America's Promise Grantees' Achievements Year 2 Blog
Posted 1/16/2019 4:05 PM by Heidi Sheppard
America’s Promise grantees have just completed the second year of the four-year grant program and the momentum remains strong. Our Technical Assistance team recently asked each America’s Promise project about their proudest moments in 2018. Below are notable achievements from each of our 23 projects.
EFFECTIVE EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT
Delaware Technical Community College (Delaware)
In May 2018, Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) engaged Jobs for the Future (JFF) to conduct a full-day workshop on building a more robust, strategic employer engagement approach. Key college stakeholders across various departments attended the workshop. After the workshop, JFF submitted a detailed report with a clear set of recommendations that are being applied to the employer engagement strategy for the America’s Promise project.
Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (Illinois/Indiana)
The Calumet Manufacturing Industry Sector Partnership, developed under the grant, is approaching its one-year anniversary. Launched with eight convening partners (IMEC among them), six employer champions, and now 23 companies, is a major accomplishment. The partnership has formed three sub-committees based on manufacturer priorities: Talent Development, B2B Networking, and Regional Transportation/Logistics. The convening partners focus on the sustainability of the group.
New River / Mount Rogers Workforce Investment Area Consortium (Virginia)
Time gaps between healthcare training and earning a credential often posed challenges for students and delayed entry into the workforce. New River / Mount Rogers partnered with its community colleges, universities, and several alternative training providers to offer additional training and supportive services to successfully prepare the students for the credential. In addition, criminal background checks were provided by Fieldprint, an identity management services company. Pearson Vue, a computer-based testing company, assisted with credentialing fees, and several businesses offered uniforms and tools to students. By absorbing some costs associated with entering the workforce, the Pathways program is relieving much of the stress experienced by healthcare students and enabling them to seamlessly and rapidly move from training to credentialing and then to employment.
Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA) (Michigan)
SEMCA and its partners work with Automation Alley, an employer consortium in Michigan, to engage employers that are looking for talented individuals with credentials earned through Catalyst training. Everyone benefits!
- Employers gain access to talent which reduces their investment in training while validating the value of the skills that SEMCA is providing.
- Partners have employers ready to hire graduates and obtain feedback from employers regarding the type and quality of training that is provided.
- Employers participate in information sessions for prospective students, which is very engaging and helpful for both the prospective students and employers.
- Many of the Michigan Works! Agencies and community colleges have found it helpful to bring employers directly into classrooms, to help build relationships and convey cultural expectations to students.
Several employers, such as, Comau, Reliance One (for Kuka), Grupo Antolin, Santanna Tool and Design, and PA Solutions, who have participated in information sessions and interview-days for the graduates, have hired graduates.
Worksystems, Inc. (Oregon)
Worksystems’ strong partnership with the local hospital system has contributed greatly to the Incumbent Worker Program’s success. The interest and engagement from two of the grantee’s four partners have propelled their initial target projections for the grant, with respect to the number of participants served, and the wage level increase that is expected to follow. Worksystems has identified incumbent workers, placed them into career track training opportunities in the healthcare field, connected them with mentors, and secured commitments from hospital partners/employers to backfill the positions that were created from the Incumbent Worker training program.
Brevard Workforce Development Board, Inc. (Florida)
CareerSource Brevard facilitated their second IT Workforce Consortium, which was held at the Kennedy Space Center and where over 50 Education and IT Industry partners attended. Guest speakers from the HIMSS Association and the Global Institute for Cybersecurity highlighted the IT industry in healthcare and cybersecurity. Two committees formed from this gathering. Gary Sulski, America’s Promise Program Manager, was a keynote speaker.
City of Springfield – Workforce Investment System (Missouri)
The City of Springfield Department of Workforce Development and Ozarks Technical Community College (OTCC) partnered with Burrell Behavioral Health (the largest mental health center in Springfield), as well as Mercy, Cox and Citizens Memorial Hospitals, to develop a unique two-year, five semester AAS degree program to prepare individuals for behavioral health support positions that address the opioid crisis. The first cohort graduated in August 2018 and every graduate has found employment in the behavioral health support field. Graduates are working in entry-level positions as youth specialists, adult intake counselors, community support specialists, frontline assessment support staff and case managers in residential facilities. “Employer feedback has been very positive,” says Lexie Mason, Acting Project Director, Ozarks Promise Grant. “In addition, OTCC faculty indicate that the students have been very successful and that the combination of classroom instruction and clinical training keeps them very engaged. Finally, our students really enjoy the program once they get into it. It provides the opportunity to serve a needy population and to create a career pathway for those enrolled in the program."
Employ Milwaukee (Indiana/Michigan/Minnesota/Missouri/Ohio/Wisconsin)
Through the America’s Promise grant, Employ Milwaukee has built new strategic partnerships amongst the seven workforce development boards, creating a strong regional partnership. This partnership has enabled them to effectively share information, resources, and build a system that supports regional economic development. Under America’s Promise, Employ Milwaukee launched a Pharmacy Technician apprenticeship program in partnership with CVS in three pilot cities in the consortium: Milwaukee, WI; St. Louis, MO; and Gary, IN. Employ Milwaukee is looking to replicate this model and expand beyond its partnership with CVS to include other similar national employers and develop a career pathway to benefit more employers across the consortium.
Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce (Tennessee)
The Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Memphis (TCAT-Memphis), through its partnership with the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce's (GMAC Workforce) MOVE-HIRE program, expanded its re-entry training opportunities to include the Certified Logistics Associate/Certified Logistics Technician Program (CLA/CLT) with the Shelby County Division of Corrections' Hope to Hire Program. The Hope to Hire Program is funded by the Brad Martin Foundation. The GMAC Workforce MOVE-HIRE program paid for the instructor's certification to teach the CLA/CLT courses, while the Shelby County Division of Corrections paid for the instructor, course materials and certification fees.
Seven women enrolled in MOVE-HIRE and will receive their industry recognized CLA/CLT certifications from the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC). Upon their completion, they will be connected to employment opportunities through the Hope to Hire Program and MOVE-HIRE's industry partner, the Greater Memphis Medical Device Council (GMMDC). In addition to increased MOVE-HIRE enrollments, this new partnership has provided training opportunities for returning citizens to develop in-demand skills, earn industry recognized certifications, connect to meaningful employment and increase the chances of their successful re-entry to society.
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (Rhode Island)
Rhode Island’s America’s Promise effort was among the top states for job placements and performance in 2018. This is due, in large part, to the state’s decade-long commitment to “standing up” and developing sector partnerships in high-wage, high-demand industries. These partnerships function as sophisticated, real-time, workforce intermediaries and intelligence aggregators that work directly with the state workforce system to disseminate actionable intelligence, detail emerging workforce trends, articulate skill requirements, and design solutions to meet them. Having employers “at the table” in both the design and the execution phases of the training program, there is a higher likelihood of job placement for program completers. Over 550 individuals obtained employment in advanced manufacturing and defense-related populations.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (Alabama)
In 2018, Innovate Birmingham's employer engagement partnership strategy was aligned through close partnership between the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Birmingham Business Alliance, and Central Six AlabamaWorks! Through an industry sector partnership model approach (the “Birmingham Tech Council”), Innovate Birmingham has strategically engaged the IT business community in developing viable workforce solutions for employers. This approach brings together industry to help employers identify career pathways, discover skills gaps, and work with our education and training providers to fill those gaps. Birmingham Tech Council currently has over 20 major employers engaged including UAB, Regions Bank, Altec, Protective Life, Shipt, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. Innovate Birmingham has coordinated nearly 200 employer interviews with participants, and has participated in the "Code the Classic" career fair, focused on recruiting and retaining diverse entry-level talent in IT.
MiraCosta Community College District (California)
The MiraCosta College Technology Career Institute (TCI), MiraCosta’s workforce development center, has begun to plan their future growth and the potential purchase of a much larger Focused Work Skills Training facility for North San Diego County. The sustainability of the accelerated work skills programs offered at TCI-2, and the ability to keep tuitions below $1,000 for any course MiraCosta Community College District offers, will depend on establishing six incubators at the new TCI-2 site. These incubators will have office space, a design studio, and the use of all equipment, as well as accessing the students and instructors for 1-2 years at no cost. In addition, these new start-ups will receive assistance from the Small Business Development Center located in the building, and given guidance on starting successful businesses, with the hope of large contracts. In return, each of the incubators will be obligated to profit share with TCI-2 in perpetuity. This will, in the long run, enable TCI-2 to cover the costs of operation and instructor salaries, lowering the cost per student for attending. In order to make this happen, TCI’s Executive Director will seek out private donations to purchase either an existing building or build from the ground up in Carlsbad, CA. The first few donors have been identified and are interested in the project. To secure the donation, there is a team of volunteer “angels” who are assisting MiraCosta to secure the new building renderings, the business plan and the budget to take the “package” to potential funders. The TCI Executive Director provided MiraCosta College Executive Team with a presentation on the new project and received the green light to go ahead and see if MiraCosta can secure the funds to purchase this new building. It will be a wonderful way to leverage the America’s Promise funds with an expansion and sustainability plan.
Montgomery College (Maryland)
Montgomery College has experienced positive results utilizing a 40-hour Cyber Boot Camp for a cyber security pre-training program to assess a candidate’s potential. The Cyber Boot Camp allows the grantee to determine which candidates are the best fit for the program and gives the participants a chance to gain a better understanding of what skills they will need to complete an eight-week program in Cyber Security. The Cyber Boot Camp covers Security Fundamentals, Cyber Security I & II, and Security+. Successful completion of the Boot Camp has favorably impacted participant retention and completion of training.
Northern Wyoming Community College District (Wyoming/Montana)
One of the goals of the America’s Promise grant is to remove barriers to the successful completion of an education program faced by targeted populations. Having hired a new case manager in the last quarter of the calendar year, NWCCD began investigating internal barriers to successful enrollment in targeted programs. Among the areas identified, and that in the process of being addressed are: conflicting enrollment requirement information in selected programs; an incomplete list of business partners affiliated with the college and selected programs, which may affect transition from education to employment; insufficient marketing of grant-funded programs, not only in the recruitment process for incoming students who are unaware of funding opportunities but connecting with area businesses who might refer incumbent workers for additional training; connecting at-risk students to resources outside the funded activities of the grant, such as ensuring connection of eligible students to TRIO programs or community resources; identifying unclear enrollment processes; and improving connections with Workforce Services offices within the District’s service area.
Tecumseh Area Partnership, Inc. d/b/a Region 4 Workforce Board (Indiana)
Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. (SIA) has incorporated the Advanced Manufacturing Standardized Work Training through Purdue Polytechnic-Lafayette into their employee hiring process because they have had previous success with grant-funded participants. All employees onboarding to SIA are required to complete this 4-week training and earn a certificate. Through the grant, Tecumseh supports eligible grant participants and help them to obtain a credential and employment.
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (West Virginia)
The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s training partner, Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College (Eastern) Consortium Director/Outreach Specialist met with Automated Packing Systems, Inc. (API) training director in February. The goal of meeting was to create a unique course offering for the Industrial Maintenance Technology credentialing program that incorporates API’s rotating schedule. To meet these needs, Eastern has collaborated with a local school system, Mineral County Public Schools West Virginia, to utilize their technology center. In addition, API has agreed to develop an MOU to create on-the-job (OJT) training opportunities for targeted participants.
Grand Rapids Community College (Michigan)
Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC), and its partner West Michigan Works engaged with employer-members of the West Michigan Health Careers Council to identify needs, establish pathways, and develop training programs to accommodate those needs. This led to discussions about employer needs in phlebotomy and surgical tech. Now, GRCC and West Michigan Works are actively involved in discussions with employers about developing training programs in these specific areas. GRCC also graduated its first cohort of the Sterile Processing Apprenticeship Program, the first Department of Labor (DOL) registered sterile processing apprenticeship program in the United States developed to meet local employer needs through America’s Promise.
United Way of Central Iowa (Iowa)
Central Iowa Healthworks’ partnership with Broadlawns Medical Center led to a successful Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) Registered Apprenticeship program. Broadlawns, a county hospital located in a struggling area of Des Moines, started the Training and Education for a Career in Healthcare (TEACH), to equip local residents to work as CNAs within its facility. Most of the students are low-income and some have other barriers including criminal histories. Almost 50 students have completed training and are working fulltime right in their own neighborhoods.
Alamo Community College District (Texas)
Vincent is an unemployed veteran that received DOL funding to do Full-Stack Web Development Java boot camp training. He was part of a cohort that ran from May 2018 through October 2018. He went through the 18-week Full-Stack Web Development Java boot camp training and on the day of graduation, a local company hired him.
Florida State College at Jacksonville (Florida)
Florida State College at Jacksonville’s America’s Promise grant recently graduated a single mother raising two children from their welding training. The grant was also able to assist with child care while the participant was in training. Upon completing the training and earning her Level 1 AWS welding certification, a local welding company hired the participant full-time.
Monroe Community College (New York)
A participant, who was chronically either unemployed or underemployed, had been taking physically demanding jobs that were difficult for him to maintain. Through the America’s Promise program, he enrolled in the Accelerated Precision Tooling Certificate program offered at Monroe Community College (MCC). He obtained funding for the 6-month certificate training, supportive services for transportation to get to class daily, case management and job search assistance, and job placement assistance. One week after successfully completing the program and attending job interviews set up through MCC’s job placement assistance services, the graduate obtained a job as a CNC Machine Tool Programmer. He achieved his goal of moving into a career with steady, stable work opportunities. His employer reported that they wish they could hire more people just like him.
RFCUNY on behalf of CUNY OAA – CEWP (New York)
Victor recently completed his coursework at QCC’s Software Development Program after earning a degree at Queens College in sociology and accounting. He discovered his passion for technology in this program and because of the program was able to receive a coveted position as a web developer intern at Infragard, a public-private partnership between U.S. businesses and the FBI. Through his internship, Victor has been working on updating the Infragard website, cleaning its code and moving it to WordPress to make it easier to update.
Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, Inc. (Kansas)
Karla, a long-term unemployed 43-year-old mother of one child, had been living below the poverty line for more than six months, exhausting her unemployment insurance benefits. After a layoff from a grocery store in July 2017, Karla utilized a Pell Grant to attend a technical school and earned a certificate in Machine Technology in May 2018 but was having difficulties obtaining industry related employment due to her lack of manufacturing work experience. Through the America’s Promise project, she was offered an OJT position at Cox Machine as an entry-level machinist earning more money than her previous jobs. The OJT gave Karla the opportunity to utilize her education in the workplace and provided a career pathway leading to self-sufficiency and stability for her family. Karla successfully completed the training and earned an ELC Machinist Certificate of Completion in October 2018. She continues to work for Cox Machine.