As  I was preparing this blog post to share our region’s latest workforce development news, an exciting development appeared on my screen last night:  a funding opportunity to support the work we have just begun!  The Fireman Foundation just announced last night a new RFR to support workforce development for homeless families.  Please click here to read the RFR.  This is extraordinary news and could not be better timed for our efforts.

Please contact me at [email protected] if you would like to join the conversation regarding our response to this RFR.  I will also announce on the blog as soon as we have a meeting scheduled (we are aiming for this Friday, 9/28 in the morning in Northampton).  A letter of intent is due on 10/3, so fast talk and action are required.

Now on to the update, which includes the following materials:

1.  The Network one-pager summarizing our current success models in the region, which we captured as part of our groundwork for expanding them.  You can find that here.

2.  The companion Data Report recently produced by UMass Donahue Institute as a final piece of their action plan project with us.  This includes interesting demographic data pertaining to the homeless family population across four counties.  It also reveals the gaps in our comprehensive data collection systems, which, thanks to the work of our data analyst, Andrea Miller, we are continuing to close.

3.  Meeting Minutes from our last workforce development meeting of 9/12/12.

We are proceeding with our mapping project with the 3 regional planning commissions (Hampden/Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire).  The commissions have generously agreed to develop a map that captures the relationship between transportation, child care, job centers, career centers and homeless shelters/motels and will be presenting their first installment of this map at the Network’s upcoming Leadership Council meeting on October 24.   We look forward to building this important partnership.

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