Prince George's CountyWilliam J. Ford

Training Source Celebrates 25 Years in Prince George’s

Prince George’s County and District residents who needed career counseling, social services and other professional skills more than likely received assistance from The Training Source Inc.

The nonprofit organization will celebrate 25 years in Prince George’s during an anniversary dinner and auction Nov. 1 at the Metro Points Hotel in New Carrollton. In addition, it’s one of the longest running Black-owned nonprofit companies in the county.

“We want to help as many as we can,” said E. Kim Rhim, founder and executive director of Training Source, “We are all in the community for the community. If we don’t do something, we can almost always connect somebody to work the services they need.”

The organization’s primary focus is workforce development to help more than 1,000 people a year.

The company offers 300 hours, or six months, of training and job placement assistance in fields such as hospitality and health care. The training allows clients to become certified in a particular area such as a front desk specialist or nursing assistant.

Clients with limited income can receive clothing to wear to job interviews.

Rhim said staff will monitor those who received jobs for another six months “to make sure they stay employed.”

The organization participates in conferences and provides workforce and customer service training for employers such as the Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission.

“We found [Rhim] to do valuable training for our employees,” said Caroline White, manager for talent development at WSSC. “She’s been timely and creative with her training.”

Because of the company’s location in Seat Pleasant bordering the District, residents primarily in Wards 7 and 8 can make an appointment to receive money for food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Training Source also manages a youth leadership program for high school students in 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Ten students in each group stay with a cohort and must receive at least two recommendations from a teacher, principal, guidance counselor or coach.

Khim said about 90 percent of the students graduate high school on time and attend a four-year college or university. One aspect the nonprofit looks to improve is funding to institute a follow-up initiative for those students through their higher education career.

“They do keep in touch, but I want to make sure they are all doing fine and track them throughout college,” she said. “They are the future leaders of America.”

Rhim started the company after she left IBM in October 1993, seven months before the technology giant laid off hundreds of thousands of people in one day in March 1994.

Through the 10 years commuting from her home in Mitchellville to Bethesda, she obtained knowledge in system engineering, proposal writing and a project manager to help oversee an $8 million project.

Training Source received platinum status for its transparency to report its finances, outline of programs and other information with GuideStar, an online information database on millions of nonprofit and charity groups. Training Source makes claim less than 1 percent of nonprofits nationwide garner platinum status.

“The Training Source represents excellence in the nonprofit sector,” County Executive Rushern L. Baker III said in a statement. “It is an honor to salute the outstanding contributions that the organization provides to our community.”

For more information, go to thetrainingsource.org.

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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