It was reported in the September issue of the Monthly Spotlight! that KRA/San Diego Metro Career Centers* had launched a new initiative, the Platform to Employment (P2E) Program. Funded by the Wal-Mart Foundation, Citi Community Development, and the AARP Foundation, P2E was successfully (71% unsubsidized-job placement) piloted in the Southwestern Region of Connecticut by CTWorks**, and then expanded by The Workplace to 10 major cities, including San Diego, where it is administered by the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP), the WIB for the Region, and KRA client for the operation of four San Diego Metro Career Centers.
Those eligible for P2E are Veterans, 30 years of age or younger and Individuals, 50 years of age or older. Both groups need to have exhausted their unemployment benefits. Goals for P2E are that participants (1) become champions for their own careers, (2) learn new skills, (3) complete an 8- week work-experience, and (4) enter into unsubsidized employment. Read about some KRA/San Diego/P2E participants’ experiences with the Program at: “Long-term unemployed ready to work”.
Operated at the KRA/San Diego/South Metro Career Center, P2E begins with workshops…4 days a week for 5 weeks… which include personal counseling, training, and comprehensive wraparound case-management services. P2E participants meet with Behavioral Counselors at least once during the training, with additional optional counseling available for themselves, as well members of the immediate family.
Once participants complete the 5-week training, they are eligible for an 8-week work experience assignment, and are matched with employers that have openings. By selecting P2E participants, employers fill positions with vetted candidates, at no cost, for the first 4 weeks, and at partial cost for the next 4 weeks. The expectation is that P2E participants, if successful, will be hired by the employers at the end of the work experience.
Many success stories are emerging from KRA/San Diego/P2E; here is one from Michele Scarcella, KRA Business Services Representative. “Jenni had a BA degree in Business Administration/Accounting and 30+ years’ experience in the Accounting field, but was unemployed for more than a year. When we first met, she was overwhelmed with uncertainty about finding a job, which was eroding her confidence.”
“About a month after she completed P2E, I was able to secure an interview for her with Desert Call Connection ]DCC]***, which had just started up their San Diego operation in May and needed staff. However, Jenni was not enthusiastic about the opportunity, and declined the interview. Instead, she accepted a position with another employer in their Accounting Department. But, after a few days decided the job wasn’t a ‘good fit’ for her, so she gave notice and left.”
Scarcella continued, “I was able to get Jenni another interview with DCC, whichshe accepted, and was hired! The first few weeks were challenging because she had to learn a lot of new software programs. I knew she was up to the task, and kept encouraging her to hang in there, which she did. Later, she called and thanked me for giving her another chance at the DCC opportunity.”
“Before long, DCC acknowledged Jenni’s expertise and positive work ethic by promoting her to a position in the Charge Back unit of the DCC Finance Department, with a raise and a chance to make even more money by working some over time. She reports that she is extremely happy in the job, is excited about her promotion, and confident of a promising future with the company. P2E is a great training and placement program, and we are fortunate to be able to offer it to those who qualify in our 50+ customer base, as well as our younger Veterans.”
*Funded by the SDWP, the San Diego Metro Region One-Stop Career Centers Program provides comprehensive workforce services for jobseeker-customers eligible through WIA as Adult/Dislocated Workers. Employer-customers with specific workforce requirements are provided a full range of job-readiness, placement, and retention services; guidance on local Labor Market Information; and customized Occupational Skills Training and On-the-Job Training programs that prepare workers for sustainable employment.
** The CTWorks One-Stop Career Centers Program in the Northcentral Region of Connecticut is operated by KRA, funded by Capital Workforce Partners, the Region’s WIB.
***According to their website, “DCC is a leading customer service solutions company offering businesses effective ways to improve customer satisfaction, sales and quality assurance. We work as an extension of your organization to increase your bottom line by catering to your number one asset, your customers.” DCC specializes in “Customer Service, Technical Support, Outbound Sales, and Lead Generation.”