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Region 1 held their quarterly Interagency meeting coordinated by the Department of Health and Human Services in Region 1.  Mary Ann Higgins, the Regional Administrator of HHS led the meeting.  In attendance were representatives from the Women’s Bureau, Small Business Services, Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, HHS/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

 

Of note at the meeting is a HHS conference being held on Thursday July 22-Friday July 23 at the Crowne Plaza in Albany, NY called the 2010 Northeast Family Strengthening Conference.  For more information go to 

http://www.metcouncil.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Empowering_Families

 

Other areas to highlight include:

HHS grant announcement of $90 million in Affordable Care Act Funding for Maternal, Infant and Childhood Home Visiting Program Grants at www.grants.gov

 

Choice Neighborhoods program is a brand new HUD program that seeks to improve neighborhoods by rebuilding affordable housing and at the same time improving education for low-income people in t eh neighborhood.  For more information go to www.hud.gov/cn

 

Notes from the meeting as well as additional resources will be uploaded to the region 1 COP soon.  Please check back for additional information. 

 

Poverty Turns “Green”, Replacement Housing Based Green Construction Skills Training Project helps low income residents

Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC), and Tri County Workforce Investment Board (TCWIB) was awarded $2,109,088.00 from USDOL Pathways out of Poverty grant initiative from the Recovery Act.

 

The Green Construction Skills Training Project for the energy efficient green building construction and retrofit industries partnered with local educational facilities to build replacement houses for low income residents. This robust partnership includes eight primary partners for this Project, Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Eastern Maine Community College, United Technology Center, Maine State Housing Authority, Penquis Community Action Program, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, and Opportunity Maine.  This partnership has been working toward this project for several years.

 

Partnering for the implementing of this project within a high poverty area in north-central rural Maine is an efficient use of community resources.  It creates a sustainable green construction workforce training program to reduce unemployment, and build senergy efficient replacement houses needed immediately for low-income home energy assistance program recipients.  The educational institutions provide services to secondary school and college students during the day, and is used during the second shift and summers as training and replacement house building construction sites.

 

 This is a two year project whose goals are to enroll and train 105 participants with the goal of industry recognized credentials at the end of training, as well as build seven homes.

 

 

 

Capital Workforce Partners

One Union Place

Hartford, CT 06103

860-522-1111

www.capitalworkforce.org


BEST PRACTICES

Leveraging ARRA Emergency TANF Funds to Expand Subsidized Employment Opportunities

Program Description:

Connecticut’s five Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) in partnership with the CT Departments of Social Services and Labor were successful in applying for $12.5 million in federal Recovery Act funds available through the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund (TCF) to expand existing Subsidized Employment programs to serve 6,100 youth and adults by September 30, 2010 at a total cost of $16.9 million. All the funding is in place for this proposal including commitments of $237,000 in philanthropic funds to complete the non-federal matching requirements. In addition the State of Connecticut Youth Employment Program provided $3.5 million and Connecticut’s Jobs First Employment Services provided another $750,000 in matching and leveraged funds.

Background The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program promotes economic self-sufficiency by providing assistance and work opportunities to needy families. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 authorized $5 billion nationally from the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund to help states offset the economic burden of the current recession. The TCF will pay 80% of increase over base year (FY 2007 or 2008) TANF-related expenditures. A total of up to $133 million can be claimed by Connecticut through September 30, 2010 for increases in: basic assistance (triggered by caseload increase only); non-recurrent, short-term benefits to address a family’s specific crisis situation or episode of need, and subsidized employment. The State is already requesting reimbursement for increased caseloads since 2007 and non-recurrent short term benefit expenses identified to date.

Benefits of Subsidized Employment "Subsidized Employment" is a proven model for providing valuable job skills and experience as well as income for low income populations. These programs help low income workers establish career competencies through work experience and create job opportunities for people whose limited skills and experience put them at a disadvantage in today’s highly competitively job market. Compared to their non-participating peers, youth program participants are more likely to return to school and graduate, and less likely to drop out of school. Similarly adult participants become more employable.

Proposed Activities. In these programs, the WIBs recruit non-profit or business employers to hire participants to provide services. The WIBs cover the cost of the wages and benefits for a defined period of time in return for the non-profit or business employer providing supervision and on-the-job training. The WIBs are expanding the following three Subsidized Employment programs to serve the following numbers of individuals:

Detail by program:

4,264 youth (ages 14-19)employed in subsidized summer employment

o Total budget of $8.9 million

o 25 hours/week for ave, 7 weeks at a wage of $8.25/hr

o Modeled on successful ARRA program from 2009 that served 5,900 youth

o Expanded program helps meet unmet need ? 53% of program applicants (nearly 7,000 youth) were not served in 2009 due to insufficient funding

? Program demand has increased 126% since original implementation in 2007

1,147 older youth (ages 16-24) employed in subsidized employment throughout the year

o Total budget of $4.4 million

o 30 hours/week for ave 11-12 weeks at a wage of $8.25/hr

o Helps low income youth establish career competencies through work experience

695 adults employed in subsidized employment opportunities o Total budget of $3.5 million

o 35 hours/week for ave, 11 weeks at a wage of $10/hr

o Builds on successful Jobs First Employment Services (JFES) experience

o Leveraged TCF funds help offset reductions in the state appropriations for JFES

o Creates job opportunities for people with limited skills and experience

Management Capacity The WIBs have successfully implemented TANF programs since 1996, and WIB staff are familiar with TANF program regulations. The WIBs also have a proven track record of quickly implementing and expanding successful workforce programs under ARRA regulations. In 2009, Connecticut spent $7.7M and leveraged an additional $2.3M to employ 5,982 youth in subsidized summer employment programs. 

For More Information: Contact Capital Workforce Partners: Thomas Phillips at 86-899-3411 or Jim Boucher at 860-899-3467.

During my visit to the VI, I was invited to the Project Link-HS Diploma attainment program graduation for 12 impressive students.    The program is designed to give youth and adult dropouts an opportunity to obtain their high school diplomas through a collaborative partnership between the Women’s Coalition, Department of Labor and the Department of Education.  The WIA program made it possible for these individuals to receive 9 months of intensive academic courses in order to successfully received their high school diplomas.  The rigorous program provides 1 on 1 tutoring for math, languages, Literature, reading and comprehension, and the sciences.  Students participated in activities where trust, team building and leadership skills were aggressively promoted.  Most, if not all students come from difficult backgrounds, including domestic violence, teen mothers/fathers, gang involvement to name a few.  All are school drop outs, some having been out of school for over 10 -15 years!  Students are required to pass 140 tests in order to obtain their HS diplomas.  At least 4 will be attending the University of the Virgin Islands in September.  Others have opted to attend Job Corps.  The program is accredited by the American School in Illinois Regionally and Nationally Accredited High School program.   I was more than happy to see that our programs really do help and that these individuals saw it in themselves to achieve academic success.  For more information please contact rodriguez.carmen@dol.gov 

 

Link to Article:  http://bostonregion1.workforce3one.org/view/2001019626840463001/info

 

YOUTH BUILD JUST-A-START GRADUATES 25!!

Please check out the new resource article and find out more about this Cambridge, MA based program and its graduates!

See website below for more indepth information:

http://www.justastart.org/youth.shtml

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