Weekly Roundup of the news on women and supportive services in job training programs.

By Rachel Linn

Job training can provide an entry into family-sustaining jobs and careers. Many women in job training programs, however, face obstacles to success. Wraparound services—such as child care assistance, access to public benefits, and transportation or housing assistance—can help adults, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, to complete programs that will ultimately improve their economic standing. 

December 14, 2015

LaCrosse Tribune (Wisconsin): 7 Rivers Alliance to spur workforce development with grant program

At the Be Bold forum, five companies outlined a skills gap and the challenge of finding qualified workers. Sean Smith, a supply chain director at Agropur Ingredients in La Crosse, said his company wants to grow and expand but was having difficulties finding enough employees for the production lines already in service.

Whitehall is a challenging area to recruit workers and families. Because of its distance from Eau Claire and La Crosse, public transportation is an issue.

Affordable housing is also a challenge in Whitehall, as is child care, both of which are widespread concerns.

December 11, 2015

Deseret News (Salt Lake City): How do you help families still mired in the Great Recession?

Since Utah’s public assistance and workforce services agencies have not always been connected, low-income families historically had to go to separate offices for help with employment, food stamps and other services, according to Nic Dunn, spokesman for the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

But the department has created “one-stop” centers to ensure that more people know about and receive the various resources available, he said.

“Having that all under one roof where it’s one touch point is way more efficient for these people,” Dunn said. “It has been such a powerful tool to help them get back on their feet a lot more quickly.”

Still, many people don’t realize those centers provide help with nonemployment services, such as food stamps, child care, after-school programs, housing and financial assistance, according to Aguirre.

December 8, 2015

MarketPlace: Job fair encourages girls to get into trades

Construction is a booming industry. But when’s the last time you saw a female construction worker? A female plumber? Turns out, there aren’t very many. Women make up only 2.6 percent of the field. The Women Can Build Career Fair in Hayward, California is trying to address this gender imbalance.

December 7, 2015

WMAZ (Georgia): Program helps train, employ central Georgia workers

The local Director, Shaknita Davis said, “It is our job and responsibility to understand what workforce trends are, what skills are needed from local industry and employers and make sure job seekers on the other side, know what skill sets are needed and then help them acquire those skill sets in order to meet the employer need as well as their need to find employment.”

Davis went on to explain that the program strives to break down any barriers for both employers and employees. “We assist them with tuition, books, fees, licenses, child care, transportation, any type of barrier that would hinder them from being able to obtain those skills that are needed.”

December 5, 2015

The Philadelphia Tribune: YouthBuild, Starbucks initiative takes local woman from homelessness to career

Starbucks has taken the lead locally in a national effort to employ “opportunity youth” such as Williams, young people between the ages of 18 and 24, who are not in school or are unemployed. According to a report commissioned by Boston-based Opportunity Nation almost six million youth are disconnected from school and work.

Through local partnership with organizations such as YouthBuild, Starbucks has hired more than 50 opportunity youth in Philadelphia during the last two years. The company has committed to hiring 10,000 opportunity youth nationally by 2018.

To view more of IWPR’s research, visit IWPR.org