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. 

March 2, 2016

New Hampshire Union Leader: Hassan’s work program could cost up to $100m over 5 years

“Through Gateway to Work, we will strengthen job training, create new apprenticeship opportunities, help remove the barriers that cause too many of our citizens to fail in the workplace and help our young people get a leg up on their futures,” Hassan said while promoting the proposal Wednesday at Manchester Community College.

The plan would provide funds for workers to pay for child care and transportation as well as pay the employee’s salary for six weeks. It also would provide for expanded in-home visitation to work with more at-risk parents and help them enter and stay in the workforce, Hassan said.

“What we saw from our experiences is so many folks that we had hired that we thought would be good workers were failing because of personal barriers, not because of aptitude,” Sullivan said. Many workers faced issues over getting to work or caring for children, he said.

February 26, 2016

York Daily Record: “Pathway of Hope” to help impoverished families

A nationwide effort to help families become self-sufficient and overcome the cycle of poverty is now being offered at The Salvation Army of York.

It’s called the “Pathway of Hope,” and it’s intended to help families overcome barriers that keep them in crisis, said Mindy McCormick, regional coordinator. It could be the lack of job training or difficulty finding affordable child care to work in the evening, for example.

Case workers will work with the families to develop steps to reach their goals, she said. Families will spend 6 months to two years in the program.

February 26, 2016

Banner-Press: Grant boosts youth initiative

According to Nation, the greatest barrier for unconnected youth in Southeast Nebraska is the lack of living wage jobs. Other closely related barriers include the lack of affordable, high-quality child care, housing, public transportation and health care.

BVCA will provide youth assessments, Central Access Navigation, case management, mentoring, financial literacy training, help saving for a vehicle to alleviate transportation needs, RentWise classes, referrals into Head Start for child care, housing assistance and educational/job training referrals. BVCA will also oversee the creation of youth councils to provide input into the services and processes.

February 21, 2016

The Gazette: Good pay may be way to attract more women into construction field

Work in the construction industry often is seen as tough, grueling and dirty. But once the dust has settled, it can offer opportunities and good pay.

But the construction industry still is trying to rebuild its workforce after the recession and as baby boomers retire. Some say now is a good time for more women to pick up the tool belt.

“There’s a great opportunity for women in the industry, it is a great time for them to get in,” said Chad Kleppe, president of Master Builders of Iowa, a construction association. “Construction is in drastic need for workers and it is a perfect time to consider. Employers are willing to train and work with candidates to work them into what they need. It is very advantageous.”

February 13, 2016

Trib Live: Women struggle to escape unemployment, study finds

Unemployed women older than 50 have had a particularly difficult time getting back into the workforce since the recession ended in 2009, despite an improving labor market and unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.

The impact on older women can be especially harsh because they are less likely to have pension balances that would support them, experts say. Unemployment benefits generally provide half a person’s weekly wages and run out after 26 weeks.

More likely are the family considerations that attend decisions to work.

“I think that could be a big factor,” Monge-Naranjo said. “Firms like to hire people that they are a little more certain about the prospects … and traditionally, it has been the case that women are the ones taking time off.”

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