Practitioner’s Corner

GRANTS

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The Virginia Financial Success Network (VFSN) is a study funded by a $12 million grant from the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration to the Virginia Community College System and is part of the Workforce Innovation Fund: Round 2.

The study will examine the application of the Working Families Success Model (WFSN) to improve the financial literacy of participants at six Virginia Workforce Centers across the state.   The WFSN, an integrated bundled service delivery model, aims to reduce poverty and increase postsecondary attainment. It helps families build self-sufficiency, stabilize finances and move ahead.   As part of the VFSN, participants may receive the following services:

  • Education and Employment Services
  • Work & Income Supports
  • Financial & Asset Building Services

The study will run from October 2014 – September 2019, with a three year performance cycle.  A total of 3,600 participants will take part in the study (1,800 are expected to be randomly assigned to the program).

Materials

 

Workforce Grants

The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Workforce Development Services administers a variety of grants in partnership with other workforce system partners to help enhance Virginia’s workforce and provide assistance to workers.

 

National Emergency Grant – Dislocated Worker Training

On June 26, 2013, VCCS was awarded Workforce Investment Act, National Emergency Grant funds in the amount of $1,249,991 by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration to address the state’s need to expand the use of training to meet the needs of dislocated workers, especially the long-term unemployed (for a period of 27 consecutive weeks or more). A priority of services to veterans applies to opportunities for training with this grant award.

On-the-Job Training with private-for-profit employers as well as expansion of the On Ramp Program (with referral to training with a community college) are two training activities allowed as part of the grant.

Those who believe that they may qualify (as noted above) for training in a new occupation are encouraged to contact their local Virginia Workforce Center (also called the One-Stop Center) and ask about services being provided by this grant award. Services are currently available in Local Workforce Development Areas 2-New River, 4-Shenandoah Valley, 8-Southern VA and 11-Northern VA and services for the On Ramp Program are available through Central VA Community College and Thomas Nelson Community College. The Grant Award has been extended to June 30, 2016.

National Emergency Grant – Job Driven

On July 1, 2014, VCCS was awarded Workforce Investment Act, National Emergency Grant funds in the amount of $6,105,117 by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration to address the state’s need to expand the use of training to meet the needs of dislocated workers, especially the long-term unemployed (for a period of 27 consecutive weeks or more).  A priority of services to veterans applies to opportunities for training with this grant award.

A service model that combines On-the-Job Training with private-for-profit employers with the On Ramp Program (with referral to training with a community college) and the services of an Adult Career Coach are the training activities allowed as part of the grant.

Those who believe that they may qualify (as noted above) for training in a new occupation are encouraged to contact their local Virginia Workforce Center (also called the One-Stop Center) and ask about services being provided by this grant award. Services for the model are available in Local Workforce Investment Areas 4-Shenandoah Valley in concert with Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and Lord Fairfax Community College, Area 9-Capital Region Workforce Partnership in concert with the Community College Workforce Alliance, Area 13-Bay Consortium in concert with Germanna Community College, Area 14-Peninsula Council for Workforce Development in concert with Thomas Nelson Community College, Area 16-Hampton Roads (Opportunity Inc.) in concert with Tidewater Community College, and Area 17-West Piedmont in concert with Danville Community College and Patrick Henry Community College. The Grant Award ends on September 30. 2016.

Veterans Service Demonstration Project

On April 1, 2014, VCCS was awarded Workforce Investment Act, National Reserve Demonstration Grant funds in the amount of $3,444,620 by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration to address the workforce needs of Virginia’s veterans. Our workforce system partner, the Virginia Employment Commission, is conducting two initiatives: Bridge to Employment and Industry Sector. For the Bridge to Employment, they are creating a direct pipeline from the federal Transition Assistance Program for veterans to employers with veteran-compatible job openings. For the Industry Sector initiative, they are establishing strategic relationships with employers to identify open jobs for veterans in the 3 fastest growing industry sectors in Virginia: Advanced Manufacturing, Health Care, and Logistics.

VCCS is working with 5 community colleges (Germanna Community College, Lord Fairfax Community College, Northern VA Community College, Thomas Nelson Community College, and Tidewater Community College) to conduct two initiatives: the Mentoring and Credit for Prior Learning initiatives. For Mentoring, they are developing an evidence-based program for veterans by veterans to offer transition assistance and advice. Mentees will be enrolled community college students and mentors will be volunteer veterans from the local community. For the Credit for Prior Learning initiative, they are serving veterans with a prior learning assessment and developing a consistent process and approved policy for the Virginia Community College System to award credit for military training and expertise.

The final piece of this Demonstration project is to conduct a “study” that develops a comprehensive mapping of available workforce services to veterans (through an Asset Map), to develop information on gaps in services (through a Gap Analysis) and to conduct a facilitated session with the Virginia Board for Workforce Development on the information they have developed and recommendations for next steps. The Grant Award ends on March 31, 2016 but an extension will most likely be pursued.

Workforce Innovation Fund-Working Families Success Network Model

On October 1, 2014, VCCS was awarded Workforce Investment Act, Workforce Innovation funds in the amount of $11,196,152 by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration to implement the Working Families Success Network Model with 6 American Job Center (also known as One Stop Center) sites in Virginia for 1800 participants. The model of bundled service delivery comprises three services: (1) Workforce and education services resulting in career advancement: education and training, employability skills, job placement; (2) Income and work supports: access to student financial aid, public benefits, free tax preparation; (3) Financial services and asset building: financial education, financial coaching. A Coach will be available at each of the sites to coordinate the services.  As a study project, services will be determined with a randomized control process and to those who consent to participate starting October 1, 2015 in Workforce Development Areas 3-Western Virginia, 6-Piedmont, 8-South Central, 11-Northern Virginia, 16-Hampton Roads, and 17-West Piedmont.  Services will be delivered through September 30, 2018.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training

On April 1, 2015, the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) was awarded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment & Training grant project in the amount of $22,329,952 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pilot an effort to test existing and new employment and training initiatives to increase the number of SNAP work registrants who obtain unsubsidized employment, increase earned income, and reduce reliance on public assistance.  The pilot project is aligned with the Commonwealth’s integrated workforce system plan, “Building Career Pathways to Success”.  As a subrecipient to VDSS, the Virginia Community College System will partner with VDSS to accomplish the following:   Expansion of the PluggedinVA program, harnessing the power of career and college coaching and advising to drive interest in careers in targeted industry sectors, position the Commonwealth’s Adult Education program as a national model for workforce development of low-skilled, low wage adults and increase attainment of Career Readiness Certificates.  The agencies partnering on the effort will deliver services to 3,760 participants, each of whom will earn at least one (and some as many as five) industry-recognized credentials.  Up to thirty Local Departments of Social Services will work with seven community colleges including Danville Community College, Patrick Henry Community College, Piedmont Virginia Community College, Southside Virginia Community College, Tidewater Community College, Thomas Nelson Community College, and Virginia Highlands Community College.  The project will conclude, unless an extension is requested, in 2018.

National Governor’s Association-Connecting Post-Secondary Education & the Workforce

On August 15, 2014, VCCS was awarded funds in the amount of $170,000 by the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices for the Commonwealth of Virginia to participate in the Center’s policy academy on Connecting Post-Secondary Education & the Workforce.  The focus of the academy is to help participating states and territories make progress in four integrated components:  Articulate and implement a strong vision connecting the education and training systems with the needs of the economy so more Americans achieve the “new minimum” of a postsecondary degree or certificate with labor market value to gain access to the middle class and beyond; Integrate and use education and workforce data to inform policy, track progress, and measure success; Build industry and education partnerships to get results; and Modify the use of resources and incentives to support the attainment of the integrated vision.