The VIEW (Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare) Program, funded by the Norfolk Department of Human Services and operated by KRA Corporation, provides tailored case management/workforce development services to more than 1,400 TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) jobseeker-customers annually. Based upon each customer’s assessment, services offered include GED preparation; Community Work Experience; On-the-Job Training; Job Skills Training Programs (JSTP); volunteer Public Service Participant opportunities; job development, placement, and retention; and supportive services, such as Child Care and Transportation assistance.
Simultaneously, VIEW benefits area business-customers, providing job-retention follow-up services for up to 12 months after customers are placed in employment. VIEW is routinely recognized for its positive Work Participation Rate by the State’s Full Employment Program (FEP), a customized training program under which local employers define their workforce needs and VIEW provides tailored training and referral of candidates to meet those needs.
In addition to FEP, the VIEW program follows a sector-driven model, supplying local employers in high-growth industries—one of which is Healthcare—with trained and reliable workers. KRA has published many articles regarding VIEW’s partnership with local resources for Healthcare training and development, as well as valued volunteer-to-hire sites, including Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center and Sentara Healthcare, and direct-hire partners, including Briggs Home Health Agency and Community Personal Care, one of the largest Home Health Care agencies in the Norfolk area. In 2012, CPC honored KRA/VIEW with an Appreciation Luncheon to celebrate the 7-year partnership with the company.
KRA has also published the stories of many customers who found employment success in the Healthcare arena through VIEW. Today, we are pleased to present another such article: April Brooks, 21, and single parent to three children, under the age of 4, enrolled in VIEW on August 27, 2013, seeking financial assistance, as well as supportive services. Though Brooks had not completed high school, which is sometimes a barrier to any employment, her resume displayed an ability to obtain—but not retain—jobs.
According to Timothy Carter, KRA Career Agent, “April struggled to maintain employment, at times, due to the lack of affordable childcare and/or transportation. Since one of her more immediate needs was financial assistance, we went into ‘job-search’ mode. April found a job on her own as a Food Services Worker, and with supportive childcare and transportation services provided by KRA/VIEW, was able to hold on to it.”
After 8 months of employment, Carter informed Brooks of the opportunity to attend the JST Program at Tidewater Community College (TCC), which provides training for Culinary Arts, Security Guard, and Healthcare careers. During their career guidance sessions, he had stressed the importance of specialized training to make her more marketable with employers that had higher-paying, high-growth job opportunities.”
Carter continued, “April had expressed an interest in nursing, stating she had always wanted to work in the healthcare field. Her assessment results supported this interest, so we provided a referral for her to TCC/JSTP for its Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program. April was accepted, but needed to adjust her working hours to fit her training hours. Unfortunately, the employer did not think she would be needed during the hours that she would be available, so her employment was terminated.”
With the support of KRA/VIEW, April persevered and was able to complete the CNA Program in 8 weeks, graduating in August 2013 and finding a job the same month! As of this writing, she is still—happily—employed with Sentara Healthcare as a Lifecare Nursing Assistant, earning a sustainable wage for a 37.5-hour week.
Carter concluded, “The Healthcare Industry is very strong in our area, presenting many opportunities for those with the right aptitudes, skills, and abilities. It is our mission to assist jobseeker-customers in fulfilling their career dreams, at the same time fulfilling our business-customers needs for trained and reliable workers.”