KRA/San Diego P2E Success Story #2

It was reported in the September issue of the Monthly Spotlight! that the KRA/San Diego Metro Career Centers [1] operation had launched a new initiative, the Platform to Employment (P2E) Program [2].  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 [3], and then expanded by The Workplace to 10 major cities, including San Diego, where it is administered by the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP), KRA client for the operation of four San Diego Metro Career Centers.  Read about some KRA/San Diego/P2E participants’ experiences at: “Long-term unemployed ready to work”.

Success stories are emerging from KRA/San Diego/P2E everyday.  Here is another one from Michele Scarcella, KRA Business Services Representative: “Richard, who is over 50 years old, has a BA degree in Communications, was unemployed for more than a year when he enrolled in P2E…and was homeless.  In the past, he had enjoyed a successful career as a Freelance Writer, Writer/Associate Producer, and Production Assistant, writing segments and producing nationally-syndicated shows on PBS, as well as writing for The San Diego Tribune newspaper.  Considering his situation, Richard was highly motivated to find employment and to get his life back on track as quickly as possible.  With the P2E Program as a foundation,  I suggested that a ‘KRA/San Diego’ team approach would be the most effective course of action.  He readily agreed, so we started collaborating with Lavar Watkins, Business Services Supervisor, and two more Business Services specialists, Patricia Devereaux and Inna Lomack.”

Scarcella continued, “Together, we worked with Richard while he attended his P2E training workshops, and after completion, were able to assist him in landing a job with the Desert Call Center [4].  It’s a growing company, which had just started up their San Diego operation in May and needed staff.  In no time at all, the company recognized Richard’s leadership abilities, and promoted him to Care Membership Supervisor.  And, acknowledging his writing and production skills, put him in charge of the company’s newsletter.  And, with sustainable employment, Richard was able to move into his own apartment!”  Richard offered this moving testimonial to the KRA/San Diego/P2E team that assisted in getting him back on his feet: “Your unwavering dedication to your profession has greatly impacted my life for the good.  You were all like a beacon of rationally in a sea of uncertainty.  Isn’t it ironic how society will adorn professional athletes and hail them as heroes? Granted, their sports provide entertainment, but your profession changes lives.  Please know the work you do, and your dedication, makes a difference every day.”

Scarcella concluded, “The team was really touched by Richard’s kind acknowledgment of our assistance.  With many effective workforce-services programs, like P2E, KRA/San Diego has an excellent development system in place, and our team used the system to the fullest extent, to be able to present these job-training and placement opportunities to him.  We are so pleased that Richard he is able to apply his expertise and many talents to his new job, and to regain his self-confidence, as well as his integrity as a working professional again.”

[1] 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; and customized Occupational Skills Training and On-the-Job Training programs that prepare workers for sustainable employment.

[2] 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.

[3] 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.

[4] 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.”