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

By Asha DuMonthier

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 24, 2016

Affordable Housing Finance: Workforce Shortages and Creative Partnerships

HomeAid Northern Virginia is taking this one step further and addressing the workforce issue by convening our partners around job training and job placement. Partnering with select construction trade businesses to understand the type of workers they need and the skills they are looking for, we are matching these needs to the workforce training programs that our nonprofit service provider partners offer to their clients. The hope is to create a virtuous cycle: build capacity in the local skilled labor workforce and change the lives of vulnerable individuals by providing them job skills and a path to employment with our partner companies.

Today in our local area, formerly homeless individuals are now being placed in jobs in the homebuilding industry and are being provided the support they need in terms of housing, transportation, childcare, financial management, and more.

March 23, 2016

CRAIN’s Detroit Business: Report: Detroit workforce faces variety of obstacles

The Detroit Workforce Development Board, established last year to create jobs to revive the city of Detroit, faces many obstacles, according to a new report released Wednesday by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

While the city is abundant in work-readiness programs, secondary-education institutions mostly exist outside of the city, proving difficult for Detroiters who lack transportation options. Chase recommends greater coordination between the educators and training programs to improve services to low-skilled workers, such as food, housing or child care services and transportation assistance.

North Fort Myers Neighbor: Deadline for medical office program extended

The Lee County Department of Human Services’ award-winning Lee Education and Employment (L.E.E.) Medical Office Skills Program is once again on the horizon. Twice a year, the classes are offered to people who are interested in gaining a career in a higher-paying profession such as medical clerical positions to get themselves out of poverty.

[…] The L.E.E. Program is offered at no cost to eligible applicants. Students receive paid training/tuition, Intensive case management, books, assistance with the cost of child care during class hours and other supportive services.

March 21, 2016

Next City: Grand Rapids Company Unlocks the Potential of Former Inmates

Fortunately, McKinley was put in touch with Hope Network, a faith-based organization and Cascade partner that provides job training, early work experience and logistical support to help recent inmates and other disadvantaged workers transition into the workplace. Hope Network’s Workforce Development Program helped McKinley land an initial position clearing vacant lots to build up his resume, which then helped him land his first job at Cascade.

[…] Another major lesson from this work was the need to take environmental factors that could jeopardize attendance, such as issues with transportation, housing or child care, into account. Since the late 1990s, Cascade has co-employed (with DHS) a full-time case manager to help new employees troubleshoot these issues, which has dramatically reduced absenteeism and turnover.

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