Last week, we reported that the KRA Norfolk VIEW (Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare) Program had partnered with the Briggs Home Health Agency, as part of its participation in the Virginia Full Employment Program (FEP), operated by the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) at the state level, and by KRA’s client, the Norfolk Department of Human Services (NDHS) at the local level. Actually, this new partnership is the most recent of many successful FEP relationships that KRA/VIEW has established since 2008.
FEP is a work component within the VIEW program that provides subsidized employment for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) jobseeker-customers that affords a win-win opportunity for all involved: local departments of social services, such as NDHS, have greater opportunities to assist VIEW participants who have been unable to secure unsubsidized employment; VIEW participants receive on-the-job training (OJT) while receiving wages directly from the employer; and businesses participating in FEP have an opportunity to help strengthen communities while at the same time receiving a monthly stipend from the VDSS.
KRA/VIEW maintains its status as #1 in FEP participation, having established ongoing relationships with seven employer-partners and having placed more than 250 customers in OJT positions with these businesses. Most customers have been trained as Personal Care Aides by the five FEP companies that provide services in the expanding Home Health Care industry; others have been trained by a Pest Control services firm; and some gained training and employment with an Internet Fulfillment operation that stocks and ships books for companies such as Amazon. These customers have been trained in both Warehousing and Internet Sales services as they are learned to receive, inventory, and sell stocked items via the Internet to companies worldwide.
The success of the Norfolk VIEW Program was first documented publicly when it was the feature story on the front page of the NDHS’ Have You Heard November 2010 newsletter. In the article, On Target…and Beyond!, KRA/VIEW was congratulated on meeting or exceeding VDSS’ performance targets for the first quarter of the Fiscal Year. KRA/VIEW had achieved a 50 % Employed Rate, a 55 % Work Participation Rate (WPR), a 75 % Retention Rate, and an Average Wage Rate of $7.76 an hour. It was the 55 % WPR that ranked KRA/VIEW as #1 among the 12 largest VIEW caseloads in Virginia. In the article, KRA/VIEW was also cited for having the most FEP contracts. Then, in December, Don Scott, KRA Senior Vice President for Workforce Operations, and Alisha Bazemore, KRA Program Manager, were interviewed by Jan Callaghan, host of WHRO-TV 48′s Human Services Forum about the KRA/VIEW Program exceeding the VDSS’ performance targets, as well as KRA’s unsurpassed participation in the Virginia FEP.
Bazemore concluded, “As a VIEW contractor, we are fortunate to participate in the State’s FEP program. Our TANF jobseeker-customers gain real training on the job that leads them to unsubsidized employment and enables them to achieve self-sufficiency. FEP is successful for our customers because it is a true local collaborative effort between the NDHS, KRA, and the employers in our community with OJT opportunities. Together, as a team, we assist TANF individuals seeking opportunities to better their lives for themselves and their families.”