Secure Jobs Connect Advisory Committee
June 3, 2014

In attendance: Ken Demers, New England Farm Workers Council, Joanne Glier, DTA, Donna Harris, Franklin/Hampshire Career Center, Mike Morris, New England Farm Workers Council, Darlene Morse, CareerPoint, Bill Mulholland, Berkshire Community College, Shannon Porter, HAPHousing, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Robin Sherman, Franklin Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Mike Truckey, Franklin/Hampshire Career Center, Ken White, Holyoke Community College, Phyllis White, Franklin/Hampshire Career Center

Program Updates (Lisa Lapierre):

Lisa provided hand-outs that summarized each Secure Jobs program and our progress to date Click here and here for attachments. She also welcomes feedback about data presentation and content. We agreed that at regular intervals (every other month?), it would be useful to see a collation of the range of the jobs participants have obtained and the minimum wage.

Secure Jobs Fireman Foundation Program:
1 more participant to enroll to meet enrollment goal (with huge influx of qualified referrals, likely to conduct a lottery). Currently doing job development, searching for placements, for 13 individuals. A few of these individuals are still in training (1 client just completed precision manufacturing training). Working with Square One to host an early childhood growth and development class to bring teacher assistants to teacher certification level (and higher wages). 51 heads of households employed; goal is to get to 61 individuals who meet 1 year job retention.

Western Homelessness Employment Network (WHEN, CommCorp funds):
Program up and running in 4 counties for individuals and families. Program goal is to employ 57 individuals. Now in second month, 13 enrolled in the program as of today, and by end week likely to have 17 enrollments. 2 clients in training.30 day job retention goal (basis for contract reimbursement). Lisa is talking with Brandeis about coordinating evaluation data from this program with Secure Jobs data to provide a more global picture of impact and population.

Secure Jobs Initiative (DHCD and possibility of Fireman funds)

Contract technically began 4/1. HAP stretching its current stabilization dollars so spending on grant will not begin until 7/1.

Program goal: 120 entered employments. Strictly job placement funding, no training funds through this grant.

Fireman Foundation matching funds ($1 million statewide): we are pursuing Fireman dollars to fill in Hampden and Hampshire County gaps (training funds) and to serve Franklin and Berkshire Counties (not funded under DHCD grant).

On Franklin County, Lisa and Mike Truckey of Franklin/Hampshire Career Center are meeting to discuss expanding capacity to increase numbers served. Working with FCRHRA to obtain numbers around the population (RAFT, HomeBASE, motel families) and make a proposal. Discussions also underway about meeting transportation needs of this rural population in view of the recognition that “bus passes” do not get clients where they need to be. Conversations with Franklin Regional Transit Authority are happening regarding some creative proposals, although the current proposal is very costly ($60/hour to provide targeted transportation). Brainstormed other avenues to explore, including other private companies and partnering with other non-profit agencies that provide transportation, e.g., Y, Girls Club, Honor Court.

On Berkshire County, meeting with Berkshire Works and other Berkshire partners taking place on Friday, 6/13, to brainstorm a proposal. This is an exciting opportunity to bring the Berkshire Career Center into this effort. Will bring Franklin County’s work thus far as a springboard for conversation.

On data collection for all 3 programs: every program is now on the same database. Great progress!

Summer Child Care Issue:
Lisa had a conference call with DEEC regarding the need for more child care slots in Western Mass. Outcome of call pending, although pressure is on from a higher level (Governor’s office!).

We agreed that Pamela will reach out to Senator Rosenberg about this issue as well as find out Western legislators serving on the EEC’s legislative committee to bring the issue to their attention.

Meanwhile, HAP and CPM are continuing to pound the pavement for additional slots. Square One has a few. Continuing to problem solve.

FY15 Budget update:

Secure Jobs has a line item in the House budget at $500,000; in the Senate budget at $250,000. All agreed that while the higher number is clearly better, gaining a line item for the program would be very significant. Pamela will advocate on behalf of the Network.

Staffing updates:

Mike Morris is now working with NEFWC as an employment specialist in Hampden County motels. This is an exciting use of stabilization resources. Will track the outcomes of this effort as well (3.5 weeks in and a head of household has just been placed into employment!).

Shannon offered a shout-out to Lisa for her incredible work in bringing the DHCD initiative into the fold, coordinating all the moving parts. Thank you, Lisa!

Next meeting date:

Tuesday, July 8
3:30-4:45 pm
Holyoke Community College
Frost Building 309

Pamela will be on leave in July and August but Lisa Lapierre has generously agreed to facilitate the July meeting and a decision regarding August’s meeting will take place then.

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