Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of February 29, 2016

Weekly Roundup of the news on women and supportive services in job training programs.

By Rachel Linn

Job training can provide an entry into family-sustaining jobs and careers. Many women in job training programs, however, face obstacles to success. Wraparound services—such as child care assistance, access to public benefits, and transportation or housing assistance—can help adults, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, to complete programs that will ultimately improve their economic standing. 


March 2, 2016

New Hampshire Union Leader: Hassan’s work program could cost up to $100m over 5 years

“Through Gateway to Work, we will strengthen job training, create new apprenticeship opportunities, help remove the barriers that cause too many of our citizens to fail in the workplace and help our young people get a leg up on their futures,” Hassan said while promoting the proposal Wednesday at Manchester Community College.

The plan would provide funds for workers to pay for child care and transportation as well as pay the employee’s salary for six weeks. It also would provide for expanded in-home visitation to work with more at-risk parents and help them enter and stay in the workforce, Hassan said.

“What we saw from our experiences is so many folks that we had hired that we thought would be good workers were failing because of personal barriers, not because of aptitude,” Sullivan said. Many workers faced issues over getting to work or caring for children, he said.

February 26, 2016

York Daily Record: “Pathway of Hope” to help impoverished families

A nationwide effort to help families become self-sufficient and overcome the cycle of poverty is now being offered at The Salvation Army of York.

It’s called the “Pathway of Hope,” and it’s intended to help families overcome barriers that keep them in crisis, said Mindy McCormick, regional coordinator. It could be the lack of job training or difficulty finding affordable child care to work in the evening, for example.

Case workers will work with the families to develop steps to reach their goals, she said. Families will spend 6 months to two years in the program.

February 26, 2016

Banner-Press: Grant boosts youth initiative

According to Nation, the greatest barrier for unconnected youth in Southeast Nebraska is the lack of living wage jobs. Other closely related barriers include the lack of affordable, high-quality child care, housing, public transportation and health care.

BVCA will provide youth assessments, Central Access Navigation, case management, mentoring, financial literacy training, help saving for a vehicle to alleviate transportation needs, RentWise classes, referrals into Head Start for child care, housing assistance and educational/job training referrals. BVCA will also oversee the creation of youth councils to provide input into the services and processes.

February 21, 2016

The Gazette: Good pay may be way to attract more women into construction field

Work in the construction industry often is seen as tough, grueling and dirty. But once the dust has settled, it can offer opportunities and good pay.

But the construction industry still is trying to rebuild its workforce after the recession and as baby boomers retire. Some say now is a good time for more women to pick up the tool belt.

“There’s a great opportunity for women in the industry, it is a great time for them to get in,” said Chad Kleppe, president of Master Builders of Iowa, a construction association. “Construction is in drastic need for workers and it is a perfect time to consider. Employers are willing to train and work with candidates to work them into what they need. It is very advantageous.”

February 13, 2016

Trib Live: Women struggle to escape unemployment, study finds

Unemployed women older than 50 have had a particularly difficult time getting back into the workforce since the recession ended in 2009, despite an improving labor market and unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.

The impact on older women can be especially harsh because they are less likely to have pension balances that would support them, experts say. Unemployment benefits generally provide half a person’s weekly wages and run out after 26 weeks.

More likely are the family considerations that attend decisions to work.

“I think that could be a big factor,” Monge-Naranjo said. “Firms like to hire people that they are a little more certain about the prospects … and traditionally, it has been the case that women are the ones taking time off.”

 

 

Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of February 8, 2016

Weekly Roundup of the news on women and supportive services in job training programs.

By Rachel Linn

Job training can provide an entry into family-sustaining jobs and careers. Many women in job training programs, however, face obstacles to success. Wraparound services—such as child care assistance, access to public benefits, and transportation or housing assistance—can help adults, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, to complete programs that will ultimately improve their economic standing. 


February 12, 2016

Mid Hudson News (New York): Seven women first to enter carpenters’ union apprenticeship program

Seven young women are the first to enter the pre-apprenticeship program sponsored by the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters and the Sisters in the Brotherhood

Rahinee Valverde, 25, of New Rochelle is a single mom with two children who joined the program. Her 7-year-old son was thrilled with his mother’s new career. “He can’t wait for me to bring the tools home and play with them,” Valverde said. “He’s really excited. He’s never heard of women carpenters so I first told him, he was shocked. Now he’s really excited.”

February 9, 2016

MarketWatch: White House proposes $2 billion to increase apprenticeships

Cary James spent four years getting a degree in mechanical engineering from Boston University. But after a few years of working in her field, she quit and became an electrician apprentice.

The Obama administration Tuesday proposed a $2 billion Apprenticeship Training Fund as part of its 2017 budget proposal to fulfill the president’s 2014 pledge to double the number of apprentices in the United States before he leaves office. While common in Europe, apprenticeship has yet to catch on in the United States. Last year, less than one-half of 1% of the U.S. workforce was in an apprenticeship program, the Labor Department said.

February 7, 2016

Globe Gazette (Iowa): Women learn to operate construction equipment through simulators in Mason City

Iowa Workforce Development, IowaWORKS and Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo are using a $75,000 Walmart Foundation grant to introduce low-income Iowa women to jobs in construction.

The grant covers the costs of bringing a specialized Hawkeye Community College trailer equipped with six construction simulators and a welding simulator, along with an instructor, to each of the state’s 15 IowaWORKS offices in 2016.

Construction is the second-highest-paying industry for men engaged in the Promise Jobs program, which provides work and training services to Family Investment Program participants. However, women represent only 2.3 percent of those holding construction jobs. Data also indicates construction is an industry showing growth in projected openings and wages.

Also in The Daily NonPareil: Women can explore construction field with equipment simulator

 

Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of February 1, 2016

Weekly Roundup of the news on women and supportive services in job training programs.

By Rachel Linn

Job training can provide an entry into family-sustaining jobs and careers. Many women in job training programs, however, face obstacles to success. Wraparound services—such as child care assistance, access to public benefits, and transportation or housing assistance—can help adults, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, to complete programs that will ultimately improve their economic standing. 


February 1, 2016

WCPO Cincinnati: What’s old is new again: Apprenticeships for manufacturing jobs help fill big workforce gap

Bullock, 37, pivoted to a career path that offers much better pay than waiting tables and one that’s hungry for skilled workers: machine tool operating. The industry is thriving in Greater Cincinnati to the point that prospective workers can be trained in a year or less without the need for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree for entry-level jobs that can pay $20 an hour or more.

January 30, 2016

Providence Journal: John Kostrzewa: R.I.’s cities need most help closing job-skills gap

“Working women of color have a different experience with the labor market than women as a whole,” she said. “Policymakers should address workforce development programs that target these populations.”

Jordan-Zachery’s report said that job-training programs that have reached women of color in cities tend to focus on low-skill jobs that don’t pay enough to support a family.

She also said the programs do not recognize the geographical “spatial mismatch,” explaining that while the women live in the central cities, the jobs they are being trained for are in the suburbs and they often have few transportation options to get there.

Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of January 26, 2016

Weekly Roundup of the news on women and supportive services in job training programs.

By Rachel Linn

Job training can provide an entry into family-sustaining jobs and careers. Many women in job training programs, however, face obstacles to success. Wraparound services—such as child care assistance, access to public benefits, and transportation or housing assistance—can help adults, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, to complete programs that will ultimately improve their economic standing. 


 

January 27, 2016

PBS NewsHour: The only girl in school to spark an interest in welding

“The bigger picture is, why aren’t there more women going into welding or why aren’t there more women going into manufacturing,” said Rude. “From day one, women are fed the story of pink and princess,” she added. “It’s definitely a false representation of individuality.”

Watch more stories of students challenging gender stereotypes, part of our series called Outside the Box.

January 27, 2016

Lowell Sun (MA): Task force tackling underemployment

At a meeting of the governor’s Task Force on Persons Facing Chronically Higher Rates of Unemployment on Monday, Baker announced that his administration would invest $5 million of his fiscal 2017 budget into targeting chronically high unemployment. The breakdown of those funds will include $2 million to create an Economic Opportunity Fund, for investing in community-based organizations who partner with businesses to offer job training and hiring opportunities for people who face employment barriers…

Gregg Croteau, UTEC’s executive director, who was appointed to the task force when it was formed last March, told The Sun on Tuesday that his organization is “really optimistic” that Baker’s budget will include funding for helping people re-entering society after incarceration. “This Economic Opportunity Fund is really well-crafted in the sense that it also recognizes there’s a need for the supportive services as well,” Croteau said, including child care, transportation and help with substance-abuse issues.

January 26, 2016

Education Week (blog): Workforce Training Programs Should Consider Equity, Acting Ed. Secretary Says

States, communities, school districts, non-profits, and the federal government need to make sure equity is the watchword for implementation of the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act. That was the message John B. King Jr., the acting U.S. Secretary of Education, delivered Tuesday to the Workforce Opportunity and Investment Act national convening, a conference of 700 state leaders and other organizations working to implement the new law.

King is hoping that job training facilities, community colleges, and adult-education providers will think about the needs of English-language learners, minority students, low-income students, students with disabilities parents, and other “nontraditional” students as they implement WIOA, which generally governors job training programs.

He urged job training programs, post-secondary institutions, and other adult education providers to think about potential barriers students might face in completing their training or degree, such as lack of access to child care or transportation.

January 22, 2016

EvoLLLution (an online newspaper on higher education): Community Colleges and the New Workforce Development Ecosystem

By Darlene Miller, Executive Director, National Council for Workforce Education

Finally, to address the personal barriers and challenges faced by so many students, community colleges must improve their partnerships with local community-based organizations. Nonprofits are well-equipped to provide case management and strong support systems to help students overcome barriers and challenges. Through high-quality education programming, providing a range of academic and non-academic support services, and employer engagement strategies to ensure the partnership meets the demands of local industries, these types of partnerships are able to leverage institutional capacities and resources to ensure student success

January 21, 2016

Duluth News Tribune: Program aims to help people land better-paying jobs

The program has been dubbed Connect Forward, and it will build on five years of work at a Financial Opportunity Center operated by Community Action Duluth and funded primarily by $885,000 already funneled through LISC, to date.

Miller pledged that her organization will assist 150 people through the program in the coming year. She said Community Action provides accessible evening classes twice a week, with coaching, child care and food available on site.

Marissa Jackson came to Community Action Duluth in March 2014 as a young single parent living in her parents’ home. She said staff members helped her create a budget and locate affordable housing, but employment difficulties have been difficult to overcome.

“Finding a job for a single mom is hard, especially when you don’t have child care support,” she said. “Jobs in my field, which is working as a personal care assistant, can be challenging because they often involve working nights and weekends.”

January 21, 2016

Industry Week: Leadership Lab Gives Women in Manufacturing a Boost

The national trade group Women in Manufacturing, along with Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, today announced the creation of a Leadership Lab for Women in Manufacturing. The training program will provide executive education and training to its members in mid- to high-level management roles in manufacturing careers.

January 20, 2016

Costal Courier: Georgia missing a chance to strengthen its workforce

By Melissa Johnson, a policy analyst for the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

While most adults who rely on cash and food assistance in Georgia lack any education beyond high school, not enough of the state’s workers are trained for so-called middle-skill jobs. Middle-skill jobs require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree.

A new Georgia Budget and Policy Institute report shows how the state could better leverage the potential of safety net programs Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) to build a more skilled workforce. Using these initiatives to educate Georgians with low incomes would have long-term benefits for the state.

Why paid leave in DC would be more affordable than you think

by Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D.

At a hearing on January 14, the D.C. City Council heard from a number of researchers who testified about the estimated cost of implementing the proposed Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015. By allowing up to 16 weeks of paid leave, D.C.’s proposal is very generous—by U.S. standards—and has attracted national attention. The researchers’ cost estimates ranged from $281 million to upwards from $1 billion annually.  Why such a large range? As is often the case with economic analysis, the devil is in the details, or more specifically, the assumptions.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) estimated the cost would be at the low end, $280.8 million, affordable enough to be covered by less than one percent of payroll. IWPR’s testimony was based on an economic model that has been developed across 15 years and is the only estimate presented to the D.C. Council that relies on the best available data on who takes leave and for how long.

The higher estimates from the other researchers—who have expertise on taxes and regional business,  not paid leave—fail to take age, gender, and income sufficiently into account. As a result, they assume that many more workers would take leave and would take substantially more leave under the DC program than they do now. These are not reasonable assumptions.

First, let’s consider who will take leave through the public program. Almost every employee at some point in his or her work life experiences an extended own illnesses, the serious illness of a loved one, or the birth or adoption of a child, but typically not all in the same year and certainly not every year. In a single year, about 11 percent of District workers take some form of leave. Around two-thirds of leaves currently taken in DC are for one’s own illness; one in four leaves are to care for other family members; and, perhaps surprisingly, the lowest share of leaves taken (13 percent) are maternity and bonding leaves. We estimate the number of these leaves will increase under the Council’s program, but not drastically.

The proposed DC bill provides full wage replacement for workers earning less than $52,000 per year, and partial wage replacement for higher earners. Importantly, nearly half of DC workers have earnings over $52,000 and would receive less than full wage replacement; they may look to their employers, not the program, for the full wage replacement to which they have become accustomed.

Next, researchers must make a reasonable assumption for how long worker leaves will be under the new program. IWPR’s model predicts a moderate increase in the length of leave—from 3 weeks to 4 weeks at the median—again, not a drastic increase. Half of workers taking leave would be expected to take 4 weeks or less.

While the proposed bill increases access to paid leave, especially to low-wage and part-time workers, job protection for taking leave would still not cover those employed by smaller establishments with fewer than 20 employees. Rhode Island, which recently implemented paid leave, found that over 40 percent of leave takers said they would not have used the program were it not for the job protection, indicating how highly workers value the right to return to their jobs.

There are many other reasons for workers not to take the full leaves for which they are eligible, including the reluctance to fall behind at work and the desire to advance in their career. Research on paid sick days has shown that, even when workers report that they have paid sick days, the typical worker misses only two days of work in a given year.

The final assumption to consider is crucial: what will men do when offered paid leave? Men are half of the city’s potential leave-taking workforce. If men are offered greater access to paid leave, will they take it—and take the full amount—to bond with a new child or to care for a sick relative? In the first ten years of California’s paid family leave program, men’s proportion of leaves taken for family reasons climbed from 17 percent in 2005 to 30 percent in 2013. In Norway, where leave is nearly fully paid and taking leave is less stigmatized, only 21 percent of fathers took the maximum that was available to them in 2012.

Perhaps one of the most unrealistic assumptions made when estimating the costs of paid leave is that we live in a world where men are equally as likely as women to take leave for caregiving. By guaranteeing paid leave for all workers, we may get there one day.

Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., is the president and founder of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a DC-based think tank. She is an economist and received a MacArthur Fellowship for her work on women in the workforce.

Examining the Intersections Between Gender, Urbanization, and Democratic Governance

By Haley Nolan and Lindsey Reichlin

With two-thirds of the world’s population predicted to live in urban areas by the year 2050, the global landscape is changing rapidly. Reviewing existing literature and data across a range of fields, authors Lindsey Reichlin, IWPR Research Associate and Program Manager, and Elyse Shaw, IWPR Research Associate, examined the experiences of women in urban settings in Gender, Urbanization, and Democratic Governance, a white paper commissioned by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and released in June 2015. The paper, which incorporates feedback from an expert roundtable of former policymakers, development practitioners, academics, and researchers, explores the gendered experiences of city inhabitants and discusses how increasing women’s voice and agency in urban governance, policymaking, and planning can help distribute the benefits of urban living more equitably.

IWPR’s research found that urbanization, while associated with increased access to social, economic, and political opportunities, is also characterized by persistent gender norms and lacking social infrastructure to support women’s needs. Urban women face distinct challenges from those faced by their male counterparts, including unequal access to education, vulnerability to gender-based violence, deficient labor and legal protections, constrained urban mobility, and a division of labor which holds women responsible for the majority of unpaid domestic work and family care. These challenges contribute to the persistent exclusion of women from urban decision-making processes and political inner circles.

The white paper emphasizes the importance of increasing women’s representation in urban decision making, highlighting the utility of mechanisms such as labor unions,
grassroots women’s movements, digital technologies and social media, voter engagement, and gender quotas for bringing women’s issues and women’s voices into the spotlight. The paper also highlights the need for improved and expanded sex-disaggregated data that can better inform city development.

Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of January 11, 2016

Weekly Roundup of the news on women and supportive services in job training programs.

By Rachel Linn

Job training can provide an entry into family-sustaining jobs and careers. Many women in job training programs, however, face obstacles to success. Wraparound services—such as child care assistance, access to public benefits, and transportation or housing assistance—can help adults, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, to complete programs that will ultimately improve their economic standing. 


January 15, 2016

Industry Week: Lifting Families Out of Poverty and Into Advanced Manufacturing Careers (By Dr. Anne M. Kress, President, Monroe Community College, Rochester, N.Y.)

ACCESS: Whether it’s owning a car or paying bus fares, transportation is a significant cost to families that are already struggling to make ends meet. Similarly, the cost of child care may prevent a single parent from pursuing a college education. And individuals who are holding down jobs while going to college might not have enough time to get from work to class.

To remove these barriers, MCC offers training programs in city neighborhoods. We have partnered with community groups such as the Ibero-American Action League, a dual-language human services agency that serves Hispanic residents, to offer educational opportunities right in the communities that would benefit from them most.

To help with child care, we partner with community providers to provide services and have secured state grants to offset costs for students.

January 9, 2016

The Auburn Citizen (Auburn, NY): Palmer: How Employment Pathways helps Cayuga County-area people in poverty find jobs

Employment Pathways is a new program administered by Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency and located at Cayuga Community College Cayuga Works Career Center.

The agency has partnered with the Cayuga County Department of Social Services, Cayuga Works Career Center, Cayuga Community College, Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES and several local employers, including TRW Automotive, to address barriers to obtaining and/or retaining employment within our community. Some of the barriers include education, training and/or soft skills deficits, unreliable or no transportation, child care and housing issues, and the shortage of living wage jobs. This collaborative effort engages public, private and nonprofit sectors to connect people in poverty with the community resources necessary to travel the pathway to economic stability.