KRA’s May Spotlight! is shining brightly on the Power of Partnership! It has been reported previously that KRA’s Workforce Development operations serve two customers simultaneously: jobseekers in need of career guidance, educational/occupational development, and job placement; and private, public, or non-profit partner organizations that provide our jobseekers with valuable employment, training, and other skill-building opportunities. Our programs’ success is only possible through the collaboration, cooperation, and integration of the special-interests of these two vital KRA customer bases.
Our partnership with the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) Theater Department was developed by KRA’s TANF programs in Washington, DC, that provide Job Development and Placement Services for participants who are job-ready and in need of placement assistance, and Work Readiness and Placement Services for participants in need of preparation, including educational and/or occupational skills training, to enter the workforce.
- Being of the same mindset, that a Teaching Through the Arts Workshop for TANF participants could provide benefits other than those traditionally associated with art and drama therapy, KRA and the UDC Theater Department partnered to increases customers’ employability by expanding their communication and self-expression skills, critical and creative thinking, self-esteem, willingness to learn new things, and ability to work with others…all valuable assets for obtaining and retaining employment. The 2-day Workshop required KRA customers to create a visual Chart of Hope, to include his/her background (family, neighborhood, schools, etc.), childhood dreams, accomplishments, obstacles, mentors, and goals. When completed, each attendee presented his/her Chart to the other participants, gaining insight as they described their life situations as reflected in the artwork. Oneaqua Johnson, KRA Career Agent, reported, “The Workshop was extremely well-received by our customers. We had an overwhelming response from our customers to attend the Workshop. The UDC Theater Department, which presented each customer with a Certificate of Completion, had requested a minimum of 20 participants, and we enrolled 32! They were so impressed with our recruitment, as well as the customers themselves, that UDC has agreed to provide the ‘Teaching Through the Arts Workshop’ throughout the next 3 months!”
Our partnership with the Camden Riversharks…a wildly popular minor league professional baseball team…was developed by KRA’s Job Skills Training Directly Related to Employment Program in Camden, New Jersey. This multi-service operation provides four types of services for distinct populations: a Community Work Experience/Job Skills Training and General Assistance Program for welfare-to-work participants; an Open-Entry Program for the general job-seeking population; and an Employability and Success Program for Out-of-School Youth.
- Michael Jordan, Operations Manager, is committed to providing low-income and disabled individuals with employment opportunities at Campbell’s Field, the 6,712-seat, home-game stadium of the Camden Riversharks. When he met with Natividad Perez, KRA Job Developer, he expressed excitement and commitment to building a partnership with KRA to develop a single source to meet his hiring needs for the concessions stands at the stadium. On April 20, 2012, Perez supplied Jordan with 13 candidates for interviewing, background checks, and drug screening. She reported recently, “Seven of our customers have been hired to work at the stadium! They represent a cross-section of our customer base…four TANF, two General Assistance, and one Open Entry…and all were hired for fulltime 35 hour-a-week jobs! KRA is committed to working with Mr. Jordan and the Riversharks longterm to provide a pipeline of qualified candidates for their hiring needs.”