Secure Jobs Advisory Committee
May 3, 2016
In attendance: Ashley Brehm, HAPHousing, Bill Mulholland, Berkshire Community College, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Sean Hemingway, CHD, Joanne LaCour, DTA, John Leva, VA, Madeline Martinez, HAPHousing, Bill Mulholland, Berkshire Community College, Maegan Pedemonit, HAPHousing, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Representative Aaron Vega
April Progress Report: Click here
Ashely reported on 91 placements to date – almost TWICE the FY16 goal (54). Congratulations to the team on such amazing work!
We reviewed the keys to success: fantastic collaborations with employers – C&S Wholesalers chief among them – great team work, great partnership with CareerPoint.
As an example of the creative collaborations: a number of SJ enrollees are in the process of becoming certified as home day care providers which will provide day care for children of SJ participants who require hard-to-find child care for late shifts (from employment at C&S). A form of social enterprise at work!
Berkshire County update: Ken reported a new case manager/job placement hire starting next week. The group is working exclusively with current enrollments (about 7), so their total goal for their grant is adjusted to be about 13 (currently placed 6).
FY17 Budget Update:
Secure Jobs received $500K in the House budget, down from $750K in the Governor’s budget (and $2 million needed to keep the program whole statewide).
Rep. Vega offered his insight on the process, suggesting that the statewide push on this from other areas of the state was not unified or strong; that it is overwhelming when advocacy groups present 20 priorities, making it difficult to “own” any one of them or focus. Must have very targeted attention on this item for it to rise to the top. Suggested we meet with local senators to zero in on Secure Jobs in advance of debate process. It was agreed that Pamela will reach out to Hampden County senators to ask for a meeting. Ken and Bill will reach out to Senator Downing.
Next year after our big progress report event we need to make sure we follow-up with one-on-one meetings with legislators to discuss our priorities.
Debrief on John Rio training on sustainability:
Some people found it re-energizing to stop and focus on alternative funding sources. Others found it lacking in specificity and new ideas. We agreed that pursuing social enterprise ideas is a great direction.
Expanding Secure Jobs Advisory Membership:
Ashley proposed looking at some of our current employment collaborations and expanding membership to include them. All agreed! Rep. Vega also suggested reaching out to the Holyoke and Springfield Chambers of Commerce. We agreed to pursue new members who could fuel our partnerships in the community.
Next meeting: Tuesday, June 14, 11 am – 12 noon, location to be determined