JobSource Newsletter – September 2018

Title I Audit

The State of Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning conducted a review of several files from Title I WIOA Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Programs in June 2018.

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive with only one finding that was resolved on-the-spot. The report featured a robust section titled “Promising Practices,” highlights of which include:

  • “The Title I program uses job clubs as a value-added proposition or encourage client engagement…While many areas offer job clubs or other work search activities, the key difference here is how the sessions are presented to clients and integrated into the case management process.”
  • “The new youth service center acts as a safe space for youth with a variety of barriers. Aside from supporting youth in the local area, this has also facilitated recruitment efforts for various area youth programs”
  • “The local area, in partnership with Farming 4 Hunger, has implemented a STAR Citizen’s pilot program to serve returning citizens.”
  • “Project Opportunity provides veterans who wish to start their own business and have a solid business idea with intensive entrepreneurial training, including the development of a comprehensive business plan.”

Great job to everyone on the Title I team! They continue to go above and beyond in their roles and this hard work does not go unnoticed.

Re-Entry Job Fair and Expo

On August 2, 2018, Yvette Turner executed JobSource’s first Re-Entry Job Fair & Expo. This event was intended to highlight a skilled workforce population that businesses often overlook or do not consider: returning citizens. The Re-Entry Job Fair was intended to provide second-chance employment opportunities to individuals having trouble obtaining employment due to background checks.

A criminal record is usually not the kind of qualification most employers have in mind when looking for new hires, hence the need to educate businesses on the benefits of hiring re-entering citizens.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Federal and state tax incentives for hiring ex-felons. Businesses who hire ex-felons within one year after they are convicted or released from prison may qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit
  • Transferrable skills held by re-entering citizens (work ethic, discipline)
  • Strong likelihood of longevity and loyalty
  • Education, training, and certifications obtained by this population
  • Diversifying the workforce, thus adding value to a company’s team

 

Yvette is sure to emphasize that businesses who hire re-entering citizens “fill their employment needs and make a difference.” Nine businesses and 157 job seekers attended this event, resulting in five on-the-spot interviews and two tentative offers. Businesses in attendance included: Allstate Insurance, Arrow American Pest Control, Booz Allen Hamilton, WMATA, Summit Home Remodel, Fenwick Landing, Pathways PDI, MGM national Harbor, and Charles County HARC. All nine businesses stated they had several candidates they would be following up with for interviews and these outcomes are still being tracked.

 

When asked whether more businesses should hire returning citizens, Yvette stated: “Most returning citizens want the same thing everyone else wants, to provide for their families and have a sense of value. They have skills that can contribute to the success of many businesses they just need someone to give them a chance.”

 

Tri-County Council and the Job Source team look forward to having this as an annual event.