I started Grace Job Seekers NetWORK in 2004 after going through many job changes in my career. I worked for Durkee Industrial Foods here in Cleveland for 20-years as a R&D Chemist developing commercial food ingredients. Then, in 1990, our company was bought-out, sold-out and shipped-out of Cleveland, all in six months!
I was thrust into the job market for the first time since college and felt totally lost. At that time, there were few good resources for job seekers and the process was tedious, slow and very discouraging. Since then, I have been through 15 job changes in this Northeast Ohio market and became a master at the entire job search process, learning what works and what doesn’t work from mistakes I made along the way. I have experienced every form of job loss you can imagine, including multiple lay-offs, quitting a job because of a tyrannical owner, and getting fired for something I didn’t do. My family also experienced severe financial distress during my job changes. We almost lost our house several times because we could not make the mortgage payments. All of this while raising three boys who experienced a dad who was always looking for a new job; but through it all God was faithful to take care of us!
In 2004, I was sitting in church and thanking God for getting hired at my most recent job and for taking care of our family through all the changes. He clearly spoke to me in His still, small voice saying “why don’t you give back what you know?” That voice never stopped and I went to our Senior Pastor at Grace Church in Middleburg Heights to see if they had a job seekers group. He said “No, do you want to start one?” That was the beginning of this long journey of serving God through serving people navigating job transition, and all the challenges that come with it.
In 2008, I was introduced to Brian Ray, Founder and CEO of Crossroads Career Network, a faith-based web and small group program designed to help anyone in transition HEAR GOD’S CALLING for their work and to walk in the work He has created for all of us. In 2009, Brian facilitated a day-long event for 125 job seekers at Grace Church and from that, we formally launched the Crossroads Career program for our group. Many years later, we are still dedicated to teaching the Crossroads principles and the excellent tools and Biblical support it gives our members!
What sets our ministry apart from other job search support groups is our focus on what God is saying to us about our work and His incredible love for each of us.
We see how He guides us to work in the gifts He has uniquely given us so we can serve others and as a result give Him all the Glory, all while He faithfully takes care of our needs!
He gave me this Vision for our group:
“To help you find the RIGHT JOB in the RIGHT PLACE and at the RIGHT TIME because you are FIRST – RIGHT WITH GOD!”
Our Purpose Statement is very similar:
“To Provide the Skills, Encouragement and Christ-centered Spiritual Support for the Job Seeker in Today’s Market”
This team and I are passionate about teaching job search best practices, and serving good people in transition to help them find good jobs.
We welcome you to come join us on this incredible journey of God’s Grace!
In His Service,
Founder, Director of Grace Job Seekers NetWORK
Jim is assisted by a team of passionate and dedicated volunteers that help make this a great job seekers group and helps to keep things running smoothly. We are looking forward to meeting you!
Meet The Team
Fred helps with registration, ministry prayer support and assists Jim with group presentations and activities.
The outpouring of love and energy is evident in the leadership of this group, and we're confident that the ministry is making a difference in the lives of so many here at Grace and in our surrounding communities. We're grateful for Jim and his ministry and for his example as he so willingly serves.
I am so encouraged to hear Of the numerous ways that Jim and his team work together and tangibly seek to meet the needs of so many in our community who have found themselves either unemployed or under employed. Only eternity will give evidence of the countless lives that have been touched as a result.
Thanks for choosing to make a difference in Jesus name. God bless our job seekers on their journey!
- Jonathan Schaeffer, Senior Pastor, Grace Church
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” - Jeremiah 29: 11-13