Category Archives: SJC Advisory Committee

Secure Jobs Advisory Committee Minutes – 4/5/17

Secure Jobs Advisory Committee Meeting
April 5, 2017

In attendance: Bud Delphin, CareerPoint, Dawn Distefano, Square One, Madeline Martinez, Way Finders, Maegan Pedemonti, Way Finders, Pamela Schwartz, Network

Progress Report:  Click here. There were 4 additional placements last month, one with a wage of $18/hour, bringing the average wage over $13/hour.

The success story this time featured the collaboration with Aaron’s Furniture which now always seeks out Way Finders program participants when there are job openings, including putting a special link on their website specifically addressed to Way Finders participants (see: https://jobs-seiaarons.icims.com/jobs/2003/hap-program-participants/job?mobile=false&width=965&height=500&bga=true&needsRedirect=false&jan1offset=-300&jun1offset=-240)

We discussed the possibility of the Advisory Committee hosting an “employer appreciation” event to draw attention to this and other similar practices. We will discuss this further at our next meeting. We noted that we could do a smaller version of the previous SJ events at HCC, presumably for Hampden County only, but that would afford participants on all levels to pause and appreciate the impact of their efforts.

Legislative Meetings Update

Pamela reviewed the series of meetings with legislators – 10 legislators met with thus far – Senator Lesser, Rep. Vega, Rep.Gonzalez, Rep. Tosado, Rep.Williams, Rep. Velis, Rep. Mark, Rep. Farley-Bouvier, and on Friday will be meeting with Senator Rosenberg, Rep. Kulik, Rep. Kocot and Rep. Scibak. Meetings are in the works for Senator Hinds, Senator Humason and Senator Welch.

Secure Jobs has been discussed at all the meetings; Ashley has attended and presented at most and the data demonstrating impact is very well received.

At the meeting with Rep. Farley Bouvier in Pittsfield, the Representative expressed concern about the lack of SJ resources going to the Berkshires. At the meeting, we explained about the funding cuts statewide that had a direct impact on funding in our region. After this meeting, Ken Demers of BerkshireWorks and Brad Gordon of Berkshire Regional Housing Authority and Pamela had a conference call to review the Berkshires Secure Jobs program. Ken suggested that without a designated staff person it is virtually impossible to obtain the level of engagement necessary from the head of household to successfully participate in the program (especially because predominantly RAFT clients, so incentive to participate is that much less compelling); that a performance based contract does not deal with the staffing need. Ken also noted that the program has not yet had a full year of adequate staffing due to internal staffing challenges (the one successful 6 month period of case management by Pamela Wojtkowski saw 10 placements, i.e., with appropriate staffing, outcomes are meaningful). We agreed that depending on the funding outcome for next year, the committee would propose renewed discussion around the funding question for Berkshire and Franklin/Hampshire Counties.

Move to Work (MTW) and Learn to Earn:

The group discussed these two programs.

MTW is funded through HUD money. DHCD’s annual plan includes allocating significant MTW funds ($800m?) to Secure Jobs to attach housing vouchers to SJ participants. We will learn more about this.

Learn to Earn is a a new program proposed in the Governor’s budget that would be administered through the Commonwealth Corporation and would provide a very Secure Jobs-like model – case management plus flexible funds – but available to all unemployed and under-employed individuals. It will be interesting to see how this program unfolds.

Other items:

Bud noted that CareerPoint is attending many meetings with DTA to discuss their increased involvement in the workforce system. And WIOA is also requiring closer collaborations among a wide range of groups.

The group also discussed the Working Cities Grant which is addressing the Cliff Effect with the creation of a fund to provide assistance to offset any loss in benefits from employment. Part of the proposal includes hiring 2 additional DTA workers to provide intensive case management around these issues. We debated the pros and cons of having the workers based at DTA vs. in a community agency.

Next meeting date: Wed 6/7, 11 am – 12 noon

Secure Jobs Meeting Minutes – 2/8/17

Secure Jobs Advisory Committee
February 8, 2016

In attendance:   Ashley Brehm, HAPHousing, Bud Delphin, CareerPoint, Madeline Martinez, HAPHousing, Chris Montemayor, HAPHousing, Maegan Pedemonti, HAPHousing, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Maracelli Serrano, BerkshireWorks

January Progress Report (click here):
Hampden County: Job placements are almost double the goal (61 placements to date)
Shared individual success story (click ) – congratulations were shared on the great work.
Franklin/Hampshire: 3 enrollments
Berkshire County: 4 referrals, 1 enrollment

Mayor meeting updates:

 Holyoke: In attendance were Mayor Morse, Ashley Brehm, Bud Delphin, Steve Huntley, Pamela Schwartz. It was a good discussion around possible opportunities for partnerships, specifically with regard to culinary arts. Ashley is in the process of scheduling a follow-up meeting with Alicia Zoeller, Holyoke CDGB director and liaison to the culinary programs.

Springfield: In attendance were Economic Development Director Kevin Kennedy, Housing Director Gerry McCafferty, Ashley Brehm, Kevin Lynn and Pamela Schwartz. The meeting offered an opportunity to update around the SJ program, although feedback from the City was limited in terms of possible liaisons or partnerships for job opportunities. They recommended we reach out to the REB.

Maegan discussed her outreach to direct program leaders at the REB, e.g., the point person for the health care initiative and making good contacts for job and training opportunities. The group agreed that this path is a promising one, and Maegan will continue the outreach with other initiatives such as manufacturing.

The group also agreed that outreach with FutureWorks has been productive, with a more direct link now established for sharing info and job opportunities. Outreach with STCC has also produced the same good pathways.

Chicopee – In attendance were Economic Development Director Mike Vedovelli and CDGB director Kathleen Lingenburg, Ashley Brehm, Steve Huntley, Pamela Schwartz. An exciting connection was made between Secure Jobs and Chicoopee’s new CDGB funded Business Assistance program for businesses within a particular downtown business district. Mike and Kathleen suggested that explicit encouragement could be made to businesses receiving funds (for capital improvements or expansion) to utilize Secure Jobs support to fulfill their requirements to provide employment opportunities to low-income individuals. Ashley is following up with Chicopee staff to solidify next steps.

Outreach to Senator Lesser: Maegan updated the group on its statewide Secure Jobs call, including the advocacy for FY18 funding. The statewide coalition is seeking $2 million to fully fund the program (the Governor’s FY18 budget included $800,000, level-funded compared to FY17). It was suggested on the call that outreach to Senator Lesser would be an important step towards advancing a broader base of Western MA support for the program. The group agreed to have Pamela reach out to Senator Lesser to try to schedule a meeting date. It was acknowledged that this meeting, while focused on Secure Jobs, would also include note of the Network’s other FY18 budget priorities since it is likely the Network will have only one meeting through the budget process.

Meeting schedule and next meeting date:
We agreed to experiment with meeting every other month, providing virtual updates by email in between. Therefore our next meeting will be on:

Wednesday, April 5
11 am – 12:15 pm
Holyoke Public Library
250 Chestnut Street

Secure Jobs Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes – 1/4/17

Secure Jobs Advisory Committee
January 4, 2017

 In attendance: Ashley Brehm, HAPHousing, Bud Delphin, CareerPoint, Joanne LaCour, DTA, Lisa Lapierre, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Madeline Martinez, HAPHousing, Johnny Miranda, HAPHousing, Maegan Pedemonti, HAPHousing, George Ryan, Hampshire County Regional Employment Board, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Maricelli Serrano, BerkshireWorks

December 2016 Progress Report: Click here.
Hampden County: 7 placements in December, average wage of $12.25 (great progress!). Success story shared (see progress report) – fantastic work!

Franklin/Hampshire County: 3 enrollments and 4 referrals in process. Referrals coming from Greenfield Family Inn (ServiceNet) – good relationship building – and within the CEIS programs. Also utilizing WIOA to pay for CNA training. Good leveraging of resources.

Berkshire County: no new enrollments. Continuing to support ongoing enrollee who is placed and happy in her employment.

Other updates:
CareerPoint and FutureWorks have been recertified under WIOA and are working on collaboration to pool resources and integrate and maximize capacity, e.g., sharing business services staff. All One Stops are working under WIOA on new focus on populations facing barriers, including the homeless population.

FutureWorks (Kevin Lynn) and HAP (Ashley Brehm) met prior to this meeting (with Pamela, too) to discuss expanding collaboration. Ashley and Kevin will follow-up around creating a point of contact at FW and other pathways to maximizing the utilization of resources.

Mayor Meetings:
We reviewed the upcoming schedule of meetings with Mayors’ offices:

Holyoke: January 10, 3:30 pm, Holyoke City Hall
with Mayor Alex Morse
Secure Jobs: Ashley, Bud, Pamela and possibly a representative from HCC

Springfield: Thursday, January 12, 10 am, 70 Tapley Street, Springfield
with Kevin Kennedy, Chief Development Officer; Gerry McCafferty, Director of Housing
Secure Jobs: Ashley, Kevin, John (STCC), Pamela

Chicopee: week of Jan. 16th (to be determined)
with Mike Vedovelli, the Director of Community and Economic Development;
Kathleen Lingenberg, head of CDBG Action Planning process.
Secure Jobs: Ashley, Bud, Pamela and possibly Stephen Huntley of VOC
Note: since our meeting, this date has been established for Friday, 1/20, 9:30 am, Chicopee City Hall

We agreed our agenda would be to introduce Secure Jobs, demonstrate the impact the program has on homelessness and economic development and launch a discussion around possible areas of collaboration. Our measures of success from this meeting are: (1) city official investment in the continued success of this program (as evidenced by willingness to collaborate) and (2) a point of contact in each city around employment opportunities.

Maegan will provide hand-out summarizing impact.

Next meeting date: Feb. 1, 11 am – 12:15, Holyoke Public Library