Skill QUEST Curbs Dallas Poverty by Helping Workers Move Into New Careers, Dallas Morning News
Leaders celebrated word that the labor market intermediary established by The Metropolitan Organization of Houston, Capital IDEA-Houston, won a Texas Innovative Adult Career Education (ACE) grant, giving it half a million dollars to train hundreds more community college students for living wage careers in Houston. TMO, with their sister organizations in the Texas IAF, helped establish the Texas Innovative Adult Career Education (ACE) grant to support projects that prepare low-income workers to attain degrees and certificates in high demand occupations including nursing and information technology. Texas State Representative John Zerwas (R-Richmond) highly praised Capital IDEA-Houston, declaring he "could not find a better use of $500K than to invest in Capital IDEA-Houston." Texas State Representative Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) chimed in adding "we should continue to invest $5 Million in these projects." The award will support about 250 students attending Houston Community College and Lone Star College.Read more
"Houston is one of the few southern cities where upward social mobility is as high as cities in the Northeast and West... Roughly 22 percent of Houston children who grew up in the poorest fifth of the national income distribution have ended up in the top two-fifths today, according to the study.Read more
"Jalissa Daniels wrote dark poetry as an early adolescent...She became pregnant at 15, graduated from Scavo Alternative High School and worked at convenient stores and temp agencies. Even though these jobs helped pay the bills, they were not fulfilling...Finding full-time work with benefits was looking grim...Read more
When approached by a call center seeking to train workers for high turnover jobs paying $8 / hour, NOVA challenged the employer to invest in worker development for higher paying work. The call center responded and now NOVA trainees start at $10 / hour and move to $12.50 / hour within three months, including benefits; call center attrition has dropped. NOVA is becoming a new kind of hiring hall, offering training for dignified work that pays fair wages and offers benefits.
Thirty six workforce development trainees graduated this summer from Project IOWA, a 21st century workforce development initiative established by AMOS. 86% are now established in career-track jobs with full-benefits and are earning, on average, $15 / hour. Some advanced manufacturing graduates started at $20 / hour!
Amira Dadzie came from Ghana to the US in 2002.... told a crowd of more than 100 at the ceremony at our Lady of the Lake University's chapel auditorium that she couldn't have without Project Quest. Her path is an inspiration for anyone prone to let life's hardships overcome aspirations. But what I'm hoping is that it also is inspiration for the City Council to rethink giving the program less than it did in previous budgeting."Read more
The statistics are compelling for Reed, who is participating in Project Iowa, a central Iowa faith-based initiative designed to help unemployed or under-employed Iowans train for high-demand jobs...."Read more
San Antonio's Workforce Development Task Force, composed of a diverse collection of city and county representatives, leaders in the business and health community, and executives from two universities and a community college, reported their findings and unanimous recommendation to City Council: "Expand funding for long term training program Project Quest."Read more
In Iowa, AMOS won an additional $100 thousand for Project IOWA; Republican Governor Branstad included the project as a line item in the state budget as demonstration of support. Twenty students were selected and are prepared to begin coursework in early 2012.