KRA Monthly Spotlight!

The KRA Spotlight! is shining brightly on the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW) Program, operated by KRA for the Norfolk Department of Social Services, which are co-located at the Norfolk Workforce Development Center.

First, the Spotlight! honors Tiffany Haynes, KRA/VIEW Instructor Supervisor, Job Readiness Program (JRP).   At the May 2013 National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) annual conference, Haynes accepted the 2013 Jodi Spiegel Enhancement of Customer Service Award, one of only four Advancing the Profession Awards that honor “individuals who have made significant contributions to the profession that have benefited customers of the workforce investment system.”

On its Get Recognized webpage, NAWDP posted “She has exhibited distinct customer-service skills and abilities, building relationships that reflect a true advocacy for the workforce development profession. Under Ms. Haynes’ leadership, the JRP’s reputation as a rather formal job-skills training program has been transformed and reborn as a holistic learning experience, fueled by Ms. Haynes’ positive synergy, superb customer service, and engaging instructional style. Ms. Haynes exhibits leadership qualities in managing the classroom environment, coalescing community resources, and creating innovative instructional programs.”   Also, Haynes is the Corporate Coordinator for KRA’s 5th Community Care Day Campaign, on the heels of a highly successful 2012 “Support Our Troops” Campaign, which she also coordinated.

The KRA/VIEW Program provides a wide range of workforce development services for jobseeker-customers who are receiving public-assistance cash benefits through TANF.  Motivated to become self-sufficient, more than 1,400 customers a year receive intensive work-readiness preparation including case management services; career guidance; Occupational Skills Training; GED preparation; Community Work Experience activities; supportive services, such as childcare and transportation assistance; and follow-up for 24 months, including job-retention services for up to 12 months after customers are placed in employment.  For business-customers, KRA/VIEW works collaboratively with area employers in both the private and public employment sectors to provide tailored job development, placement, and retention services.

The Program is routinely recognized by Virginia for meeting…and frequently exceeding…the Work Participation Rate (WPR) established by the State’s Full Employment Program (FEP), a customized training program under which employers define their workforce needs and KRA/VIEW provides tailored training and referral of candidates to meet those needs.  Due to KRA’s consistently high WPR and Employed, Retention, and Average Wage Rates, Norfolk ranks #1 among the 12 largest VIEW caseloads in Virginia. In addition, KRA/VIEW leads Virginia with the most State FEP contracts.

Recognizing years ago that the home-healthcare market was fast becoming a high-growth segment of the Healthcare Industry, KRA/VIEW developed strategic partnerships with area businesses that provide home-based healthcare training…and jobs.  For example, in collaboration with Health Horizons Home Care and the Briggs Home Health Agency, KRA/VIEW jobseekers are receiving training and employment in this “in-demand” field.

Health Horizons, one of the region’s most referred home-health care providers since 1997, has been a valued KRA/VIEW training and employment partner for the past 5 years.  Briggs, a relatively new partner, has proven to be a valuable contributor to KRA/VIEW’s high WPR rate in the Virginia FEP, in providing jobseekers with education, training, and employment in the field of Personal Care Aide.

Guided by Alisha Bazemore, Program Manager, the KRA/VIEW team is an exceptional group of workforce services professionals, totally as dedicated to community activities and events as they are to their KRA/VIEW responsibilities.  They’ve organized clothing drives; recruited volunteers to tutor GED students; as the KRAchievers, raised funds each year for the American Cancer Society; lent “helping hands” to the children and families at the local Ronald McDonald House; and the list could go on.

Some workforce services companies may differentiate between “workforce development” activities and “community development” activities”, if they participate in their communities at all. For VIEW, and all other KRA Corporation programs, there is no dividing line; it is the only way to conduct business if a company is dedicated to “Developing Workers” and “Strengthening Communities”.

Read about KRA/VIEW’S latest endeavors on the KRA “Company News” page, Monday, July 1, 2013.

Note: The VIEW Program has been featured on the KRA Company News and Community Involvement web pages more than 100 times! Peruse the many informative, interesting, and inspiring articles at: http://www2.kra.com/search/?cx=015111161752803360215%3A0pgpobdutcu&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&q=VIEW&siteurl=www.kra.com%2Fsearch%2FVIEW%2F/. (Link may open in a second window.)