KRA operates the Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program, for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services (BCDSS), assisting TANF-benefit jobseekers through strategic collaborations with private- and public-sector organizations to create employment opportunities through Community Work Experience and Occupational Skills Training (OST) programs.
To address local employers’ needs for job candidates with computer-related skills— now, and in our new-normal virtual environment—last month, MedCerts joined KRA/Baltimore City in a partnership to offer Fundamentals of IT as a blended-learning program, with graduates receiving IT certification through CompTIA.
To date, KRA has enrolled 33 female and two male customers for whom MedCerts IT Specialists will lead study groups through Zoom Conferencing, along with the students also completing independent-learning video modules, including How People Use Computers, System Hardware, Device Ports and Peripherals, Data Storage and Sharing, and Understanding Operating Systems.
To provide the equipment and virtual resources the customers needed to participate, KRA provided 35 Lenovo Idea Pads, as well as mobile hotspot devices for Internet access.
Additionally, in partnership with BCDSS, KRA issued an additional 85 laptops and mobile hotspots to customers participating in other OST programs, e.g. ServSafe, Professional Green Cleaning through the Betco U Certification Program, and Microsoft Digital Literacy, all of which are scheduled for a June 30, 2020 completion date.
Greg Alexander, Program Manager, stated, “KRA is dedicated to transitioning Baltimore City residents from welfare-to-work through OST programs linked to career paths of productivity and self-sufficiency. Supporting our customers, and their families, to move from ‘welfare rolls’ to ‘pay rolls’, is a total win-win, simultaneously decreasing the burden on the public-assistance system and increasing the benefit to the community’s economic system.”