KRA/DC-TEP Virtual Fair Reinforces Customer Engagement

While still observing COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the District of Columbia to protect its residents and visitors, the KRA/DC-TANF Employment Program (TEP) continues to provide innovative solutions for engaging its customers, expanding their knowledge and skills through myriad activities that maximize academic and workforce success. Recently, staff of the Educational and Occupational Training (EOT) and Job Placement (JP) Programs, both divisions of the KRA/DC-TEP, collaborated to develop a traditional event—a College & Career Fair—delivered via a virtual venue—Zoom. Brittany Switzer, EOT Program Manager; Renee Brooks, JP Program Manager; and Shelley Baker, Case Manager Lead, co-headed a blended Program Team, consisting
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KRA Monthly Spotlight!

KRA/DC-TEP Customer Co-Authors Book on Blessings and Lessons Between 2001—when 19-year-old Carine Bikyara emigrated to the U.S. from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo—and 2018, she experienced many of life’s lessons and blessings, the greatest of which, she will tell you, is her 5-year old daughter. However, in January 2019, crisis-level personal circumstances resulted in them moving into a shelter.  Accustomed to self-sufficiency, this life’s lesson was emotionally, financially, and physically devastating. Determined to recapture a normal, stable life, in February 2019, Ms. Bikyara enrolled in the Job Placement (JP) Program of the KRA/DC TANF Employment Program (TEP), operated for
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KRA/DC-TEP Spotlights Local “Black Excellence” Achievers

On February 25, in celebration of Black History Month, the KRA/DC TANF Employment Program (TEP)—operated for the D.C. Department of Human Services—hosted a virtual Black Excellence event to highlight the accomplishments of four present-day achievers in our community. James Parker, KRA/DC-TEP Education Navigator, kicked off the celebration with a presentation to the 20 customers and 10 staff in attendance, highlighting pivotal events in Black History with a spotlight on many heroes often missing in today’s textbooks, including the event’s Guest Speakers, two of whom are former KRA/DC-TEP customers:   Artist, Songwriter, Performer, and Grammy Member JANAE MUSIC  spoke of humble
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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/Las Vegas Client Launches Layoff Aversion Program  

Two months ago, Sylvia Henry, KRA Operations Manager, Las Vegas One-Stop Career Centers—an integral component of the Workforce Connections (WC) One-Stop Delivery System—reported that a State, County, and local collaboration had resulted in the creation of two Employ NV Business Hubs to assist regional employers whose businesses had been affected severely by COVID-19. Recently, she reported, “Once again, WC, our Southern Nevada client-partner has participated in a multi-partner collaboration, spearheading an initiative—the Layoff Aversion Pilot Program—that is assisting 60+ small businesses and nonprofits in keeping hundreds of employees on the payroll.” Furthermore, Clark County—with a population of 2.2 million—is the
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KRA Leadership Edge 2021 Class Tackles Pandemic Pathos

KRA’s Leadership Edge (LE) provides training and development workshops for current and emerging program-management staff to enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities in myriad areas and to develop Capstone Projects, which are shared with KRA programs across the country. William McIntyre, Program Director and member of LE 2021, stated, “Under normal circumstances, LE classes convene in September; December; March; and June, the month for Graduation and Capstone Project presentations. However, for our LE Class that began in September 2019, followed by a second session in December, KRA cancelled the March 2020 session, focusing its logistical and technical resources solely on
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KRA Monthly Spotlight!

February: A Month for Celebration  February 1926 marked the launching of Negro History Week, which in February 1976, evolved into Black History Month. February also marks the month that KRA celebrated its own history-making milestone—40 years’ service dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and strengthening the communities in which we live. Knowlton R. Atterbeary, President & CEO, founded the firm, convinced that the key to unlocking the door to sustainable community economic independence was linked inextricably to a skilled and reliable workforce, which became his life’s mission. KRA is the only Black-owned National Leader in Workforce Development, providing Career
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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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New Employ NV Business Hubs Now Part of KRA/Las Vegas OSCC Operation

Sylvia Henry, KRA Operations Manager, Las Vegas One-Stop Career Centers (OSCC), reports, “When Workforce Connections (WC) selected KRA to manage the OSCC operation, we offered services for WIOA, Welfare and Supportive Services, and Community Service Block Grant jobseekers through one Comprehensive OSCC site and a network of library-affiliates that had expanded to 10 sites by January 2018. Two years later, we found ourselves in the grip of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, fueling an economic downturn that has devastated businesses nationwide. To provide assistance and support to Las Vegas-region employers during these challenging times, a multi-partner collaboration—WC/KRA, the Nevada Department of
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KRA Chicago Supports South Shore COVID-19 Grant Program

When the federal Department of Health and Human Services declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national public-health emergency, KRA clients, including the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) were eligible to apply, through States, for Dislocated Worker Grant/Disaster Recovery Employment (DWG/DRE) funding. Awarded by the Secretary of the Department of Labor, these grants provide disaster-relief employment and employment-related services for WIOA-eligible Dislocated Workers affected by major workforce displacements, including temporary or permanent layoffs due to COVID-19. The Partnership selected KRA to support the South Shore Works Planning and Preservation Coalition that operates the DWG/DRE-funded South Shore Community Wellness Fellow Program, which
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