Business Engagement Results

Serving Growth Sectors Holistically: KRA & PGWorks

For jobseekers applying for, or receiving, TANF or SNAP benefits, PGWorks, funded by the Prince George’s County (Maryland) Department of Social Services, provides a comprehensive array of workforce-development services, including career guidance, work-readiness assessment, and Community Work Experience opportunities. County businesses benefit from targeted recruitment and screening, job placement, and follow-up.

In addition, an NPEP component provides assistance for non-custodial parents struggling to meet child-support obligations due to lack of employment, and KRA Corporation’s Job-Readiness Academy capitalizes on customers’ abilities, interests, and skills, incorporating them into Individual Responsibility Plans for workforce success.

KRA\PGWorks is currently in the advance-planning stage for the late-2016 opening of MGM National Harbor. The hospitality industry is a growth sector in Maryland, and the casino-resort is expected to create 3,600 new jobs in PG County. In preparation for this influx of opportunities, KRA initiated a partnership with MGM and multiple County economic-, education-, and workforce-services providers, including a direct connection to PG County Community College, which will provide job-training tailored to MGM’s skills-requirements, without additional investment from the company. As part of the multi-partnership agreement, KRA and the PG County American Job Center (AJC) network have created an inter-program referral process that enrolls eligible PGWorks jobseekers into AJC Adult Services, under which they will qualify for financial assistance through WIOA-funded Individual Training Accounts. Committed to the relationship and the support being provided by PGWorks and its partnership-network, MGM hiring managers are keeping KRA informed of hiring plans–including application processes, timelines, position openings, job qualifications, training requirements, and progress–over the coming year.

Consolidated Business Services: KRA & Alameda County, California

In July 2014, the same month and year that WIOA was signed into law, as part of its contract with the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board (WIB), KRA Corporation implemented an Employer Services Hub Program, tasked with outreach to area businesses as a centralized point-of-service. Connected to the County’s six American Job Centers, the KRA/Hub employed a consultative approach with its business-customers to address their workforce plans, including growth and competitiveness. One year later, when WIOA became effective, the legislation made it quite clear that WIBs, through their contracted service-providers, focus efforts on more effectively engaging businesses, i.e. developing an in-depth understanding of employers’ needs to connect them to community resources that can serve them holistically. Consequently, the Hub was reorganized into a more comprehensive Alameda County Business Development Group (BDG) program.

Immediately, the KRA/BDG communicated its expanded purpose to the business community, partners, and stakeholders, i.e. to aggressively support employers in assessing their short- and long-term business needs, and to assist them in identifying, or developing, qualified workers to maintain and/or expand their enterprises in targeted, high-growth industry sectors.

Based upon individual employer requirements, the KRA/BDG provides recruitment, screening, and job-placement and retention follow-up services. Customized education and training programs provide eligible jobseekers with industry-recognized credentialing and certification to ensure qualification for job openings identified by employers as critical to their business operations, competitive status, and future growth.

Expediting Hiring & Filling the Talent Pipeline: KRA & Camden County

KRA Corporation is funded by the Camden County (New Jersey) Workforce Investment Board  to operate workforce-development programs for four jobseeker-populations: TANF recipients with child(ren), General Assistance SNAP customers and TANF recipients without children in their care, Open Entry-jobseekers who have been sanctioned for previous TANF non-compliance, and WIOA Disconnected/Out-of-School Youth.  Many of these customers have limited or no work experience, or have worked in industries with little growth potential.  For these jobseekers, qualifying for and finding work that provides a living wage and stability is extremely difficult.

KRA has generated positive outcomes for both jobseeker- and employer-customers through our Quality and Customer Service and Business Engagement Models, focusing on the identification of viable career paths in the County’s high-demand industries, e.g. hospitality and foodservice, in which some companies have established training programs that are open to individuals with entry-level and management experience.

KRA\Camden targeted several national companies for outreach and relationship-building, efforts that generated partnerships with Loews Resorts and Chipotle.  Both companies are growing quickly in the region and hiring jobseekers who they believe can grow with them.

KRA/Camden participants who have made the transition to Loews and Chipotle have flourished, with some becoming leaders on their teams.

Periodically, Loews and Chipotle representatives conduct interviews with KRA/Camden candidates onsite, providing additional training for their existing managers, and extending training to customers, who receive instant feedback on how they performed.

These partnerships have provided Loews and Chipotle access to a much broader pool of talent, expediting their hiring processes, and simultaneously providing KRA/Camden customers  with jobs in growth industries with opportunities for financial self-reliance, stability, and career advancement.