Mike Bass Life Trax

Quala’s second-chance initiative builds life skills

April 3, 2023
Inaugural class of 10 employees in the LifeTrax program range from corporate employees to tank wash technicians

When you hear “Second Chance Program” what do you think of? Chances are your mind goes to those looking to restart their life after prison or struggling with drug addiction.

But those aren’t the only people LifeTrax, Quala’s Second Chance Program, is serving in its inaugural class of 10 employees.

“We have people recovering from substance abuse, people dealing with divorce, people who just want to improve their skills. We help anyone who needs it,” said Michael Bass, director of Quala’s environmental health and safety department and LifeTrax mentor.

From corporate employees to tank wash technicians, the first round of classes truly included participants from all walks of life. Mentors from many different backgrounds taught classes and were matched with mentees to guide through the LifeTrax process.

Corporate office executives also jumped in to lend their support to the program. According to Bass, this inaugural class was as enthusiastic as it was diverse, creating an interactive class environment that benefited everyone involved.

What is LifeTrax?

LifeTrax is an all-digital program to make it more accessible to busy employees. It’s a hybrid of weekly virtual class time and self-guided learning on Quala’s internal education platform. All class time is paid.

But just because it’s digital doesn’t mean LifeTrax is impersonal. In fact, it’s quite the opposite because of the one-on-one mentorship provided to the participants. Bass prides the program on the deep relationships mentorship creates, encouraging full communication and transparency between participants and their assigned mentors.

“We want to build a relationship that lasts past the class,” Bass said. Mentors stay in touch with participants on a daily basis—not just during class time. This is to make sure they keep up with the remote work but also to provide ongoing support and structure.

Beyond the relational element, there are also concrete skills being taught. The participants learn a variety of topics, including personal finance, investing, maintaining healthy relationships, and goal setting.

At the end of the course, participants receive a certificate of completion, a whole new set of skills, and the opportunity to become mentors themselves. But perhaps even more importantly, they’ll leave LifeTrax knowing they have the ongoing support of their classmates, their mentors, and their company.

“This program goes much deeper than just being able to manage your finances,” said one recent LifeTrax participant. “It made me reevaluate how I manage failure and see success.”

What’s next for LifeTrax?

After this first round of classes, Bass and his fellow mentors are leaning into the self-guided learning aspect to make sure the course is more accessible to busy employees.

“We had one student who wasn’t calling in,” Bass recalled. He was worried this student wouldn’t receive the full benefits of LifeTrax and could even drop out.

But the mentors refused to give up, keeping the employee in the loop and offering alternative ways to participate, which worked better with the participant’s schedule. Today, that employee is graduating the program with flying colors.

Learning from that experience, the mentors are looking to add more accommodations for employees who are busy during class time to their next round of classes. They will also be adding IT topics such as computer skills and cybersecurity to their curriculum.

And there will be many more changes to come as the program evolves.

“We’re extremely proud to offer LifeTrax to our employees,” Bass said. “As a people-driven company, we recognize that every one of our employees deserves the chance to succeed, no matter their background.”

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BT staff