Currently the Latino Coalition for Community Leadership is managing the Work and Gain Education & Employment Skills project funded by the US Department of Labor – Employment and Training Administration.
The project is being implemented from April 2013 – March 2015 in Los Angeles, Ca., Denver, Co., and Buffalo, NY.
The Latino Coalition’s Work and Gain Education & Employment Skills (WAGEES) project sub-grants will be awarded to improve the employment prospects of young adult released prisoners and high school dropouts living in high-poverty, high-crime communities. The purpose of the grants is to prepare these individuals for employment, by increasing the employment rate of participants, decreasing the recidivism rate of young offenders served, increasing the rate at which participants receive high school diplomas and industry-recognized credentials and increasing the rate at which participants enter post-secondary education and training.
II. Key Elements
A. Sub-Grant Target Area and Funding
It is anticipated that project will fund 15 sub-grants in Buffalo, New York; Denver, Colorado and Los Angeles, California. The average sub-grant award will be approximately $200,000 per year for up to two years based on performance (total of $400,000). Sub-grantees must serve at least 75 participants annually with the comprehensive services outlined in this document. In addition to the sub-grantee’s own services, they will coordinate with two project vendors providing hard skills training in high-demand occupations and “green jobs” for up to 33% of participants. The vendors are funded under a separate agreement and do not come out of sub-grantee funds.
B. Program Emphasis
The focus of the project is to provide employability, education and supportive services to young offenders and high school dropouts between the ages of 18-24 residing in or returning to the high-poverty, high-crime communities.
Programs offered include:
1. Employment Strategies– Include strategies such as job placement, transitional jobs, on-the-job training, job readiness training, leadership training and financial literacy training. It is expected that 100% of participants will receive one or more services in this category.
2. Training and Educational Strategies– Include strategies such as vocational training leading to industry recognized credentials, remediation to improve math, reading, writing and English language skills, GED test preparation, links to registered apprenticeship programs and community college to-year degree programs.
3. Mentoring– This component will be aimed at providing adult mentors for young offenders and high school dropouts. Mentoring strategies may include one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring, and service based mentoring.
4. Restorative Justice Projects– This component must provide participants with the opportunity to contribute to their community in a positive manner. Sub-grantees may partner with each other or any community partner to engage participants in civil service projects.
5. Community-Wide Efforts to Reduce Crime and Violence– This component must provide participants with the opportunity to involve faith and community based organizations, state and local government agencies, and social service organizations being served in a community wide effort to reduce crime and violence. All sub-grantees will be required to send two project staff to the Parents on a Mission train-the-trainer and facilitate participant trainings. More information will be provided during the initial sub-grantee training. It is expected that 75% of participants will participate in a restorative justice project.
6. Case Management– This component must provide a team of full-time case managers with a ratio not to exceed 40 participants to 1 case manager. Case managers will be responsible for managing participants’ progress, data entry, issuing or coordinating supportive services, coordinate transportation to successfully complete program activities, problem solving with participants, linking with law enforcement to facilitate a young offenders return to the community, referrals to housing, mental health and substance abuse providers, social services and anger management courses.
Project Vocational Training Partners
The Latino Coalition has partnered with two vocational training Partners.
1. The Center for Transportation Excellence (CTE) will serve 446 participants at the Buffalo, NY project site. CTE provides vocational training, workforce development and delivery of transportation services to under-served and disadvantaged populations. CTE will provide vocational training in the following areas; Driver- Commercial Class C, Driver- Operator Class D, Driver- Taxi and Livery Class E, and Call Agent.
2. The International Polytechnic Institute (IPI) is a WASC Title IV post-secondary school accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It is also an approved training provider for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and will offer certified Solar Panel Technician vocational training to 300 participants at the Los Angeles and Denver project sites.
Both CTE and IPI will work collaboratively with sub-grantees to coordinate vocational training courses at no cost to the participant or sub-grantee.