Sozo Trading Co. partners with WE Inc. to provide job training for young adults

Sozo Trading Company sign on wall
Photo via Sozo Trading Co.’s website

Avondale-based Sozo Trading Co. has partnered with Workshops Empowerment, Inc (WE Inc.) to provide on the job training for local area high school students with disabilities. Keep reading for more information!

About the nonprofits

Three students sit down and pose at Sozo Trading Company
Three students of JET Program from WE Inc. posing at Sozo Trading Co.

“We were thrilled at the opportunity to collaborate with another nonprofit in Birmingham. We have enjoyed partnering with Workshops and hope the experience has given the workers a boost of confidence along with some work experience that will help them in their careers.”

Caitlin Owens, Manager of Sozo Trading Co. from press release

Sozo Children

Sozo Trading Co. is an upscale thrift store that benefits the ministry Sozo Children. The ministry was founded in 2010 to immediately serve the needs of 17 children from in Uganda. In response to this crisis, they created a new family-style home with the help of the Ugandan government.

Currently, Sozo Children provides care for more than 120 children. A team of Ugandan caregivers nurture the children so that they are equipped with proper nutrition, healthcare, spiritual development and life skills to impact positive change in their communities.

Fun fact: “Sozo” is a Greek word that means to save, keeps safe and to rescue from harm.

Workshops Empowerment Inc.

Since starting in 1900, WE Inc. has helped people with disabilities prepare for and find employment. The people they serve have a range of disabilities, including intellectual, mental health and physical disabilities.

The participants in the program all have one thing in common — they want the opportunity to work. Over 300 local companies rely on WE Inc. for business solutions that include assembly, packaging, mailing, order fulfillment and other outsourcing needs.

Both of the nonprofits are in Avondale. They serve the Greater Birmingham area.

“Workshops Empowerment Inc. is thankful for the opportunity to work with Sozo Trading Co. We have a mutually beneficial relationship in which WE Inc. summer program participants — all high school students with disabilities — gain valuable work experience and Sozo benefits from having six additional workers in their store.”

Susan Crow, Executive Director of WE Inc. from press release

What is JET?

Three students stock and work the floor of Sozo Trading Company.
Three students work at Sozo Trading Co. as part of JET Program with WE Inc.

WE Inc. offers a Summer Job Exploration Training (JET) every year to high school students with disabilities. The program allows students to experience different jobs. JET offers a job prep course that helps to gain skills that will prepare students for careers in the future.

There are students currently working at Sozo Trading Co. as part of the JET program. They work in the stores to learn how they operate. Their jobs include putting products on the floor, working on donations and anything else the store needs to run. As part of working with Sozo Children, students are learning how the ministry works with Sozo.

How can you help?

Each purchase made at Sozo Trading Co. goes to Sozo Children. You can donate directly here.

Drop by and take a look at their inventory.

  • Location: 4 41st St S, Birmingham, AL 35222.
  • Hours: 9AM — 6PM

WE Inc. is always accepting donations.

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Josh Pleasants
Josh Pleasants
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