This series continues to focus on KRA Corporation’s commitment to excellence in customer service, and includes a description of a unique workforce services partnership…the Full Employment Program (FEP)…that includes the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS); the Norfolk Department of Human Services (NDHS), the local VDSS agency; KRA/VIEW; and Virginia employers that provide training and/or job opportunities for eligible customers.
To recap, the KRA/VIEW (Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare) Program is operated for the NDHS as a component of the Workforce Development Center, a comprehensive one-stop resource for Norfolk jobseekers. Recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash-assistance benefits enroll in KRA/VIEW to prepare themselves for job opportunities that will lead to sustainable employment.
Each partner plays a critical role in helping customers achieve self-sufficiency through FEP, a customized training program under which employers define their workforce needs and customers receive job-preparation and work-readiness services to qualify for meeting those needs.
- VDSS/NDHS pays the employer a predetermined, fixed stipend per month, with the goal of the employer retaining the participant as an unsubsidized employee at the completion of the training.
- KRA/VIEW provides work-readiness services, which can include public-service work or community work experience for those with little or no job history; GED preparation for those without high school diplomas; supportive services for those who need child care or transportation assistance to be able to work; and job-retention follow-up for those who are placed in FEP employment opportunities.
- Employers, in both the private- and public- sector, provide customers with the opportunity to gain work experience, and to develop both work- and social-skills needed for workplace success. Employers pay FEP participants an hourly wage for work done, and customers do not receive TANF cash benefits during the time the employer is receiving a stipend.
Alisha Bazemore, KRA/VIEW Program Manager, commented “To increase the likelihood of our customers being hired on a permanent basis for the job, and to promote further FEP placements with the employer, our Career Agents ensure that customers’ abilities, interests, and skills are a good match for the FEP employer’s job requirements.”
Bazemore concluded, “We are both pleased and proud that KRA/VIEW is regularly recognized by the State for meeting, and frequently exceeding, the Work Participation Rate [WPR] established by FEP. Due to the consistently high WPRs of our customers, Norfolk routinely ranks #1 among the 12 largest VIEW caseloads in Virginia!”