For the Baltimore City Department of Social Services (BCDSS), KRA operates the Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program, which provided a wide range of in-person services for a caseload of more than 400 customers—until state-mandated COVID-19 prevention measures went into effect March 17, 2020.
Since many customers have little-to-no work history, or have been out of the workforce for a long time, KRA’s Workforce Readiness Workshops (WRW) are an integral component of preparing customers for sustainable employment opportunities.
Gregory Alexander, Program Manager, commented, “Before COVID-19 forced us to close our office and transition staff to work-from-home, about 100 customers were attending WRW classes weekly. Thus, it was incumbent upon KRA to offer a viable, equivalent alternative to in-person instruction.
In collaboration with BCDSS, we took the program online, and over the last 6 months, have seen a huge spike in participation. Since implementing our WRW series through Google Classroom, enrollment has increased 300 percent!
From an archive of 30+ courses, we offer eight each month, on a rotating basis, observing that many customers take multiple classes during any given month.”
Course content covers many aspects of pre- and post-employment situations, some addressing COVID-19 issues such as Coping With Stress During the Pandemic, Covid-19 Impact on the Workforce, Transitioning to a Virtual Workforce, and How to Work Remotely from Home.
Since not all workforce-services activities and programs are conducive to a total virtual-learning environment, in compliance with all requisite “masking”, sanitizing, and physical-distancing precautions, KRA/Baltimore City is open again, providing in-person services by individual appointment.
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