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.

November 3, 2015

Journal Star (Peoria, IL): ICC program looks at tech field apprenticeships as entry point for women and minorities

It’s time for women and minorities to be included in the technical revolution. That was the idea behind the Illinois Central College program Tuesday on apprenticeships for minorities and women. The program, part of a week-long celebration at ICC on the importance of apprenticeships, was attended by 120 people.“Only 7 percent of the apprentices in this country at the present time are female. There is also an underrepresentation of minorities among apprentices in our nation,” said Ali, noting that ICC sought to broaden the apprenticeship concept.

October 31, 2015

The Des Moines Register: The struggle to help people find better jobs

Marvin DeJear, director of the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families, said nonprofits and government programs that work with youth have disappeared in recent decades.

The Evelyn K. Davis Center opened in 2012 to act as a clearinghouse of sorts for those seeking work. Aside from working on specific job searching skills, DeJear said, counselors spend much of their time working through personal issues such as child care and transportation.

October 24, 2015

Marietta Daily Journal (Atlanta, Georgia): Local construction training builds careers

Simmons is one of 16 trainees who graduated Friday as the inaugural class of Go Build Cobb, a free four-week construction skills training and employment course aimed at giving people a leg up into a growing industry in metro Atlanta. The program is a partnership between CobbWorks, the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia, The Collective at Cumberland Community Church and HB Next, a business management consulting company.

Simmons said she aspires to build a career for herself and encourage other women to take advantage of opportunities in construction, a traditionally male-dominated field. “I love hands-on, I love building. I love seeing the outcome of my time and my effort,” said Simmons. “If I go on site and do my best like I’ve done in this class, I mean, I can see myself really moving up.”

But for the unemployed or underemployed, attending a four-week course can be a struggle. Only half the participants have both a car and a valid license, and many cannot afford to pay for transportation in addition to going without pay for the period of training and however long it takes them to find a job afterwards.

October 19, 2015

KAJO 1270 (Oregon) RCC Awarded Grant To Help Low-Income Students Gets Jobs in Health Care

A $14.6 million federal grant awarded to Rogue Community College will benefit nearly 1,100 new low-income students in job training and education programs for health careers.

Students already enrolled in college-level programs at RCC cannot apply. A news release says applicants who qualify will be put into a lottery and selected from that pool. The grant funds will also be able to pay for child care, emergency food and housing support and transportation.

October 14, 2015

The Missouri Times: Missouri to use $15 million grant to provide job training for health care careers, Gov. Nixon announces

The JETS partnership will offer a combination of classroom learning, on-the-job training, and distance learning opportunities to improve access to the necessary skills and knowledge for these health professions.  Those currently working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or other entry level positions may be eligible for the JETS program and use the training to move to the next level in their profession.  Participants will also get support to overcome barriers to employment including child care and transportation needs.

October 10, 2015

The Tampa Tribune: Building a future for women in construction industry

The second round of seminars for Women Building Futures, a program that gives women a sneak peek at carpentry, plumbing, painting, flooring installation and construction drawings, begins this week. Once they’ve finished that program, if they decide to take advantage of an apprenticeship, women can become certified in any number of trades that could boost their income considerably — at very little cost to them.

“When the Women’s Centre started in 1977, this was one of their first programs,” said Women Building Futures program manager Luis Rodriguez, who signed up 24 women for the first set of workshops. “The idea was to help women step into roles traditionally held by male breadwinners.”

September 14, 2015

Hometown Source: Minnesota receives $5M federal grant to expand registered apprenticeship in high-growth jobs

The grant partners the Department of Economic and Employee Development (DEED) and Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) with employers to support activities including outreach and recruiting, assessments, adult basic education, wrap-around support services and on-the-job and industry recognized credential training.

As of September 2015, Minnesota reached a high mark of almost 11,000 registered apprentices; up from approximately 6,600 in 2011. Minnesota’s apprenticeship employers and the state’s construction labor unions have increased their focus on outreach and recruiting of women and minorities. These efforts have resulted in the number of apprentices that are women and minorities rising from 17 percent in 2011 to 26 percent in 2015.

August 24, 2015

The Chicago Tribune: Dold: $100M program would move people from welfare to workforce

Currently under review in a U.S. House committee, the Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act would provide wage assistance for employers to help create more employment opportunities. States would receive federal funds to subsidize employment for those already identified as eligible Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, recipients, under the plan.

Tamera Wallace, a 20-year-old Waukegan resident, described her struggles as a single mother trying to find and hold a job to pay the bills. Transportation and child care, she said, are the two biggest issues faced by job-seekers such as herself.

August 21, 2015

WCPO Cincinnati: Mom who left kids alone for job training faces charges

A mom seeking a job is facing charges for leaving her three young kids alone in a case that should remind parents that there is free or cheap child-care available if they need it.

Dozier went across the street for job orientation at Wendy’s and admitted she knew she would be leaving her kids unattended for at least a half hour. But she was desperate for a job, she said.

August 20, 2015

Maine Women Magazine: Non-traditional training can build better future

Founded in 1988, Women Unlimited helps Maine residents move toward earning a livable wage through access to and support of trade, technical, and transportation careers. The nonprofit, which receives the majority of its funding from federal and state sources, began as a welfare-to-work program for single mothers but has grown to aid in the “economic well-being of Maine women, minorities, and disadvantaged workers.”

August 12, 2015

AtmoreNews.com (Alabama): RSTC awarded workforce grant

Reid State Technical College has been awarded a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity ACT (WIOA) grant that will allow youth to obtain education and employability skills. This act will enable youth with difficulties seeking employment to gain on-the-job training opportunities, academic, and occupational skills training.

In order to help alleviate some of the financial burdens that can arise for students, Reid State will offer incentives that could help motivate them to keep pushing forward. Students who participate regularly by taking advantage of the services being offered thru the grant will be allowed to capitalize on their commitment. Eligible students may receive a gas card once a week or every other week and/or receive child care services at least two days a week.

July 22, 2015

The Unionville Times (West Chester, PA): County announces new job training, support initiative

The Chester County Commissioners and the Chester County Workforce Development Board announced Tuesday the start of Platform to Employment (P2E), a program that provides job readiness training, personal support services, finance counseling and paid work experience with the intent to secure jobs for individuals who have experienced long-term unemployment in Chester County.

In addition to intensive career readiness workshops, P2E incorporates financial stability counseling and mental health counseling to help address the inevitable stress factors that long-term unemployment status places upon people.

July 21, 2015

Industry Week: Closing the Gender Gap, and with It, the Skills Gap

A new study finds that manufacturing can attract more women by making a concerted effort to recruit them through their social networks; retaining them through mentorships, better pay and more flexible hours; and fostering girls’ interest in manufacturing careers as early as fourth grade.