Jobseekers applying for, or already receiving, TANF or SNAP benefits in Prince George’s County, MD, have a one-stop resource—PGWorks, operated by KRA for the Department of Social Services—for receiving comprehensive education, training, and employment services.
A program—piloted by KRA, MedCerts, and Employ Prince George’s, Inc.—actually took root at the May 2019 NAWDP Annual Conference where Melody Daniel, KRA Program Manager, met Sandy Mead, National Director of Workforce Development, MedCerts. “We discussed our mutual desire to provide meaningful occupational-skills training for PG County jobseekers, to substantially increase their viability in today’s competitive workplace.”
Mead mentioned an existing partnership with Walter Simmons, President & CEO, Employ Prince George’s (EPG), and the discussion led to a plan, and within 4-months, that plan led to a full-blown Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) training program with eight SNAP and two TANF PGWorks customers.
Utilizing WIOA Individual Training Account funding, the participants received a combination of classroom and online learning, with MedCerts providing the clinical training, and KRA and EPG providing remedial math and reading instruction, augmenting the credentialing training, as well as boosting enrollees’ confidence to succeed.
Daniel, Mead, and Simmons highlighted the CMAA collaboration at a 2019 MWA Raising the Bar Conference workshop, as contributors to a 5-member panel discussion on Blended Learning for Job Seekers with Barriers to Employment.
The program, which ran September 9 – December 31, 2019, achieved 100% participant success, with the graduates now preparing for the state-certification exam at the end of January. Simultaneously, Daniel and Mayo are providing counseling on resume development, interviewing, and job-search skills—which has already resulted in employment for two graduates. The pilot’s incredible success has led to planning for a second cohort to begin in mid-March!