When St. Vincent de Paul, a charitable organization with several thrift stores in Southeastern Michigan, needed assistance with staffing their stores, they reached out to EDSI at the Michigan Works! Livonia Service Center. The employer was experiencing issues with high turnover and wanted referrals of interested individuals with great work ethics. It was also important that candidates be committed to the cause of helping others in times of need, because their organization takes pride in this value.
Kareem Hawkins began participating in the Livonia WIOA Youth Program on June 10, 2016, following his graduation from Redford Union High School. When Kareem met with the Youth Program’s Career Coach, he expressed a desire to pursue higher education and become employed.
Within the first few months of his participation with EDSI, Kareem prepared for employment through engaging in workshops as well as meeting one-on-one with staff. He worked to develop his resume and create cover letters as he searched for employment. In addition, he completed mock interviews with EDSI staff to learn how to best present himself to an employer. This preparation assisted Kareem as he attended job fairs hosted by EDSI at the Michigan Works! Livonia Service Center.
Ashley Wynn began participating with EDSI’s Livonia PATH Program on September 28, 2016. She was already enrolled in school at Schoolcraft College, working toward a degree in Nursing. She entered into her Application Eligibility Period (AEP) motivated to find employment that would lead her to self-sufficiency.
During her AEP, Ashley recognized her need to update and rework her resume. She met with EDSI’s Instructor, Pete Anthony, to complete this task and prepare herself for future interviews. During the meeting they discussed several options that might help her gain experience in the healthcare field. When Ashley learned of a job opening at a local healthcare company, Homestead Home Health Care, she jumped at the opportunity.
Lord-Xavier Taylor began participating with the Livonia WIOA Youth Program on August 25, 2016. Upon entering the program, he met with his Career Coach and shared his desire to pursue a career in hospitality.
As he engaged in the youth program, Lord-Xavier explored training programs that would equip him in restaurant management and culinary arts. After identifying a training facility, he completed assessment testing and discovered his need to improve his math and reading skills before acceptance into the program. In September, through one-on-one tutoring and educational workshops, Lord-Xavier began to work towards improving his math and reading skills.
On June 28, 2016, Monica Wingate began the Application Eligibility Period (AEP) for the PATH program at the Michigan Works! Livonia PATH Office. She came to Michigan from Texas, leaving her home and steady job to care for her ailing mother. After her mother’s passing, Monica was forced to move from the apartment they had shared because she was unable to have the lease put in her name due to her lack of employment. Her life circumstances had changed again and Monica found herself without a home.
Finding a job doesn’t always come easy, especially in today’s competitive job market. It can also be difficult to decide on a career. In fact, most of us never stop asking ourselves that age-old question: “What do I want to be when I grow up?”
With so many resources available, job searches aren’t just about the classifieds anymore. Jobseekers must use every resource possible to widen their job search: networking, social media, recruiters, job listings and employer contacts from workforce agencies.
State and local workforce agencies offer full-service, one-stop assistance with skill assessments, training, job counseling and job placement. Many non-profits also provide services. These organizations often offer assistance for those who need to overcome specific barriers to employment. Ultimately, what kind of job you decide is best for you depends a lot on who you are, and your satisfaction on the job. It pays to map out career goals and aspirations, and figure out exactly what steps are needed to get the job you want, because you really can make it happen!
Selling, to me, means presenting your product or service in the best possible light. It means presenting the features and benefits of the product or service as it relates to the needs, wants and values of the potential customer or client. I learned, long ago, when people are considering purchasing or buying into a product or service, everyone listens to the radio station WIFM which translated reads; What’s In It For Me? Before anyone makes a commitment, they ask themselves consciously or subconsciously that key question.
Let’s start first by selling the EARN program on the “inside.” By inside, I mean selling to our clients who are sent to EARN by their county case managers as part of the client’s agreement for receiving benefits like cash assistance, food stamps, child care and other resources from their county.
One of the most significant changes in WIOA is the requirement for the “integration of services” in One-Stop Centers. What does this mean? It means aligning services and resources to better service job seekers and employers. Integration of services in the One-Stop Center helps clients because it is customer focused, not program focused.
Why have an integrated One-Stop Center?
- WIOA requires it
- Provides better client services
- Increases performance
- Leverages resources
- All of the Above
Every partner within the center must support a common vision and support a process that is designed to serve clients (both job seekers and employers). Centers must focus on delivering high-quality career services that may require aligning and streamlining services. Centers must make this monumental shift to better service clients.
There’s been a national call-to-action for two-year community colleges and career and technical high schools. Ultimately, educators are responsible for meeting the demand for skills in the global economy.
- There is consensus that the foundational academic knowledge needed for postsecondary education and for careers is virtually the same, with growing recognition that academic skills, employability and technical knowledge and skills are essential as well.
- We’re seeing widespread agreement that lifelong learning and ‘learning how to learn’ are key drivers of success in college, careers and civic life.
- Research shows collaborative efforts in states, districts and communities to strengthen their collective capacity to deliver results that matter.
The plan is for greater student success. It needs to be bolder and broader – “cradle-to-career” strategies – comprehensive, data-driven plans that begin early on and focus on improving measurable progress to career readiness. This new formula shows the most promise for success. Follow-up on the student’s outcome is also important to obtain the metrics to grow this philosophy.
Over the years, I have had numerous opportunities to present workshops on employment of ex-offenders. As I stand in front of the audience, I am always amazed at the shock on people’s faces when we discuss the sheer number of the population in prisons and jails, and the costs associated with incarceration. For example, did you know:
- Over 80 billion dollars is spent on Corrections each year - Bureau of Justice Statistics
- Seven million people are under correctional control, including individuals on probation and parole – U. S. Department of Justice
- The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners – New York Times
- 1 out of 100 adults in the United States is in prison.
- Once released from prison, 2 out of 3 people are rearrested within a year. This is known as recidivism.
- Over the course of the last 20 years, the amount of money spent on prisons increased by 570%, while the money spent on education increased by only 33%.
- The cost per year to house an inmate varies from state to state. For example, in New York the cost is $47,421 per year, while in Pennsylvania, it is $42,339.
Needless to say, the above statistics clearly point out that we are facing enormous challenges. The costs associated with incarceration are staggering and the population of prisoners who will eventually be released and in need of jobs is becoming enormous.
Raqia Alrobayi began participating with the EDSI Livonia Michigan Works! PATH office on October 7, 2015 when she entered into the AEP (Application Eligibility Period) process. After successfully completing her AEP, Raqia became a PATH participant.
Upon her enrollment into the program, Raqia's job focus was to return to the travel industry. Her education included an Associate's of Travel and Tourism degree from Centennial College in Toronto, and she expressed an interest in becoming a travel agent. While meeting with her Career Development Facilitator (CDF), Raqia shared concerns regarding her gap in employment. She recognized her need to remain relevant in the workforce and also to build on her computer and administrative skills. On January 5, 2016, she began participating at EDSI's onsite internship program.
Cornelius Davis Sr. shared these kind words of gratitude in a recent letter to EDSI staff at NCWorks in Henderson, NC.
I would like to take some time out to thank the employees at NCWorks of Henderson, NC and in particular, Ms. Sheila Long.
I came to NCWorks unemployed and unsure if I would find employment. Ms. Long sat down with me and helped me carefully map out a plan for a good path to gainful employment.
After carefully gathering some pertinent information, i.e., my strengths/weaknesses and my capabilities, Ms. Long came up with a program that was offering a Commercial Driver’s License and possibly a career in truck driving. I didn’t know if I would be able to complete the training.
On January 20, 2015, Riona Hunter began participating with EDSI when enrolled in the Partnership, Accountability, Training, Hope (PATH) program. During her orientation appointment, Riona met with a Career Development Facilitator (CDF) and shared her career goals. She explained that she was interested in attending Medical Assistant training in order to build upon her current certification as a Nursing Assistant. Her CDF assisted her with researching training options, and Riona decided to pursue her education at Dorsey Schools.
Although motivated to attend training, Riona shared with her CDF that reliable transportation could be a barrier to her attendance. She did not have a valid driver’s license as she was working to pay tickets and fees. Fortunately, Riona’s school of choice was accessible via public transportation, and EDSI provided her with SMART and DDOT bus passes. On February 12, 2015, Riona attended orientation at Dorsey Schools and began training in the Medical Administration and Billing Program. Throughout the training course, Riona shared her progress with her CDF as she gained knowledge in both administrative and clinical skill areas. She continued to receive assistance from EDSI staff with ongoing transportation and documentation needs, and she remained motivated to accomplish her goals.
Micahh Scott began participating with EDSI on July 7, 2015, when she entered into the AEP (Application Eligibility Period). She entered the program with a year of administrative experience and a desire to return to work in the clerical field. Within her first weeks of participation with EDSI, Micahh took steps to enhance her job readiness. She met with staff to create a professional resume that highlighted her administrative abilities, and practiced her communication skills and business etiquette through mock interviewing. Micahh also applied for and received PATH supportive service funds to purchase professional clothing.
As she diligently searched for employment, Micahh recognized her need to remain relevant in the workforce by having current experience. She decided to participate at EDSI’s on-site internship in order to increase her skills. At the internship, Micahh improved her typing, increased her knowledge of Microsoft Office and acquired new skills while working in the scanning and business services departments. As she continued to seek ways to grow her skill level, she accepted the opportunity to job shadow EDSI’s administrative assistant. She learned how to manage front office duties, including tasks that made her resume more relevant and marketable.
“Rapport is the ability to enter someone else’s world, to make him feel that you understand him, that you have a strong common bond.” - Tony Robbins, Author and Motivational Speaker
Building relationships with another person is all about connecting with him or her and creating a sense of trust and understanding. According to some research, we have only 7 seconds to make a good first impression! It is absolutely essential for us to build solid connections with our clients, and this relationship building starts the first time we meet.
When I began my career as a Job Developer with EDSI, I would conduct an initial interview with clients. I would ask questions about clients’ living situation, their children and partners, the kinds of jobs they had in the past and what they wanted to accomplish. The interview gave me some important facts, but I realized something was missing. I wanted to go a bit deeper, I needed to better understand their passions, hopes and dreams when it came to finding, obtaining and keeping a job.
Nedal Alshaibany began participating with EDSI at the Michigan Works! Livonia PATH Office on May 5, 2015 when he entered into his AEP (Application Eligibility Period). During his initial meeting with a Career Development Facilitator (CDF), Nedal discussed his past employment experience. He expressed a desire to learn about computers or become trained as a truck driver. EDSI’s onsite internship program presented a perfect opportunity for Nedal to develop computer skills while meeting his PATH participation requirements in a work experience activity. After completing the AEP, Nedal enrolled in PATH and began in the internship’s Scanning Center. He quickly learned the processes and demonstrated his knowledge by training other interns.
WIOA requires states and local Workforce Development Boards to work with adult education, post-secondary education and other community-based organizations to develop career pathways that will make it easier for all Americans to attain the skills and credentials needed for jobs.
What are career pathways? The US Department of Labor defines career pathways as a new way of doing business which operates at both a systems and an individual level. At the systems level, a career pathway is a broad approach for serving populations that may experience significant barriers to employment. The career pathway can substantively alter the way the workforce system delivers its services and the system’s relationship with partner organizations and stakeholders to better prepare the worker.
Career pathway programs should offer a sequence of education courses and training credentials which are aligned with work-ready standards and competencies which are validated by employers. Career pathways can also provide greater customer service at all levels by engaging employers, adult basic education, training providers, community organizations and service providers to design services that meet the needs of employers and job seekers.
Written by Terri Kaufman - Workforce Development Specialist with EDSI
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires four Core Program Partners to provide expanded services at One-Stop Centers. These four Core Program Partners include:
- WIOA Title I. B: Adult, Dislocated Workers and Youth
- WIOA Title II: Adult Education and Literacy
- WIOA Title III: Wagner-Peyser
- WIOA Title IV: Vocational Rehabilitation
Other required One-Stop partners who must participate in the operation of the One-Stop system include:
- Career & Technical Education
- Title V Older Americans Act
- Job Corps
- Native American Programs
- Migrant Seasonal Farmworkers
- Youth Build
- Trade Act
- Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
- Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Unemployment Compensation
- Second Chance Programs
Additionally, Governors can elect to include Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) as a Core Program Partner.
All partners must also be identified within in a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU). Information regarding the financial support partners will provide to the One-Stop, as well as the services they will provide, is required. Partners must identify:
- How services will be coordinated and delivered in the Center (integration of services)
- How service costs and operating costs of the Center will be funded
- How individuals will be referred between the One-Stop operator and partners for appropriate services and activities
- How they will ensure that workers, youth and individuals with barriers to employment will be adequately served
- How individuals will be provided immediate access to training (no sequence of services)
- How technology and materials will be made available across the Center
Required WIOA Career Services
New to WIOA, One-Stop Center services must now include career services. No longer are there separate core and intensive services. Additionally, Centers must expand their labor exchange services to meet in-demand industry sectors and occupations and include information on non-traditional employment. Centers must identify other business services available for employers (including small businesses).
Labor exchange services must also provide labor market information to the individuals seeking services. The information must be accurate and include information on local, regional and national labor market areas such as:
- Job vacancies in labor market areas
- Information on job skills necessary to obtain the jobs
- Local, in-demand occupations and related earning potential
- Opportunities for advancement in those occupations
All One-Stops must provide the following career services:
- Outreach, intake and orientation
- Initial assessment
- Labor exchange services
- Eligibility for services
- Referrals to programs
- Performance and cost information
- Information on unemployment insurance
- Financial aid information
- Follow-up services
Additionally, One-Stops and partners must provide appropriate services for individuals to obtain or retain employment. These services include, but are not limited to:
- Individual Employment Plan (IEP)
- Career planning and counseling (no longer called case management)
- Comprehensive assessment
- Short-term prevocational services
- Internship and work experience including transitional jobs and industry partnerships
- Workforce preparation
- Out-of-area job search
- English language acquisition
- Financial literacy
What steps have you already taken to ensure your One-Stop Centers, operators and partners are ready to deliver required WIOA career services? Do you need help getting started or completing the processes?
If you are interested in gaining more information regarding WIOA implementation, please contact me at email@example.com.
Founded in 1979, EDSI is a national leader in workforce development, customized training and consulting.
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