On March 21, 2011, Martin D. Brown, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), sent an email to all “Social Services Staff”, which includes KRA staff who manage and operate the VIEW (Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare) program, with a subject line of “Bracketology and the VDSS Sweet 15.” In recent years, the concept of bracketology has been applied to areas outside of basketball…and this is what prompted the Commissioner to create the department’s own version of bracketology…the “VDSS Sweet 15.”
An obvious fan of college basketball, Commissioner Brown noted that two of Virginia’s finest…University of Richmond Spiders and Virginia Commonwealth University Rams…had made it into the final “Sweet 16” after the first two rounds of play. With this in mind, he put the department’s “cracker jack data crunchers” to work reviewing the PIMR (Performance Indicators Monthly Report) numbers and identifying the top five performing agencies in each of the local department of social services’ three levels of Benefit Programs to identify the VDSS Sweet 15. Currently, VDSS categorizes agencies based on size and number of full-time employees. Level III, the KRA/VIEW program categorization, is for 81 employees or more.
Rated as one of the VDSS Sweet 15, KRA/VIEW is considered an outstanding performer for this fiscal year in the following Benefit Program areas: Job Retention, Average Hourly Wage of VIEW Clients, VIEW Percent Employed, and TANF Federal Work Participation Rate. After the rankings were released, Julie Chalupsky, Program Manager, and Bessie Lawrence, Program Supervisor, of the Norfolk Department of Human Services, personally came over to KRA to congratulate Alisha Bazemore, Program Manager, and to thank the KRA team for being the best at what they do.
Referring to the VDSS Sweet 15, Commissioner Brown concluded “They are the best because of their daily commitment to excellence. To the VDSS Sweet 15….GREAT JOB! Thank you for your leadership. We respect and admire your example.”
Note: For the uninitiated, Bracketology is the popular process of predicting the field of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, named as such because it is commonly used to fill in tournament brackets…the diagrammatic representation of the series of games played during a tournament, and named as such just because it appears as a large number of interconnected brackets: [ ].