Tim and Poppy

We asked Tim where he finds joy outside of work, and he shared, “I love being with my wife, children, and Poppy (his adorable Bernedoodle)! I also enjoy experimenting with my grill and smoker. And, blues music…I love listening to blues music.” 

We continued our conversation around the Work Readiness Program with Kelly Woods, Work Readiness Coach at Repowered. 

Kelly has a heart of gold! In his own words, Kelly is the “go-to resource guy” for our Work Readiness Employees. If you need a resource for transportation, housing, or any barriers you may face in the process of reintegration, Kelly is on your team!  

Kelly started out by saying, “We rebranded ourselves as Repowered because our goal is to help people repower themselves!” 

He noted the alignment and synergy between Repowered’s mission to repair and find value in unwanted electronics and rediscovering the value in people that society often deems as unwanted. 

Our short and sweet conversation came to a close with Kelly expressing, “I love the transformations that I see everyday at Repowered.” 

Kelly Woods headshot

Kelly Woods

For our final conversation, we sat down with Repowered CEO, Amanda LaGrange. Amanda is an introvert at heart, but this doesn’t stop her from passionately spreading the word about Repowered’s impact-driven work! If you know Amanda, you know she is witty and smart, and carries a warmth that fills the room. Her compassion and dedication to inclusivity are obvious the moment you meet her. 

At the beginning of our conversation, Amanda shared, “We believe that no one should be judged by their worst day, worst moment, or worst decision. We believe that all of us are defined by our futures.” 

This quote really sums up the empathy and compassion that Repowered’s leadership team has for all the incredible humans at Repowered, but especially for those in the Work Readiness Program. A strong support system was something that came up in almost every conversation we had over the last couple of months as we connected with different members of our team for this year-end highlight. That strong support system is a key ingredient to the success of our team and the hope that endures every day. 

Amanda Lagrange, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, and others at our 2019 Wirecutting event

Amanda LaGrange, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, and Repowered crew at our 2019 “wirecutting” event.

We hope you enjoyed following along with us for our We Are Repowered campaign as we took a journey through our warehouse, sharing the stories of the incredible humans working behind the scenes – each of them providing a unique perspective and skills that help power us forward! 

To conclude, I’d like to share a quote from Amanda: “When we think about our shared humanity and the interconnectedness that we all have –  it’s a no-brainer to support an organization like Repowered.” 

Donate today and help us continue to get, give, and grow hope. 

Following along for our We Are Repowered Series? Here are the stories we’ve shared: 

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