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

By Gladys McLean

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.

October 6, 2016

IT Business Edge: Tech Apprenticeship Program in Washington State to Expand Nationwide

The program specifically targets underrepresented groups — women, minorities and veterans. Carlson explained the approach to make that happen: What we did here [in Washington State], as a pilot, was we partnered in the marketplace with community organizations, community colleges, groups that focus their services around those three target populations. We did a soft rollout — we didn’t roll it out to the public and do a mass announcement until just a couple of weeks ago. We actually gave it exclusively to those community partners a month earlier, so that we were filling the pipeline upfront with the people that we absolutely knew are the ones we wanted to place into these occupations.

So whether that was Goodwill, Urban League, Tacoma Community House — all these local groups, and then several community colleges that had curricula that would match up well with what we were looking for — those are the groups that were filling the pipeline, along with several of the work force development councils in the area.

October 5, 2016

The Cap Times: Locked out: African-Americans and advocates see racial bias in the Dane County job market

Hurdles to employment like no access to transportation, lack of affordable child care, inadequate training and criminal history are far more likely to keep African-Americans from landing a decent job than whites. In addition, advocates and black job seekers say, blacks face both conscious and unconscious bias in the hiring process. And all those factors could help explain why a Labor Day report estimated that Wisconsin blacks are three times as likely as their white counterparts to be unemployed.

[…] Ed Lee, who oversees the Urban League’s jobs programs, said that once participants get their foot in the door, they potentially have the opportunity for a career. The Urban League also helps with issues like child care, transportation and criminal backgrounds. Currently located on the city’s south side, the organization, with backing from the city of Madison, plans to open a west-side location by 2018.

October 4, 2016

YES! Magazine: Where Black Unemployment Is Highest, Workers Strive to Close the Gap

The D.C. Black Workers Center, established two years ago [is a] place that helps to build economic empowerment for African Americans in the city. Located in the United Black Fund building, which houses Black nonprofits, the D.C. Center takes a unique approach to its job-training services by addressing the twofold crises of high unemployment among Black workers and the low wages they’re paid when they do find work. It is one of eight African American worker centers nationwide.

[…] They also teach members cooperative organizing. Last year, members received training in workplace democracies, in which they learned how to recruit other workers and create their own cooperatives. Lawyers explained the legal steps of developing a cooperative, and some members shared their observations from a visit to a child care cooperative in West Philadelphia. The visit has inspired some women at the D.C. Center to start a child care co-op.

October 2, 2016

The Journal Times: County Unveils Coffee Shop Giving Residents Job Training

The store will provide training and employment to help young adults develop job skills and experience, according to a news release. Many of the employees are in a workforce development program.

[…]“This is meant to be a short-term experience, not a permanent position, but it’s to build those critical customer service, critical soft skills, so they can transition to a private-sector employment opportunity,” said Mark Mundl, Workforce Solutions manager.

“Anyone that does not have a good work history or no work history, this is that first step to get them along that pathway to be able to be self-sufficient,” Mundl said.

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