Secure Jobs Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
January 20, 2015
In attendance: Toni Bator, HAP, Bud Delphin, CareerPoint, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Harry Duschene, NEFWC, Donna Harris, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Lisa Lapierre, Secure Jobs/CPM, Melissa Mateus, Springfield Partners, Bill Mulholland, Berkshire Community College, Konrad Rogowski, FutureWorks, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Robin Sherman, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority
This last month has seen an excellent increase in enrollments (now up to 82 out of goal of 100 for year). This is due to a refining of systems, above all CPM (Lisa and Cindy) providing initial intake and assessments and arranging day care before referring to CareerPoint cohort or FutureWorks.
It was noted that clients referred to FutureWorks are having some challenges with follow-through. CPM and FutureWorks are looking at this together now to better understand and attempt some problem-solving.
CPM and HAP are holding a “rally” for Secure Jobs enrollees who have not yet been placed (and other possible recruits as determined by housing stabilization workers). This will take place this Friday, 1/23, at CHD. They will provide child care, lunch, bus passes, a gift card rally and abundant information about the Secure Jobs program. In the afternoon, they will host a jobs fair with 8 businesses attending, a very exciting innovation.
We discussed the low number of referrals in Franklin County. This is due in part because a high percentage of homeless families living in Greenfield motels are from out of the area (approx. 40 out of 55 families) and intend to move back to their communities of origin. Lisa is in close contact with Charity of FCRHRA and Fran of ServiceNet to explore other alternatives. Robin suggested reaching out to Dial/SELF.
Ken of BerkshireWorks reported good progress enrolling participants in Berkshire County. The CPM outreach staff is attending housing court with other Berkshire advocates and connecting to possible clients who are facing the threat of eviction.
Update on 2/6 Secure Jobs Celebration
We have 18 legislators from the region committed to attending; DHCD Undersecretary Kornegay, Deputy Secretary Kirk of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. We are honoring 10 businesses and have 4 participant speakers. With 2 weeks to go, the demand will be great around event and material preparations. Pamela thanked everyone in advance for their partnership in making this a great success.
Review of Secure Jobs Web Pages
Andrea Miller, retained as part of the DHCD grant to develop our web pages, shared her design for initial feedback. Everyone thanked Andrea for her fantastic work! Some feedback included:
- Success stories page (Pamela will provide through her work with program participants for 2/6)
- Photos (Pamela will help facilitate with Lisa and Toni assistance)
- Testimonials from businesses (to be collected via 2/6 event)
- Agreed on business page to limit named businesses to those being honored (Pamela will provide)
- Agreed to revisit funders page to review what level of detail is necessary (e.g., funding amounts are confusing – do we need them?)
- Agreed to revisit the listing of providers on the map (a little confusing and possibly overwhelming) but instead to put a list of all partners on the page
We discussed this new RFP – see http://www.heartlandalliance.org/ntjn/nceh-connections-project.html for more information. We agreed that the project’s ambition and the relatively low dollar amount ($125K for each of 3 years or for a total of 3 years?! Important need to clarify!) make this a challenging project at the outset. It was also noted that these funds could not be used to expand an existing program. Robin proposed that the best strategy would be to pick a target population and zero in on a particular need. It was agreed that this is a useful direction. We also agreed that it is not enough money to do this as a 4 county project
The webinar on the RFP is 1/28 and Lisa and Toni will attend. We will take stock after more is learned and decide how best to proceed.
Next meeting date: Wed., 2/10, 3:30-5:00, HCC