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Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program

© Photographer: János Gehring | Agency: Dreamstime.com

By Samuel Harrell, With Dori Greco Rutherford and Billy Terry

Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource


A letter from Esperanza President, The Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr.

Helping someone get a job is a most gratifying experience. The sense of pride and self-worth an individual feels after hearing the words “The job is yours” is something you can plainly see. They walk a little bit taller, with a big smile on their face. That is what it is all about: lending a hand to others so they can succeed. However, getting to this point can sometimes be a challenge. Assessing people’s skills and preparation, and pairing them with the right jobs, is not always easy. For this reason, Esperanza would like to present this handbook, Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program, to help you define the steps needed to implement an effective workforce development program in your organization. From capacity building to participant recruitment, skills training, and job placement to funding, we have gathered all the practical how-to’s to equip you to successfully plan and execute a winning program. Most probably you have already felt the satisfaction of helping someone get ahead in life. Nevertheless, by learning how to organize and set your own program, you will be able to increase your outreach and make a positive impact in your community. Many blessings,

The Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr. President, Esperanza


TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction

II

Using this Guide

III

Setting the stage: The Workforce Investment System What is a Workforce Development Program?

IV VI

Chapter 1

Principles of Program Development First Steps and Considerations

Chapter 2

Starting From Square One How to Do Participant Outreach and Recruitment

11

Chapter 3

Participant Enrollment How to Do Program Intake

18

Chapter 4

Participant Assessment How to Do Participant Pre-Employment Career Assessment

23

Chapter 5

Supporting Participants How to Do Participant Case Management and Support

31

Chapter 6

Preparing Participants to be Work-Ready How to Do Employability Skills Training

38

Chapter 7

Participant Placement How to Do Job Development and Placement

44

Chapter 8

Participant Retention How to Promote and Support Participant Job Retention

54

Chapter 9

Assessing Success Data Collection, Progress Monitoring, and Outcome Measurement

59

Chapter 10 The Usual Suspects

1

66

Funding Your Workforce Development Program References

71

Acknowledgements

72

Glossary of Workforce Development Terms and Concepts

74

APPENDICES A B

Sample Job Descriptions Sample Forms / Tools

78 83

Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

I


Introduction In 2002, Nueva Esperanza, Inc. of Philadelphia established Esperanza as its national subsidiary. Esperanza works as an intermediary between government agencies and Hispanic faith-and community- based organizations. Esperanza has several national initiatives that offer a range of programs responsive to the needs of the community across the country. With a record of success as a liaison for the implementation of Federally-funded capacity development and service programs, Esperanza has emerged as a leading voice for Hispanics of faith at a national level. In July of 2004, Esperanza launched “Esperanza Trabajando” (Hope Works), a multi-city, three-year project designed to enhance the employability of Latino adjudicated and at-risk youth by providing education and training services. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in partnership with its Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI), “Esperanza Trabajando” seeks to transform the lives of participating youth by supporting them in moving from unemployed aimlessness and troubled futures to new paths leading to career-oriented employment, fulfillment, and success. As envisioned by Esperanza, the focus of the “Esperanza Trabajando” program is to engage local faith-based and community organizations as active partners in the planning and delivery of workforce development services for targeted youth. To date, the program has been successfully launched in a number of communities across the country, including: Bethlehem, PA Boston, MA Bronx, NY

Chelsea, MA Chicago, IL Miami, FL

New York, NY Orlando, FL Sacramento, CA

San Jose, CA Santa Ana, CA Tacoma, WA

Tampa, FL Tucson, AZ

Through the experiences gained in working with a diverse group of faith-based and community organizations in the implementation of “Esperanza Trabajando”, Esperanza has had a unique opportunity to develop an understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by many local service providers seeking to establish new or enhanced workforce development programs. While there have been issues encountered and successes achieved that are specific to individuals, a range of common themes and considerations have been identified by the Esperanza team that can be of value to others contemplating entry into the workforce development field. Drawing upon the lessons learned and best practices observed through operation of “Esperanza Trabajando”, this guide is designed to offer entry level practitioners a set of recommendations and propose guidance for planning and implementation of effective workforce programs in their communities.

Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Using this Guide As envisioned by Esperanza, the purpose of this Guide is to offer recommendations and suggested approaches for the development of new or enhanced workforce development programs by faith-based and community organizations. With this in mind, the Guide is perhaps most appropriate for new entrants to the workforce development field engaged in designing, implementing, and enhancing programs. It is not intended as an exhaustive study of program development or operation, but instead is offered as an introduction to key concepts and components. In Chapter 1 of the Guide, we discuss the considerations and steps associated with planning and development of a workforce development program. This is followed by a series of chapters that touch upon core program components. These include: Chapter 2: Outreach and recruitment Chapter 3: Program intake Chapter 4: Skills assessment Chapter 5: Case management and support Chapter 6: Employability skills training Chapter 7: Job development and placement Chapter 8: Job retention Chapter 9 presents an overview of the vital importance of establishing clear performance indicators for your program and using them to regularly assess progress achieved and outcomes attained. Finally, Chapter 10 offers guidance as to potential public and private sources for program funding. In presenting the Guide, it is important to state that we do not suggest that there is any “one size fits all” approach to workforce development program design and operation that is appropriate to every situation and circumstance. On the contrary, the richness and strength of the nation’s workforce development system relies upon the diversity of models and strategies that are tested and refined by communities across the country. In this regard, you should view yourself as an expert that has a great deal to offer in terms of the needs, capabilities, and strengths of your community. As a result, your knowledge and expertise should be brought to bear to enrich the effectiveness and relevance of the recommendations and suggestions offered in the Guide. As a final note for those with experience in the field or beginners interested in more indepth information, we encourage you to draw upon the wealth of other resources available from a variety of organizations. For example, one Web site that offers listings of and ready access to reference materials, event schedules, and funding opportunities is http://www. workforceusa.net. A list of other workforce development organizations and resource sites can be found on the Web at http://www.c-pal.net/build/workdev/web_org.asp.

Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

III


Setting the Stage: The Workforce Development System The history of the nation’s workforce development system dates back to the 1930s. In response to the economic dislocation and high levels of unemployment experienced across the country leading up to and during the Great Depression, a national network of employment service offices was created by the Federal Government in collaboration with states to serve as a job matching resource for employers and workers. In another initiative, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was established as a temporary measure to provide millions of idle workers with public works jobs primarily focused on streets, highways, and other infrastructure improvements. As the effects of the Great Depression waned and national attention focused increasingly on World War II, the WPA was expanded to include vocational education and training of the unemployed to prepare them for the rapidly growing number of factory jobs in the US economy. The WPA was finally ended by Congress in the 1940s as the War and vibrant industrial sector together eliminated the last vestiges of large scale unemployment. Further, there were concerns that the WPA was, for the most part, managed centrally by the Federal Government, with limited state involvement. The next significant milestone in the development of the national workforce development system was the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) in 1964. Spurred by an increasing awareness of the income inequality and limited career opportunities that contributed to growing social unrest in many communities, EOA was a cornerstone of the War on Poverty launched in the 1960s. The Job Corps program, first authorized under EOA, remains to this day as a major workforce development effort focused on at-risk youth. While EOA was the lineal successor to the WPA, a number of other Federal initiatives focused on workforce development and training were also created in the 1960s. Coupled with the central management of EOA by the Federal Government, this led to concerns in terms of coordination across separately funded programs and the limited state role in the implementation of a cohesive workforce development system. In response to these concerns, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) was enacted in 1973 as the core workforce development program for the nation. CETA was based on the use of block grants directed to state and local governments. CETA represented the largest Federal investment in workforce development services to date, and led to the creation of a wide range of on the job and classroom-based training programs. Among the programs created under CETA that remain today, the Summer Youth Employment Program offers thousands of youth paid jobs during the summer months. Concerns as to the cost of the programs funded through CETA and limited evidence as to the success of the workforce development system it created in helping the poor out of poverty led to a growing lack of support for continuation. CETA was eventually replaced by the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) in 1982. JTPA moved further in the direction of decentralization and increased the state role in the management of workforce development programs. Further, JTPA sought to encourage greater private sector involvement in the planning of employment and training services. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Throughout the earlier history of the workforce development system, training programs were largely viewed as antipoverty measures and were often focused on categorical groups. This led to persistent challenges in terms of funding and questions as to the effectiveness of the workforce development system as a whole. In an effort to address these issues, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) was enacted in 1998 as a successor to JTPA. Key changes that accompanied WIA include: Universality Unlike JTPA, WIA holds universal access to the workforce development system as a vital principle. While the traditional system focused on those in poverty and categorical groups, WIA defines sets of services that are available to all. Dual Customer Model Under JTPA, there was an acknowledgment that both the supply and demand sides of the labor market were important to the workforce development system. WIA built on this and elevates employers to a position of being viewed as equal customers for the system, including the definition of services to be provided for the private sector. Employer Involvement While JTPA made some movement in the direction of employer participation in workforce program design, WIA mandates greater involvement and majority membership in planning bodies at the state and local levels. Choice Under JTPA, workforce programs were generally offered through contractual service agreements at the local level with selected service providers. WIA moves in the direction of greater individual choice through the creation of individual training accounts (ITAs) for workers identified as needing intensive training. Through the use of ITAs, participants are able to select a program on their own from among lists of approved providers. Program Coordination WIA moves the workforce development system in the direction of simplified access to workforce programs. A number of previously separate programs have been consolidated or better coordinated through WIA. Perhaps the most significant structural change made by WIA was the creation of the OneStop service delivery system. As mandated by WIA, local One-Stop Centers provide a menu of core services and resources available to all community residents at no cost. These include: Initial assessment of worker skills, aptitudes, and abilities Career guidance and counseling support Job search and job placement assistance Labor market information and employment statistics Training and education program information and referral Support services information and referral Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Additionally, intensive services may also be available to a worker through his or her local One-Stop Career Center based on identified need. These intensive services might include in depth assessment and testing; employment and support service planning; individualized and group career planning; prevocational employability skills development; and case management. As a further source of support, an array of skills training services may also be accessed through the One-Stop Career Center, subject to funding availability and worker eligibility for ITAs. Although the One-Stop Career Centers across the country collectively define the breadth and reach of the national workforce development system, they are first and foremost designed to be responsive to local needs. As a result, their operations and mix of services differ significantly from one region to another, and the One-Stop Career Centers may be referred to by a different name in your state and community, such as Workforce Center in Texas, WorkSource Center in Washington, and CareerLink Center in Pennsylvania. However, as mandated by WIA, they all share a commitment to providing core service support to employers and workers. From the perspective as a faith-based or community organization, the local One-Stop Center is a key point of contact access to workforce development services. The nearest Center may be found by calling the DOL toll-free help line at (877) 872-5627. Alternatively, America’s Service Locator is sponsored by DOL and is available online at http:// www.servicelocator.org. This Web site offers an easy to use directory that supports searching for One-Stop Career Centers. For more information on the WIA system, see the DOL publication, Employment Assistance is One Step Away, available online at http://www.dol.gov/cfbci/employmentassistance.htm. This resource offers detail on the workforce development system and its leadership structure; the One-Stop Career Centers and their services; youth programs; and more. Additionally, information on how to apply for DOL discretionary grants and helpful grant writing guidance is provided.

Setting the Stage: What is a Workforce Development Program? In the preceding section, we described the legislative structure for the workforce development system. As further context for this Guide, it now remains to establish a definition for workforce development programs themselves. In effect, what is a workforce development program? While the actual content of a workforce development program varies substantially from one community to another and even from one organization within a community to another, they all include one or more of the following elements: Matching of workers to available employment opportunities Training of workers in vocational skills related to occupations or industries Instruction of workers in vocationally-oriented remedial education Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Preparation of workers in appropriate work behaviors and attitudes Development of relationships with both employers and workers Delivery of support services focused on program and job retention “Miguel is a bright young man that was referred to our program, Good Works – a six week workreadiness training program located next to our church. When asked, Miguel will tell you that he wants to make big money and be the boss on a job. However, Miguel has few real marketable skills. He has been successful getting jobs in the service industry – fast food restaurants mostly, but does not seem able to keep them.

Additionally, a workforce development program should include some means of collecting and analyzing labor market information from both the supply and demand sides. This does not have to involve statistical modeling or other complex methods, but should instead focus on identifying at some level what jobs are available locally and what skills are needed for employment. In shaping a workforce development program, a faith-based or community organization has the flexibility to determine which elements to include based on capacity, local need, funding availability, and other key factors. However, what most distinguishes a workforce development is its desired outcome. The central purpose of the program must be to support employment and job retention, to the satisfaction of both workers and their employers. While education and other human services may focus on the self-actualization of the individual or improvements in the quality of life, these are not measures of success for a workforce development program. That is not to say that these are not important (they are!). Instead, our purpose here is to clearly state that, at the end of the day, regardless of what other positive benefits a workforce development program has to offer, the guiding principle and ultimate performance yardstick must be the extent to which it contributes to the successful placement and retention of participants in employment.

Miguel is not considered work-ready. Former employers point to Miguel’s being chronically late for work. His attitude at work also has been an issue at times. He does not take well to authority figures, does not always dress appropriate for the job and even uses inappropriate language for the work place. Miguel was referred to us by his mother Maribel, a member of our church, because we offer job preparation and placement.”

Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Principles of Program Development

1

Principles of Program Development First Steps and Considerations Program development is the process of planning, refining, and documenting the structure and content of the collection of services you wish to offer. As such, it involves defining the policy, informational, operational, and procedural frameworks that together shape your program. As a guide for this process, we suggest that you organize your efforts around a core set of principles: Principle #1: Principle #2: Principle #3: Principle #4: Principle #5:

Know Your Purpose to Know Your Mission Know the Need to Get Your Purpose Know Your Function to Decide Your Form Planning Provides Direction People Are Your Most Valuable Resource

We discuss each of these principles in the remainder of this chapter.

1.1

Principle #1: Know Your Purpose to Know Your Mission

Someone once asked a crowd of students what the biggest nation in the world was. Many answers were offered. But this was a trick question. The biggest nation in the world is not one that is geographical. It transcends geography. It is “the IMAGINATION”. Imagination is where we get our vision for change. “Vision”, in the discussion of program planning, speaks to where you see your program in the long-term future. It describes what impact you expect to have on the issue. This is the fun part. Developing the vision for your program is about “dreaming dreams.” As a guide for the visioning process, there are key questions that should be addressed: “Why should you start this workforce development program?” “What will be the purpose of the program?” “What identified needs will the program address?” “What do you hope to achieve though the program?” For many faith-based and community organizations, there is another vital question: “Is this program compatible and consistent with the mission of your organization?” To address these questions, we recommend that you begin by gathering a team of three to five people to talk about the workforce development program. This initial team might include current organizational staff, members of your Board of Directors, community residents, or other key stakeholders. With this core group, brainstorm about what your program seeks to achieve. Ask tons of questions, exploring who to target (i.e. “client profile”), what similar programs do (whose model you might wish to adapt), what difference your program will make on the employment of participants in your community, and other considerations. Ultimately, what this brainstorming exercise will lead to is a preliminary vision for your program. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Principles of Program Development

Building on this preliminary vision, the next step is to work with your group to shape a purpose statement. This should be a written document that clearly addresses the key points that define the reason for your program and guide your program development efforts. More specifically, it should address the mission, goals, and objectives you have set. In outline form, this might look like: Mission General summary statement describing the issues or challenges the program seeks to address and how it will address them. An abbreviated example might be: “Through the XYZ Workforce Development Program, XYZ Agency will provide training and employment placement services for residents of the ABC community to enhance their employability and the economic wellbeing of their families.” Goal A concise statement of an abstract outcome you hope to achieve through the program. For example, for our sample purpose, a goal might be: “XYZ Workforce Development Program will offer skills training instruction that will prepare participants in banking and finance occupations.” Objective A clear statement of measurable activities and outcomes that are directly related to a program goal. For example: “A minimum of 25 participants will be enrolled in skills training instruction in banking and finance occupations offered through the XYZ Workforce Development Program.” Note that your statement of purpose should have a number of goals and associated objectives. There is no set number, but there should be enough goals to fully describe your program, and sufficient objectives related to each goal so that you will know when you have achieved it. A word of caution is warranted here. Many program developers get caught up in the difference between a goal and an objective. For the most part, a goal is a general statement of something you want to achieve that is supportive of your purpose. As such, it should be intangible and imprecise in nature. Conversely, objectives support a goal and are both tangible and precise. In short, if an objective cannot be readily measured, it is not an objective! Okay, so we are clear... You get your purpose from dreaming dreams (your vision). You get your mission from having clarity about your purpose. But to begin with, how do you prove that your program needs to exist at all?

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Principles of Program Development

1.2

Principle #2: Know the Need to Get Your Purpose

Being able to speak about the purpose and mission of your program assumes you did the following work: Needs assessment Capacity assessment Feasibility assessment These are technical terms but important ones. It is part of the language funders and supporters will recognize and they represent a critical consideration in the development of your new program. Needs Assessment Needs assessment refers to the activities you will undertake to document real need in your targeted community. This goes beyond reviewing ungrounded (however often they may be repeated!) perceptions or assumptions. Instead, needs assessment involves collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data that support the purpose, goals, and objectives for your program. To conduct a needs assessment, we recommend that you draw upon your initial planning group to define and guide the process. You need thinkers now, people who will help you map your way toward program development. This group may become your first board of directors or board of advisors once you are established. For now, call them your “task force” and their first task will be the needs assessment. Some of the questions you may want to consider with the group are: What is the labor market problem affecting the community that you seek to address? How do you know this is the true need of the community (or target population) and not just what you think the need is? What are some ways you can determine the true need? On this last point, we strongly encourage you to collect some basic statistics that characterize your community from a labor market perspective. Accurate data collected by recognized sources can be very powerful in supporting your program. Further, public and a number of private statistics are available at no cost via the Internet.

The statistics you may find most useful are those that clearly suggest areas of community need. Some examples might include median income, high school dropout rates, poverty rates, labor force participation rates, and unemployment rates. With a little work, this type of information can be drawn from such sources as: Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov) - maintains critical demographic information on your target population. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov) - Offers a wealth of statistics at the national, state, and local levels. State workforce statistics - All states are required to maintain workforce statistics. Using the internet, visit your state’s official Web site for state workforce statistics. Internet - through the use of a computer with internet access, this resource provides a world of information at your fingertips. To access that information, you will likely utilize search engines and tools like Google (http://www.google.com), for example, and type in words like “workforce development” along with your state or local municipality. Other helpful data sources will be found at the DOL Web site (http://www.dol.gov) and the National Association of Workforce Boards Web site (http://www.nawb.org). In addition to the Internet, your local public library and nearby university libraries can be invaluable resources. In addition to compilations of statistical data, you will likely find published research findings, professional journals, news articles, maps, and a wealth of other information that will be supportive of your needs assessment. Other key sources of information might include: Local Consolidated Plan - this is the plan developed by your municipality or county that lists the priorities for funding and project implementation in the coming fiscal year. This can be very useful in identifying needs in a target geographic area. WIA Planning Process - this is the two-year plan developed by states that list the states’ workforce priorities. This will be important to you the plan provides information on the state’s proposed expected outcomes for employment rate, job retention, funding, etc. Visit www.doleta.gov/usworkforce/WIA/planstatus.cfm for detailed ongoing and updated information about your state’s plan. Finally, you may wish to collect some data on your own. This may be the most effective way to get information specific to your community. Approaches include: Community Survey - this involves conducting your own interviews with target populations to learn about their needs. See the Appendices for a sample generic community survey. Employer Survey - employers are the other side of the labor market. In developing a program, you want to make sure you are responsive to their needs. This will be discussed in some detail later in Chapter 7.

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Principles of Program Development

Once you have collected data, the critical next step is to analyze the information and clearly identify what community challenges and opportunities can be reasonably deduced. You may want to consider whether some assistance in this task might be helpful. One possibility may be to draw upon the resources available through local higher education institutions. Many colleges and universities sponsor no-cost internship programs that involve engaging students in conducting community research. This may be both a valuable source of support for your task force and a good learning experience for the interns. Capacity Assessment Capacity is another way of talking about “assets.” Assets are those valuable and/or beneficial items that you have access to or already possess. They could be property, people (Board, staff, volunteers), pending opportunities, influence, money, experience, expertise, etc. When you assess what your capacity is to offer a program, you will want to ask yourself whether you bring the following to the table: Organizational Resources An infrastructure (i.e., fiscal, operations) Policy leadership (board, executive director) A mission statement Program Resources Program leadership (program staff and/or volunteers) Clear goals Clear sense of what will be my expected results (objectives) Management experience Experience in workforce development No matter how strong your commitment is and how overwhelming the need in your community, objective assessment in these and other areas may lead you to conclude that you are not in a position to take on a new or enhanced workforce development program. While this may be disappointing, it is not a bad thing. It is potentially far more damaging for your organization and your community to take on a new program and fail due to a lack of capacity than it is to wait until you are better able to rise to the challenge! Feasibility Assessment Feasibility assessment asks the question “Can you do it?” After assessing and documenting that your program is needed in your target community, you now want to ask: Do I have the adequate organizational resources that are compatible with a workforce development program? This is an issue of core mission fit. Do I have the right: • staff • development team • consultants Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Principles of Program Development

• • •

partnerships planning strategy structural and/or technological capacity

Who else is doing this work? You may wish to take a quick look (scan) at the community and surrounding environment (a.k.a. environmental scan). What are the issues pertaining to the program I seek to offer in this community? How are the issues perceived in the public? What are the potential obstacles to my successfully offering this program in the area I seek to offer it and for the population I seek to serve? What are the opportunities? Is this fundable? - e.g., how will I pay for it? Here again, you may have the best intentions in the world, but if it is not feasible, it is best to wait. All too often, organizations launch programs without having the base of resources needed to support them. This is a recipe for eventual disaster, a disaster that can affect the health of your organization as a whole. Therefore, be as objective as you can in your feasibility assessment.

1.3

Principle #3: Know Your Function to Decide Your Form

Knowing your function comes from what we have said so far - knowing the purpose, vision, and mission for your program. This will help you determine what form you need. Do you need to be a nonprofit organization? Should you be for-profit? Will the program best fit as a component of an existing organization or should it stand alone as a new entity? Maybe you start under another institution (your church, for example) and then launch in the future as a separate organization. The form you take is dependent upon a clear understanding of your function (mission/business) when contemplating your proposed workforce development program. Other key considerations include what aspects of workforce development programming you will provide: Will you offer a job training component directly, partner with other agencies or contract it out to another job training resources. As will be discussed later, job training is multifaceted. You might have expertise in one aspect (soft skills development for example) but not another (industry- specific skills training). Should you be thinking of doing direct job placement or working with either a referral partner or contracted job placement agency? Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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After you have determined your function and form you will next need to create your plan.

1.4

Principle #4: Planning Provides Direction

You will need a plan that governs your program’s development. The plan will express what goals you want to reach and provide a map of how you are going to work towards those goals. Planning provides direction to your staff, funders, supporters, community, and others. A successful planning process will answer the old questions of: Who? What? When? Where? How? and Why?

Planning Checklist Set aside enough time to plan Create or confirm the vision and mission Consider community needs Assess resources, constraints, opportunities and environment Identify potential funding sources and possible funding amounts Establish goals and objectives Create a work plan for implementing the goals and objectives Develop a financial plan and budget Implement the plan Develop a process for evaluating the plan Monitor and update the plan

Who will you reach through the program? What services will you provide? When can you hire staff? Where will we get them? How will you identify potential employers? And of course, why are you doing this at all? These are just some of the questions that will be part of your planning deliberations. With these answered, you will build upon your statement of purpose and shape a detailed picture of how you will launch your program and what it looks like. A clear and well-developed plan will serve as a guide, allowing you to avoid pitfalls. It will act as a basis for future program growth and collaboration with others, as well as a foundation for how you might approach new programs. Planning addresses the quality and appropriateness of your proposed program and should include:

Expression of program objectives and expected outcomes Actions you will take to implement the plan Proposed budget details (hard to budget without a plan) Your timetable - e.g. what will happen in the first quarter (3 months)? Second quarter (3rd-6th months)? And so on... Demonstration of how the plan you are using addresses the needs you documented during the needs assessment phase Indication of how you will determine success (i.e. evaluation) The plan should present information in sufficient detail to clearly describe: Vision

How would the world be a better place if you are successful? Where do you want your program to be in the long-term future? Mission

Why do you exist and what is your business? Goals

What are you trying to accomplish programmatically? Objectives

What are the expected results from achievement of your goals? Activities/Strategies. What specific actions you will take to achieve our goals?

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Principles of Program Development

Budget and Funding Plan

What are the expenses associated with your program (the true costs), what is your funding plan? Will you seek government funding? Foundation? Other? What is the rationale for your strategy? What is realistic? On this last point, it is important to state that the budget should serve as a financial reflection of the narrative plan. It should reflect all of the cost associated with the staffing, resources, and materials you propose committing to the program. With that said, it is critical that you be as realistic as possible in setting a budget and try to keep within the limits of what you think you can get. Too often, programs fail because they set a budget of, say, $250K, only get funding of $100K, and then try to stick to the plan in spite of its having a significantly higher budget! Again, be realistic, and if you do not get fully funded, be sure you have a “Plan B.” Finally, write up the plan. Share it with a few who may not know much about your proposed program. See if it makes sense. Is it logical? Is it clear? You want feedback at this point because if it does not make sense to them, it may not make sense to those from whom you will be seeking financial support in the near future.

1.5

Principle #5: People are Your Most Valuable Resource

You have your purpose. You have your plan. Now you need people to pull it off! You will need the right people (board, staff, and volunteers). This is critical to your program development and eventual success. In developing your staffing plan, careful thought needs to go into ensuring that all core program activities are covered. Although there is no standard staffing model for workforce development programs and your human resource needs will vary based on the intensity and mix of services you plan to offer, there are a number of functions that might be involved. These include: Outreach

Conducting program outreach from referral sources, market the program amongst prospective sources, make presentations, provide written literature about the program and intake process, describe eligibility requirements and act as first point of contact with your program. Intake and Case Management

Assisting participants with formal intake into the program where participant goals are developed, educational level is assessed, and critical biographical data is gathered. Case management also involves helping participants define career goals and may do job counseling. They serve as point persons for participant barrier resolution and resource referral; they review program compliance terms with participants and assist them in meeting its requirements. Files are established on the participant and referrals are made to partner resource centers where participant needs are addressed and progress is tracked toward stated goals. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Principles of Program Development

Job Development

Utilizing traditional sales and marketing approaches, the Job Developer is responsible for employer recruitment and networking, employer-employee job matching, individual participant job counseling, participant job-placement, ongoing employer post-placement support and employer and participant follow-up for a predetermined period. Job Developers often also serve clients with their second or more job placement needs, while working hard to encourage participant successful job retention. Job retention is a typical goal of job developers and they use various strategies, including sundry incentive options, to encourage participants to provide proof of both employment and evidence of longevity on that job (i.e., employee pay-stub or letter from an employer). Job Training

Provides classroom and/or hands-on instruction to program participants to address vocational skill development, as well as soft skills, life skills, job search strategies, resume writing, interview skills, oral and written communication skills, and more. Data Collection and Reconciliation

Collects critical participant and program progress data and inputs the information into an electronic database system (often prescribed for use by a funding source). The data entered typically indicates job placement success, job retention success, individual program participant progress against their goals, etc. Depending on the type of program you offer and the type of funding source you have, data on work participation rates, participant community services activities and more will be captured and analyzed by the Data Coordinator. This function is critical not only for ongoing program evaluation of progress and success but often is tied to how programs are able to receive payment for work accomplished on behalf of clients served. You will want to clearly define your staffing structure to ensure that these and other functions are all addressed. As a guide for your own staff planning, we have included sample job descriptions in Appendix A. Identifying and cultivating your staff is very important. The truth is, many staffs are overwhelmed with large caseloads, and it takes a person with a “missionary-like” commitment and zeal to work in this area. The rewards are those associated with the success of people who seek to make strides and changes in their lives. Selecting the right team with the right stuff takes real judgment. Take time in making your staff choices and be sure to properly invest and cultivate those gems you bring aboard.

1.6

Bringing It All Together

Remember, we start with Imagination. This is your opportunity to dream about what you are, will be, and what impact you seek to have. Next, you research and assess. Can you validate that the program is needed? Do you have a realistic possibility of succeeding? What do you have to offer today in terms of qualifications, expertise, opportunity, and other assets? What more do you need? Can you do it? Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Principles of Program Development

With these and other questions satisfactorily answered, we are ready to move forward to the meat of the matter: your mission. You do this in the context of planning. What is your organization’s business? What services do you currently offer? How does the proposed workforce development program fit within this structure? Once you know the mission, you can decide on what kind of program you need to be. Should you be a separate nonprofit? Would it be best to work as a program within another agency? Next, you move to the most valuable resource: people. What kind of people and positions do you need to accomplish that mission? Remember, that means board, staff, and volunteers. Now that you have designed your program, you need to implement it. In the next six chapters, we discuss the core elements of a workforce development program. For now, let us begin in Chapter 2 with the first key element of your workforce program: the participants.

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Starting From Square One: How to Do Participant Outreach and Recruitment

2

Starting From Square One How to Do Participant Outreach and Recruitment Participant outreach and recruitment is part science, art, and faith. It is science inasmuch as there are distinct measures to take that go into successful recruitment. It is art to the extent you are creative in your approaches. And finally, it is important to have faith that those in need of your program will come in to receive help! Recruitment strategies include everything from making presentations at neighborhood recreation centers, schools, churches, and neighborhood associations to having contracts with state and local workforce development agencies that refer clients to you. The first step in building a successful workforce development program is drawing on community strengths. To recruit participants to your program, begin by reaching out to your community colleagues (other community organizations, churches, health centers, neighborhood associations, etc.). It is important to note that one of the primary reasons that community-based programs are so essential is that government typically does not do a good job of reaching the people you are likely trying to serve. After all, that should be why you are doing the program at all! While selected strategies are suggested below, you will likely find that your most effective marketing tool is program success. By word of mouth spread by successful participants and satisfied employers, you can generally rely on greater numbers of referrals from public and community agencies, as well as increases in “walk-in” traffic.

2.1

Making the Connection

Step 1: Get Prepared

Prepare your presentation - a quick snapshot of who you are, what you provide as a workforce development program and any unique program characteristics you offer. Examples may include your job training, job placement, soft-skills development, professional attire assistance, transportation, case management and follow-up, after care supports and/or wrap-around services. You may also wish to indicate your willingness to report to them on your method for tracking participant progress. Step 2: Reach Out

Inside Networks First The most effective outreach is at the grassroots level. Successful programs are wellconnected to their communities and can readily reach their constituents through such grassroots efforts as word of mouth, leafleting, engaging local merchants, etc. So, pull out your rolodex or phone list and make calls to other faith-based and community partners you know; get out on the streets and canvas the neighborhood with information about your services. Go to places where people naturally gather, Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Starting From Square One: How to Do Participant Outreach and Recruitment

including: churches, supermarkets, corner stores, barber shops and beauty salons. Direct contact with the community is the key! Outside Networks Too This is outreach to organizations and agencies with which you do not presently have a relationship. With the aforementioned telephone book in hand, call and inquire who it is that will permit referrals to your program. Do not be discouraged, you may have to make several calls at first in order to get through. Networks Inside or Out Ask for a meeting - an opportunity to address those that work with the participants you seek to serve. Step 3: Clarify Relationships

When addressing the staff, be sure to not only describe the program you offer, but ask for a point of contact that will be responsible to make the referrals to your program. Ask if it be possible for you to come and make a presentation to their participants. You want to get in front of the greatest number of participants possible. Ask when that would occur? Whenever possible, seek to establish a written agreement with the agency outlining what you each agree to do. This is usually more of a memorandum of understanding and not a binding contract. The intent is to have some written expression that governs your friendly relationship with the partner (it may also be useful to draft a schedule for both parties to report on progress and activities). Step 4: Meet Expectations

Demonstrate your commitment to do what you agreed to do. Meet with the agency at their designated times and locations (day and evening). Continuously stay in touch with referral agency staff by email or phone. This will accomplish a great deal. You are building the relationship at this point and your program consistency, willingness to go the extra-mile and quality service delivery are the keys to building a productive partnership. This establishes your program’s credibility as a reliable and passionate workforce development provider.

2.2

Use of Advertisement

Many workforce development programs have found that the use of advertising in the local newspaper is a remarkably promising tool, for several reasons. Most importantly, this process inherently screens prospective participants for those wanting to work, enabling those willing to engage “the system” to take the initiative to find a program that can help them do so.1 The key is to think broadly about where a participant comes from to reach you. Some programs use innovations like “Help Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Starting From Square One: How to Do Participant Outreach and Recruitment

Wanted” advertisements placed in the “Classified” section of the local city-wide and neighborhood newspapers as a means to yield many interested prospects. Of course, the tradeoff for the use of advertising is that there is often a cost involved. This may be minimal based on the media outlet used, but it is something to keep in mind. A first step may be to identify what is available to you for free. One approach might include requesting that ads be run in newspaper, TV, and radio as public services announcements. There is a great deal of demand for these limited free opportunities, so it would work best if you have a relationship with the media outlet already. Another approach is to provide information about your program to local churches and other community groups. They may happy to include an announcement for your program in their newsletters or Web sites. If you do have to pay, be selective! Too often, programs choose to make unnecessarily large investments in major newspapers and radio stations. You may have just as much (and probably more!) success if you instead use community media. Print or air ad space is much less costly, and it may very well more likely be seen or heard by your community.

2.3

Engaging Public Agencies

Many workforce development programs receive funding by contracting with government agencies (Federal, state, or local) to serve their clients. An example might be a state department of public welfare contracting with a workforce development organization to provide job training, placement, and retention services for a defined number of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participants. In this scenario, the contracting agency may refer their clients to your program asking you to offer a set of services for a prescribed period of time. You will be asked to conduct the services according to their expectations; be monitored by the government entity for program compliance; regularly submit program and client data to the agency; and receive payment for services, often both on a performance and cost reimbursement basis. While a contractual relationship is one way of working with the public sector and a potentially valuable source of financial support, it is not the only way. There are many number of reasons for why you may want to work with government outside of direct financial support. For one thing, the agencies may be valuable sources of referrals for your program. For another, as they come to value your program, they can be extremely helpful in validating the effectiveness of the services you have to offer, both through formal letters of support and informal word of mouth among their colleagues. Some of the key agencies with which you may want to establish a working relationship are:

1 When the Gates Open – Ready4Work, A National Response to the Prisoner Reentry Crisis, by Joshua Good and Pamela Sherrid; Field Report Series, Public/Private Ventures October 2005.

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Starting From Square One: How to Do Participant Outreach and Recruitment

Department of Labor - for referrals from the local One-Stop Career Centers Department of Corrections - for referrals from the courts system i.e. judges and probation and parole officers assigned to ex-offender returnees. Department of Education - for vocational rehabilitation referrals. Department of Public Welfare - for “Welfare to Work” TANF recipients and food stamp recipients that are coming off of public assistance and transitioning to the workforce. Public Housing Authority - for access to individuals and families on their case roster that are in need of workforce development and job placement. Department of Health - for the placement of people deemed ready for work by their health care provider. Vocational Rehabilitation - for referrals considered physically and mentally able to work. Note that the actual names of these agencies vary substantially from one community to another. Further, subject to state law, they may be structured as state agencies, or they may be organized as units of county or municipal government. In some cases, they may be separately established authorities or quasi-public entities.

2.4

A Note on Ex-Offender Recruitment

Through “Esperanza Trabajando”, Esperanza and our community partners offer workforce development services for adjudicated youth. Considered a “special population” - and by some a hard to place group - ex-offenders are widely recruited by “Esperanza Trabajando” using a model structured around three primary strategies: Contact with the Family

Very often, workforce development programs will receive a telephone call or visit from a family member seeking help for a loved-one that is either incarcerated now and soon to be released from prison back into the community, or out of prison now and in need of a job. They learned about your program because of your effective canvassing of the community with information about your services, by word of mouth, or by referral from your partners in the community. When receiving this call, be sure to focus on ways you can help. Be prepared with basic questions that will assist you in determining whether their loved-one is eligible for your services or not. Be committed to not simply turning them away. They are likely used to being told what is not possible. Find ways to get them the assistance they need either by your direct service or referral to some other agency. Be proactive

Consider creating a flyer targeting parents of incarcerated but soon returning sons Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Starting From Square One: How to Do Participant Outreach and Recruitment

and daughters. Indicate your workforce development services and desire to provide work readiness training and place ex-offenders on a job. Distribute door-to-door, at local churches, places of business, etc. This proactive means of recruiting will be most welcomed by parents looking for ways to help their loved one. Pre-Release Recruitment

Contact with the family is a desired strategy, but participants soon to be coming home from prison will certainly benefit from meeting you and learning about your program before they are released. A pre-release participant is defined as an incarcerated individual who is within a certain number of days of scheduled release. Steps in pre-release recruitment include identifying and securing relationships with three essential partners: the department of corrections, probation and parole, and relevant human service agencies where prisoners are mandated to (i.e., faith-based and community based organizations, substance abuse partners, etc.). Workforce programs serving ex-offenders usually have developed partnerships with justice agencies, the law-enforcement community, and court systems so they can recruit participants upon their release from incarceration. The criminal justice system involves a number of actors and key organizational stakeholders that are natural allies if approached in a way that adds to their base of resources, not their workloads! Typical partners include: Department of Corrections The Department of Corrections for your state or county is an obvious and key partner for pre-release recruiting since they house the inmates - or your future participants. Depending on the penal jurisdiction, they welcome reentry programs as partners to aid in the successful reintegration of those released. Steps in developing this relationship include: Step 1: Understand the corrections system It includes (at a minimum) half-way houses, work release centers and drug courts. Step 2: Meet with the jail or prison administrator Present what your workforce development program has to offer (i.e., job training, job placement, case management, mentoring, incentives and other benefits) and its eligibility requirements along with participant’s expectations. Ask for the ongoing opportunity to present the program to eligible inmates under his/her responsibility. Step 3: Work with the administrator If granted permission: Receive your own orientation and training on the penal institution (prison or jail) and protocols governing your access to the facilities and inmates. Obtain required security clearances (may include background checks, issuance of requisite ID card, etc.). Create schedule (days, times, frequency per month) for presentations Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Starting From Square One: How to Do Participant Outreach and Recruitment

to be made and enrollment to take place. Work with facility staff (i.e., counselors, case managers) to identify eligible potential participants. Step 4: Announce the opportunity to inmates Many organizations post a sign-up sheet at the facility in a place of high inmate traffic. The posting includes information about the program, clearly stated program eligibility requirements (including, in some cases asking for inmates to include their age and felony conviction), and name. Step 5: Follow the agreed-upon schedule While style differences prevail, common elements of a recruitment presentation include: Welcome and introduce yourself. Introduce the program. Present eligibility criteria (be prepared with alternative options for those who inevitably will attend but are not eligible) and be concise about program expectations. Make the pitch. Bait the “hook”. At this point there is variation. Typically, presentations include a strong resonate appeal to the person. Strategies include: • Discussing if the person is ready for change. • Discussing the role of a job in being successful on the outside of prison. • If they have children, discuss how they are serving as role models. Give them the image of their children following in their footsteps. This is usually met with universal agreement that they do not wish for their children to one day end up in prison. • Discussing how joining the program will aid their case for release (early or otherwise). • Provide personal testimony of outreach person or those on the outreach staff who have themselves (1) served time in prison and (2) become successful on the reentry road (if applicable). Step 6: Collect intake forms The work now begins. In workforce programs, doing pre-release work means performing a measure of case management while participants are behind bars. Case management includes, but is not limited to, a great deal of individual counseling. Many programs also endeavor to pair participants with a mentor. In this regard, mentors too, will need to attend security clearance sessions to gain access to their mentee in many cases. Probation and Parole Officers Probation and Parole officers serve as key partners in pre-and post-release recruitment because they often possess the: (1) ability to mandate parolees or probationers to your reentry program; (2) ability to provide a key level of accountability useful Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Starting From Square One: How to Do Participant Outreach and Recruitment

in keeping participants engaged in the program and, keeping track of participants; (3) ability to refer eligible participants to the program. Human Service Agencies Most workforce development programs work in concert with other programs that serve their audience (often including returnees). For ex-offender serving programs, examples typically include substance abuse treatment centers, shelters, and other workforce development, job placement and educational programs. It is an often useful practice to refer to and receive referrals from these types of agencies. Post Release Walk-ins and Referrals

Post release recruitment is the third strand of the three strategies for ex-offender program recruiting. You want to cast as wide-a-recruitment-net as possible and implement a range of approaches. Primary strategies may include: advertising in the media; referrals from probation and parole officers (a strategy that works for both pre- and post release); referrals from the courts; and enrollment of walk-ins who come by word of mouth. You may also host bi-weekly or monthly information sessions that invite individuals in to learn about your services. Consider rotating where you might host the sessions, looking for places where you can attract eligible participants. This will include outreach at community fairs/events, presentations at faith-based and community organization meetings; presentations at neighborhood association meetings; leafleting in front of churches; dropping off flyers or posters at local merchant establishments, etc. When you at last have audience with prospective participants, you will review your program’s requirements and benefits and likely have them complete a program application form. This tool will provide you with preliminary data, including contact information and responses to selected questions that will help you decide their level of needs (i.e., level of education, certificates earned, criminal history if any, etc.) and allow you an opportunity to receive and review requested attachments (i.e., birth certificates, driver’s license, etc.).

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Participant Enrollment: How to Do Program Intake

3

Participant Enrollment How to Do Program Intake After successfully recruiting prospective participants for your program, the next step is intake. A critical phase of the program, here is where you and the future participant gain first impressions of each other at the program level. It is also the first screen where you and the applicant, either individually or jointly, whether your program is a good match for his or her needs.

3.1

Definition of Intake Procedures

As a critical part of your planning process, gather your team to discuss and clearly define how you will conduct program intake. Questions for you to consider in the context of your planning are:

Consider Know your population. The population you are serving is accustomed to filling out volumes of paperwork. Try to avoid asking them to answer questions that you do not need. Be sure to explain every question and form clearly, what the form is, why you need this information and how it will benefit them. Also, consider obtaining the information you may need about clients from other community partners: maybe they filled out similar paperwork for another program that operates in your neighborhood.

How will people actually enter the program? Where will you conduct intake? What hours can applicants go there? Who will greet them? How will they be greeted? What forms to applicants have to complete? Do applicants need to bring anything with them? What follow up will take place (and how will it be done ) to collect missing required documentation? A critical aspect of intake planning is to make decisions as to what your admissions policies will be. Will you be accepting everyone? This can be a path fraught with peril since many people that come to you will not really be interested and you end up with empty seats. Will you be limiting who you accept? If yes, this has to be guided by clearly defined, evenly applied criteria. For example, does your program have an age eligibility requirement (i.e., you serve only those 18-34)? Does your program require participants to demonstrate sobriety for a prescribed period of time prior to entry? If so, indicate what is acceptable as proof. Does your program have any prerequisites, such as a need for basic literacy, typing skills, computer knowledge, or some other minimum educational requirement? Whatever your criteria might be, make sure you adhere to them! There is a reason they exist. Many program staff find it very difficult to say no when an applicant pleads for acceptance even when he or she does not meet the defined eligibility standards. However, you must have faith that the criteria exist for a reason, and if you do not think so, challenge them directly through internal discussion rather than by accepting applicants that will not be able to have their needs met. Otherwise, you do the applicant and your program a disservice. Realistically, is it helpful to a community resident with fundamental literacy challenges to enroll in a clerical training program? If he or she cannot read, how can program progress and eventual Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Participant Enrollment: How to Do Program Intake

job placement be achieved? Of course, if you have defined your criteria correctly, then such an individual will only fail and experience unnecessary frustration, and perhaps even be discouraged from trying anything again. It is no shame in having criteria for program participation. Your goal is employment for every participant and in this context, you have to determine what, if any, are reasonable minimal standards for program acceptance. Intake is perhaps the most important part of a successful workforce development program. Thoughtful planning of this first phase will be vital.

3.2

Intake Staffing

Effective intake staff, often referred to as intake specialists, quickly identify and understand constituent needs, determine their appropriateness for employment, and where possible, refer them to the employment services area of the organization in order to help them quickly obtain jobs. This may involve the completion of assessment forms and tests/tools, and may also include the completion of formal waivers authorizing the specialist to contact outside sources to validate information provided by the applicant. When an intake specialist finds that the program may not be the best fit for the potential participant, he or she may also provide a referral to another, more appropriate program. Intake specialists function as human resource professionals, with responsibility for weighing the applicant’s strengths and needs in relation to the requirements of the program and available seats at any given time. As discussed in Chapter 4, intake specialists may also administer tests as part of the assessment process to gather additional information about the applicant related to interests, knowledge, and aptitudes. Intake specialists have a wide array of experiences, skills, and qualifications. Many have training and education in the mental health and human service fields. Like many other professionals in workforce development, they may have worked in other fields, and thus bring the perspectives of those experiences to their positions. Intake specialists can have a high school level education, an advanced/graduate degree, or a level of professional training and education somewhere between these extremes.2 Finally and particularly in small organizations, the intake specialist may result in being the case manager, reviewed on Chapter 5.

3.3

The Intake Session

The first meeting, like those to come, is one-on-one: intake specialist and participant. Some level of nervousness is normal on the part of both the participant and the intake specialist. This is the “getting to know you” period and the way this meeting unfolds sets the tone for the relationship to come. It should be noted here

2 Workforce Job Titles; Workforce Professionals Training Institute (http://www.workforceprofessionals.org/training.php). Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Participant Enrollment: How to Do Program Intake

that some staffing structures have the case manager serve as in a dual role as intake specialist. This may be the result of budgetary limitations, or it may be a conscious program decision. Whether your model uses the case manager or a dedicated intake specialist, the following offers practical guidance for the steps to follow in the first meeting: Step 1: Introductions Introduce yourself and welcome the applicant. A tour of the facilities and quick briefing of the meeting could serve as an icebreaker. Ask the applicant how he or she learned about the program. This information might yield to a new referral source for recruitment. More importantly, the information allows you the opportunity to follow up with that source to say thank you for the referral.

Helpful Tip “I have always tried to put myself in their situation. Keep in mind factors such as background, social status, educational level, income etc. This keeps you sensitive to their needs and situations and emphatic. Also, when assessing the participant, make sure the expectations and desired outcomes are realistic, so he/she can be able to reach those goals being set.” Joyce Johnson Case Manager, Operation New Hope, FL.

Step 2: Program Eligibility and Expectations Review Review and thoroughly explain all eligibility criteria and program expectations. Your goal here is to ensure that the applicant clearly understands what is required for participation, both in terms of defined criteria and program requirements related to dress (review do’s and don’ts), attendance, and involvement. Step 3: Applicant Expectations Discussion Ask the participant to discuss what he or she expects to get out of the program. It is important to take notes because the substance of this exchange should be a part of the file that will be created to document the encounter. Step 4: Intake Forms Inform the participant that you wish to have them complete your intake packet. The typical packet includes forms that allow for the collection of participant vital statistics data: name, address, phone number(s), email address, age, race and/or ethnicity, religious affiliation, education, work experience, barriers to employment, etc. You also want to have the name and contact information of primary and secondary emergency contact people in the life of the participant. A sample intake form in included in Appendix B.

3.4

Participant Enrollment

There is substantial variation across programs as to how the actual acceptance process is completed. In many cases, applicants will be asked to come back on more than one occasion to bring additional documentation or to participate in assessment testing. In others, programs try to structure intake so that it can all be completed in a single visit. Although there are many good arguments for one approach or another, the choice is really up to you. Whatever you feel is the right way to go for your program probably is. And if it turns out that this is not the case, then change it! Nothing is set in stone. However you set up your enrollment process, it will likely include the following steps: Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Participant Enrollment: How to Do Program Intake

Step 1: Conduct the Assessment Discussed in greater detail in Chapter 4, assessment is a vitally important part of your application and participant planning processes. Although it is often thought of as testing, it actually involves multiple components, such as: Knowledge and aptitude testing Work readiness assessment Career interest inventory Support service need identification Service planning Depending on your style, you may wish to do complete some parts of the assessment process in an interview format or, alternatively, you may want to have the applicant complete one or more forms independently. Use your judgment to determine what will work best. Among the activities involved in the assessment process, you will likely want to include a strategy for collecting information from the applicant as to potential or current needs. A sample needs assessment form is included in Appendix B. Another important tool is the Employment Development and Retention Plan. This is generally an instrument developed with the applicant and the case manager. It identifies long and short term goals, and outlines potential plans of action for achieving them. Note that it is not uncommon for the ISP process to lead to a conclusion by the intake specialist and/or the applicant that the program is not the best fit for the defined goals. A sample ISP is included in Appendix B. Step 2: Review and Discuss Completed Assessment After the participant completes your assessment instruments, go over each page to confirm that all information is complete. Make sure that they understand their part in the process. Ask them to be sure to call you to report any changes in phone numbers, address or job changes. Step 3: Enroll the Participant With all information in hand, it is time to make a decision. You will need to establish a fair, easy to administer approach for making the final determination as to acceptance. If your program has unlimited capacity (not very likely!), this is easy. You can take as many applicants as meet your defined criteria. However, in the real world, demand often outstrips capacity. As a result, clear guidance will be needed for program staff to help them equitably and consistently decide who should be accepted and who should be relegated to a waiting list. Be cautious and ensure that the standards and procedures you establish are reasonable and defensible. Although it might be difficult to imagine, there have been a number of cases of applicants alleging discrimination, and formal complaints to government agencies can lead to a protracted, costly defense. Once you have made the decision to accept a participant, the execution of a formalGuide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Participant Enrollment: How to Do Program Intake

looking participant contract (note that these have no legal weight, but they do give an appearance of seriousness!) participant contract is strongly advised. The contract should clearly spell out all participation requirements and expectations. For example, you will want to clearly state your attendance policy and expectations as to active participation. This is also a great opportunity to reinforce the shared employment goal for the program. See Appendix B for a sample copy of a Participant Contract. Another key document that you will likely want to complete as part of your enrollment process is a confidentiality waiver. For publicly funded programs, there is nothing more frustrating than placing an individual in employment but not getting appropriate credit because the employing firm will not release the information. When signed by the participant, the waiver will give you authorization to collect post placement employment information. See Appendix B for a sample.

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Starting from Square One – Assessing Participant Skills: How to Perform Pre-Employment Career Assessment

4 Carlos walked through our doors, his pants were unbelted and falling to his knees, his slouched shoulders and lifeless eyes made him look disconnected and uninterested. He met with the intake coordinator and was asked to complete a needs assessment form. Carlos could read, he’d completed 8th grade but lacked strong writing skills. He had knowledge of operating a cash register and fax machine, he enjoyed talking with people and his working experience was reduced to a sales associate job in a fast food restaurant that he ended up leaving because he did not like his manager and thought the job was a dead end one. During his intake interview, the staff learned that Carlos was experiencing hard times. He wanted to find a job with a real career ladder because he was caring for his younger brother and needed to pay child support for his two year old daughters. Carlos eyes lit up when he spoke of them.

Starting From Square One -Assessing Participant Skills How to Perform Pre-Employment Career Assessment As discussed in Chapter 3, an assessment process may be a part of intake process or it might be a discrete activity. How this is structured is really dependent upon how you think you can most efficiently staff and implement it. What we strongly discourage you from doing is not having any assessment at all! This is rarely successful, if ever, successful, except for those extremely limited cases of heavily funded programs that can offer a highly flexible set of “wrap around” services that can be adapted to provide any level of instruction and support services for entrants. Try to imagine how much it would cost you to have a dedicated team of instructors, counselors, and licensed therapists readily available for assignment, and it is likely that you will have a clear picture of why assessment is so important.

4.1

Participant Needs Assessment

After the client completes the appropriate release forms, you may choose to provide him or her with a “barriers form” or needs assessment form. This is a form you design to learn what is going on in the client’s life and what difficulties exist that are preventing him or her from becoming employed. You may consider obtaining sample needs assessment forms your local One-Stop Career Center or other social service providers in your community. If you are referring clients to the One-Stop Career Center or other community organizations, consider using their needs assessment forms. This helps to reduce the amount of paperwork and saves the client some time. The sample form included in Appendix B may be helpful as a model that you can adapt for your own program. As you design your assessment, keep in mind what you want to know, why you want to know it, and how each question will help your client. For example, if your program helps find employment for your clients, you may need to ask questions about the client’s background, i.e., whether or not they have a driver’s license, criminal history, etc., because prospective employers will need to know this information. If you are in an urban area that has a good, reliable transit system, you may not need to ask whether a client can find transportation or has a suspended driver’s license, unless driving is part of the job description. The main purpose of the needs assessment form is to assess the participant’s present circumstances to help in making connections to any required services What you include in your participant needs assessment is really up to you. The best guidance we can offer is that you limit your questions to what you really need to know. If you are unsure how the answer to a question might be helpful, then you should not ask it! Questions might include:

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Starting from Square One – Assessing Participant Skills: How to Perform Pre-Employment Career Assessment

Describe your current housing status (renting, own, evicted, homeless) List the previous three jobs you held (employer, dates, position, wages) List the reasons you were released from your last job. List your highest grade of education completed, including GED. Do you have children? How many? Do you have child care available for a 40-hour work week? Do you have backup child care? Do you have access to transportation? Please explain what kind of transportation (public transit or your own car and what your back up plan is) Do you have a driver’s license? Is it current? How far are you willing to commute? If applicable, do you have responsibilities to a Parole Officer? Have you been a participant in other programs of this kind? If applicable, are you in receipt of public assistance? What are your obligations associated with that assistance you receive? Do you have another case worker you are responsible to? If yes, may I have his/her contact information? Do you have any ongoing health issues? Do you have any physical limitations? Can you lift heavy objects? On this last question, be cautious about how and for what purpose you ask about health and physical limitations. Unless there is a bona fide occupational reason why a physical limitation would affect the performance of an individual in the training area of your program, then do not ask! This opens you to potential charges of discrimination should you choose not to enroll or refer the individual. Further, unnecessary inquiries as to health status can be construed as being discriminatory in nature. Again, exercise caution and think carefully about why you are asking what you are asking. If it sounds reasonable, then it is likely okay to ask. For example, if a job that you are training for, say mail clerk, involves the lifting of bags that weigh over 100 pounds, it is absolutely appropriate to ask the participant if he or she can lift that weight. Even further, it would be appropriate to test and confirm that this is the case. On the other hand, if you are offering training in typing and ask the individual if he or she is mobility-impaired, this would be out of bounds. Unless any such impairment affects the use of the arms or hands, it has no bearing on the job or the training you are providing.

4. 2

Skills Assessment Testing

A skills assessment test generally includes a series of problems or questions that measure a person’s knowledge, skills, abilities, or other characteristics. When used correctly, the scores from skills assessment tests reveal factors that are important in helping your client find a career that is suitable for him or her. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Starting from Square One – Assessing Participant Skills: How to Perform Pre-Employment Career Assessment

Carefully developed and administered tests can provide you with a way to decide which jobs might be the best match for the participant and whether your program is the best means of developing his or her employability skills. Using the results to guide your planning with the participant, assessment testing can be a powerful tool for supporting the participant in reaching his or her career goals by providing clear, quantifiable information as to knowledge and aptitudes. Before deciding on a particular type of test, you should first establish whether testing is appropriate for your organization and what it is you want to assess. To do this, first determine what it is you want to measure with the test and then determine of how you are going to measure it. Tests vary according to their content. For example, some tests evaluate knowledge, aptitude, interpersonal skills, or mathematical ability. This section will examine the various kinds of test and what they measure. Please consider each carefully as to whether one or a combination of several will best serve your organization and customers.

A Gentle Word of Caution Too often, programs fall into the practice of doing assessment because they are “supposed to” and not actually using the results to inform decisions as to program and employment placement. Make sure to keep the information gained during intake interviews in view as you interpret the information learned from needs assessments. Keep connecting the dots to assure the data learned in assessment actually helps the participant meet his or her employment goals.

You should choose a test assessment tool based on the type of program that you offer in your organization and the type of jobs available. For example, if your program works with construction trades, some assessment of manual skills is important. Review the key requirements for the jobs into which you may be placing customers and determine the best means of assessing these. Some questions to consider: Can the job requirement easily be evaluated by a test? Does a test already exist or must we develop one for the requirement? Will the test results be costly to evaluate? Have the available tests demonstrated effectiveness? Thousands of employment testing products and services exist in the marketplace. You should evaluate and select assessment tools and procedures that help match your participants with the right jobs. You may consider consulting with a professional to obtain help to interpret the testing information or seek help from your local One-Stop Career Center or Community College. To help you make a good decision related to employment testing, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc. suggests that you ask the following seven questions before purchasing a test. What does the test measure? What research and process was used to develop the test? What experience and/or education do you have that qualifies you to develop or sell this test? What evidence do you have related to the reliability of this test? What evidence do you have related to the validity of this test? What evidence do you have that demonstrates the lack of bias or discrimination of your test? Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Starting from Square One – Assessing Participant Skills: How to Perform Pre-Employment Career Assessment

What data do you have that will help me interpret test scores in my organization? Based on the needs of your participants and the jobs available in your area, you may choose to develop your own test, rather than purchase one. For example, if you need to use organization specific and job specific language in the test, or if you need to assess a requirement for which tests are not currently available, then an offthe-shelf test may not be applicable for your needs. For more information on these questions and other considerations, please visit the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc., Employment Testing Web site at http://www.siop.org/Workplace/employment%20testing/employment_ testing_toc.aspx. There are a number of different types of tests that have different purposes and, as a result, yield substantially different results. Some examples include: Cognitive Ability or Aptitude Tests

Aptitude is defined as the specific, natural ability a person possesses to learn a job; suitability or capacity for a particular activity. These tests are used to measure a person’s ability to succeed in different jobs. Cognitive ability or aptitude tests typically use questions or problems to measure a person’s ability to learn quickly; their logic, reasoning, reading comprehension and other mental abilities that are fundamental to success or failure in different jobs. Cognitive ability tests assess a person’s aptitude or potential to solve job-related problems by providing information about their mental abilities such as verbal or mathematical reasoning, and their abilities to perceive like speed in recognizing letters of the alphabet. To a find and pursue a career for your customers, aptitude assessment should precede achievement testing or skills assessment. Knowledge Tests

Job knowledge tests evaluate technical or professional expertise and knowledge required for specific jobs or professions. Examples of job knowledge tests include tests of basic accounting principles, specific computer language programming, and blueprint reading. Integrity Tests

Integrity tests assess attitudes and experiences related to a person’s honesty, dependability, trustworthiness, reliability, and behavior. These tests often ask direct questions about previous experiences related to ethics and integrity or ask questions about preferences and interests from which you can likely predict future behavior. Integrity tests are used to identify individuals who are likely to engage in inappropriate, dishonest, and antisocial behavior at work.

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Starting from Square One – Assessing Participant Skills: How to Perform Pre-Employment Career Assessment

Personality Tests

Personality tests assess whether individuals have the potential to be successful in jobs where performance requires personal interaction or work in team settings. Some commonly measured personality traits in work settings are extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to new experiences, optimism, agreeableness, service orientation, stress tolerance, emotional stability, and initiative. Personality tests measure traits related to behavior at work, personal interactions, and satisfaction with different aspects of work. A selected set of instruments commonly used by workforce development programs includes: Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) Arguably the most frequently used assessment test, the TABE measures vocabulary; reading comprehension; math computation, concepts, and applications; and language mechanics and expression. Different versions are available based on the initially assessed academic level of the participant. This initial assessment is completed through the use of a “locator” test that is of roughly 50 minutes in duration. It is probably the most popular test, and it is published by CTB/McGraw-Hill. It can also be purchased online at http://www.ctb.com. Adult Basic Learning Examination (ABLE) A competitor to the TABE in terms of popularity among workforce programs, the ABLE is a standardized test of vocabulary, silent reading comprehension, spelling, language use, and mathematics. It is appropriate for use with adults in a variety of adult education programs, including Tech Prep programs, GED programs, and adult literacy programs. It is useful in the making of placement decisions and in planning programs for customers. The test can be scored quickly and by hand. It is published by the Psychological Corporation/Harcourt Educational Measurement and can be purchased online through Harcourt Assessment at http://harcourtassessment.com/. Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) CASAS is actually a broad battery of tests that include instruments appropriate for a number of uses. Tests can be used to assess entering skill levels and measure of progress against defined areas of competency. CASAS can be used for both native and non-native speakers of English. CASAS requires agencies to complete a training workshop before ordering and administering most tests. Agency staff learn how to administer CASAS tests, interpret test results, and use curriculum support materials to enhance instruction. Some states provide training at no cost or minimal cost for local agencies. Contact CASAS to discuss training options in your state. For more information, please visit the CASAS Web site at https://www.casas.org/home/. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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CareerScope 8.0 This is a career assessment and reporting system. It is a self-administered system that measures both aptitude and interest through valid and reliable assessment tasks. The results are instrumental in helping an individual begin the career or educational planning process. The Interest Inventory section measures and identifies a user’s attraction to careers that correspond to DOL’s Interest Areas. The results from the Interest Inventory are compiled into a comprehensive Individual Profile Analysis (IPA). The IPA objectively identifies each evaluee’s most significant interest area preferences. In addition to measuring aptitude, CareerScope can incorporate physical performance scores including motor coordination, finger dexterity and manual dexterity. The results help focus the career exploration process and establish the foundation for building career development portfolios. The assessment is published by Vocational Research Institute. For more information, please visit their Web site at http://www.vri.org/. Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS) The test measures abilities for a majority of jobs. It is easy and requires only 50 minutes to complete. It consists of eight, five minute tests including mechanical reasoning, spatial relations, verbal reasoning, mechanical ability, language usage, word knowledge, perceptual speed and accuracy, manual speed and dexterity, and mathematical ability. This is published by Edits and can be purchased online at http://www.edits.net/caps.html

Tip Please note that there is an important distinction between knowledge and aptitude. A test like the TABE test is helpful in assessing current educational level, but not necessarily aptitude. If you are testing your customers, be sure that you test for both current knowledge and aptitude because both are important for career planning purposes.

The Harrington-O’Shea Career Decision-Making System Representing a full system rather than a single test, components are available that assesses abilities, interests, and work values. It is easy to complete and, in addition, profiles the current U.S. job market. The Harrington-O’Shea System is published by Pearson Assessments and can be purchased online at http://ags.pearsonassessments.com/group.asp?nGroupInfoID=a12633. Many organizations use a combination of assessment instruments that provide a comprehensive picture of your customers’ prior achievement, knowledge, aptitude, and interests. You may choose to administer all or parts of an assessment instrument based on the needs of the customers in your program. For example, the SCF, through its One-Stop Career Center, uses a combination of scores from some of the sections of the following tests to determine how to place their customers with a suitable employer: TABE, CAPS, and Harrington-O’Shea. Additional online resources exist for assessment instruments include: U.S. Department of Labor You may also find helpful skills assessment instruments online, at no cost, through the U.S. Department of Labor (http://www.doleta.gov/jobseekers/). The DOL Web site links to O*Net Online (http://online.onetcenter. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Starting from Square One – Assessing Participant Skills: How to Perform Pre-Employment Career Assessment

org/). O*Net provides a skills assessment in which the client can use a list

of his or her skills to find a matching occupation. Community Colleges Check with your local community colleges to see if they have created a skills assessment that you may use. The American Association of Community Colleges provides a clickable map of the country by which you can locate a college in your area (http://www.aacc.nche.edu/) click on “Community College Finder” at the top of the site).

4.3

Create a Roadmap

An important part of the assessment process is working with the participant to determine what his or her career interests are. This can be assessed through the formal surveys and informal interviews. You should use this information in combination with the assessment testing you now have. The roadmap should be prepared collaboratively by the program staff and the participant. Some case managers look at the participant’s interests, needs, skills assessment and goals side-by-side to help guide the process. The participant should be the key driver of the roadmap and be involved in all aspects of the process. Your case managers can help create an appropriate plan and be the guide for helping the customer to overcome any barriers that would prevent him or her from becoming employed. In the example of Marcus in Chapter 3, he would be likely to benefit from some employability skills training sessions (see next chapter), specifically involving professional attire and attitude. He will need some preparation for his GED test. If Marcus came to you and your organization did not provide this service, you may refer him to a community partner with whom you have a relationship or the local One-Stop Career Center. He may need assistance with establishing reliable child care for 40 hours a week and, in addition, his brother may need services. As each barrier is addressed, Marcus can move closer to his goal. Some job coaches provide clients with a real job application from a local employer. Like most clients, Marcus would be likely to benefit from this real-world experience. Ask the client to take the application home and complete it. When he or she returns, review each question on the application with him or her in detail. Highlight any answers that could cause him or her to be turned down from the job. Remember, your organization and the clients you serve are unique. There is never only one way to assess a client and get him or her hired. Always adapt and change your forms and assessments to fit your program and client’s needs best.

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Starting from Square One – Assessing Participant Skills: How to Perform Pre-Employment Career Assessment

Additional Resources: http://www.onestopcoach.org/. The CareerOneStop Coach is designed

to assist workers and businesses by guiding them through the CareerOneStop Web sites. This Coach walks you step-by-step through the tasks for job search and business resources. http://online.onetcenter.org/. O*Net provides a skills assessment in

which the client can use a list of his or her skills to find a matching occupation. http://www.doleta.gov/regions/Stateresources/. This site provides access

to state and local resources including ways to locate the local One-Stop Career Center.

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Supporting Participants: How to Do Participant Case Management and Support

5

Supporting Participants How to Do Participant Case Management and Support Case management in a workforce development program is defined as the process that provides guidance, nurturing and accountability to participants toward their successful job placement and retention. This process starts right at or just after program intake and continues throughout the life of the participant’s involvement in the program. Often it can continue informally even after official participant program involvement ends. The role of the case management is critical to the program. Case managers become the central point of contact and liaison for the participant and other program elements. They are the store-keepers of all information on the participant’s progress.

5.1

The Case Manager

The Workforce Professionals Training Institute (WPTI) was created in 2003 as the first stand-alone organization in New York City whose mission is devoted exclusively to the training and development of practitioners in the workforce development field.3 Adapted here, they describe the case manager’s role as: Case managers are front-line staff whose primary responsibilities are to engage and retain constituents within the context of program services, to assist constituents who may have barriers to employment, and to help constituents who in need additional assistance in order to become fully job-ready... Employment case managers act as advocates, resource persons, educators, coaches, and counselors. Case managers will often have case-loads of constituents who require wide-ranging and intensive assistance as they receive services from the organization. They may assist with referrals for issues around child care, transitional public benefits, as well as income support issues that will ultimately help the constituent make a smoother transition into sustainable employment... Case managers are critical parts of the job development team. Their direct work with constituents, and often their broader understanding of the constituent’s needs and challenges can help inform the strategy of employment educators, trainers, job developers, and retention specialists in working most effectively with the constituent, resulting in more appropriate employment placement matches, and longer-term employment placement. Case managers may also refer constituents to a host of other resources 3 Workforce Professionals training Institute Web site (http://www.workforceprofessionals.org) Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Supporting Participants: How to Do Participant Case Management and Support

and organizations that provide services that the workforce development organization does not provide. This can include referrals to education programs, health and mental health programs, childcare programs, and other services that can assist constituents become job ready as quickly as possible. Case managers may also directly assist when constituent crises arise. In some instances, referrals for supportive services around medical concerns, issues of domestic violence, legal issues, and other issues may be necessary in order to help keep constituents focused, engaged in program services, and on the job longer term.4 Optimal caseloads should not exceed 35 program participants per case manager. This will enable the case manager to provide quality follow-up services to every participant in his/her caseload. It is a realistic number. With this said, the reality is that many successful programs frequently exceed this level. In this instance, to avoid a compromise in the quality of the program consider the following strategies: Prioritize Assess who among the participants in your case load need more attention than others. Who is more stable? Perhaps that person can be “case managed” via telephone contact or by another acceptable means of communication. Farm Out Assess what activities can be offered to clients in a way that does not require oneon-one engagement. An example might be hosting a group counseling session or other group activity that brings together participants who are working on like concerns and where the need for privacy is less. See Appendix A for a sample job description for the case manager role. Helpful Tip “‘Classification Folders’ are very handy for keeping sections separated and well organized.” Ana Rodriguez, Case Manager, Operation New Hope, Jacksonville, FL.

5.2

Case Files

Case managers are also responsible for maintaining a comprehensive file on each participant. These files are, in essence, a developing history of each person’s efforts, and are intended to be an essential tool for both participant support and program management. In addition to documents such as the intake form and Employment Development and Retention Plan, the files should also include notes describing the case manager’s systematic contact with the participant and his or her service providers. Such files allow the case manager to maintain detailed knowledge about each participant.5 The saying is, “If it is not documented it never happened.” Case files should always be updated with current information on the participant, including 4 Workforce Job Titles; Workforce Professionals Training Institute Web site - http://www.workforceprofessionals.org/training.php

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copies of referrals to other agencies, participant pay stubs, etc. Case notes should be ongoing. Case notes are documentation of any significant changes going on in participant’s life (case note sample provided in Appendices section-B). A participants needs to be assured that you are keeping up with his or her progress and offering real assistance in reaching defined goals. At times goals will need to be re-assessed and re-addressed. In instances like this, case managers will need to demonstrate a lot of patience and show “tender loving care” towards the participant. This will reflect your interest in his or her success. Case files should have sections containing the following information: Intake and assessment information (Application, eligibility form, enrollment form, release of information, personal documentation, etc) Assessment documents (One stop referral and assessment form, Academic Level Test Results –TABE, CASAS, ESL assessment–, contracts and/or agreement signed by participant, etc) Program participation documents (Attendance, job training, remedial education referral and participation forms, etc) Current and past employment information –placement documentation ( Employment verification form, pay stubs, letter of admission/ acceptance to college, retention verification form, job interview referral forms, job search logs, etc) Service plan and case notes Miscellaneous (RESUME, cover letter, academic and training history, certificates, absences documentation, incentives receipts, supportive services, child abuse clearance, disciplinary action notices, etc) This will enable you as a case manager to know where your participant stands and allow you to work in a positive and realistic way in order to meet the needs of participants. See Appendix B for case note examples. Case managers handle significant amounts of sensitive participant data/information. This often includes client social security numbers, copies of birth certificates, driver’s licenses, payroll stubs, etc. As such, security becomes very important. It is the common practice of many workforce development organizations to have a dedicated space in their organization where client files are maintained. Files should be kept in a locked file cabinet drawer and access to that drawer limited to the client’s case manager and Project Director. Some, in addition to the standard practice of a locked file cabinet drawer, will keep the file cabinet in a designated room. Since case managers interact with the files on a daily basis, they will need relative easy access to the files. But security cannot be compromised. It is strongly encour5 “Providing Case Management”; Just Out: Early Lessons from the Ready4Work Prisoner Reentry Initiative, by Linda Jucovy; Field Report Series, Public/Private Ventures, Page 8-9; February 2006.

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aged that you think of a security system for maintaining client files that works best for your organization. In addition, many funding streams will prescribe to you how you are to maintain security of client data. Some will ask that client files be identified by a certain numbered system rather than by name. Whatever the prescription, you will do well to adhere strictly to it. It is not uncommon for state officials to randomly conduct client case file audits for programs they are funding. Being prepared and keeping the files safe will serve your interest, theirs and that of the client’s. In this world of technological advances, in addition to hard-copy files, case managers may use an electronic database that keeps important client data. Typically, access to that data will be to one case manager and is accessed by a unique password. Like hard-copy files, some systems have unique ways of identifying clients rather than by name or social security number. The key is privacy and security.

5.3

Program Coordination

Once the intake and assessment process has concluded, and case management begun, it will be important that the participant be introduced to your means (method and/or staff) for job placement. Will you be enrolling participants into a job training class? Will they be meeting with an individual job counselor? Are they being referred to another agency for job placement or do you have a job developer onboard to place participants? The case manager will work to connect participants to other program components of job readiness and job placement wherever not mutually exclusive and provide those components with necessary insight on the participant’s current situation. The case manager will be able to report where participants stand at the time of intake and enrollment in terms of education, experience, home stability, social supports, etc. After that initial introduction to the other program components, the case manager will need to institute a regular way of communicating with the other team members. Regular meetings to discuss participant progress are likely something you will want to consider. This is called a “case conference.” The frequency of these meetings can be determined by you as part of your program design, but keep in mind that effective participant retention requires timely communication across team members and high levels of responsiveness.

5.4

Community Partnerships

Case managers play a critical role in workforce development. Concerning themselves holistically with participant needs, case managers serve as resource brokers, working with a network of partners that offer services for their participants. This includes educational, housing, child care, crisis intervention, clothing, advocacy and other supports, usually called “wrap-around” services to simply refer to the army of community resources provided to a participant that promote his/her success. As with any partnership venture, it is recommended that you be discerning when Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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establishing your network of supports. Be clear with the referral partner what the parameters of the relationship are. Do your due diligence to understand how both sides of the partnership benefit and be certain you are comfortable with that. Activities in support of building an effective inter-organizational community partnership might include: Step 1: Outreach Identify and set up initial appointments with the community social service providers. Step 2: Meetings Meet face to face. Discuss your needs, objectives and clientele. Talk about what you provide and how you envision their program as part of your overall strategy to meet participant needs. Step 3: Agreements Agree on how you will work together. If no referral process is in place, set up one. You may want a process that includes an update on participant progress once monthly in writing. This could be in the form of a faxed Form you create for regular submission or you might agree to conduct a brief monthly phone interview or receive an email from them. The point is: BE FLEXIBLE. You do not want the process to be too onerous for your partner. But you do need the information for tracking purposes. Draft a Memorandum of Understanding (soft contract or MOU) reflective of what you have agreed to mutually. Sign the agreement and implement the referral relationship.

5.5

Relationship Maintenance

The best partnerships are those that are based on mutual self interest. For example, a Latino workforce development program may have the greatest success in working with a mainstream social service organization that is trying to improve outreach to the Latino community for their services. That being the case, they should be willing to come to your office to do presentations for your participants and constituents. While this is not always going to be the case, it should be a goal in identifying potential support service partners. With that said, be certain to meet your part of the agreement without failure. Make referrals to the partner and follow-up in a timely manner. Send emails and phone calls to thank them for their referrals and ask them for input on your processes. Email them often to let them know that you are there and that you continue to provide the specific workforce development services you committed to do. Receive an update from them on your individual participant and note the progress in the participant’s case file progress notes. To maintain positive relationships and partnerships with area human service agencies that you will be making referrals to and receiving referrals from, the case manGuide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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ager may find it works best to become involved in and provide support for those agencies’ own activities and programs. Be willing to come at their request to make presentations on your program’s services. Always be on time and well prepared to answer any questions they or their constituencies might ask about your agency. Always show a positive attitude and project to others how much you enjoy doing your job and working with them. This may sound like a lot of “soft selling,” but it works! As with the participants you serve, you are building a trusted relationship and you want to do all you can to show yourself an asset to them just as you view them a resource to you. Of course, the best approach to maintaining a trusting relationship is ensuring that a program achieves proven results. To the extent that a program proves its effectiveness, other organizations will be more willing and open to working collaboratively.

5.5

Bringing It All Together

For in depth information on how to do case management, consider obtaining a copy of Making Case Management Work: Empowering People for Change, by Dr. Beverly O. Ford, ASM Associates.6 This is a comprehensive resource and practical study on employment case management with many helpful tools and forms offered for free adaptation in your program. Remember, case management began during the initial intake process. Whether by the case manager of an intake specialist, during this process you conduct a client needs assessment and work with them to map a plan of action to which they can commit. This is often called an Employment Development and Retention Plan. This form identifies long and short term goals of each participant and how they plan to reach their goals. You may also include a “Profile Analysis” next that will identify/provide information about the client’s barriers as well as give a description of their physical features. Once the barriers have been identified the participant is referred to an organizational service tailored to their specific need, such as: housing, clothing, training, transportation, and etc. Next, weekly contact is made by the case manager to ensure service goals are being met and supportive services are supplied if needed. Case management is offered via phone, office visit, home visits, and job site visits. Once a participant obtains employment, for the first 30 days follow up should take place on a weekly basis. Upon completion of 30 days of employment then follow up is completed minimum on a monthly basis. Remember that the more follow up, the more participant will tend to remain engaged and communicate progress or need of replacement, and to succeed with program expectations.

6 Making Case Management Work: Empowering People for Change; Copyright 2002, Beverly O. Ford, Ph.D. Obtain a copy by calling (478) 474-5324 or fax your request to (478) 476-3505, 188 Gleneagles Circle, Macon, GA 31210-2943

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Job site visits are done to support job retention. This may be the role of the case manager, that of the job developer, or both and is a good opportunity to collect employment documentation (pay stubs). Participants appreciate it because it demonstrates someone cares about them. Employers tend to appreciate it because it provides them a person to speak to should problems arise with the employee. With this said, be discreet in conducting job visits. You want to avoid potentially stigmatizing the participant. You can also turn off the employer if not planned carefully. These can be avoided with careful planning in consultation with the employer and new employee. Bi-weekly contact is made as well to remind participant to attend scheduled mentoring sessions, drug classes, services offered at partnering referral agencies, and GED classes. After one-year in the program a graduation is held to commemorate the achievements of the participant as well as the efficient, dedicated, and outstanding work of the case manager. Related to that, it is good practice to capture successes in the form of written participant testimonials. Documenting participant success that is in part or entirely attributed to your efforts and intervention not only demonstrates program achievement but serves to encourage line staff and other participants. Success stories also become very useful public relations and fundraising tools.

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Preparing Participants to be Work-Ready: How to do Employability Skills Training

6

Preparing Participants to be Work-Ready How to do Employability Skills Training Employability skills training includes two interrelated parts. First, occupational skills training focuses on the development of the abilities needed to effectively perform the technical aspects of a job. Second, “soft skills” training addresses the development of workplace attitudes and behaviors needed for successful placement and retention. In designing your program, you may choose to rely on other partnering organizations to provide the occupational skills training and focus your own efforts on soft skills training. Alternatively, you may elect to take responsibility for the full program, including vocational and behavioral components. The choice is up to you, subject to what you can realistically afford to do within the pool of resources available.

6.1

Making Critical Connections

Regardless of how you approach the delivery of training for your program participants, there are vital partnerships that are critically important to sustained success. First, as discussed in the introductory section to the Guide, One-Stop Career Centers are a core part of the workforce development system. As such, you should begin by locating your local One-Stop Career Center. You can find the Center nearest you by calling the DOL toll-free help line at (877) 872-5627 or accessing America’s Service Locator online at http://www.servicelocator.org. The One-Stop Career Center can be thought of as a hub that offers access to a wide range of programs and services at a single location. Services can vary substantially from one Center to another, so we encourage you to talk with the staff of your local One-Stop to learn what they offer for your community. They may be able to work with you to determine what services you can provide together that will help serve their clients (and yours) better. For example, the One-Stop may offer computer literacy courses, but cannot find participants who have the level of basic skills needed to attend. The One-Stop may work out an agreement with your organization that includes cross-referrals, to your shared benefit. Social service providers in your community are also an important source of support for you and your participants. Through cross-referral agreements, you can contribute to shaping a network of care that encompasses an array of training, education, health, and human services. In another direction, consider working with your local community college. The colleges may provide remedial or other training classes to which you can refer your clients, such as English as a second language, basic English, business English, and specific computer language classes like Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel.

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Preparing Participants to be Work-Ready: How to do Employability Skills Training

6.2

Assessing Employer Needs

A successful workforce development program integrates employer needs as a centrally important part of the program design. We recommend that your program include effective approaches for assessing and responding to the needs of employers related to skills, workplace behaviors, and ongoing communication. This may include drawing upon the wealth of labor market statistics that is available through the workforce development system, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Census Bureau. Ideally, you will also establish and nurture relationships with employers in your community so that you can work with them to forecast and respond to their employment needs. As you design your program, meet with several local employers. Ask the employers what kinds of skills are important in the people they hire. What missing skills would the employer be willing to accept in a new hire? What components would the employer like to see in your program that would give him or her confidence in the people who graduate from your program? Would they be willing to hire the people you train? You may also ask if the employer would be willing to come to your program from time to time to conduct workshops, provide mock interview practice, and support the training process in other ways. This is not only invaluable for participants, it enhances the level of investment of the employer.

6.3

Designing the Employability Skills Program

(Adapted from Hard Work on Soft Skills, Public/Private Ventures; Visit www.ppv.org for links to the full document) Based on successful practice in a variety of settings, a number of key elements for training programs have been identified. These include: Create work or work-like tasks and establish teams to complete them

The tasks you assign your trainees can be real work for real customers, mock work situations, or you may create a combination of both, in which you would present training exercises as if they were real office assignments that must be pursued with the workplace methods of teamwork, scheduling and periodic discussions with the “boss.” All of these approaches simulate the boss-employee or consultant-client relationship of the business world. They get students used to thinking about their work as a useful product, not merely an exercise. For example, one of the programs discussed in The Hard Work on Soft Skills, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow in Brooklyn, NY, uses this hybrid approach. There students practice organization, typing and self presentation by creating a Personal Data Sheet (which later becomes a resume). They also make public speaking presentations about topics they have to be familiar with when they enter the workplace. All of these tasks are organized as work assignments, not classroom drills. The objective is for trainees to produce something useful, something that prospective employers will read or that trainees can use when interviewing for jobs. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Preparing Participants to be Work-Ready: How to do Employability Skills Training

Many of these exercises are conducted in teams because in the workplace, your mistakes affect other people, and someone else’s mistake affect you. Learning the how to rely on others and how to adjust your habits to the needs and abilities of other people are important for success. For this kind of learning, practice is everything –the more realistic, the better. Put trainees in the employer’s role so that by managing others they can learn to be managed

Another advantage of role playing and mock work situations are that these activities place students in the position of other team members, managers or customers who must react to the quality of work they get from one another. This change of perspective helps take some of the mystery out of the workplace. Meeting deadlines, being courteous, speaking and writing clearly, and staying calm are important not just because someone says you must act this way. These disciplines are also necessary to complete important tasks. The trainees learn this because they see firsthand how a project collapses when someone does not meet the challenge. To explain why completing tasks is necessary; there is no more effective tactic than letting students experience the needs and pressures of those who give directions. It might be helpful to create teams of trainees with their own internal leadership structures in which some students will have the opportunity to exercise authority over others. Establish the discipline of the workplace in all aspects of the program

Trainees must learn to cope with the reality that as employees they cannot behave and speak as they please, even if they are completing their work. There will be rules the trainees do not like, which will be enforced by people they may not like, and applied in ways with which they will disagree. It is important for your program to establish and practice that hard reality early, sooner rather than later. The most obvious areas for this kind of immediate and consistent discipline are attendance, punctuality and clothing. Almost all successful workforce programs establish unwavering dress codes. All of them demand regular attendance, and all enforce punctuality. Some programs even expect students to punch a time clock when arriving and leaving. Recreate the physical environment of work to the fullest extent possible

For many trainees, just the sight of an office building, its cubicles and machines and quiet conversations, can seem alien and threatening. Even a tiny model office can give participants some firsthand experience of the office atmosphere, so they will feel more comfortable when they enter the workplace. Give participants opportunities to get to know successful people

Trainees tend to draw lasting encouragement from the positive examples of people who are doing well in the business world. These connections can be simple conversations with business people who volunteer to drop into your program from time to time, or with any working people –especially some who were once unemployed or unskilled like the trainees. People close to the participants’ age and social backGuide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Preparing Participants to be Work-Ready: How to do Employability Skills Training

ground can be particularly helpful, but anyone from the workplace can help bridge the sense of distrust or dread that many trainees feel at first. Consider building and maintaining a list of friendly business contacts (maybe compiled from your initial meetings with local employers) that would be willing to come to your program once a session to talk with the trainees. You may also consider inviting some of your successful graduates back as encouraging examples to new participants. Establish and maintain a network of support services

There are very few ways to teach punctuality to a young mother with no child care, or to create self-respect in someone locked in an abusive relationship. It will be important to maintain a network of supportive services: counseling, child care, transportation, health and other resources that people will need if they are to get a job and keep it. You can develop this network from your initial meetings with the other social service providers in your community. It’s essential, of course, that students develop the soft skills necessary to locate and use these services effectively on their own, and to know when to call on them before problems become serious. Weaving them into the day-to-day practice of a real workforce program, with its time constraints and logistical problems, helps trainees learn when to seek assistance and where to turn when they are faced with a crisis in a real job situation.

6.4

Designing A Stand-Alone Soft Skills Program

Every organization will not be equipped to create a training program as described above in which soft skills training is incorporated into every aspect of hard skills training. Your organization may not choose to provide any hard or technical skills training at all. If this is the case, you can design a separate course in soft skills, which may be one-week, two-week, or even month-long sessions. It will be important for you to determine what your client’s needs are before designing a program. The following are sample components that you may consider including in your program. They have been adapted from different programs around the nation. Select the topics that might best address the needs of your clients and then adapt and add others as necessary. Self-Esteem Training

Identify yourself on who you are and where you want to be (realistically) What makes you confident about yourself? How to work on what doesn’t How to stay true to your personal values in today’s society How do you handle change? How to have a positive attitude in front of change

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Preparing Participants to be Work-Ready: How to do Employability Skills Training

Setting Goals

Why are goals important? What are my short and long term goals? Are they realistic? How do I define my success? Networking Skills

The program: an immediate network available to you Employers: they may not have the job but they may know someone Any opportunity is a network opportunity Create Resume Training

Creating various resumes for various job opportunities Writing cover letter templates Thank you notes for after interviews Self Expression

Public speaking: different types of communication Believing in your potential Selling yourself: you are your best agent Money Management

Establish a budget and good spending habits How to build your credit How to better manage your credit Learn the basics of banking Job Search Skills

Participants will learn the basic computers skills needed to navigate the WorkSource database. http://www.usworks.com Representative from the local One-Stop may participate in this session and discuss what skills participants will need to navigate the computers there Create routine for your employment search Job Searching on the Internet

Navigate through the internet: key job search websites Create resumes on various websites How to apply for jobs online

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Preparing Participants to be Work-Ready: How to do Employability Skills Training

Job Searching by Telephone

Telephone skills Create a script Q & A script sample ideas

Job Retention Training Exercise Many workforce development-training programs have found that group role-playing exercises of likely workplace scenarios have better prepared their program participants to deal with these scenarios when they encounter them on the job. A few scenarios that are likely to happen are: • A co-worker is continuously coming to your participant’s work station and harassing them. • Your participant needs assistance to complete an assignment or task. • Your participant’s supervisor asks him or her to stay late or come in on the weekend but they do not have transportation. • Your participant’s child’s daycare calls because their daughter has a fever, thus requiring him or her to leave immediately.

Interview skills

Mock interview session Selling yourself to employers Etiquette for different interview types Dress Code

You only have one chance to create the first impression Do’s and don’t of interview attires The dress rehearsal The Interview 7

Introduction and small talk Description of the job opportunity or needs of the employer Discussion of the applicant’s background and skills Opportunity for the applicant to ask questions Conclusion Interview follow-ups Keep the Job: Job Retention Training

Learn how to evaluate the culture of a workplace and adapt to it Determine appropriate behavior (professionalism) Punctuality - Legitimate reasons to call out Your reporting to the program: provide evidence of employment (letter of hire and/or pay stubs) Retention and Incentives Employee/Employer role-play

Performance review scenarios Team meeting role play Customer service complaint role play It is important to keep in mind that the needs of employers and participants are not static. We strongly encourage you to regularly review the content of your program and make changes, as required to maintain the relevance of the training.

7 Adapted from Espernaza’s “Practicing for Job Interviews” manual

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Getting the Job: How to Do Job Development and Placement

7 Her cell phone rings. It is 5:30 a.m. Monique is awakened to a plea from Karen Mitchell, a participant in Operation New Hope’s job training and placement program. Karen missed the bus, that only comes on the hour, that takes her clear across town to the new job she is to start this morning at 7:00 a.m. Monique, Operation New Hope’s job developer helped place Karen on that job and has as much at stake in Karen’s arriving to the job on-time, as Karen does. You see, Monique worked hard to secure a relationship with the employer and worked equally as hard to match Karen to that employer’s needs. Monique quickly dresses and drives the few blocks over to Karen’s house where, at 6:15 a.m. Karen is eagerly waiting at the door. She jumps into the car, and proceeds to thank Monique repeatedly for being willing to pick her up and drive her to the new job. Monique says, “That’s okay” but gently reminds

Getting the Job How to Do Job Development and Placement Job development can best be described as identifying, recruiting and maintaining relationships with employers and other organizations that will result in viable job placement opportunities for program participants. While case managers assist participants with their various needs for supportive social services, job developers are typically out of the office beating the streets 60% of time or more, looking for employers willing to hire program participants. It is a sales job. The customer is the employer, and the product being delivered is the work-ready-participant whose need, interest, experience and/or background as closely match that of the wouldbe employer as possible. It is for this reason that the role of the job trainer and the corresponding job training program is so critical. The job trainer works with the participant, and as described in the previous chapter, helps him/her prepare for the world of work.

7.1

The Successful Job Developer

Job development is about job placement. As such, it involves elements of sales, people management, and effective communications. In this context, the key characteristics of a job developer include: Networking Ability

Networking is a must. This means your job developer needs to be an outgoing individual that is comfortable talking to people with enthusiasm about your program. You may wish to interview people for this position that have a sales background. The person needs to believe in the program, believe in the quality of the product (your work-ready participants) and be savvy about attending events and forums that will get them in front of potential employers for the purpose of making connections and sharing program information. This will likely include job fairs, events at community colleges, events listed in career guides and help wanted sections of local newspapers, Web sites, presentations to mall associations and others. Resourceful and Knowledgeable

Your job developer will need to stay abreast of job opportunities in the region. This will likely require them to be in touch with area job placement partners, like the One-Stop Centers, area Chamber of Commerce, trade associations, and networks of area job developers for referrals, information about employment opportunities and needs. Some partners, for example, offer certain aspects of workforce development but not all. Perhaps they have needs you can provide as a partnering agency.

Continues on page 45 Listening Skills

Your job developer needs to be a good listener. What does the employer need? What kinds of opportunities exist now or could exist for which you can match parGuide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Getting the Job: How to Do Job Development and Placement

Continued from page 44 Karen of the importance of getting up early enough to be on-time for the bus. They arrive on time at the job and Karen goes in. Monique quickly dresses and drives the few blocks over to Karen’s house where, at 6:15 a.m. Karen is eagerly waiting at the door. She jumps into the car, and proceeds to thank Monique repeatedly for being willing to pick her up and drive her to the new job. Monique says, “That’s okay” but gently reminds Karen of the importance of getting up early enough to be on-time for the bus. They arrive on time at the job and Karen goes in. For Monique, this is all a part of the job. She is a job developer and as such is always on call. “It is not a typical 9 to 5 job,” says Monique. “You have to be flexible, compassionate, firm, and willing to go the extra mile when called for. I love what I do! I get to serve the needs of two audiences - employers and employees, and help people who may have never worked before, or who are simply down on their luck between jobs, get that next job.”

ticipants with the employer? What might your workforce development program offer the employer by way of recognition, support, etc.? Think about it. You are acting as the employer’s human resources partner. You are providing work-ready, screened and trained employees for them usually at either no cost or at a reduced cost. This is a partnership and your job developer is tasked at knowing what the partnering employer needs and then meeting that need. Flexibility. This is true both in view of the example offered about program participant Karen Mitchell and Monique the job developer, and in terms of being able to move quickly to respond to the needs of the two audiences (employer and program participant). For example, it is not uncommon for a call to come in from an employer requesting 10 workers for immediate job placement. Your job developer needs to be able to identify the 10 best and most appropriate candidates and, typically working with the case manager, contact them for the immediate job-matching.

7.2

Preparing for Job Placement

Okay, quick review... To-date, the participant has met with his/her case manager, and enrolled in the job training classes your program offers either directly or through an arrangement with another collaborative partner that offers job training. Now it is time for the job developer’s work to begin. Once again, remember, the job developer is serving the interests of two audiences. Let’s discuss them separately. Audience 1: Participants

Many workforce development programs incorporate a role for job developers during or immediately after the participant’s job training experience. This takes on the form of individual job counseling. Steps in this process include: Step 1: Schedule time with the participant Schedule the participant for a one-on-one meeting or set of meetings with the job developer. Review the participant’s completed pre-employment career assessment at this time with the participant, and discuss it in order to determine what kind of job opportunity would serve as a good fit (or match) for the participant and prospective employer. Next, begin to guide participants on how to develop and customize their resumes for different work area interests. In addition, encourage the participant to be creative and have initiative in their job search by using newspaper classified ads, job listings on the internet, etc. It is essential to have a conversation with the individual on the importance of keeping an open mind and try interview opportunities offered by the job developer that may result in good employment matches. The job developer will have to provide enough information and prepare the participant for a successful interview. It is a good practice to gather actual job Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Getting the Job: How to Do Job Development and Placement

applications from local merchants and businesses and have the participants practice completing the applications. Set-up mock interview sessions so that the participant can practice how to conduct themselves in an actual interview. What questions should they have for the prospective employer? What questions might they anticipate being asked? What kinds of answers should they be prepared to have for anticipated questions? Some mock interviews are conducted peer-to-peer with fellow classmates in a job training class taking turns to interview each other using a prepared script. A series of do’s and don’ts are taught utilizing job training curriculum and participants get to practice those rules and evaluate each other. Others add the dimension of video-taping mock interviews so that participants learn to judge themselves. This self-critique is a power teaching tool revealing things about a person’s verbal and non-verbal behavior. This will be revisited again in the next chapter –Getting and Keeping the Job. Step 2: Set Up Job Interview Opportunities During the individual counseling session(s), the participant’s resume (developed during the job training phase) is also reviewed. At this point, the job developer begins to refer the participant to job opportunities for which they qualify. In some instances, because of relationship building with employers, job developers participate in setting up interviews for program participants. It is also not uncommon for the job developer to provide transportation for the participant to the interview. In any case, the job developer is playing a vital role on behalf of the participant, serving as their chief advocate in securing needed work. Audience #2: Employers

You need to secure relationships with area businesses, public agencies and nonprofit organizations. But where do you begin? Step 1: Compile and Maintain a List of Potential Employers Many job developers start out with their local telephone book’s section that lists companies and public agencies. They also look at associations that list area nonprofit organizations. Having compiled their list, they begin making calls to potential employers. While so-called “cold calling” is an often used strategy, most job developers will tell you that “cold calling” employers is not the most effective way to secure the job. Yalanda McFadgon, Executive Director of The City of Memphis Second Chance Ex-Felon Program, a workforce development program serving exoffenders in Memphis, Tennessee will tell you that while she does often use the telephone book approach, her real goal is to get in front of the employer face-toface. “If I can get in front of them, I can get the job,” says Yalanda. Part of this is because, as Yalanda puts it, “It is too easy to say no over the phone.” So, she uses Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Getting the Job: How to Do Job Development and Placement

the phonebook to ask for an appointment with the employer –NOT TO MAKE THE PITCH ITSELF! Having audience with the employer and being prepared to make the case for why hiring your participant is not just some nice “social service” thing to do, but rather a real benefit to that employer, is your goal. The truth is, while there may be some companies in the U.S. that hire for reasons of being “good corporate citizens,” your workforce development program actually provides a needed and welcomed service for companies who may not have a human resources o���ce. You do human resources development for companies, often at no charge to them. You pre-screen clients, effectively match interest and skill to their needs (which fosters longer-term job retention) and provide a myriad of social supports to the participant-employee so that the employer never has to play the role of “social worker” –a role they are likely not interested in, or equipped to play in the lives of their work force. So, be confident and sell your product! Step 2: Identify who is Hiring Have your job developer create a network. Ideally, you will want to know about jobs before they are made public in the paper. Where ever possible, encourage him or her to build relationships with stable companies with ongoing hiring needs, such as banks, security companies, and the construction trades. If you are perceived as a good partner, you can also learn about openings before they are broadly shared. Make the job developer’s daily practice scouring the local newspaper’s “Help Wanted” section of the Classifieds, to find out who is hiring. Follow the instructions indicated in the ad for how they seek to be contacted. Stay aware of all job fair opportunities in your area. You typically learn of these through your networking efforts with companies, and other workforce development providers. You may also learn of these through your government funding source. Create a flyer for prospective employers to offer your program’s special human resources services. Contact the One-Stop Career Center serving your community. Make them aware of your services and ask them to partner with you. Some of the likely points of collaboration include job fairs, transportation services you may offer as a supplement to services offered by the OneStop; your offer of trained and pre-screened potential employees, etc. They may also be willing to share their database of jobs that are available. This can be done by networking your respective computer systems and is being done in cities across the nation. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Getting the Job: How to Do Job Development and Placement

Host job fairs in the community, bringing together your network of employment partners to meet with prospective employees. As a word of caution on job fairs: remember that while they can be a good way for program staff to meet employers, they are often largely public relations events. Be selective when referring clients to avoid disillusionment! Step 3: Target Decision Makers within Companies You want to talk to the one who can make something happen for you. When contacting a company, ask who oversees human resources at the company and how you might be in touch with them. This might include the company owner or chief executive, director of human resources, their legal department, etc. This depends on the company. It cannot be underscored that you want access to the person that can really make something happen for you. Even when you are in touch with the human resources department, be sure to confirm they are the ones who will be able to make the decision on whether your participants can be hired. Otherwise identify how that decision gets made. Step 4: Prepare relevant materials including media and sales packets If you have the opportunity to meet with the company’s decision makers, you want to be sure to have the following information ready to give to them: Your program’s brochure (indicating your history, program services of job training, job counseling, case management, screening, replacement and other) Information on any federal bonding or federal, state or local tax credit opportunities they might benefit from by participating in your program. Visit www.bonds4jobs.com for more information. Contact person at your program with whom they can follow-up. Your program’s Web site (if applicable). Any positive media coverage you might have gained. Other program outreach materials you may wish to offer. These may include video/DVD presentations, PowerPoint presentations, reference letters from employers that your program has satisfactorily served, and others.

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Resumes for participants who may be available for and well matched with job opportunities at the company. Step 5: Prepare sales pitches for targeted businesses In advance of meeting with a company, do your homework. Study up on who they are and what their interests are. Look them up on the internet, or review their Web site (if applicable). Consider using your Board of Directors to help create opportunities for networking and to make contacts with businesses and business professionals that are in their sphere of influence. It is a good way to engage the Board, and could be a very useful resource in support of job development. Find out if the company currently uses a temporary employment service. If yes, they might be paying as much as 40% more in overhead costs that you could save them by their hiring your participant and utilizing your free of charge service. In making the pitch, you are essentially contextualizing for that audience. If the company’s interest is a workforce that can do certain types of specialized jobs (e.g. construction, computer, secretarial) you will want to identify who and how many among your participants can meet that employer’s workforce demand. Step 6: Arrange face-to-face meetings with business representatives This is your opportunity to present your wonderful program to the prospective employer-partner. As with anything, first impressions are only gotten once. Your presentation has to: Be simple and clear. Do not use terminology that may be foreign to the employer. Make your case in very simple and convincing terms. Be articulate. Rehearse your presentation and make sure the presenter is someone that is well-spoken and able to think on their feet and field any possible questions that may come. Know your value. Why are you distinctly different or valuable/beneficial as a provider of these services? If you are not confident about the benefit of your program that will come across clearly. Remember, you are selling your product.

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Getting the Job: How to Do Job Development and Placement

Step7: Collaborate with area Chamber of Commerce and Workforce Investment Board What is the agenda of the local Chamber of Commerce board chairman and president? Is there a national firm locating to your area? Who is introducing them to the local labor pool? Could it be you? What does the mayor or area state representatives need that you might find being discussed in the headlines? You have to become familiar with the labor market. The term “labor market” refers to the pool of employers and workers in your locale. What jobs are available out there in which you might place your participants? What employment sectors are hiring? Employment sectors speak about industries and institutions. There is the social service sector made up largely of human service government agencies and nonprofit organizations. There are technology sectors made up computer and telecommunication companies. There are service industry sectors made up of jobs that call for more entry level skills (i.e., non-management level jobs at fast food restaurants). What kinds of qualifications are being sought? These questions all relate to the market, and the word “market” in this context is another way of talking about opportunity. What is the opportunity for jobs out there? Your local Chamber of Commerce is a good place to learn about the labor market. It is also a good way to get to know the needs and interests of businesses in your region and even advertise the free services that your program offers.

7.3

Employer Benefits

As mentioned previously, you provide a service to would-be employers. In this next section, let’s tease that out further. The work of the “sales professional” (job developer) is one of successfully communicating messages. The following are examples of the kinds of messages a job developer might share with prospective employers: Message Example #1: Attention Employers!

Are you looking for ready to work employees? Our program is ready to refer individuals with the qualities you seek: Prepared for employment Dependable Willing to work Pre-screened Drug tested (if applicable) Monitored by our case manager to ensure continued success

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Getting the Job: How to Do Job Development and Placement

Message Example #2: EMPLOYER BENEFITS

No fees for program services as opposed to costs associated with paid employment agencies Reduction in new hire costs associated with applicant screening Reduction in new hire employee turn-over Expand community tax base Employees that receive our program staff support to ensure their SUCCESS! Message Example #3: EMPLOYER INCENTIVES

Federal Bonding Program Provides Fidelity Bonding Insurance free of charge to employers who hire individuals with criminal histories and other high-risk job applicants up to $5,000 - $25,000 with 100% coverage for a period of six months. The policy protects the employer in case of any loss of money or property due to employee dishonesty. Work Opportunity Tax Credits (subject to availability) A federal tax credit to reduce the federal tax liability of private for profit employers to hire individuals from eight targeted groups: TANF recipients, veterans, ex-felons, high risk youth, summer youth, Food Stamp recipients, SSI recipients and vocational rehabilitation referrals. Includes a tax credit of 25% to 40% of the first $6,000 (or up to $2,400) in wages paid during first 12 months for each new hire. OJT/ On the Job Training Dollars (subject to availability) OJT Training dollars are monies paid to employers who train participants while they are working on the job. An example OJT contract might state employers will be reimbursed up Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Getting the Job: How to Do Job Development and Placement

to 25% of a participant’s salary (up to $10 per hour) upon completion of their first 91 days of employment. In addition to the role of the important message the job developer conveys, successful job development is about relationships!

7.4

Maintaining Employer Relationships

The very essence of successful job development is nurturing and maintaining the relationship with the employer. Consistency is the key here. Do what you say you will do. Lots of programs make promises they do not keep and as such lose all credibility. Have a process for regularly checking in with the employer or the company liaison that the employer has designated to be your contact. This supports the relationship. You should also celebrate your partnership with the employer by honoring them in the way that is most appropriate. Some employers relish the public attention and credit for their participation and partnership with your program. Others want a more discreet relationship. As you nurture the relationship you will know what is best. Remember, they become your customer and you will cater to their needs. Whenever possible, include employers in your program’s services. Consider having them as guests lecturers to encourage participants about what is possible in the world of work, what employers are looking for, a profile of the successful job candidate. Employers may also be willing to conduct mock interviews for your participants and stay on for a question and answers period. Be certain to include employers in your social activities or events, especially program graduations. These become public “thank you” opportunities for their participation and allow the employer to see the full scope of their investment (and yours) in the life of the employee they hired. At events, ask select employers to give testimonials on how the program is working and benefiting them. This also becomes further public relations/marketing opportunity for you.

7.5

Job Placement

There are several factors that affect successful job placement. For each, you will need to develop the appropriate strategy to address them. Factors may include: The labor market — Are there jobs available for your participants? The population you serve — Do they have barriers to address before entering the job market? These could include literacy or language barGuide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Getting the Job: How to Do Job Development and Placement

riers, housing, need for driver’s license for certain jobs, etc. The work-readiness of your participants — Are they prepared for work in a way that will ensure success? See the previous chapter, ‘Becoming Work Ready’. The match of your participants’ knowledge, skills, and aptitudes with those required. As stated earlier, job development is all about job placement. It involves recruiting employers and matching qualified and quality employees to the needs and interests of employers. If the job developer is successful, employees will stay at that job. Job retention, then, becomes very important. Employers do not want a revolving door when it comes to hiring and losing employees. Your program also has an interest in the lasting employment of your participant on that job for numerous reasons, including meeting the contractual obligations of a funder, providing effective, quality assistance for the community thus achieving the mission of your organization. We discuss this topic in more detail in the next chapter.

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Keeping the Job: How to Promote Participant Job Retention

8

Keeping the Job How to Promote Participant Job Retention Many experts will tell you that successful job retention starts at participant intake. We recommend that you begin equipping your program participants with those skills that will help them retain their jobs long before they are placed in employment. Just as your job training efforts focus on the development of technical work skills and appropriate habits and attitudes in the workplace, it is important that the curriculum also address basic retention strategies. In addition to training, family and home life matters should be discussed between the case manager and participant, with a focus on how these critical areas affect success on the job. In other words, what are the supportive services the participant will need to achieve harmony at home? Conversely, how does taking a job affect participant home life? Does he or she need child care, transportation, etc.?

8.1

Encouraging Job Retention

Consider the following “job retention formula”:

Pre-Employment Career Assesment, Effective Training, and Individual Job Counseling

+

Strategic Job Matching and Placement

+

Adecuate PostEmployment Support

=

INCREASED CHANCE OF RETAINING THE JOB

Job retention is more a program goal than an actual activity per se. It is important to share with the participant the program’s expectations in terms of: Employment goals: lets say complete 90 consecutive days in permanent employment of 32 or more hours per week. Providing employment verification: some programs prefer to collect monthly pay stubs, some others collect all and each pay stub until retention is achieved to ensure there are no laps between jobs; finally, there are programs that document successful retention completion with first and last pay stubs only. Communication: individuals are more likely to succeed in retention if they continue to receive support from program staff to adapt to change (employment). Encourage participants to follow a schedule for contacting their case manager or job developer. The following strategies are offered in support of the job retention goal: Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Keeping the Job: How to Promote Participant Job Retention

Strategy 1: Pre-employment Career Assessment, Job Training and Individual Job Counseling In Chapter 4 of this guide, we went into detail about the importance of completing a preemployment career assessment with each program participant. Understanding the passion, interests, and barriers to productivity of each participant is step one in moving them toward a productive, life-long career and economic stability for their families. Solid, comprehensive job training will give your program participants a strong foundation to become sharp and effective employees, which naturally promotes longer job retention. Employers want well-prepared workers with positive attitudes and a real desire to learn and work. Your job-training curriculum will play an extremely important role in how successful your participants are in retaining their jobs. There are a couple of schools of thoughts when it comes to ones motive in conducting work-readiness training. Some encourage you to think in terms of an “Employer-driven” approach which talks in “for-profit” commercial terminology. It says that your primary customer is the employer. Your “product” is the work-ready client or participant and your job is to provide a quality product to the customer-employer. We have used this kind of language throughout this section of the Guide. If you take this approach, you will likely spend more time with participants in both job training and individual counseling, ensuring they are a good match for the employers to whom you are marketing them. You will work with the needs and interests of the employer in mind. This will mean a focus on hard skills training – occupational skills readiness training or industry specific training. In this regard, you might offer job training focused in certain areas. For example, if you are filling positions in the area of office administration, you might focus your hard skills job training on such things as how to use office equipment (fax machines, copier machines, take phone calls using telephone and conferencing call equipment, etc.). You will address office decorum and protocol, proper dress and conduct. Many programs work to mimic the office environment so that the participant has opportunity to practice being in the office setting. Another example could be in customer service. If you are readying participants for customer service, hard skills training on how to handle business transactions, use a cash register, take orders, or handle customer care call situations might be the focus of your training. The other approach is the client-centered approach. This approach places greater emphasis on the client’s needs and less that of any individual employer. This approach is much more concerned with the social service needs of the client, helping them become successful with their “life issues” overall. Employment is certainly a key to the client’s success, but only so if there are requisite supports in place to ensure successful sustained employment. While both approaches have merit, balance is really appropriate here. It is recommended that there be a blended approach that keeps the needs of both in focus. Compatibility is Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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being sought, and it is the responsibility of the program to support the participant and employer in achieving the best match possible. Strategy 2: Job Matching and Placement

Words of wisdom: “Community-based workforce development organizations are far different from staffing agencies for three reasons: 1- The program serves as a liaison between employer and employee to help mediate issues that may arise during the retention phase, by building a mutual trust relationship with both participant, and employer. 2- The participants receive continuous support and create a deep partnership with program staff. 3- The employers have an opportunity to give back to the community.” Bernie López, Employment Specialist Supervisor Esperanza EARN Center Philadelphia, PA

Job placement is a straightforward process – placing a person in search of a job into an open position. On the other hand, “strategic” job placement is the careful, thoughtful process of placing of a person in a job that is appropriate for their skills, abilities, talents, and interests. We would not expect someone expressing challenges with back aches, to be successful on a job that requires lifting heavy boxes. Neither would we expect someone with poor typing skills to be very effective in a job that requires typing several memos per day. Placing persons with low employment skills and multiple barriers to employment is always challenging. Nonetheless, it is your job to make the most suitable matches between jobs and your program participants. The better the match, the greater chance that your program participants will do well on the job and retain the job – job retention hinges heavily on “strategic” job placement. Strategy 3: Post Employment Support Helping your “on-the-job” program participants retain their jobs requires that you maintain regular communication with them and continue to be available to immediately respond to problems on their jobs and in their personal/family lives. Without a doubt, you will continue to be a resource to your program participants once they are placed in jobs. Your relationships with the employers of your program participants are equally as important! In order to assist and support your program participants on the job, you MUST also be a resource to their employers. Employers should feel at ease coming to you if a problem develops. As harsh as it may sound, employers are –most often– not willing to “hold the hands” of your program participants. Their bottom line is maximizing production and good customer service. Building a sound, firm, and trusting relationship with employers will go a long way! Even after you have trained your program participants, and “strategically” placed them into suitable jobs, your work is far from over. Many of the program participants will have to deal with the same family and personal issues they faced prior to getting a job. Offering post employment support is more critical now that jobs are on the line. Be certain that your “on-the-job” program participants and their employers know that they can call on your staff if problems arise. Have your case managers develop an on-site visitation schedule to track participant’s progression. It may only be necessary to visit certain individuals twice a month during their first 6 months on the job; others may require once a week visits. The key is to offer the necessary support to deal with problems as they arise and prevent potential problems before they arise. Lastly, while it is important to assure both the new employee and employer that your case managers are available if needed, your case managers must not disturb, distract or interfere at the work site.

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Often times, once you have placed a participant in a job, his or her continued interest in the program tapers off. Things like case management, mentoring (if applicable), individual counseling, etc. fall to the wayside. Sometimes this is abrupt. One the participant has secured employment, his or her objective is met, and subsequently, the post-employment support you offer can seem unimportant. Some providers use various incentives to keep their on-the-job program participants connected to post-employment programs. For example, some provide transportation vouchers to encourage participants who need help getting to and from work to remain attached to the program. Be creative and assertive without treading too far into the “personal space” of the participant and the business operations of the employer.

8.2

Repeat Placement

Sometimes, even after you have trained and “strategically” matched and placed a program participant on a job, the job placement does not last. The key in these situations is to understand exactly why things did not work out on the job. Both staff and participants should learn from these experiences. Ask basic but probing questions. Was it an appropriate referral? Was the participant ready? Did he or she have the skills needed? Does some component or process in our program need to improve or change? Case managers must convey an upbeat and optimistic attitude toward program participants when a placement does not work out. The best defense against a failed placement is a sound and comprehensive plan that attempts to follow the steps of the “job retention formula” indicated at the beginning of this chapter. Unless there is some identifiable reason why it would not be desirable, do not be discouraged from placing a participant that has left a previous job in a new position. Not every job works for every person, so some level of turnover is only natural. However, a little extra caution may be in order as you seek to make additional placements of the participant.

8.3

Job Advancement

It may sound strange, but you generally do NOT want program participants that you have successfully placed in jobs to remain there forever! Your greatest hope should be that participants will excel on their jobs and advance to greater job opportunities and responsibilities. To support your program participants as they grow and advance in their careers, it is important that you stay connected to your “on-the-job” program participants and offer them: Continued intensive case management. Resources on skills enhancement and career development. Seminars on understanding standard benefits (i.e. medical coverage, life Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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insurance, retirement plan, food stamps, child care subsidy and other benefits that the participant may still qualify for if he/she is still in public assistance for example). Financial literacy and planning including: credit management, debt eradication, and home ownership training. Through regular contact with the participant and employer, you can offer support for the identification of and action on promotional opportunities that may present themselves.

8.4

Resources

The following are a few Web sites that may be of interest as you plan and implement retention strategies for your workforce development program: Wider Opportunities for Women (http://www.wowonline.org) National Workforce Association (http://www.nwaonline.org) The Workforce Alliance (http://www.workforcealliance.org) WorkforceUSA.net (http://www.workforceusa.net)

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Assessing Success: Data Collection, Progress Monitoring, and Outcome Measurement

9

Assessing Success Data Collection, Progress Monitoring, and Outcome Measurement Earlier in this Guide we discussed how to do program development. In this chapter, we focus our attention on program implementation planning in a discussion on the critical considerations of outcome measurement, data collection and monitoring. We start with program planning. We move to program implementation. Next we talk about program evaluation. To effectively implement your program in an ongoing fashion, it will be helpful to have a sound process in place for both understanding where you are heading and then measuring your progress along the way. That process is what funders will ask you to describe for them when you seek funding support. It is the process for evaluation – demonstrating how you will determine you are successful. As part of this process, outcome measurement refers to the exercise of creating clear quantifiable statements of what the expected results will be for a set of program activities you will offer. Data collection refers to the tool, method and process you will use to gain information about your program’s participants, overall progress and impact. It will help you answer whether you are reaching the pre-program clearly stated outcomes you indicated you seek to reach by offering the program. Monitoring refers to a process both used by external groups who give you money or support and internally, the process you will use to regularly check your progress against expected outcomes.

9.1

Establishing Outcomes, Goals and Objectives8

As you implement your program, you will need to begin to talk about it in new ways. You may have heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” A key part of program planning is deciding at the start, just what it is you are trying to achieve and where you are going. You will need a: Clear statements of outcome that are realistic and achievable Clear statements of outcome that are measurable Clear statements of outcome that are directly related to problem being addressed Time frame for accomplishment Outcomes describe the effect of an intervention. An example might be the statement: “Ten participants secured jobs.” Securing jobs was the outcome of your intervention. You are cautioned to make your stated outcomes realistic and achievable. This takes judgment and assessment. Do you have the right capacity (staff, experience, environment, support) to achieve a stated outcome? Make it something you can actually do. 8 This section was adapted from material provided by Dr. Virginia Smith, Research Associate at Branch Associates, a minority research and evaluation firm headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.

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Process objectives describe the methods or activities used to bring about that outcome. An example might be the statement: “As a result of our four job training classes and thorough job search activities, ten participants secured jobs.” Job training and job search was your process to lead to the outcome (result) – ten participants securing jobs. It will be important for you and your staff to begin to use the language of planning and evaluation in the conducting of your work and writing of any funding proposals. You want to be able to articulate both the end-goals and processes required to successfully offer your program. Examples of Outcomes Statements Adults entering employment Adults retaining employment Adults having increased earnings Youth attaining high school diploma or GED Examples of Process Statements Providing 16 hours of job search training Providing 8 hours of training on work site behavior Advocating with employers for pay raises Referring 30 youth to GED preparation classes When your staff meets, talk about the goals of each of your efforts (i.e., recruitment, case management, job training, job placement, job retention). What are the outcomes you seek to achieve with each? In other words, what does success look like? Is it the number of people you are to recruit? If yes, what is the process that will bring about the desired result? Is it increased employee wages? What process (or programming) will it take to yield that result? The following is a snapshot of how you might express your program outcomes along with the process you might take to get there. In addition, what is the evidence of success? When we talk about evidence, we want to express it both in qualitative (i.e., narrative text) and quantitative terms (numbers/statistics/percentages). Expressing your expected results in quantitative terms will allow you, staff and supporters to measure whether you achieved it, got close or were unsuccessful altogether. In other words, if the goal was a 50% increase in recruitment, you either achieved 50% or you did not. The qualitative narration should be useful explaining anomalies, challenges, reasons for success, etc. It is certain that programs in the Gulf regions of the United States that were funded at or around August of 2005 to carryout expressed program goals and achieve certain outcomes there were impacted by the onset and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The narrative qualitative report will explain the numbers. You need both.

9.2

The Relationship between Outcome and Process in Relation to Program Evaluation

The following table shows in quantitative terms, clear statements of outcome and their Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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relationship to the process used to achieve that outcome. Again, this becomes the basis for measuring success.

Expected Outcome

Process (Activity)

Evidence of Success

60% of enrolled participants will be placed on a job

16 hours of job search activities; 80 hours of job training class; individual job counseling

Of the 100 clients in our program, 60 will be placed on a job.

50% of participants placed this year will stay on their job for 180 consecutive days.

24 hours of training on worksite behavior (including mock interviews, role playing, etc.); case management and wrap around support; incentives

30 of 60 adults retained in employment for six continuous months

9.3

Conducting Ongoing Program Evaluation

In addition to measuring your success achieving outcomes, you need a process for monitoring your program success. In program evaluation, there are two types of ongoing processes you might consider. These are summarized in the table below:

Formative Review

Summative Review

Conducted throughout the life of the program, the focus is on collecting and analyzing data to support program improvement.

Conducted at the end of the programor other defined time period, the objective is to assess whether the program met its objectives.

Types of data collected: Process information (activities, services) Numbers served Number of service units (i.e., 5 workshops, 4 job fairs, 20 referrals) Compliance with standards Participant feedback on the process

Types of data collected: Outcomes achieved relative to planned performance objectives Measurable changes in the skill levels of program participants Measurable changes in the behaviors or attitudes of program participants

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Data Collection First, what do we mean by data? In the context of your workforce development program, data refers to the information, facts, figures, numbers, records, statistics your program captures about its services, constituents and agency/program progress against pre-determined goals. For example, when case managers use their intake forms, they are in the process of collecting data. Most workforce development program supporters will require certain data be captured as part of meeting grant or contractual obligations to them, and some cases, your funding source might mandate the use of a central data system. Many programs create databases to enter information about their clients. Data collection takes place by the use of various tools, including input into computer-based database systems and paper-based approaches. Common computer-based database systems are built using Microsoft Access or Excel spreadsheets. More sophisticated groups will purchase “off the shelf” systems like Social Solutions’ Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) system (see http:// www.socialsolutions.com) or have a system designed for them from scratch. This, of course, often has much to do with the availability of financial resources at the program’s disposal. But it is a worthy investment. Take time to investigate your options. Ask other programs about what they use and how it works for them. Research before buying or developing a system. Whatever system you choose, you want to make sure you have: High levels of security – because you are likely working with a lot of personal client data (i.e., social security numbers, pay stubs, copies of drivers licenses, information about the client taken during interviews) Stability and speed User friendly interface Strong reporting tools and capabilities You will use the database to capture all types of data, including enrollment, program activity, and placement outcomes. So, the choice of a system (paper or electronic) is an important one.

Word of wisdom:

9.4

Paper and Electronic Records

Prove what you say. Name the source of your data. Document, document, document!

To support the collection of information needed to maintain the accuracy of the automated database system, you will need to develop a set of standard paper forms. These forms will often mirror what your electronic template has so that the data is easily transferred. Also, this allows you a reliable back-up for your electronic data. As these forms are the physical documentation of your program activity, you will want to establish and maintain systems for case record organization and storage. Introducing data collection in general is often a cultural shift for agencies that are not accustomed to the high accountability, outcome-focused nature of workforce developGuide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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ment programs. Most staffs are so engaged in the work of touching lives that data collection becomes a chore rather than a tool. However, the information collected can be invaluable in measuring your success and supporting the enhancement of your program. Data collection will enable you to tell, over time, how well you are doing in each program area (i.e., case management, job placement, etc.) and in total as an agency. It is important to emphasize that you only get out of something what you put into it. Data will need to be entered into your system and updated on an ongoing basis. This will be essential as a support for ongoing performance review and timely corrective action, as required.

9.5

Deliverables and Benchmarking

Workforce development programs providing participant job placements as part of a contract are likely governed by a “scope of work” or set of deliverables. Deliverables are simply a list of what the contracting agency expects and when they expect it. For most government funding sources, you are considered a “Provider”. The Deliverables are what you as a “Provider” agency of workforce development services agree to do, and receive payment for. The “scope of work” is their way of talking to you about your set of deliverables. Failure to meet stated levels of performance can have real consequences in the workforce development field. Unlike other human services, this consequence can often involve full or partial loss of funding relatively quickly. “Benchmarking is planning language that helps you with your program implementation. It is a way of talking about what you are asked to-do, when you will do it, and how much you will accomplish. It is usually time-based and measurable, often providing a description of the activity, audience or accomplishment. Benchmarks are those things for which you are held accountable. It is a way of taking the broad goals associated with your program deliverables and breaking them down for others to understand, judge you by in terms of performance, and/or serve as a basis for paying you for your service. Just as contract deliverables list what you are hired to do in the broadest of terms, benchmarks provide detail on how it gets done and a measurement indicator for the purpose of monitoring your progress. For example, suppose that your program is asked to provide the following workforce development services as contract deliverables: Recruit and enroll 100 adults over a 12 month period. Provide case management of 100% of those enrolled Place 100% of enrollees on a job Achieve 30-day job retentions of 75% of the enrollees placed. Now, it is time to do what you promised to do. One way would be to benchmark the progress of your organization toward accomplishing those deliverables. For example:

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Enroll 25 adults in the first quarter; 50 adults in the 2nd quarter; 25 in the 3rd quarter. Immediately assign each enrollee a case manager who will meet with them weekly for the first 30 days of enrollment and then monthly every month thereafter. Place enrollees on a job at a rate of 8 per month in the first quarter, increasing to 16 per month in the 2nd quarter, and back to 8 per month in the 3rd quarter. Collect pay-stubs from participants demonstrating 30 consecutive days of employment at the job they were placed on.” Benchmarking this way allows both the job developer and anyone monitoring their progress to see clearly how well they are doing. It also allows the overall big goals to be accomplished strategically in a way that can be measured. You either enrolled the 25 you said you would in the first quarter, or you did not. If not, what factors kept you from success? What do you need to do to adjust? Benchmarking can be a useful planning tool or practice. If you use it to plan your way toward the successful accomplishment of your job placement goals, you will want to utilize a work plan and have a regular way of monitoring the plan to ensure you are meeting your objectives.

9.6

Work Plan and Performance Monitoring

Many organizations find it useful to have a regular process for monitoring overall program performance against stated objectives, benchmarks and/or deliverables. A recommended approach might be for all staff to meet together monthly (or more frequently if necessary) around a work plan that is focused on how you are doing individually and as a collective in achieving the goals of your program plan. This is called a “work plan.” A work plan: Defines the specific actions/tasks that will lead to goal accomplishment. Divides work into Short-, Mid- and Long-term all of the actions/tasks. Clarifies who is responsible for each task. Sets a due date for task completion. Identifies the resources and/or materials needed to carry out each task. Needs to be monitored and updated regularly. An example might look like the following:

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Action/Task

Person(s) Responsible

Resources/ Materials Needed

Due Date

Secure space to host job-training class

Harry Smith, Program Director

Meet with local One-Stop regarding space needs

February 28, 2007

Recruit and train 20 youth in the 4 week workforce development class

John Davis, Job Trainer Jane Harris, Recruitment Specialist

Staff time, marketing materials, referral sources

March 31, 2007

Place 15 of 20 youth on a job

Job Placement Specialist

Employment partners, transportation for job searches

May 31, 2007

It is important to state that a plan is not a static document. It should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changing circumstances, programmatic adjustments, and external factors. As changes are made, they should be widely shared with program staff and funders to ensure a shared understanding is maintained. Outcome measurement, data collection and performance monitoring are crucial aspects of a workforce development program. As stated already, this is largely the language of funders today and you will need to be comfortable operating your program in these terms.

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The Usual Suspects: Funding Your Workforce Development Program

10

The Usual Suspects Funding Your Workforce Development Program As a workforce development service provider you have two primary objectives. The first is to provide exceptional services to your program participants –efficiently and professionally. The second objective is to secure the resources necessary to provide these services. Clearly, you cannot meet the first objective if you fail to meet the second. You must be daring, innovative, open, and non-traditional when thinking about securing funding to continue your extremely important work. Before elaborating on funding sources, let’s revisit what workforce development is. At the beginning of this guide, we broadly defined workforce development as all those programs, projects, and policies that seek to: Equip people with marketable skills so they can be active in the national economy; “Create economic opportunities for social improvement and pathways to overcome poverty”*; Foster open communication and meaningful relationships between employers and potential employees; Create and/or expand industries to increase the number and quality of employment opportunities, and Provide support services to individuals recently entering the workforce. This definition encompasses many activities ranging from providing transportation for new workers to computer skills training to job placement and referral services to resume writing workshops. When we talk about funding workforce development, we are simply talking about funding these various activities. So where would a workforce development provider go to find dollars for these activities?

10.1 Government Funding The Federal and state government are key sources for workforce development funding. In some cases, they directly fund programs, while in others, they distribute funds through intermediaries. However the funding flows, be aware that the resources are limited and the process for securing these dollars often requires the completion of lengthy and detailed applications. Be prepared to endure a rigorous process when applying for government funds. Please visit your state’s official Web site for information on workforce development funding available from your state government. The relevant state agency may be your state Department of Labor, Department of Commerce, Department of Employment and Training, etc. Please see the listing of “Federal Workforce Development Funding Sources” at the end of this chapter for information on federal sources of workforce development funding. Also, visit the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (http://www.cfda.gov) for listings Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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of Federal funding opportunities in a wide range of program areas within and outside of the workforce development field. City and county governments sometimes serve as sources of workforce development funding but, more often, they serve as workforce development service providers in search of funding themselves. In fact, they frequently compete with community-based non-profits, universities, and other local organizations for Federal and state funding. Some county governments and larger city governments have distinct offices of Workforce Development or Youth Employment to carry out their workforce development functions. Please visit the official Web site of your city and county to check for possible grant or contracting opportunities.

10.2 Pay for Performance Sizeable workforce development grants and contracts from state and federal funding sources that involve job training, job placement, job referral, and post-employment activities are usually “pay-for-performance” in nature. In other words, many Federal and state workforce development programs compensate service providers, at least in part, based upon them reaching specific performance targets. For example, a government grant or contract may pay the service provider a fixed amount for overhead expenses and an additional amount depending on how many program participants: Complete a specified training program (referred to as a “program completion rate”) Secure permanent employment (referred to as a “job-placement rate”) Remain permanently employed for 30, 60, or 90 days (referred to as a “job-retention rate”) It takes an extreme amount of work to provide hands-on services for program participants and to monitor the status of their progress. Your organization must have adequately trained personnel and the necessary technology to continually and properly track your program participant’s job attendance, class attendance, length of employment, etc. Additionally, most state and Federal grants and contracts “reimburse” service providers for program related expenses after the services have been provided. This means that your organization must have the financial ability to operate for months at a time before receiving grant or contract funds.

10.3 Private Foundations and Corporate Donors Although the competition is intense, many corporate, private, and community foundations welcome proposals from organizations engaged in workforce development, adult education, literacy, English as a second language, computer training, and other related areas. To explore the local and national programs for which you may be eligible, visit the Foundation Center at http://www.foundationcenter.org and http://www.communityfoundations.net, hosted by the Council on Foundations. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Often, businesses, school districts, universities, etc. donate used items to non-profit organizations. The following items are frequently donated: Office supplies and furniture Vehicles Computers, printers, monitors In addition to the above items, the following can also be donated to nonprofits: Office/training space Advertising space (in various publications i.e. local newspapers, magazines) Accounting, legal, and other professional services Never be shy about asking for used items that are in good, usable condition.

10.4 A Word of Caution Lydia is the Executive Director of Bright Futures, a 3-year old workforce development non-profit organization. Bright Futures established sound tracking and monitoring procedures early on and can document an exceptional job-placement rate and an excellent job retention rate of its program participants. Caseworkers at Bright Futures are known for their caring attitudes and willingness to go the extra mile for program participants. So why is Lydia, sitting at her desk with a blank expression on her face? She has just been informed that their projected operating budget for the next fiscal year will only be half of their current year’s budget! How could this happen? They are a great organization with data that proves their effectiveness. Bright Futures succeeded in providing exceptional services and operating efficiently but failed miserably to plan for its fiscal future. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence for both new and experienced organizations. The day-to-day, week-to-week, month-tomonth work of providing “hands-on” services to program participates, with many needs, can totally consume an organization and take priority over planning for future funding. Here are a few considerations on financial planning for your organization: Provide your Board of Directors or organization leaders with financial updates every three months. These updates, at the least, should include, projected expenses and revenues. Develop a system to regularly scan and search for sources of funding i.e. by joining “credible” e-mail list-serves or subscribing to publications that contain a regular grant announcement section. Convey to your staff that keeping an eye out for funding opportunities is the responsibility of “everyone.” Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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10.5 Federal Workforce Development Funding Sources U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR (http:/www.dol.gov) PROGRAM

FUNDING RECIPIENT

SERVICE PROVIDERS

SERVICES

Workforce Investment Act

States

One Stop Centers, colleges and universities, community-based non-profits, unions

Employment training, job search assistance

Trade Adjustment Assistance

Individuals

Private employers, job-training agencies

On the job training, classroom training, customized training

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (http:/www.ed.gov) PROGRAM

FUNDING RECIPIENT

SERVICE PROVIDERS

SERVICES

Adult Education and Family Literacy Act

States

Colleges and universities, community-based non-profits, public housing authorities

Adult basic skills training, GED preparation courses, literacy advancement programs

Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants

State

Community based non-profits, state government agencies

College and vocational training, job skills training and coaching

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (http:/www.hhs.gov) PROGRAM

FUNDING RECIPIENT

SERVICE PROVIDERS

SERVICES

Temporary States Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Community-based non-profits, county governments

Vocational training, job skills development training, soft skills development training

Social Services Block Grant (SSBG)

States

State and local governments, community-based non-profits

Literacy development, English as a Second Language (ESOL),

Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)

States

Community-based non-profits – Community Action Agencies

GED preparation, pre-vocational training GED preparation, job skills training

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (http:/www.usda.gov) PROGRAM

FUNDING RECIPIENT

SERVICE PROVIDERS

SERVICES

Food Stamps Employment and Training

States

Community-based non-profits, One Stop Centers, county government agencies

Basic education programs, literacy programs, soft skills development training

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (http:/www.hud.gov) PROGRAM

FUNDING RECIPIENT

SERVICE PROVIDERS

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

States, Local and state municipalities, governments, counties community-based non-profits

SERVICES A range of workforce development services

10.6 Considerations for Faith-Based Organizations Faith-based organizations have a rich history of community service and are key community partners. Increasingly the federal government has recognized this and offered important guidance to faith-based organizations on how to effectively partner with the government. Visit the official Web site of the White House at http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/fbci/guidance-index.html for helpful do’s and don’ts information and guidance. Specific resources to note include: Guidance to Faith-Based and Community Organizations on Partnering with the Federal Government Protecting the Civil Rights and Religious Liberty of Faith-Based Organizations –Why Religious Hiring Rights Must Be Preserved Equal Treatment and Religion-Related Regulations. On line you can access these regulations as well as DOL and Job Corps Regulatory Guidance and Resources by visiting: http://www.dol.gov/cfbci/legalguidance.htm

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REFERENCES Compassion at Work: Promising Workforce Development Practices for Faith-Based and Community Organizations; Introduction and Background; Page 3; Produced by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, 2005 Employment Assistance is One Stop Away; The Workforce Investment System: An Introduction, Page 2; Produced by the Center for Employment Security Education and Research (CESER) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. When the Gates Open – Ready4Work, A National Response to the Prisoner Reentry Crisis, by Joshua Good and Pamela Sherrid; Field Report Series, Public/Private Ventures October 2005. Workforce Job Titles; Workforce Professionals Training Institute website - http://www. workforceprofessionals.org/training.php. Workforce Job Titles; Workforce Professionals Training Institute website - http://www. workforceprofessionals.org/training.php “Providing Case Management”; Just Out: Early Lessons from the Ready4Work Prisoner Reentry Initiative, by Linda Jucovy; Field Report Series, Public/Private Ventures, Page 8-9; February 2006.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS A last word to thank all of whom participated in one way or the other in making possible what was initially envisioned by Rev. Hector Cortez, Vice President of National Program and Esperanza Trabajando Project Director, as a wonderful idea. Thanks to Mr. Sam Harrell, Director of Program Operations of the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition (GPUAC), who was able to capture that vision and spent many days and nights working on this document and who always welcomed the feedback we gave him and inspired Dori Greco Rutherford, contractor with the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Labor and, Billy Terry, Manager of Government Relations at Van Scoyoc Associates, Inc. (VSA) in Washington, DC, to share their expertise and time for this project. My deep gratitude to Mr. Jaime Talero, Director of WriteProcess, Inc., Washington, DC, who’s years of expertise added immeasurable value to this manuscript, his editing work and impeccable translation to Spanish will hopefully allow many Latino leaders to reach and serve in other ways their community. Gracias to the Esperanza’s team, you now how much I appreciate your dedication in all the work you devoted towards the here to be presented, Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program.

Paula Umaña Capacity Coordinator National Programs Esperanza

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS Samuel Harrell is Director of Program Operations and member of the senior staff of the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition (GPUAC). A fifteen-year veteran of the community development field, he has provided leadership assisting faith-based and nonprofit organizations resulting in their increased organizational effectiveness and higher community impact. Sam has facilitated training and technical assistance for hundreds of leaders, served as contributing author, researcher, advisor and project manager for several field publications. Since January 2004, he has served as Adjunct Professor in Eastern University’s Masters of Nonprofit Management program, teaching Advanced Fundraising to a next generation of nonprofit leaders. He is co-founder of several home-based Bible Studies; has worked as short-term missionary in Kenya, East Africa and served Philadelphia-area churches as Associate Minister. Dori Greco Rutherford is a contractor with the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). In this capacity, she oversees grant programs and provides technical assistance for grantee organizations. Prior to DOL, Dori worked as an Associate Director at the White House Writers Group, a Washington, D.C.–based public policy strategy firm. She also served in the administration of Mayor Stephen Goldsmith in Indianapolis, advising the Mayor on social policy and overseeing his initiative on rebuilding families, called the Front Porch Alliance. Billy Terry serves as a Manager of Government Relations at Van Scoyoc Associates, Inc. (VSA) in Washington, DC. Prior to joining VSA, Terry served as a Senior Program Manager at the National Congress for Community Economic Development (NCCED) where he provided training and technical assistance to community-based non-profit organizations. A native of Pittsburgh, PA; Terry has a B.S. in Business Management and Administration from Penn State University and a Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Pittsburgh specializing in Urban Management and Metropolitan Policy, and has also studied Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. Jaime Talero has a history of experience with national, state, and local workforce development programs that spans more than three decades. Mr. Talero worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Training and Employment Policy, as a Program Specialist and later, Special Projects Manager, providing policy development and monitoring support for the implementation of the Federally-funded Summer Youth Employment Program, training initiatives for welfare recipients, and programs targeting dislocated workers. Mr. Talero later served as Executive Director for the “Oficina Hispana de la Comunidad”, a nonprofit community-based organization committed to expanding employment opportunity for Latinos in Boston. In 2000, he incorporated WriteProcess, Inc., a consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., primarily focused on the delivery of technical assistance and training in support of the planning, design, and implementation of programs in the workforce development, human services, and health fields. Mr. Talero earned a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration at the University of South Carolina and received a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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GLOSSARY WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT TERMS AND CONCEPTS Activities/Strategies: The broad actions that an organization expects to take in order to achieve its stated goals. Benchmarking: Usually time-based and measurable, often providing a description of the activity, audience or accomplishment, benchmarks are those accomplishments for which you are held accountable for. It is a way of taking the broad goals associated with your program deliverables and breaking them down for others to understand, judge you by in terms of performance, and/or serve as a basis for paying you for your service. Just as contract Deliverables list what you are hired to do in the broadest of terms, Benchmarks provide detail on how it gets done and a measurement indicator for the purpose of monitoring your progress. Career Advancement: The upward path or progression of one’s career, often measured by increases in job responsibilities, compensation, and the availability of benefits (i.e. health care, life insurance, etc). Case Manager: An essential position in workforce development organizations. Case Managers conduct the intake and assessment process and assists program participants in both determining immediate and long term employment, educational and personal goals and monitoring progress toward those goals. Community-based Organization (CBO): A citizen-based or grassroots organization that sponsors programs and projects that enhance a certain community. These organizations often have 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. Community Service: TANF clients are often required to do so many hours of community service if they are not otherwise working on a job. This often takes the form of working at an organization for so many hours, attending job training sessions (individual counseling or group trainings) and engaging in job search activities amongst others. Credential: A document that certifies that an individual has completed a training or educational program. Customized Training: Training that is designed to equip individuals with a specific set of skills or knowledge. Data Collection: The method or process an organization uses to gain information about their program participants, overall progress and impact. Data Coordinator: A common position in workforce development organizations whose primary functions are to collect critical participant and program progress data and input Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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the information into an electronic database system (often prescribed for use by a funding source). Information collected by data coordinators is often used for internal organizational development and for reporting to funding agencies. Deliverables: A list of specific activities that a grantee (or contracted agency) must complete by a particular date or within a particular time frame i.e. non-profit X will provide training to 100 students in Microsoft Word and Excel applications over 12 months; nonprofit X will offer 75 students resume writing, job-search, and interviewing preparation sessions over 12 months. Faith-Based Organization (FBO): A social service or community development organization with a stated primarily religious mission and/or affiliation. General Equivalency Diploma (GED): A certificate awarded to individuals that pass a standardized test that measures the skills and general knowledge that one would have obtained in a four-year high school education. Goals: Those specific achievements that an organization is attempting to accomplish programmatically. Hard Skills: The technical skills and abilities required to perform a specific job. Examples of hard skills include: computer literacy, the ability to operate specific machines (i.e. fork lift, printing press, etc.), or knowledge of specific business procedures (i.e. accounting, typing, filing, etc.). Job Developer: A crucial position in workforce development organizations. The Job Developer is responsible for employer recruitment and networking, employer-employee job matching, participant job-placement, ongoing employer post-placement support and employer and participant follow-up for a predetermined period. Job Developers often also serve clients with their second or more job placement needs, while working to encourage participant successful job retention. Job Development: The process of identifying, recruiting and maintaining relationships with companies/organizations and other entities that will result in viable job placement opportunities for program participants. Job Placement: The process of matching individuals to jobs that they have been trained and prepared for and have the ability to perform. Job-readiness Training: Training that helps individuals secure and keep employment. These services include developing “job-getting” skills (such as interviewing, grooming, and resume writing) and “job-keeping” skills (such as attendance, punctuality, and workplace behavior). Job Retention: The on-going act of successfully maintaining a job (usually associated Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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with a prescribed period of time). Job Trainer: A position in workforce development organizations that provides classroom instruction to workforce development participants addressing soft skills needs, life skills needs, job search strategies, resume writing, interview skills, oral and written communication skills, and more. LEP (Limited English Proficiency): LEP is the term used by the federal government, most states, and school system to identify those individuals who have insufficient English to succeed in English-only environments. LEP refers to participants who are limited in their ability to speak, read, comprehend, or write English proficiently as determined by objective assessments Labor market: The current set of conditions that describe the quality and quantity of a region’s labor supply and the type and quantity of a region’s demand for labor. Local workforce investment area: The service region of a local Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The governor, usually, determines the boundaries of these regions. Mission: The specific task(s) that an organization has been charged with. An entity’s mission should answer the questions “why do we exist?” and “what is business are we in?” Monitoring: The regular process of examining an organization’s progress in meeting its deliverables or expected outcomes. Monitoring is often performed both, internally, by the provider itself and, externally, by the founder. In addition to reporting critical programmatic achievements, monitoring also details other important activities such as cash expenditures of grant funds, work hours grantee employees, etc. Objectives: The expected results from achieving/fulfilling of an organization’s stated goals. One-stop Center: A center where individuals and employers have access to training/ seminars, job listings, job fairs, computer usage, case worker services, workforce development-related publications, etc. Established as part of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the One-Stop Centers are the main facilities where individuals receive direct assistance in the WIA System. Outcome measurement: The exercise of creating clear quantifiable statements of what the expected results will be for a set of program activities. Post-secondary Educational Institution: A two or four-year College, university, or institute that offers a degree and/or certificate. A high school diploma or GED is usually required to enroll in a post-secondary educational institution. Pre-release Participant: An incarcerated individual who is within a certain number of days of scheduled release. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Provider: Any organization (non-profit, unit of government, educational institution, etc.) that provides workforce development services to individuals searching for employment or to increase job-related skills. (From www.dotcr.ost.dot.gov) Recidivism: The return to criminal behavior or the commission of another crime after being convicted of a previous crime. Soft Skills: The personality characteristics, social skills, speaking skills, and personal habits that people posses. These personality characteristics increase one’s effectiveness while on the job but are hard to measure. Examples of soft skills include: responsibility, courtesy, self-esteem, integrity/honesty, work ethic, and self-discipline. Subsidized employment: Employment where the city/county/federal government reimburses an employer all or some portion of the salary/wages of an employee for a certain period of time while the employee is trained and transitions into a job. Supportive services: Services provided by partnering agencies that support participants in training programs to overcome barriers to employment. Childcare and transportation assistance are two common forms of supportive services. Vision: Long-term goals that describe “how the world would be a better place if we are successful in implementing our program” and “where do we want our program to be in the future?” Unsubsidized Employment: Full or part-time employment in the public or private sector that is not subsidized by a government program. ** Workforce Development: All those programs, projects, and policies seek to equip people with marketable skills; ensure communication and relationships between employers and potential employees; and create and/or expand industries to increase the number and quality of employment opportunities. Workforce Investment Board (WIB): The planning and administrative body of a local or state WIA system. A local WIB must have representatives from the business and labor communities and leaders from neighborhood organizations. ** - From www.ach.hhs.gov

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APPENDIX A SAMPLE JOB DESCRIPTIONS

Case Manager Job Developer Facilitator Data Coordinator

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Case Manager, Espernaza’s EARN Center APPENDIX A

Duties and Responsibilities: 1. Provide work focused case management and job matching services. 2. Identify, develop, and track contacts with employers that offer appropriate jobs opportunities for Job Candidate (participant). 3. Establish relationships with Job Candidate’s in order to determine previous work history and employment interests to help develop an employment course. 4. In collaboration with the Job Developers, research, network and develop linkages with government agencies, the job developer community, the nonprofit community and the business community in order to create an array of employability and employment strategies and opportunities for clients. 5. Follow up on employer responses to interviews. 6. Assist Job Candidate’s in developing transportation plans (i.e. maps, schedules, car pools, etc.) to job fairs, job interviews, and job placements. 7. Oversee scheduling of Job Candidate’s interviews. 8. Serve as a liaison between Job Candidates and employers when appropriate or necessary; gather useful feedback on Job Candidates work performance. 9. Collaborate with the Job Developers regarding planning, information sharing, job development and job matching efforts. 10. Schedule and plan for make up time for missed hours. 11. Review and update Employment Development and Retention Plan as needed. 12. Maintain files per contract requirements with all appropriate contacts, time sheets, signatures, job search logs, and all other required documentation. 13. Support Job Candidates during the retention phase. 14. Develop career counseling relationship with client that emphasizes retention from initial contact through (possibly multiple) job placements for up to one year post-placement. 15. Intervene regularly with Job Candidates to identify barriers and maximize employment retention. 16. Ensure that Job Candidates regularly collect their placement incentives. 17. Communicate with and obtain feedback from employers. 18. Refer participants to external support organizations where appropriate. 19. Assist with other duties as assigned.

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Job Developer, Espernaza’s EARN Center APPENDIX A

Duties and Responsibilities: 1. Responsible for the development and maintenance of unsubsidized and subsidized job placements for all participants of the organization 2. Visit and screen individual employers, develops specific work orders for each employer, and ensure that there are adequate jobs for all work ready Job Candidates, including jobs for special needs Job Candidates (such as bilingual participants or participants with limited reading/writing skills). 3. Arrange for permanent work site visit prior to placement of first candidates. 4. Ensure that there is a constant pool of orders into which Job Candidates can be placed. 5. Produce a minimum of 20 first time placements per month (subjected to contractual obligations). 6. Communicate with staff to learn about Job Candidates skills or special needs that may be relevant in developing unsubsidized/subsidized placements. 7. Maintain a list of accounts in the system. 8. Develop employer profile in the system to include employers’ contact information. 9. Update accounts/job orders information weekly. 10. Perform job matching process as needed to assure best match possible between Job Candidates and employer. 11. Ensure that job orders are filled in a timely and effective manner. 12. Complete all processes and forms in a timely manner and post where appropriate. Including but not limited to: Participant Assessment, Job Assessment, Job Order Processing, Interview Slip Processing, Employment Verification Form (EVF), Employer Account Profiles and Job Candidates Case Notes. 13. Update a cumulative report with placement information on a weekly basis. 14. Participate in weekly sales meetings. 15. Attend and participate in all staff and team weekly meetings. 16. Quarterly presentation regarding placement status, progress, and strategy to comply with performance goals. 17. Organize job fairs and employer visits. 18. Assist with other duties as assigned. Requirements: Two years of job development/sales experience. Completion of a bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university. Or any equivalent combination of education and experience determined to be acceptable by the organization. Bilingual-English/Spanish preferred. Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Facilitator, Espernaza’s EARN Center APPENDIX A

Duties and Responsibilities: 1. Design, deliver and manage interactive experiential learning activities in a classroom environment. 2. Ensure that Job Candidates’ time and attendance and activities are meeting program requirements. 3. Assist Job Candidates in developing a Work Readiness Portfolio that includes a resume, sample application, cover letter, thank you letter, reference sheet (professional/personal), and a mock interview evaluation form. 4. Teach Communication Skills and reinforce oral and written skills to provide participants with better English Proficiency. 5. Prepare lesson plans, course outlines, and/or syllabi, designed to give Job Candidates marketable skills for employment. 6. Work closely with program staff to ensure a team approach in providing instruction of work readiness for Job Candidates. 7. Participate in the research of educational materials and equipment for training programs. 8. Assist in the development and updating of curricula. 9. Maintain Job Candidates academic records for program evaluations; update Work Readiness Profile as required for assurance, counsel Job Candidates regarding classroom performance and progress. 10. Submit any required lesson plans and reports on a timely basis. 11. Perform any other duties and tasks such as attending field trips, graduation ceremonies, job fairs, etc., as required by the division. 12. Attend regular staff, unit, team, and individual supervisory meetings. 13. Participate in agency activities, quarterly meetings, and committees in order to share information that will promote the purpose and mission of Esperanza. 14. Assist with other duties as assigned. Requirements: Excellent written an oral communications skills Able to manage multiple assignments Enjoy working with the public Must be highly organized High School Diploma or GED Computer proficient (MS Excel and Word)

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Data Coordinator, Espernaza’s EARN Center APPENDIX A

Duties and Responsibilities: 1. Assist in developing and maintaining quality reports for agency. 2. Collect and enter all data pertaining Job Candidates in CAPS, KRONOS and AIMS. 3. Responsible for accuracy and timeliness of data processing, reporting, and analysis, according to the organization’s guidelines. 4. Review and analyze documentation, data, and reports related to the organization. 5. Identify gaps, troubleshoot, and suggest improvements. 6. Maintain customer databases per contract requirements. 7. Assist in making regular reviews of customer data, including attendance, training program performance and placement and retention. Alert supervisor to deficits in data. 8. Attend trainings as necessary to fulfill data collection and evaluation responsibilities. 9. Actively participate in individual and team meetings. 10. Participate in additional program, Division and agency-wide duties and activities as assigned. 11. Take initiative to identify own training needs. Requirements: Team-oriented with excellent presentation and written communication skills. Ability to work in a variable environment that requires respect for, and adherence to client confidentiality. Creative, articulate and enthusiastic. Must be organized, detailed-oriented and able to work effectively in a deadline specific and in a fast-paced environment. Comfortable working with diverse populations, including individuals that may have histories of drug & alcohol abuse, domestic violence, felonious backgrounds and/or concerns related to homelessness. Computer literacy and usage with proficiency in Microsoft Office Products, Associate’s Degree or post high school coursework and 5 or more years’ experience may be considered in lieu of Bachelor’s degree preferred.

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APPENDIX B SAMPLE FORMS / TOOLS

Sample Intake Form Sample Participant Contract Sample Confidentiality Waiver Release Sample Case Manager Case Notes Sample Employment Development and Retention Plan

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Sample Intake Form APPENDIX B

PARTICIPANT INTAKE FORM GENERAL INFORMATION 1. Participant’s address and phone number Name

____________________________________ State________________________

Street

____________________________________ Zip ________________________

City ________________________________________ Phone # (______) _______-________ 2.

Name, Address and phone # of 2 contacts (people who will always know how to reach the participant):

Relationship to participant _______________________________________________________ Name

____________________________________ State________________________

Street

____________________________________ Zip ________________________

City ________________________________________ Phone # (______) _______-________ Relationship to participant _______________________________________________________ Name

____________________________________ State________________________

Street

____________________________________ Zip ________________________

City ________________________________________ Phone # (______) _______-________ 3.

Please provide the contact information of participant’s probation or parole officer (if applicable):

Name 4.

_____________________________________ Phone # (______) _______-________

How long has the participant been living at the present address? (Check only one) Not Applicable, currently homeless Up to 3 Months Between 4 and 6 months

Between 7 and 12 months Between 1 Year and 3 Years Between 3 Years and 5 Years

More than 5 Years

5.

Date of enrollment: (Month/ Date/Year) _______ /_______ /_______

6.

Did you reach out to this participant prior to his / her enrolling into the program through any of the following means? (Check all that apply) Community Presentation / Community Outreach

Other Direct Outreach (describe) ______________ No, participant not contacted through outreach activities

PERSONAL INFORMATION 7.

Participant’s date of birth: (month/day/year) _______ /_______ /_______ (required)

8.

Participant’s place of birth:

9.

Participant’s Social Security:

U.S.A.

Other (Specify) _______________

_______ - _______ - _________ (required)

10. Participant’s Prison Identification or Inmate Number: _____________________ (if applicable) Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Sample Intake Form (Continued) 11. What is the participant’s gender?

Male

Female

12. What is the participant’s first language? (Check one) English Spanish

Other (Specify)

13. What is the participant’s current martial status? (Check only one) Single Separated Married Divorced Common Law (legally married without a license or ceremony

Widowed

14. Does the participant’s have any children?

No, (skip to # 20)

15. Does the participant have to pay child support?

Yes, How many? ________ Yes

No

16. Please describe the resident in participant’s household at time of intake: (Check all that apply) Mother Father Others (specify) Grandmother Grandfather _______________ Brothers and Sisters Husband / Wife Boyfriend / Girlfriend Participant’s only (live on own) EDUCATIONAL / EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION 17. What is the participant’s current employment status? (Check only one) Part time Full time

not Working

18. If working, how many hours per month did the participant work and how much did the participant earn last month? Not Working Working, $_______________ (per month after taxes) 19. What is the participant’s occupation? (Please print) ________________________________ 20. What is the highest grade or year of school the participant completed? (Check only one) Some Elementary School (k-6) High School some College Some Middle School (7-8) 2-year College Degree Some High School 4- year College Degree High School Graduate some post graduate study GED Advanced degree 21. Is the participant currently involved in school or educational programming? No Yes, identify the type of educational program. (Check only one) High School 4-year program College/University level GED / HS Equivalency program Graduate Program 2-years program Community College-level Advanced degree By signing, I attest that the information above is complete and true to the best of my knowledge. I also give permission to (YOUR AGENCY NAME) to verify placement with my future employer. ______________________________________________ NAME OF PARTICIPANT

______________________ DATE

______________________________________________ STAFF INTERVIEWER NAME

______________________ DATE

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Sample Participant Contract APPENDIX B

JOB CANDIDATES CONTRACT The INSERT PROGRAM NAME is obliged to provide a pleasant, professional and safe environment that will allow each participant an equal opportunity for self-development. To ensure maximum results, participants are expected to abide by the following policies. Failure to do so is cause for removal from the program. 1. Attend orientation and appointments as scheduled. If for any reason you are unable to attend or will be late to orientation or appointments, you must notify your Case Manager. If you cannot reach your Case Manager, you must notify the Program Director, John Doe. He can be reached at (333) 123-4567. 2. Complete all assignments as instructed. 3. Participate in-group discussions. 4. Be receptive and open minded to new ideas concerning self-development, employment and behavior. You are encouraged to be creative in exploring and sharing your own thoughts on personal development. 5. Be respectful, polite and considerate of other participants, visitors, volunteers and staff. 6. Dress appropriately (see handbook). 7. No participant is to possess, use, or be under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol while on premises. 8. No firearms or other weapons are permitted on program premises or job sites. 9. No profane language is to be used while on program premises. 10. No stealing of program or other job candidates’ property. 11. No visitors or child/children allowed on the floor. 12. Radios, tape recorders, beepers, cellular phones may not be visible or used while on program premises. 13. Smoking or use of tobacco products is not permitted anywhere inside the building. 14. Assaulting staff or other program participants will result in immediate dismissal and arrest. 15. All missed hours must be made up within a two week period. 16. Failure to accept any reasonable worksite/job placement will result in you being referred back to the County Assistance Office (CAO). 17. Falsification of any time will result in immediate termination. My signature indicates that I have read, understand and intend to abide by the terms of this contract in order that I may be an active participant in the INSERT PROGRAM NAME program. Name: ________________________________ (Please print clearly)

Date: _________________________

Signature: ______________________________

Witness: _______________________

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Sample Confidentiality Waiver Release APPENDIX B

(SAMPLE) CONFIDENTIALITY WAIVER RELEASE FORM I, ____________________ the undersigned participant, hereby waive my right to confidentiality and authorize the INSERT PROGRAM NAME to request the release of my records and other pertinent information from other programs and social welfare organizations that I am enrolled in, have previously been enrolled in, or may enroll in the future and/or employers with whom I have secured or may in the future to secure employment. The programs and organizations include, but are not limited to, programs sponsored by the Department of Human Services, and any local, state, or federal programs which I may be enrolled in, including employers who may impact on my ability for and successfully achieve the goals of this program. I further authorize INSERT PROGRAM NAME to use my personal information in presenting “success stories” to other programs and officials of local, state and federal agencies should my activities while in this program warrant meritorious recognition as determined by INSERT PROGRAM NAME. All information obtained by INSERT PROGRAM NAME regarding me and provided by me will be kept confidential and exchanged only between authorized INSERT PROGRAM NAME personnel except as provided herein and of the sole purpose of serving me. By signing this wavier of confidentiality form, I affirm and agree that INSERT PROGAM NAME and its programs have my authorization from the date indicated below and for a period of one year after I successfully complete the program or be terminated to use my personal information provided herein. This waiver is intended to permit the use of my information in all case management services and employment retention follow-up. You also have the right not to waive your right to confidentiality. Should you choose to exercise this option, PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT (INSERT PROGRAM NAME) WILL BE RESTRICTED IN THE SERVICE THAT IT CAN PROVIDE FOR YOU. For example, if an emergency occurs involving your child and we are contacted and requested to locate you. Under the law of confidentiality we cannot even acknowledge that you are a participant in this program without this waiver form being signed by you. The only entity that we can provide information to regarding you is the County Assistance Office. 9 ______________ Date

__________________________________________________ Participant’s Signature

______________ Date

__________________________________________________ Participant refuses to sign Waiver

______________ Date

__________________________________________________ Program Staff

9 Rules, Laws, Regulations vary by state and local government. See the rules, laws and regulations governing matters of confidentiality in your locale.

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Sample Case Manager Case Notes APPENDIX B

The following form is adapted from one used by a workforce development program that provides services to welfare clients. It serves as an example of actual case notes maintained on a client and is followed by a legend indicating what the codes refer to. NAME: ___________________________________ Record Number ________________ TELEPHONE#: _______________________________ ENROLLMENT DATE: _____________

Narrative 10

Date

Code

4/4/07

FF

ENROLLMENT: Case manager met with participant and reviewed documentation. Participant has expired ID. Participant agreed to provide a valid ID within two weeks. Case manager will follow up

AB

4/11/07

FF

TRAINING: Participant attended training and informed case manager that he will be taking GED test in one week. Case manager arranged meeting with facilitator so participant can get a practice exam. Participant agreed to inform any updates and test results.

AB

4/1807

TC

FAMILY ISSUES: participant reported to have no child care. Case manager provided different phone numbers for participant to contact providers and have a consistent subsidized child care. Participant will report on progress by the end of the month

AB

4/25/07

*

EDUCATION/TRAINING ISSUES: participant reported positive outcomes in presenting the GED test. Results will be received within a month. Case manager congratulated him and updated participant’s file

AB

4/29/07

FF

EMPLOYMENT: Participant WILL BE GOING OUT ON TWO INTERVIEWS FOR FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT. Job developer and case manager have met with participant to do interview prep and resume brush up. Participant has various copies of his resume and cover letters for both employers. Case manager will call participant after interviews for feedback. Job developer will do same to follow up with employer.

AB

CODES:

TC = Telephone call FF = Face to Face OV = Office Visit SV = Site Visit

Staff Initial

W = Weekly Visit SM = Semi Monthly Q = Quarterly

F = Follow-up * = Mandated Contact

10 Note importance of describing the situation that the participant faces, the program staff intervention and the plan of action.

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Paid Work Experience

Reading Level

Employer

Yes/ No

Test Math Level

Level

Post-Test

Reading Level

Test

Number of Hours PWE

Math Level

Level

Weeks in PWE:

Used Lifetime TANF Balance

Date

Occupation/ Function

Reason for Leaving

Interests, Hobbies, Other Personal Strengths (Include Volunteer Work)

Date

WORK HISTORY (Include previous paid work experience sponsored by DPW: Obtain exact dates from CAO)

Other Tests, Date Taken and Results: Example - GED

Date:

School/ Dates:

Other Training/ Dates:

Pre-Test:

School/ Dates:

Highest Grade Completed/ Degree

Test: TABE 7 or 8

Project End Date:

Project Begin Date:

TANF Recipient: TANF Days at Referral: Received AFDC?

Education, Training, and Other Skills

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER

PARTICIPANT NAME

Sample Employment Development and Retention Plan APPENDIX B

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Relationship

Birth Date

Special Issues/ Needs That May Affect Employment, e.g., health problems

Proposed Resolution:

Family Circumstances that may interfere with program participation:

Household/ Family Member

Household And Family Issues:

Sample Employment Development and Retention Plan (Continued) APPENDIX B

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____________________

____________________

____________________

____________________

____________________

____________________

____________________

____________________

____________________

____________________

____________________

Employment/ Post

Interviews/ Pre

Referrals to: Date/Agency/Purpose

Supportive Service Mgr’s Requested

Agency Responsible

Supportive Services Record

Date of Initial Request

By Phone (T): In Person (P):

Participant’s Initials

Date Forwarded To CAO/ Fiscal

CM Initial ls

Sample Employment Development and Retention Plan (Continued) APPENDIX B

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Unsubsidized Employment Subsidized Employment Paid Work Experience Employer or Work Site: Address: Occupation/Function: Number of Hours per Week: Schedule: Wage per Hour: $ Medical Benefits? Insurance Carrier, if known: Effective date: Start Date: Projected End Date: Actual End Date:

Participant’s Initial & Date:

Unsubsidized Employment Subsidized Employment Paid Work Experience Employer or Work Site: Address: Occupation/Function: Number of Hours per Week: Schedule: Wage per Hour: $ Medical Benefits? Insurance Carrier, if known: Effective date: Start Date: Projected End Date: Actual End Date:

Participant’s Initial & Date:

GOAL:

Participant’s Initial & Date:

Unsubsidized Employment Subsidized Employment Paid Work Experience Employer or Work Site: Address: Occupation/Function: Number of Hours per Week: Schedule: Wage per Hour: $ Medical Benefits? Insurance Carrier, if known: Effective date: Start Date: Projected End Date: Actual End Date:

Participant’s Initial & Date:

Unsubsidized Employment Subsidized Employment Paid Work Experience Employer or Work Site: Address: Occupation/Function: Number of Hours per Week: Schedule: Wage per Hour: $ Medical Benefits? Insurance Carrier, if known: Effective date: Start Date: Projected End Date: Actual End Date:

Sample Employment Development and Retention Plan (Continued) APPENDIX B

Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Unsubsidized Employment Subsidized Employment Paid Work Experience Employer or Work Site: Address: Occupation/Function: Number of Hours per Week: Schedule: Wage per Hour: $ Medical Benefits? Insurance Carrier, if known: Effective date: Start Date: Projected End Date: Actual End Date:

Participant’s Initial & Date:

Unsubsidized Employment Subsidized Employment Paid Work Experience Employer or Work Site: Address: Occupation/Function: Number of Hours per Week: Schedule: Wage per Hour: $ Medical Benefits? Insurance Carrier, if known: Effective date: Start Date: Projected End Date: Actual End Date:

Participant’s Initial & Date:

GOAL:

Participant’s Initial & Date:

Unsubsidized Employment Subsidized Employment Paid Work Experience Employer or Work Site: Address: Occupation/Function: Number of Hours per Week: Schedule: Wage per Hour: $ Medical Benefits? Insurance Carrier, if known: Effective date: Start Date: Projected End Date: Actual End Date:

Participant’s Initial & Date:

Unsubsidized Employment Subsidized Employment Paid Work Experience Employer or Work Site: Address: Occupation/Function: Number of Hours per Week: Schedule: Wage per Hour: $ Medical Benefits? Insurance Carrier, if known: Effective date: Start Date: Projected End Date: Actual End Date:

Sample Employment Development and Retention Plan (Continued) APPENDIX B

Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Start Date Planned End Date Actual End Date Completed

Start Date

Planned End Date

Actual End Date

Completed

______________________________

Schedule

Schedule

______________________________

# Hrs. Per week

# Hrs. Per Week

Participant’s Initials & Date:

Location

Location

Participant’s Initials & Date:

Activity

Activity

MY ACTION PLAN - Other Activities

______________________________

Participant’s Initials & Date:

Completed

Actual End Date

Planned End Date

Start Date

Schedule

# Hrs. Per Week

Location

Activity

______________________________

Participant’s Initials & Date:

Completed

Actual End Date

Planned End Date

Start Date

Schedule

# Hrs. Per Week

Location

Activity

Sample Employment Development and Retention Plan (Continued) APPENDIX B

Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Date: ___________________ Date: ___________________

Participant: __________________________________________

Case Manager: _______________________________________

I helped develop my Employment and Development Retention Plan. I will cooperate and participate in the activities listed above. I also understand that will facilitate my achievement of my goal through the provision of the services identified in the plan.

OTHER PLANS:

Sample Employment Development and Retention Plan (Continued) APPENDIX B

Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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JOB RETENTION INCENTIVES

Sample Employment Development and Retention Plan (Continued) APPENDIX B

Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Participant

Report Period:

SSN

Project Begin Date

Job Start Date

Job End Date

__________ through _____________ Date Job Ret Date to Meet was Met Retention

Employer

Wage Per Hour

Med. Benefits

Work Hrs Project Per Week End Date

MONTHLY CUMULATIVE PARTICIPANT/JOB PLACEMENT & RETENTION REPORT

Proj Term Code

Sample Employment Development and Retention Plan (Continued) APPENDIX B

Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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OTHER ESPERANZA RELATED RESOURCES

How to Write a Resume and Get a Job (English and Spanish) by the Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr.

Practicing for Job Interviews – A Comprehensive Preparation Strategy by Karen Escovits Please visit our website www.esperanza.us to order these resources

Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program Esperanza’s Capacity Library Resource www.esperanza.us

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Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program