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Job Readiness: Filling a Gap in the Employment and Training System Patricia Pelletier, Planning and Workforce Development Director MASSCAP Beth Hogan,

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Presentation on theme: "Job Readiness: Filling a Gap in the Employment and Training System Patricia Pelletier, Planning and Workforce Development Director MASSCAP Beth Hogan,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Job Readiness: Filling a Gap in the Employment and Training System Patricia Pelletier, Planning and Workforce Development Director MASSCAP Beth Hogan, Executive Director North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc. Shannon Robichaud, Employment and Training Director Community Teamwork, Inc. 2010 Community Action Partnership Annual Convention September 2, 2010 The Job Readiness Pilot Project is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development

2 Vision and Values of the Community Action Movement We pledge to rededicate ourselves “to eliminating poverty in the midst of plenty in this Nation by opening to everyone the opportunity for education and training, the opportunity to work, and the opportunity to live in decency and dignity.” (Economic Opportunity Act of 1964)

3 Workforce Investment Act (WIA) System Core Services Intensive Services Training Services

4 WIA Core Services Available to all adults with no eligibility requirements. Services include: Job search and placement assistance (including career counseling) Labor market information (which identifies job vacancies; skills needed for in-demand jobs; and local, regional and national employment trends) Initial assessment of skills and needs; information about available services Some follow-up services to help customers keep their jobs once they are placed

5 WIA Intensive Services Services for unemployed individuals who are not able to find jobs through core services alone. Intensive services include: More comprehensive assessments Development of individual employment plans Group and individual counseling Case management Short-term pre-vocational services

6 WIA Training Services Training services which are directly linked to job opportunities in the local area. These services may include: Occupational skills training On-the-job training Entrepreneurial training Skill upgrading Job readiness training Adult education and literacy activities in conjunction with other training

7 Job Seeker Services at One-Stop Career Centers (OSCC’s) Job search assistance and access to online job listings On-Site employer recruitments Career counseling, support services Workshops Access to resources including PCs, reference materials, resume building software, and economic data Unemployment insurance walk-in services Access to and information on education & training

8 Typical OSCC Process Determine eligibility Screen for employability, likelihood of good initial wage, and likelihood of lasting on the job. Receive a voucher (“ITA”) Refer to appropriate training program

9 Other Ways Low-Income People Access Training/Education in Massachusetts Adult Basic Education System (ABE/GED/ESOL) – MA DESE AmeriCorps/VISTA YouthBuild Job Corps Community Colleges Community Based Organizations Proprietary Schools Apprenticeships/Unions Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES— TANF)

10 Low Income Population in Massachusetts (Excluding Young Students) Age 16 to 24 - 13% 25 to 34 - 21% 35 to 54 - 42% 55 to 64 - 16% 65 to 69 - 8% Educational Attainment <12, No Diploma/GED - 27% H.S. Diploma - 34% 1-3 Years College – 23% BA or Higher - 16% Weeks of Work Experience in Prior Year 0 weeks – 45% 1 to 26 wks. – 16% 27 to 39 wks. – 7% 40 to 49 wks. – 7% 50+ wks. - 26%* *A large number of low-income workers are under-employed (low weekly hours) From "Who Are the Low Income Chronically Unemployed and Underemployed Popluation of Massachusetts? Why Are They Low Income?" - Andrew Sum, Ishwar Khatiwada, Sheila Palma, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University, April 2010

11 Systemic Barriers for Low Income People OSCC’s system geared toward quick turn around to jobs (6 months or less), therefore people must be “ready” Many lower-skilled, low-income people are unable to meet the entrance criteria (academic levels, “employability” skills) for OSCC’s training programs Few support services (wrap-around works supports) available for people with multiple barriers to employment in OSCC system (such as those that CAAs offer) Limited stand-alone, intensive job readiness/soft skills programs available in WfD system (devoted primarily to TANF adults) Few services for Limited English Speaking population

12 MASSCAP’s Job Readiness Project Target Group TANF recipients Limited, sporadic or non-existent work history Long term unemployed Homeless/at risk of homelessness Immigrants (w/legal status) Long-term unemployed/under-employed Older youth at risk (high school drop out, court involved) Education levels between 3.0 and 6.0 GLE or SPL 4

13 Comparison of Training Topics OSCC’s Resumes Cover Letters Interviewing Career Exploration Labor Market Trends Networking (most are 60-90 minutes) MASSCAP Job Readiness Exploring My Story, Creating My Path (10 hours) Career Readiness Skills (30 hours) Preparing to Enter the World of Work (15 hours) Soft Skills to Get and Keep a Job: Communications and Interpersonal Skills (25 hours) Financial Foundations for Success (20 hours) Job Search and Retention (20 hours) Computer Literacy/Internet

14 A Curriculum Sampling Identifying Job Values (p. 34-36) Rank the Job Values Inventory from 1 to 12 with 1 being the most important and 12 being the least important.

15 Job Readiness Strategic Partnership

16 Results of MASSCAP-DHCD Strategic Partnership DHCD provided “seed” funding to develop pilot job readiness project MASSCAP designed pilot model and curriculum MASSCAP coordinated Job Readiness Pilot Project with 3 CAAs

17 Unique Aspects of Developing the Job Readiness Pilot Project Developed project design and curriculum using a collaborative model (DHCD, MASSCAP WD Committee, Women’s Union, SABES) Implemented assessment/evaluation process (w/ IASP- Brandeis) Intensive documentation of processes Developing replication guide for sustainability/expansion

18 Elements of the Job Readiness Project Model Outreach and recruitment Intake and assessment 120 hours of classroom and independent curriculum Partnerships with local businesses, post secondary education, job training system Case management and support services Assessment and evaluation

19 Job Readiness Pilot Project Sites Community Teamwork, Inc. Lowell, MA North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc. Peabody, MA Community Action! Greenfield, MA

20 Successes Creative Programming Computer Literacy Training Overcoming Barriers to Participation Connecting with Students Filling gaps

21 Challenges Participant barriers Participant buy-in Multi-level classrooms/English proficiency Connecting with other systems

22 Student Spotlight Why the Job Readiness Project Worked for Me

23 Overall Progress to Date Demographics 158 Enrollments 89 TANF (56%) 124 Unemployed 49 Homeless/near homeless 114 Females 44 Males Ages 16-70 Outcomes 108 Completed Curriculum 41 Entered GED/ESOL Class 23 Entered Post-Secondary Education 30 Got Job 22 Entered Job Training 17 Dropped Out

24 Some Lessons Learned Improve up-front student assessments Have plan for addressing multi level students in one class (use peer mentors, responsive teaching methods) “Captured audience” (i.e. homeless shelter/housing services program, DTA vendor status) works best for recruitment vs. general public recruitment Good partnerships are key to success

25 “The ultimate object of education should be to help create not only a balanced and harmonious individual but also a balanced and harmonious society where true justice prevails, where there is no unnatural division between the "haves" and the "have-nots," and where everybody is assured of a living wage and the right to live and the right to freedom.” (Arun Gandhi)

26 For more information… Patricia Pelletier Planning and Workforce Development Director MASSCAP 105 Chauncy Street Boston, MA 02111 617-657-6086 508-982-8535 (cell)

27 Other Relevant Information

28 WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT The Federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1999 authorizes funding for the Workforce Boards and One- Stop Career Centers across the country. The system is intended to be customer-focused, to help the job seeker and employer customers access tools they need to manage their careers through information and high quality services. Workforce Development Overview slides compliments of the System for Adult Basic Education Support (SABES)

29 Local Workforce Investment Board The local Workforce Investment Board (WIB): Sets policy for the region and guides the investment of resources; Coordinates workforce investment activities with local economic development strategies and develops other employer linkages; Creates partnerships and brokers activities with private and public sector organizations on behalf of WFD system; Charters One-Stop Career Centers (OSCC’s) and negotiates local performance standards for services; Promotes participation of private sector employers in workforce investment system.

30 OSCC’s Workshop Topics Cover Letters Resumes Interviewing Career Exploration Labor Market Trends Networking

31 Major Industries of Employment of Low-Income in Massachusetts Healthcare and social assistance Retail trade Accommodation and food services Administrative support and waste management Other services

32 Strategic Partnerships Advance Common Goals A partner is a person associated with another or others in some activity of common interest. (The American Heritage Dictionary) A partnership is an arrangement where entities and/or individuals agree to cooperate to advance their interests. (Wikipedia)

33 Key Features of Effective Partnerships The voluntary nature of partnerships Common interest The mutual dependency that arises from sharing risks, responsibilities, resources, competencies and benefits. Synergy – the concept of value added or the total being greater than the sum of its individual parts. Explicit commitment or agreement on the part of the participants. Working together – in the most strategic partnerships, the partners work together at all levels and stages, from the design and governance of the initiative to implementation and evaluation. Complementary support Shared competencies and resources – partnerships are a mechanism to leverage different types of resources and competencies, including, but not only, money. Good communication Respect and trust

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