The Superstar Foundation invited GuideStar to help find, recognize, and grant a $5,000 award to a case manager, social worker, or direct service staff who is a Superstar within his or her GuideStar Platinum-level organization. We'd like to congratulate this year's Superstar Award winner, Clair Watson!
Clair Watson is passionate about using data to improve her human services work and drive results. As program director of Maryland New Directions, she is constantly looking for more ways to serve people, understand needs, and provide solutions. Whether it's using zip codes to identify major areas of services in the community or working with a local college professor to develop better literacy assessment tools, Clair's use of data shapes the work that is done at Maryland New Directions.
Maryland New Directions provides comprehensive career counseling, employment assistance, and post-employment support to people who are in life or career transitions. They serve unemployed and underemployed adult men and women who are low-income residents of Baltimore City.
Our mission is to train and coach people facing career and life transitions to overcome barriers, restore self-belief, and acquire the skills and tools needed to secure employment."
—Maryland New Directions
Of the 296 people who enrolled in MND's employment training program, 86 percent completed their respective programs. As of September 30, 2016, 85 percent of MND's employed clients retained employment for at least 90 days, while 82.5 percent of graduates placed in jobs during fall 2015 have retained employment for at least 12 months.
Clair generates a monthly report detailing the amount of activity each job coach is providing to their caseload. This data ensures a fair distribution of clients and that job coaches are well matched with clients to provide the individualized services each requires. By reviewing this data with job coaches, Watson enables progress and allows performance to be openly evaluated.
I am very humbled and honored to be recognized for the work that I've done at MND. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of data because it not only allows us to understand the depth of our clients needs and align resources to those needs that may otherwise be ignored, it provides a space for us to analyze our work in a way that can steer us forward in a more strategic and thoughtful way."
With the data she collects and analyzes, Clair provides one-on-one counseling and supervision to clients and staff to help empower each job coach and inspire succesful individual outcomes.
"Recognizing high performance and using examples to inspire the field fits perfectly with our vision of the future of the nonprofit sector," said Jacob Harold, CEO of GuideStar. "We are delighted to help recognize the very best staff of organizations that have already committed to greater transparency around reporting on outcomes."