Southwest Works Program Update (Davi)
Southwest Works is Southwest Works is a partnership between the Southwest Partnership and the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. It will provide a full time Career Navigator for the Southwest Partnership neighborhoods who will do outreach around workforce development and be the initial point of contact for employers looking to hire locally.
The goal is for the Career Navigator to begin January 3rd. Davi is putting together a training schedule for the navigator and a service matrix for the area, which she will share with the Roundtable.
The next step is to schedule process meetings for those partnering organizations that will not have the Career Navigator on site with them. Elizabeth will work with the Committee members to schedule the meetings.
A draft participation agreement, intended to ensure that clients/customers of each of the participating programs know that they have the option of participating in Southwest Works and agree to do so, was shared with the Roundtable. Roundtable members discussed the details of the agreement and offered suggestions for adjusting the language.
MOED will need to look at it, and Elizabeth will send to Davi.
The Roundtable discussed whether it would be more appropriate to have specific information that may be discussed within the Roundtable in the agreement, or whether it would be better to keep the document general and discuss specifics with each individual on an individual basis. The Goodwill intake process involves collecting a lot of information about clients to connect them to services that may not be relevant to their professional goals–individual programs and case managers will have to make decisions with their clients about what may be relevant to share with partners and employers. Maxine suggested that the participation agreement contain a reference to ‘authorization to release information.’
Joanne asked whether it would be helpful for individual workforce providers to know the laws around what is and isn’t legal for employers to ask in terms of a criminal background. Davi thought that most workforce providers knew about the laws, but that there was a difference between what employers could legally ask in an interview and what they could discover on a background check and not hire somebody for. It’s important not to put customers and employers through a process that will not end successfully for either party.
The Roundtable discussed the possibility of holding regional workforce resource fairs throughout the Southwest Partnership area, with area schools as a host site. These would be opportunities to recruit participants for programs, and the Southwest Works Career Navigator would be able to help coordinate it. Elizabeth will reach out to area schools to see if this would be something they would be interested in.
The Committee also discussed the importance of having resources to address common barriers to employment such as a lack of an ID needed to complete pre-hire paperwork, or lack of funds for transportation. Paul’s Place provides support for residents of 21223, 21230, and the Poppleton side of 21201 to receive services, but it seems as though there are still gaps. Elizabeth and Ellen will connect to Paroma at Paul’s Place to see where needs may be.
Joanne reported that there had been a group working on developing a resource guide for West Baltimore. It still needs to be organized, but CFUF had promised to print it when it was completed. Elizabeth with put Schlonte McGee, the SWP Americorps VISTA, to work on the guide.
Southwest Partnership Annual Meeting is Saturday, January 28th from 7-9pm at the Lithuanian Hall (851 Hollins St). This is a free event with music and food and an opportunity to learn more about the SWP and socialize. All are welcome to attend.
Maryland New Directions is holding MTDL training (Maritime, Distribution, Transportation, Logistics) training beginning January 17th until February 3rd, with the orientation on January 11th.
Lou Packett: the Nehemiah project is moving forward and he plans to have a subcommittee meeting at the beginning of the year.
Kevin: Goodwill is hold a pre-apprenticeship day January 12th at the location on Redwood St downtown.