The Workforce Development blog seeks to share best practices from NCLR Affiliates. The blog posts are intended to illustrate proven and successful strategies that can be incorporated into other programs to enhance program designs. Please feel free to contact NCLR if you need additional information.
Innovative Partnerships: Accessibility to Better Serve Youth
October 18, 2013
The Youth Policy Institute (YPI) provides education, training and technology services to empower Los Angeles families. YPI provides services at over 125 program sites throughout the city and offers individuals a number of resources for their families. Services provided by YPI include: afterschool programs, charter and pilot schools, job training, summer jobs for youth, physical education, adult education, computer literacy, holistic family services, case management, parenting classes, high school tutoring, and college preparation. Each year, YPI helps more than 100,000 youth and adults through these programs.
Leveraging Funding Can Mean More than Money
August 19, 2013
Submitted By: Concha Cordova, Associate Director, Youth Development, Inc. – Albuquerque, NM
As the economy has changed, so too have the needs of participants in workforce development programs. Gone are the days when program participants came to organizations solely for job assistance; these days, most individuals are in need of a job in addition to other services to remove barriers to employment, such as a past criminal record, bankruptcy, undocumented status, health issues, lack of housing, substance problems or mental health challenges, and low educational skills. To be able to provide these individuals with all the services they need, organizations like Youth Development Inc. (YDI), now find themselves engaging more in fundraising and partnership building, beyond simply hiring a job developer. Participants need to be provided with a holistic approach to serve all their needs and this requires more resources, which means more fundraising and better sustainability planning for the organization.
Best Practices in Workforce Development Case Management
March 19, 2013
Stephanie Noll, M.S.W., Mi Casa Resource Center, Denver, CO
Effective workforce development training programs include modules that focus on job readiness, such as helping people write a strong resume, develop effective job search skills, prepare for interviews, and hone soft skills. However, beyond a lack of workplace skills, many jobseekers experience barriers that interfere with their ability to acquire or retain employment. These barriers are often many and complex, such as a lack of affordable or accessible child or elder care, transportation, health care, or housing.
Drive-bys: SER’s Road Trip Job Placement Strategy
December 11, 2012
In the Little Village community of Chicago, as well as the surrounding communities of North Lawndale, East Garfield Park, and Pilsen, drive-bys are rarely thought of as something positive. Yet the job developers of Central States SER’s Healthcare Bridge Program have reinvented the term as they fill vacant certified nursing assistant (CNA) positions at many of the nursing homes and hospitals in Chicago and its suburbs.
Innovations in Program Development: Advisory Councils
November 16, 2011
In 1976, eight mothers of Head Start students in Denver decided they were going to do something to help women achieve personal and economic success. They understood that education and employment were vital for doing this, and that year the Mi Casa Resource Center (Mi Casa) was founded.
Effective Workforce Equity Requires Community Involvement
November 08, 2011
Portland, OR and its surrounding metropolitan area has been devastated by the current recession, much like many other cities and towns across America The region has suffered from mass layoffs, business closures, and a 12.2 percent unemployment rate. Low-income people and people of color have been most affected.
Effective Communication with Disconnected Youth: Unpacking the Message within the Message
June 02, 2011
The young person sighed as the teacher emphatically tried to communicate his point. The student’s body language reflected disenfranchisement and disconnection. Attempts to “get the point across” only resulted in a further negative reactions by the student. Was this just another classroom management issue?
Maximizing Your Net Worth through Your Network
May 20, 2011
In today’s financially competitive atmosphere, a small nonprofit organization must be able to position itself in such a way that opportunities are not missed; in fact, they must be created. Although research, knowledge, recruiting the right staff, and understanding the needs of the community are certainly factors that will impact success, a key to the entire process that should not be underestimated is the business of networking. Some call it “schmoozing.” Some refer to “being in the right place at the right time.” The truth of the matter is that relationship-building is a cornerstone of any organization whose goal is to improve the well-being of the people it serves.
Engaging Corporate Partners as Volunteers: Capitalizing on the Opportunity
April 06, 2011
When a small community-based organization has limited revenue and an overextended staff, it is time to think about volunteers—committed individuals who can help support the organization in ways beyond financial. Volunteers can make an important and noticeable impact in how community-based organizations function when used to the best of their potential. However, it’s a challenge for these organizations to meaningfully involve their volunteers so that they are able to receive the maximum benefit of the volunteers’ skills and knowledge.
Keep Them Coming Back After Graduation
January 18, 2011
Many organizations struggle to keep in touch with their clients once they have graduated from their programs, yet participant follow-up is one of the most important reporting outcomes demanded by funders.