Search Results for Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program

KRA/Baltimore City Customers Train for Self-Employment

The Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program, operated for the BCDSS, includes a mandatory 3-month Work Experience (WEX) Program Internship.  The Druid Heights Community Development Corporation (DHCDC) has been a valued WEX-site for several years, recently providing workplace-readiness internships for seven KRA customers. Since all of the WEX participants had expressed interest in developing their own businesses, Azalee Fisher, DHCDC Community Outreach Director, offered them the opportunity to enroll in an Entrepreneurial Training Program founded by Dr. Lela Campbell, and directed by Katrina Leonard, both from the Workforce Development Center of A Step Forward Inc. Several small-business development specialists
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KRA Monthly Spotlight!

 KRA Non-Profit Partner is a Valued Employer The WIOA and TANF programs that KRA operates across the country cultivate collaborative partnerships with local employers—businesses and non-profit organizations—essential to the workplace success of our jobseeker-customers. In Baltimore City, the Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program, operated for the BCDSS, requires up to a 3-month Work Experience (WEX) Internship, at the end of which, the intern-jobseeker is either hired by the WEX employer, or given another assignment. The New Vision House of Hope (NVHOH), an exceptional WEX-site provider, has assisted dozens of KRA jobseekers optimize their employment options, hiring several in
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Two Years on Bumpy Road Lead to Smooth Career Path for KRA Customer

Keshana Dorsey enrolled in the KRA Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program on September 12, 2019, after applying to the Baltimore City Department of Social Services (BCDSS) for TANF-TCA benefits. Two critical Program components include Community Work Experience (WEX) assignments with local private- and public-sector organizations, and a comprehensive Job Readiness Program (JRP) —both of which optimize opportunities for sustainable employment and career development. Unfortunately, personal circumstances led to Ms. Dorsey leaving the Program when her first WEX assignment ended on November 24, 2019. On January 15, 2020, having re-enrolled with BCDSS, she began a second WEX-site assignment, only
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A Bright Future Emerges from a Dark Past for KRA Customer

In December 2017, the Baltimore City Department of Social Services referred Alfred Howard, a TCA-TANF recipient, for enrollment in KRA’s Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program, which requires comprehensive Job Readiness Workshops (JRW) and Work Experience (WEX) Internships prior to eligibility for Occupational Skills Training (OST) opportunities. As a single father of an 11-month-old son, and desperately warding off homelessness, Mr. Howard sometimes engaged in questionable “street activities” for money.  In fact, he was facing criminal charges that jeopardized not only his freedom, but custody of his son! Shawnda Walker, Lead Job Developer & WEX Site Supervisor, developed a strategic
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Temporary Assistance Develops Into Permanent Career for KRA Customer

In 2013, the Baltimore City Department of Social Services (BCDSS) referred Ms. Shandra Womack, a TCA-TANF recipient, to KRA for enrollment in the Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program, which includes a Work Experience (WEX) Internship with a community-based organization, and participation in Job Readiness Workshops (JRW). Since there was a WEX opportunity open in the KRA office, she was assigned as a Receptionist Intern to manage front-desk operations, welcome customers and visitors, and ensure that everyone received timely service. Ms. Womack commented, “All of a sudden, I was on the other side of that desk!  Becoming confident in
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KRA Baltimore City Office Reopens Fully to Public

March 2020…Mandated COVID-19 restrictions forced KRA to close all its offices, which included the Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program that transitioned staff to a work-from-home status, and transferred individual- and group-participation activities to effective remote- and virtual-service venues. July 2020…As certain restrictions eased, KRA opened the Baltimore City office—in compliance with CDC Guidance—to individual customers, by appointment only.  In addition, we continued to provide remote-learning and virtual services for individuals and groups, as appropriate. July 2021…KRA/Baltimore City staff met the “first day back” challenge with organization and flexibility.  Pre-arranged scheduling allowed adequate time to welcome each customer, and
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KRA/Baltimore City Customer’s Career Path Paved with Green

Mr. Torre Lewis, 27, applied for TANF-TCA benefits through the Baltimore City Department of Social Services (BCDSS), which required him to enroll in KRA’s Job Readiness Program—a critical component of the Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program—prior to occupational-skills training (OST) and/or job-placement. One such OST opportunity is the KRA Knowledge2Career Construction Academy (K2C-CA) co-funded by the BCDSS for TCA customers and the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development for WIOA-eligible Youth jobseekers. KRA is a licensed provider-partner of the Home Builders Institute’s award-winning PACT (Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training) Program, compliant with National Construction Skill Standards, as well as National Association of Home Builders
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KRA/Baltimore City Maximizes Google Platform to Serve Customers

KRA customers enrolled in the Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program, operated for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, are required to complete KRA’s Job Readiness Program (JRP) prior to occupational-skills training and/or job-placement opportunities. Prior to March 2020, JRP workshops were conducted in person, classroom-style—not a suitable venue with the onset of pandemic-related physical-distancing requirements. However, KRA/Baltimore City remained responsible for providing JRP workshops—critical to successful career-development planning—that focus on workplace-readiness skills, e.g. resume-building, interviewing, and dressing for success and soft-skills development, e.g. worksite communications and problem-solving. Inspired by the Baltimore City School System’s virtual-learning program, Alyssa
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KRA/Baltimore City Hires WEX Program Participant

Christine Washington, in need of fulltime sustainable employment, enrolled in the Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program, operated by KRA for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. Participation included KRA’s Job Readiness Program, an integral component of which is an unpaid Work Experience (WEX) Program Internship for customers with little, no, and/or outdated work-experience histories. Ms. Washington, who was working two part-time jobs to support herself and two young sons, learned that KRA had an open WEX Housekeeping Internship, and asked to be considered for the position. Shawnda Walker, Lead Job Developer/WEX Program Supervisor, stated, “All Internships, even
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KRA Baltimore City Overcomes Physical Barriers to Service During Pandemic

KRA operates the Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services for a revolving caseload of approximately 400 customers. Last month, in addition to having already uploaded Workforce Readiness Workshops in May 2020, for customers to access through Google Classroom,  KRA began offering a Virtual Soft Skills Training Program, since traditional classroom settings, for large groups, are not feasible due to physical-distancing restrictions in Maryland. Greg Alexander, Program Manager, states, “Using Zoom allows many customers to attend ‘live’ classes that are engaging, interactive, and most of all safe, from their computers, mobile phones,
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