Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of November 14, 2016

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

By Gladys McLean

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.


November 17, 2016

The Leominster Champion: MWCC programs on target for meeting future job needs

Today, another group of students is receiving its certificates in Industry Readiness from the Advanced Manufacturing program at Mount Wachusett Community College at its Devens campus.

The graduates are a diverse group ranging in age from 19 to 56. Some are looking to begin their careers, while others are looking for a fresh start. What they all have in common is the foresight to take advantage of a free six-week program that gives them the skills needed in today’s advanced manufacturing workplace.

[…]John Henshaw, dean of workplace development at MWCC is also quick to note the MWCC program has an 80 percent placement rate with students.

“We have a proven track record of getting our graduates good jobs,” he said. “Our programs have excellent content, great equipment for hands-on learning, and a dedicated staff of instructors. The value added is that we also provide training, support, and counseling to help graduates find jobs.”

Democrat and Chronicle: Free job training part of $6M grant to MCC

Monroe Community College has been awarded a $6 million federal grant to increase tuition-free education and training programs for in-demand jobs.

[…]This funding will be used to establish and expand innovative partnerships between community colleges and other training providers.

[…] By encouraging regional collaboration and delivering on the promise of tuition-free training at community colleges, these grants will help strengthen local communities across America,” said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, in a statement about the grants.

November 16, 2016

The Boston Herald: Program aims to help low-income parents get jobs

Community Labor United, a group that collaborates with local trade unions and community groups, is launching a new program to help low-income parents get job training to enter high-paying hospitality and trade jobs, and to get childcare.

The Independent Women’s Project — a partnership with Brookview House, Building Pathways and others — wants to remove obstacles both mothers and fathers face when trying to work, mainly access to affordable childcare to cover their often irregular hours. The program is designed to get construction and hospitality industries and childcare providers to team up and come up with ways to support workers.

 

November 13, 2016

The Union: Retail ready: Jobs training available through new Hospitality House thrift store

For the past two years, Hospitality House has operated a culinary training program in which “students” work in the shelter’s commercial kitchen. Now, there is a new job training program available to HH guests. Earlier this summer, Hospitality House opened a thrift store which is used to teach skills needed to succeed in the retail sales industry.

“We use whatever means we have to help give them job skills,” explained Debbie McDonald, HH Development Director, who oversees education, fundraising and communications.

[…]Hospitality House is the only emergency homeless shelter in Nevada County, offering 54 beds throughout most of the year and expanding to 69 beds in winter. The men, women and children who stay there are referred to as guests. They receive vouchers they can spend at Bread and Roses.

“We are a shelter that provides pathways to housing. We are not a destination. We help people remove obstacles to housing. One of those obstacles can be the lack of job skills,” added McDonald.

November 12, 2016

The Daily News: Kreher’s first farm to join veterans jobs program

Kreher’s Farm in Clarence, a major egg and organic grain producer with operations across western New York, is the first farm in the state to be approved for a new on-the-job agribusiness training initiative for military veterans.

The initiative, an outgrowth of a workgroup formed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014, takes an identified need for opportunities serving veterans interested in pursuing careers in farming and agriculture. Cornell’s Small Farms Program team paired with the State Department of Veteran’s Affairs to expand existing DVA programs in skilled trades industries like electrical and plumbing.

Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of October 31, 2016

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

By Gladys McLean

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.


November 3, 2016

KENS5 San Antonio: New job training program opens on east side

Kendra Franklin and Tamika Young are women on a mission. They say they will finish their training to become Certified Nursing Assistants and then keep right on learning. Franklin said she would like to become a doctor. Young said she wants to inspire her children to pursue higher education and great careers.

They are both involved in a training program sponsored by Alamo Colleges.

[…]It’s called the Eastside Education & Training Center and it has brought new life to an old school building.

The program is located in what used to be Pfeiffer Elementary, an SAISD school.

After a $1.5 million grant-funded upgrade, the new center is expected to welcome its first class of students on November 14.

Students who qualify will receive free tuition, books, supplies, childcare, and transportation assistance

November 2, 2016

Santee Patch: Inmates to Plant Trees in Lakeside Under Job Training Program

A job training program at the East Mesa Detention and Re-Entry Facility is taking root at San Diego County parks. Trees and plants that were cultivated and grown at the jail’s greenhouse will be planted at five parks across the county this month, including the morning of Nov. 3 at El Monte County Park.

The program started in July 2014 to help inmates develop skills and work habits needed to secure honest employment after their release. Gardening can be therapeutic and gives inmates a sense of purpose while serving time behind bars. The work they do for County Parks also helps inmates build healthier connections with the community.

October 31, 2016

The Journal: Learning Center focuses on medical, industrial trades

The Unlimited Learning Center in Cortez has revamped its adult education program to focus on the industrial trades in addition to its career training in the medical fields.

“We offer specific pathways to careers that pay well so people have a better chance of getting a sustainable job in the area,” said director Anne Miller. “We’re open to anyone in the community — people who have been laid off, want to find a new job or go back to school.”

[…] Miller said the Center recognizes there is an education gap for many adults which prevents them from succeeding in the difficult course work and testing required to become certified in medical and industrial trades.

Basic math, English, and science courses for GED and college entrance exams are free. Pell grants are available for college courses. The Learning Center also offers free childcare.

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Reno retail center gets facelift with the help of Sierra Nevada Job Corps Center students

The retail center just south of the Plumb Lane and South Virginia Street intersection is in the process of getting an upgrade…While the remodeling of retail centers throughout the region has started to become a trend for owners to attract and retain tenants, this particular project has a unique aspect to it.

Coldwell Banker Commercial partnered with Sierra Nevada Job Corps Center to give nearly a dozen students the opportunity to get hands-on construction experience while also paying the students for their work. The students worked under the supervision of Coldwell Banker Commercial’s in-house General Contractor, GPS Property Maintenance & Construction LLC.

The program is for people “who want to get ahead in life,” Mark Huntley, business and community liaison for Sierra Nevada Job Corps Center, said.

They offer 15 trades including culinary arts, electrical, office administration, hotel and lodging, automotive, medical administrative assistant and more. It is a two-year program that also provides students free housing, food and medical care.

 

Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of October 24, 2016

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

By Gladys McLean

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.


October 28, 2016

North Kentucky Tribune: Brighton Center 50 Years, 50 Stories; CET student learns she is ‘good enough,’ can be a contributor

As part of its 50th Anniversary Celebration this year, Brighton Center has introduced a “50 Years, 50 Stories” series to highlight some of the customers, volunteers, donors, community partners or supporters who are part of its history.

“I have always had hopes and dreams, but I never believed so many would become a reality” Samantha

I was working a temp job that I hated because it was far too physically strenuous for my body to handle, and a co-worker took the time to notice my pain and asked me why I didn’t get an office job. I replied that I didn’t have the skills, and she told me about CET.

[…]The Conflict Management workshop really impressed upon me the wisdom to say, ‘It’s not you versus me, it’s us versus the problem;’ a perspective which has become common in my household during disagreements

October 27, 2016

Community Idea Stations: Recovery, Job Training and a Network of Support at the Healing Place

Between 65 and 70% of clients who complete the recovery program are still sober one year later, according to staff. Even with a successful recovery model, Healing Place alumni faced another challenge – getting a job, says Development Officer Clara Stokes.

Clara Stokes: Our clients were getting out there, had a year of sobriety under their belt, decided to go get a job which they have to have to sustain themselves and doors were being slammed in their face. They didn’t know how to talk about gaps in in employment so they would self-sabotage and end up back in the Sobering up Center.

After searching the country for effective models, the Healing Place started “Works” specifically designed for people facing barriers to employment. They offer skills assessment, resume building, computer classes and mock interviews. There’s sessions on budgeting and building credit. And, they work on establishing a strong character through communication and conflict resolution.

 

Job Training and Support Services In-The-News: Week of October 17, 2016

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

By Gladys McLean

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.


October 18, 2016

LA Daily News: City Council Members Propose Pairing Housing, Job Training for Homeless

Two City Council members Tuesday proposed a pilot program intended to give homeless individuals a better and more permanent path off the streets by matching them up with both job training and housing subsidies.

[…] Each participant would get temporary vouchers to pay for housing at the same time they are receiving training and paid work experience, which is meant to prepare them for a more permanent job.

The council members say their proposal is based on the idea that it might be more effective to provide housing and job assistance together, rather than separately. Those who receive the usual six months of housing assistance may find themselves back on the streets if they cannot secure a stable source of income, while someone who does not have a stable place to stay may find it difficult to maintain a steady job, according to their motion.

October 17, 2016

McDowell News: Manufacturing class seeks new funding

Christal Padgett is one of those in McDowell whose life has been changed because of a class. A single mother of three children, Padgett worked at a scrap metal yard until she fell and broke her foot. She told The McDowell News she wasn’t able to work and couldn’t return to her old job because of this injury. As she was filing for unemployment, Padgett learned about a manufacturing certification class offered through McDowell Technical Community College.

[…] For two years, McDowell Tech has offered this class in manufacturing certification, which is based out of the N.C. Works Career Center on Baldwin Avenue. Those who successfully complete this six-week class are able to make connections with local manufacturers and earn safety certification with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They can also earn certification in first-aid/CPR, career readiness and Microsoft Digital literacy and gaining an introduction to advanced manufacturing skills. Plant tours, job interviews, on-the-job training and apprenticeships are also available through this class. The class focuses on helping participants boost their attitude, initiative and attendance, said participants.

Westword: Heritage Food Incubator Comal Opens at TAXI

Comal’s mission goes far beyond providing Denver with home-style Mexican eats; the restaurant is part of a community-outreach project from nonprofit organization Focus Points, aimed at giving residents of the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods the job training they need to move forward with their careers. “Focus Points’ mission is to build communities by strengthening families,” says executive director Steven Moss, and to that end, the organization supports education initiatives, pre-schools, GED programs and economic development opportunities, with the goal of helping people in Denver’s low-income communities find stable jobs with good incomes.

[…] “This is a group of entrepreneurs with a passion for cooking. Focus Points asked: ‘How do we take this to the next level?’ In order to move to the next level, these women needed a kitchen.” says Focus Points’ director of economic and workforce development, Slavica Park.

The organization partnered with Zeppelin Development to secure that kitchen, taking over the old Fuel space. A cohort of community members will spend eight months there learning the nuts and bolts of how to operate a restaurant, with the goal of eventually opening their own restaurants or catering companies, or securing work in higher-end commercial kitchens.

October 15, 2016

New Haven Register: New Haven’s EMERGE serves ex-offender community with jobs, hope

As executive director for EMERGE, Jusino oversees a comprehensive program that, in addition to providing job training for construction, landscaping and property management positions, assists male and female ex-offenders with other services such as high school-level classes, group discussion sessions, parenting groups and job-training services. His program is the only one of its kind in the state.

[…] “All they believe they need is a job,” Jusino said. “Our goal is to kind of play on that. That they need a job to get them to do things they historically have not wanted to do…They don’t want to do literacy, they don’t want to get mental health (assistance), they don’t want to do occupational skills training, they don’t want to begin to explore the process of how they make decisions,” Jusino said.

So in order to get some individuals to buy in to the program, Jusino said they essentially strike a deal with prospective members: They leverage their ability to place them on payroll to participate in the additional services.

The entire process starts with an orientation that usually weeds out a majority of those in attendance. EMERGE is selective, relying on an interviewing process. EMERGE then pays individuals $10.10 an hour to work up to 24 hours a week. They are paid for 24 hours, but must make a 40-hour commitment. The remaining time must be used to attend classes and participate in additional services.

5 Things to Know in Advance of Tonight’s Debate

In advance of tonight’s first presidential debate, IWPR helps you get up to speed on these five top women’s policy issues:

  1. Improving Women’s Access to Good Jobs Can Narrow the Wage Gap
  2. A College Affordability Challenge: Declining Availability of Campus Child Care
  3. The Significance of the Gender Wage Gap; Wages among Women of Color are Especially Low
  4. Breadwinner Mothers are Common in Every State, but Policies Need to Catch Up
  5. The Evidence-Based Case for Paid Sick Days and Paid Leave Policies

 

1. Improving Women’s Access to Good Jobs Can Narrow the Wage Gap

>> Read the report, Pathways to Equity: Narrowing the Wage Gap by Improving Women’s Access to Good Middle-Skill Jobs or the Executive Summary. 

Half of the gender wage gap is due to women working in different occupations and sectors than men. Improving women’s access to good middle-skill jobs—in growing sectors, such as manufacturing, IT, and transportation—can help close the wage gap and improve women’s economic security.

pathways-website

Click to visit womenandgoodjobs.org

Visit womenandgoodjobs.org, to read the report and explore an interactive, searchable database of middle-skills jobs, which helps users identify pools of skilled women workers who could be tapped to fill shortages, ensuring that the economy benefits from the talent of its whole workforce.

2. A College Affordability Challenge: Declining Availability of Campus Child Care

>> Read the briefing paper, Child Care for Parents in College: A State-by-State Assessment

As nearly 5 million undergraduate students raising children return to college this fall, a new IWPR state-by-state and national analysis finds that campus child care is declining in 36 states across the country, and that many states have rules making it difficult for students to get child care subsidies.

For the nearly 9 in 10 (88 percent) student parents living in or near poverty, paying for child care can be an insurmountable obstacle. IWPR’s analysis finds that, rather than assisting students with the high cost of child care, 11 states require college students to also be employed to be eligible for child care subsidies. In 3 states—Arizona, Kentucky, and Washington—parents are required to work at least 20 hours per week in addition to attending school, an amount proven to diminish rates of college completion among students overall, in order to be eligible for subsidies.

3. The Significance of the Gender Wage Gap; Wages among Women of Color are Especially Low

>> Read IWPR’s New Resources on Pay Equity & Discrimination, including Five Ways to Win an Argument about the Gender Wage Gap

IWPR’s updated fact sheet clarifies the most common myths about gender wage gap statistics. IWPR’s researchers note that a pay gap of 79.6 percent accurately describes the pay inequality between men and women in the labor force and reflects a variety of different factors, including: discrimination in pay, recruitment, job assignment, and promotion; lower earnings in occupations mainly done by women; and women’s disproportionate share of time spent on family care, including that they—rather than fathers—still tend to be the ones to take more time off work when families have children.

In fact, the annual wage ratio of 80 percent is actually a moderate estimate of gender pay inequality. Women of color fare much worse, with Black women making 63.3 percent of what White men earn per year and Hispanic women making 54.4 percent.

gwg-social

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In addition, IWPR has found:

  • Women earn less than men in almost every occupation and are four times more likely than men to work in jobs with poverty-level wages.
  • If current trends continue, women will not receive equal pay until 2059, according to a related IWPR analysis of trends in earnings since 1960.
  • If women earned the same as comparable men—men who are of the same age, have the same level of education, work the same number of hours, and have the same urban/rural status—poverty among working women would be cut in half and the US economy would grow by $482.2 billion.

4. Breadwinner Mothers are Common in Every State, but Policies Need to Catch Up

>> Read the quick figures, Breadwinner Mothers by Race/Ethnicity and State

A new IWPR national and state-by-state analysis of breadwinner moms finds that four in five Black mothers and two in three Native American mothers are breadwinners, compared with fewer than half of White and Asian/Pacific Islander mothers. Breadwinner moms are either raising children on their own or contributing at least 40 percent of a married couple’s earnings. The majority of Black, Native American, and Hispanic breadwinner moms are single and raising a family on their own, while the majority of White and Asian/Pacific Islander breadwinner mothers are married.

As the share of breadwinner mothers increases, another IWPR analysis found that women’s wages fell 1.6 percent between 2004 and 2014, with Black, Native American, and Hispanic women’s earnings falling around three times as much as women’s earnings overall. (Read the analysis with state data for Black women and Native American women.)

5. The Evidence-Based Case for Paid Sick Days and Paid Leave Policies

>> Read the briefing paper, Paid Sick Days Benefit Employers, Workers, and the Economy

Four in 10 American workers lack access to paid sick days, with access less likely among Hispanic workers and workers in low-wage and food service jobs. A recent IWPR briefing paper compiles all available social science and policy research, which show that paid sick days are associated with benefits to employers—including reduced contagion in the workplace, improved productivity, decreased workplace injuries, and lower employee turnover—and employment benefits to workers, including greater job stability and labor force attachment.

>> Read the report, Paid Parental Leave in the United States: What the Data Tell Us about Access, Usage, and Economic and Health Benefits

Another IWPR report compiles available research and data on the access to paid parental leave and the benefits of such a policy. A growing body of research suggests that paid family leave increases labor market attachment, economic security, and the health and welfare of families and children, and has the potential to help businesses thrive, reduce spending on public benefits programs, and promote economic growth and competitiveness.

Follow @IWPResearch on Twitter and Facebook.

President’s Message: Fall 2015

By Heidi Hartmann

It has been a great year for IWPR. Among many report releases, strong press coverage, and great exposure in the popular media, I want to particularly share with you my excitement at the new era that has begun in the struggle to attain paid parental leave in the United States. From President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union speech to the 2016 presidential candidates from both parties, the call for paid parental leave has come to the fore. While one candidate attacked the need for any legislation guaranteeing such policies (claiming that employers that find it important to their business will do it on their own), many candidates have supported the call for paid parental leave policy at the federal level, although most have not yet issued detailed plans. Never before has paid family leave been addressed so prominently in these venues.

I am very proud to say that IWPR’s dogged work since the mid-1990s to present paid family leave as a realistic option for the United States is finally paying off. As noted in Jeff Hayes’ opening article in this newsletter, IWPR first highlighted the use of state Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) programs—which already covered a woman’s pregnancy, delivery, and recovery—as vehicles for paid family care leave in a paper presented in 1995 at the annual meetings of the American Economic Association. We followed that up with a fact sheet in 1996 describing the five existing state TDI programs. California was in fact the first of these states to adopt paid family care leave, built upon their TDI program, in 2002; IWPR staff members had traveled to Sacramento to present findings on more than one occasion. More recently, New Jersey in 2008 and Rhode Island in 2013 have joined California in expanding their TDI programs to provide paid benefits for family care leave, typically four to six weeks and all paid for by workers through payroll tax deduction.

Currently, the District of Columbia is one of several local and state jurisdictions that is actively exploring how to establish a new paid leave program without a TDI system to build upon. The District won one of four competitive grants offered by the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, to enable research on feasibility, and the District contracted with IWPR for assistance with its analysis. This year, the Women’s Bureau awarded eight grants and IWPR is expecting to work with four of the winning jurisdictions.

The Women’s Bureau grants seemed to have started an avalanche as several other states are spending their own funds on feasibility studies for paid family leave. For sure, an avalanche began in the tech industry as firms competed with one another to offer family leave. As reported by Elle, Netflix started it by offering up to one year paid leave; Microsoft then offered 12 paid weeks for family care, in addition to 8 for maternity disability. Adobe Systems then announced an expansion of maternity leave from 17 to 26 weeks and a doubling of fathers’ time off from 2 weeks to 4 weeks. Amazon responded to all this with 20 weeks off for pregnancy including 4 weeks prepartum and up to 6 weeks off for fathers. Finally, Spotify now gives up to 6 month off with pay anytime from 2 months before birth to a child’s third birthday. Of course, firms with highly skilled talent are more likely to make such an investment, but Facebook also requires its contracting firms (providing services such as food and cleaning among other services) to provide parental leave or a lump sum of $4,000 in lieu of paid leave. Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, is currently taking a two month leave after the birth of his family’s first child. Policies and practices such as these dramatically change the climate in favor of change at a national level. It is an international embarrassment that 183 countries have paid parental leave and only the US—along with Papua New Guinea—does not (according to the International Labour Organization).

Should the current discussion on national security leave any room and the issue of family leave reverberate in the presidential election in 2016, change could happen much more quickly than is commonly expected. IWPR’s work will be central to the action! Stay tuned.

Shining a Light on the Wage Gap

HHFifty years after the Equal Pay Act, employment discrimination persists but is harder to see.

By Dr. Heidi Hartmann

When the Equal Pay Act (EPA) was passed 50 years ago, discrimination was, in many ways, openly accepted in the workplace and women were expected to earn less than men in the same jobs. The EPA signed by President John F. Kennedy on June 10, 1963, helped to reduce this type of blatant employment discrimination, but it is still present and the wage gap persists.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) was founded 25 years ago, at the end of the 1980s, the decade which saw the most sustained narrowing of the gender wage gap since passage of the EPA. Between 1981 and 1990, the gender wage gap closed by more than ten percentage points. In the most recent decade, progress has stalled and the gap narrowed by no more than one percentage point.

There is no single cause for the pay gap. Jobs dominated by women pay less than jobs dominated by men. Over their lifetimes, women still take off more time from paid work for family care than men. Women also still face subtle—and not so subtle—discrimination when they do the similar work to men. Direct discrimination is still estimated to account for between one quarter and 40 percent of the wage gap, according to several reviews of social science research.

Employers can no longer advertise jobs at different rates for men and women. But paying women less for similar performance, giving women less access to career-enhancing opportunities, and making it harder for women to get promoted are practices that continue to hinder progress towards equal pay.

Tackling those types of employment discrimination is surprisingly difficult because employees may still be fired simply for discussing their earnings with a colleague or coworker. In an age when information sharing has become widespread and hearing about a major life event over social networking is not uncommon, exchanging pay information remains frowned upon by many employers. Pay secrecy allows disparities, discrimination, and unequal pay to hide under the rug.

President Kennedy hands out pens at the White House signing of the Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963.  Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

President John F. Kennedy hands out pens at the White House signing of the Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

According to an IWPR/Rockefeller survey, half of all workers (51 percent of women and 47 percent of men) report that the discussion of wage and salary information is either discouraged or prohibited and/or could lead to punishment. The Equal Pay Act does not protect workers against retaliation for sharing salary information with their co-workers. In the public sector, where pay information is publicly available, a smaller pay gap exists compared to the private sector.

The 2009 Lily Ledbetter Act provides that every paycheck that pays a woman less than a male colleague for equal or similar work can be challenged in court, but the act did not address pay secrecy. Ledbetter worked for a company that prohibited the discussion of one’s salary. After 18 years on the job, Ledbetter sued when, in an anonymous note from a coworker, she received evidence that she was being paid unfairly. The Paycheck Fairness Act was introduced in the last Congress, but failed to pass to a vote in the Senate. This bill would have protected workers against retaliation for sharing pay information.

Women don’t have the time to wait to earn the same as men because their families need the money now. According to the most recent estimate from IWPR, however, the wage gap is not expected to close until 2057. Many women working today will never see equal pay, harming their long-term earnings and leaving them with lower retirement income.

In an age where women in the United States are almost half the workforce, are more likely to gain higher levels of education than men, and increasingly are the main or co-breadwinner in families, we cannot wait for another 44 years for the gender wage gap to be finally relegated to the history books.

Dr. Heidi Hartmann is President of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.