TAP Books at Work in the Community

Today it seems like even entry-level jobs require some form of work experience. It’s a Catch-22: you won’t be hired without experience, but you can’t gain experience without being hired. Marquayna Hamm lived that journey. She went from working at a job that didn’t inspire her to landing a job at Roanoke Memorial Hospital—and she did it with the help of TAP Books.

Marquayna always wanted a job that helps people, and she knew she needed to build her résumé. While searching online, she came across a job posting for TAP Books. It seemed like a win-win. She would get work experience toward her career goals and help support TAP’s programs in the process.

Beyond our mission

TAP Books is a social enterprise that opened in 2018. Staff scan, file, and warehouse donated books in order to sell them online to generate profit. This financially supports other TAP programs. Its mission extends beyond simply generating financial support—according to Ben Wilborn, the program’s coordinator, it’s also about providing reliable work to encourage growth in job skills.  Staff contribute to the business in a variety of ways. With an open mind and an “outside-the-box” mentality, they have the chance to strengthen the program, gain valuable work experience, build their résumés, and the opportunity to convert their skills into something of greater value. That’s exactly what Marquayna did.

A typical week as a TAP Books employee

In a typical week, Marquayna helped in all aspects of the business: accepting donations, scanning, organizing, shelving, and shipping books to buyers. In the process she learned both hard and soft skills, gaining computer experience, researching, mastering the software, and learning work communication with customers, donors, and colleagues. “Her consistency is the biggest attribute that she brings,” says Ben. “She is always happy and brings a positive outlook. I have been happy to work with her.”

New beginnings

Today in her new position at the hospital, equipped with experience from TAP Books, she has a job in which she gets to help people get healthy. Ben says he’s proud that Marquayna is moving forward in her growing career. “She has worked to develop an A+ résumé,” Ben says, “and secured a new job because of her efforts.”

To find out more about how to donate, volunteer, or work at TAP Books, go to www.tapintohope.org/books.