Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of June 13, 2016

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

By Asha DuMonthier

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.


June 15, 2016

CT Post: Federal grant aimed at helping workers with child-care needs

The WorkPlace has received a more than $3.4 million federal grant for a new initiative that will help parents trying to advance their careers to overcome their child-care barriers. The Bridgeport-based organization, which serves southwestern Connecticut, will use the U.S. Department of Labor funds to create a four-year “Strengthening Working Families” initiative.

[…]  The gap in this case is the difficulty finding child-care services for people trying to pursue career or educational advancement opportunities. “It’s to look at folks where family obligations serve as a barrier to pursuing opportunities that can lead to a career, a good job or better wages,” Carbone said. “It’s a terrible choice to have to make.”

June 14, 2016

The Commercial Appeal: Memphis Bioworks lands $4 million training grant for parents

Unemployed and underemployed parents in four Memphis-area counties in Tennessee will get short-term job training, coaching, placement, childcare and transportation support with a nearly $4 million federal grant announced today. The Memphis Bioworks Foundation will manage the grant, one of 14 totaling more than $54 million from the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Strengthening Working Families Initiative.” The grant targets parents in Shelby, Fayette, Tipton and Lauderdale counties. Training will be in advanced manufacturing, health care and information technology industries.

June 13, 2016

The White House: FACT SHEET: Government, Businesses and Organizations Announce $50 Million in Commitments to Support Women and Girls

The Department of Labor will award more than $54 million in grants to give working parents the ability to train for higher wage jobs while addressing barriers faced by those with child care responsibilities.  This will help working parents address key barriers to participating in and successfully completing training for middle-and high-skilled jobs in in-demand fields, as well as help bridge the gap between the workforce development and child care systems.  By leveraging additional public and/or private funding, the grants promote activities that address barriers to accessing training and employment including co-location of training and child care services; increased access through unconventional training delivery times or locations; flexibilities related to scheduling and child care exigencies; and improved access to child care and other related participant supportive services.  This more than doubles the grant awards previously announced as part of the Department’s Strengthening Working Families Initiative grant program.

Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of June 6, 2016

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

By Asha DuMonthier

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.


June 8, 2016

TribTalk: Texas needs a new approach to poverty

Their CareerAdvance program offers job training in the health care industry for parents, addressing and removing traditional barriers such as childcare, transportation and costs for books.

[…] Nonprofits do not necessarily have to expand their scope to move ahead with a two-generation strategy; indeed, this is most effective as a partnership between organizations. At ChildCareGroup, the nonprofit I run, we’re cultivating partnerships with groups that can help the parents of the low-income children we serve.

June 5, 2016

Wyoming Tribune Eagle: We all need to help Wyomingites be self-sufficient

Late last month, the Wyoming Women’s Foundation released two reports that should serve as both a wakeup call and a call to action for all Wyomingites.

[…] First, low-income residents need to expand their skills so they will qualify for higher-wage jobs. There are many ways to do this, from specialty job certificate programs at Laramie County Community College to the CLIMB Wyoming job training program for single moms. We believe much more can be done, though, including partnerships between the state’s community colleges and high schools to provide students not headed to college with training in technical programs that lead to higher-wage jobs right after graduation.

Jun 4, 2016

KSL.com: Rural Utah: ‘We owe it to them’ to break cycles of poverty

In November, the county and the nonprofit San Juan Foundation was one of 10 rural counties nationwide to receive a Rural Integration Models for Parents and Children to Thrive (IMPACT) demonstration grant.

[…] The goal of the San Juan United initiative is to reduce child poverty using a two-generation approach that serves children and parents together, largely focusing on educational opportunities for both. One goal envisions establishing one new quality preschool program within targeted Native American communities and one new licensed child care program by the end of this year. For adults, the initiative seeks to give parents the tools they need to achieve financial stability — financial literacy instruction, high school equivalency and postsecondary education opportunities, as well as job training keyed on workforce needs.

Courier-Post: Program brings education, skills to Camden youth

The 12-month program will offer 113 city residents educational assistance to get their high school diploma or equivalency, mentoring and social services, life skills training and job training — all thanks to a $1.9 million federal Department of Labor grant.

[…] Camden Corps Plus will offer its participants a high school equivalency, industry-recognized credentials in fields including culinary arts, certified nursing assistant, construction, customer service, technology and manufacturing. Work experience will come through paid internships and work sampling, and mentors and case managers will assist with challenges like child care, transportation, coping skills and financial literacy. Upon completion, participants will receive job placement assistance as well.

June 2, 2016

New York Times: Support Women to Support Communities

Last November, the New York Women’s Foundation joined 27 public U.S. women’s foundations and the Women’s Funding Network, in announcing a five-year, $100 million collective funding initiative that will pay for job training programs that are customized to the cultural and educational needs of low-income women and are aimed at securing higher-wage, stable jobs; programs that support women’s entrepreneurship and small business development; access to affordable high-quality child care so women can be successful in the workplace and children can have a strong academic start in life; and national research to inform best practices for increasing ec

Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of May 30, 2016

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

By Asha DuMonthier

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.


May 31, 2016

Tuscon.com: Local chefs to cook up philanthropic feasts for Primavera

The foundation’s workforce development program, Primavera Works, provides job readiness training and job placement assistance. Salazar said it also offers a temporary staffing agency that serves as an alternative to predatory day labor practices by paying above-minimum wages in data entry and receptionist work, construction, custodial work, landscaping and manual labor positions.

Another program provides job training for veterans; Project Action for Veterans also offers wrap-around services and housing support for veterans and their families.

May 30, 2016

Santa Cruz Sentinel: Interfaith groups helps Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz

The Homeless Garden Project’s 3-acre organic farm near Shaffer and Delaware operates a community support agriculture program and other programs. Its leaders provide job training, short-term employment and support services to people who are homeless.

May 27, 2016

Lincoln Times-News: I-Care makes a difference through mentoring

Through job training, tutoring, education and a variety of support services, I-Care Inc. has been making a difference in the lives of people for more than 50 years.

[…] “Our focus is to utilize grant funding which is funded through Centralina Workforce Development Board for workforce development,” family support services director Shelton Moore said. “Skills training is the major focus and we complement that with work-based learning. The goal is to help people learn the skills they need that lead to sustained full-time employment.”

[…] “Transportation is one of the big ones. Many don’t have a vehicle and public transportation doesn’t even begin to touch the need. Many young people have a baby and that is a tremendous challenge. Many of them in the situation of trying to better themselves while raising a child are living on someone’s couch.”

May 26, 2016

Boston Globe: Multipronged approach is the only way to address homelessness

The administration’s plan to finance development of affordable housing and preserve existing affordable units couldn’t come at a better time, as Boston now has the fourth-highest number of people in homeless families of all cities in the United States.

The governor’s multifaceted approach demonstrates that this crisis must be addressed on several fronts In order to achieve real success and break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. A safe place to live is the foundation, but customized support services, including job training, education, health care, and child care, are also essential.

Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of May 23, 2016

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

By Asha DuMonthier

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.


May 24, 2016

Brookings: Employment and disconnection among teens and young adults: The role of place, race, and education

The following analysis and related interactive examine employment trends among teens aged 16–19 and young adults aged 20–24, and compares these groups with adults aged 25–54—those typically considered to be in their prime working years.

[…] Research suggests that youth employment programs with the following characteristics are most effective: They develop strong links between education, training, and the job market; focus on promoting healthy youth development; provide support services to address challenges such as childcare and transportation; offer opportunities for paid work closely aligned with or integrated into the program, and provide continuous support after job placement and program exit.

May 21, 2016

Florida Times-Union: ‘Hand up’: Jacksonville’s FreshMinistries connects people with ‘myriad of needs’ to services

When people in need seek employment assistance at FreshMinistries, the nonprofit’s own 10-week hospitality and certified nurse assistant training programs and a computer lab for job searches are among the options they are offered.

When they seek other kinds of job training, social and family services, financial literacy, youth programs, medical and mental health care, substance abuse treatment and educational opportunities — or all of the above — FreshMinistries’ Donell Neal provides guidance and a reassuring hand.

Neal runs the newly revived Direct Connect service at the nonprofit’s Weaver Center for Community Outreach near Jacksonville’s downtown sports complex. The free program connects low-income people with a range of services, some that are provided on site, others via referrals to other agencies.

May 20, 2016

The Philadelphia Tribune: Local Agencies Present Job Training Program

Philadelphia Works, the city’s Workforce Development Board, in collaboration with The Workplace, launched “Platform to Employment,” (P2E) a job training program for long-term unemployed (27 weeks or longer) residents of Philadelphia, at the PA CareerLink® Northwest Philadelphia Center, on May 11.

[…]“Platform to Employment aligns very closely with our federally-mandated directive to engage dislocated workers and those with barriers to employment. By providing a more comprehensive ‘wraparound’ approach to training and support, P2E significantly raises placement and retention rates, which ultimately benefits both the employer and career seeker with long-term, permanent employment.”

May 18, 2016

Your West Valley: Maricopa County, Surprise partner to support working low income families

Income eligible parents in Surprise and El Mirage will soon have access to a pilot program called Strengthening Working Families, which combines opportunities for workforce development training, childcare support and rental and utility assistance. The program, being piloted by the city of Surprise and Maricopa County, leverages Federal and State funds to support families in need by providing access to and coordination of the following services:

Workforce DevelopmentArizona@Work Maricopa County: Parents can participate in a free short-term job training program to enter a new career path or advance in their current career. Parents must meet income eligibility requirements and have children under the age of 5.

Child Care – Head Start/Early Head Start Partnerships: Head Start services will fill the child care need for eligible parents who are engaged in the program’s employment education and training activities. The child care will be provided at no cost.

Service Coordination – Community Action Program of Surprise: CAP of Surprise will provide long-term case management and service coordination to program participants. Parents will have a single point of contact to help them navigate through services that aim to support their efforts to increase their self-sufficiency as they improve work skills and increase income.

 

 

Author Finds Technology a Tool Not a Solution in Bridging Divide

By Leah Josephson

People often describe the “digital divide” in terms of high-income individuals’ having access to cutting-edge technology that helps them thrive socially and economically, while low-income individuals are left out. The divide is often cited as a significant source of economic inequality.

At a recent event at Busboys and Poets, Dr. Virginia Eubanks, author of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age, critiqued this diagnosis as overly simplistic. The event was co-sponsored by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Teaching for Change, and DC Jobs with Justice.

Eubanks worked with a group of low-income women who are members of the YWCA community in Troy, NY, and asked the women what they needed. The main problem was not the digital divide. Instead, “more buses, less racism, and fairer employment” were the most popular calls for help.

Eubanks expected these women to have few technological skills. Instead, she found two-thirds of them already working in high-tech jobs, such as data entry or network administration. However, these jobs were low-paying, had few benefits, and were unstable. Technology was ubiquitous in their lives, but they could not use it to improve those lives.

Eubanks realized that simply providing technology and training is not enough to improve women’s lives. Rather, projects need to be designed to account for deeply ingrained racial and gender oppression.

Eubanks, informed by the belief that those closest to problems can best find solutions, worked closely with the women to identify their needs. They created a community technology lab for the YWCA, staffed and sustained by residents, as well as what Eubanks called an “Angie’s List for social services providers,” where the women could provide feedback on their experiences at local assistance agencies.

Even so, access to tech tools was not a high priority for the women. They were more concerned with the basic structural and cultural challenges that affected them on a daily basis—a lack of reliable transportation and workplace flexibility, coupled with racist attitudes.

Eubanks emphasized that technology in itself cannot cure these problems, but it can play a positive role. “We all have a stake in the creation of a more just information age,” she said.

Eubanks noted the creation of new, high-end jobs in technological development—touted by politicians including President Obama as the solution to our country’s economic woes—requires the support of more service industry positions in food service, hospitality, and retail. These lower-income jobs must be fair, provide benefits, and allow for work-life balance to meet the needs of workers.

IWPR has identified other basic benefits that can drastically improve the quality of workers’ lives in the shorter term. For women and their families, guaranteed paid maternity leave (the U.S. is one of only five countries worldwide that doesn’t require employers to provide it) and paid sick days could improve health, well-being, and economic stability.

Pay equity is another problem Eubanks identified. The women would often accept minimal compensation for high-tech jobs, hoping to gain the skills necessary for a higher-paid position. In a society where open discussion of salary is often taboo, these women had little opportunity to identify and express grievances, and only rarely advanced in the workplace.

“Technology is not a destination, it’s another site for struggle,” said Eubanks. In making technological advancements we should consider the quality of life of the workers who perform and enable it. Technology can contribute to a more just society, as long as the privileged consciously use it as a tool to support social justice, and not a ready-made engine of social progress.

Leah Josephson is the Communications Intern at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.