BFEM 101: Adult Employment, Training, and Career Planning
Anand Sharma: Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to the Building Foundations for Economic Mobility webinar series. We're really excited to have you, and have enjoyed seeing the lively discussion in the lobby chat, as people were sharing their first employment experiences, and all of that is very appropriate for today's topic focused on adult employment, training, and career planning.
So, if folks are just joining us, we had a number of people share their first employment experiences, and it was really interesting and fun to hear the different jobs people have, from working as cashiers, working in the retail industry, to working in the food service industry as waiters and waitresses, and having people who worked on the farm or with livestock, and people whose first experiences were doing work for their families, whether that be yard work or chores at home. So, appreciate people taking the time to reflect on that.
Really, just wanted people to start thinking about some of their early employment experiences, because of what we'll discuss on this webinar, it's really a pathway that people take as they take on different roles and jobs and develop a career over time. So, all of us, in some way, are now affiliated with Head Start, but clearly we came from very different places even if we have some similar experiences. So, thanks again for taking the time to share that.
For those who don't know me, my name is Anand Sharma. I will be your host for the next 60 minutes. This is the Building Foundation for Economic Mobility webinar series. And it is brought to you by the letters, N-C-P-F-C and E which stand for, The National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement. That is one of the many technical assessment assistance centers that the federal government has to support and trends in the work that people like you are doing every day in Head Start and Early Head Start programs across the nation.
This webinar series, for folks who are familiar, has been running for a few years. So, there's always a lot of familiar folks on the line, and we're excited to have you. If it's your first time, it's a great one to join. We are in the midst of a series that is focusing on the fundamentals of economic mobility. For folks who joined the last session, that was BFEM, or Building Foundations for Economic Mobility 101, focused on financial capabilities. And this session will focus on adult employment training and career planning, another important aspect of supporting family's economic mobility.
So, what are we going to focus on today? We're going to explore the importance of employment, training, and career planning to economic mobility. We'll talk a little bit about how to integrate training, education and career planning topics into your work. And we'll also talk about some strategies to integrate adult employment activities into the work that you're doing in Head Start and Early Head Start settings.
Before we go to the kind of substance and some of the background on this issue, just wanted to remind folks that we will take as many questions as we can a little later in the session. And we would love for people to share comments, tools, examples, and, of course, questions in the general chat. And we will make sure that we're able to try and answer as many of those questions as possible with our wonderful guests a little later in the session. So, again please share any ideas, questions, resources in the general chat for your colleagues to see.
We also have some BFEM materials located on the left-hand side of your screen, and those are things that might be helpful, probably after the webinar. But I'll say a little bit more about some of the things that we'll be sharing with you, as resources that you can take and think about after the webinar.
So, for folks that may be new or might benefit from a reminder, the Building Foundations for Economic Mobility webinars series, really grows out of an interest in family well-being. And on the slide here, you can see the Parent Family and Community Engagement framework. And we don't have time here to walk through each of the elements, but this framework is the product of a lot of different folks, who have contributed ideas and the best thinking about what it takes to achieve positive, goal-oriented relationships that can help to drive, ultimately, family and child outcome.
So, relationships are key, but there are a lot of things here that programs can do, and areas that programs can impact, to be able to get at those family outcomes, and child outcomes on the right-hand side of the screen. We just have a little highlight, a little red oval around the word, "Family Well-Being," because while family well-being encompasses a lot of things, economic mobility is one that we think, and the research shows, is a really important aspect of family well-being.
So, this webinar series which, again, has been running for a few years, really is a way to highlight research and best practices, in support of Head Start and Early Head Start, two-generation mission. So, again, in the spirit of offering a 101, and just giving a little bit of an introduction to some of these ideas, we wanted to talk about services, and just give you a sense of what's out there. This is definitely not all of the services that are available, and it may not be all of the services that are available in your particular community, but in general, these are some of the things that we know programs can tap into to support employment training, career planning for Head Start and Early Head Start families.
The first of these is a set of things we've just called Legal Services and Benefit Support. So, one important step in supporting parents, to pursue education and training goals, is to help them access any benefits that are available, and for which they are eligible. These services can help maximize all available sources of income, and provide support, so that parents can focus on pursuing their education and employment goals. And as I'm going through these, you may have specific examples of some of these services, and we'd encourage you to share those ideas in the general chat.
Another set of services, falls under the category of Adult Basic Education. So, some parents may need help acquiring skills and knowledge. They need to complete their high school equivalency degree or pass entrance exams for post-secondary certificate or degree programs. Others may need support to learn English.
And the Federal Department of Education funds adult education. They grant the States, that provide support for more than 2,500 programs around the country to deliver adult education and literacy services. And these services include things like, workplace literacy services, family literacy services, GED preparation, English literacy programs, and integrated English literacy civics education programs for immigrants seeking citizenship. Another set of services falls under the category of Job Skills, Coaching, and Employment Services. And the Department of Labor also delivers some formula grants to States for employment and training services for adults, dislocated workers, and youth. And there may be other programs in your community that offer support for developing, what people often call, "Soft Skills," like how to write a resume, prepare for an interview, find appropriate work attire, and conduct oneself in the workplace. And others may offer job search and career coaching. Skills assessments and other services to help match job seekers with employers who'd like to hire them.
The third category is ... Or the fourth category, rather, is Certificate Programs and Apprenticeships. And some industries, like health services, have entry-level positions that may or may not require a high school diploma. But, they do require training in specific skills and knowledge. Certificate programs are typically shorter in duration, than traditional associate's or bachelor's degree programs. And for many Head Start parents, it can offer a foot in the door, and easier entry into post-secondary education.
Apprenticeships are another path for parents to learn skills on the job, and gain entry into higher-skilled employment opportunities. There are also career-technical education programs, offered by high schools, community colleges, and regional technical centers, with particular emphasis on students with special needs. And, last on our list, but certainly not least, degree programs. There are, of course, post-secondary degree programs that offer the promise of two-year associate's degrees or bachelor's degrees, and other sorts of degrees. And when parents set these as goals for themselves and their families, there are a number of ways that Head Start and Early Head Start programs can support them.
For example, you could reach out to local community colleges, and four-year institutions to get information about enrollment, pre-requisites, degree requirements, placement exams, course offerings and schedules, tuition and fees, financial aid, and other support that might be available for student parents. So, the key here is just to remember that families in Head Start programs are likely at very different points along this continuum or career pathway, and we certainly don't expect them to walk away, walk all the way through that path, during their short time in a Head Start program. But, it is important to know that anything you do to support them, to make some progress and movements toward their long-term goal, can have a lot of value.
And it's important to be aware not only of the opportunities you have to provide concrete support and information, but also to encourage them to see themselves as life-long learners and agents of their own career choices and advancement.
So, as I mentioned earlier, I probably didn't include all of the services out there, and let me know if I missed anything. Feel free to add those to the conversation, the general chat function. So, some folks, may be overwhelmed, thinking, "That's really great, but I don't know how to provide those services. I'm not even sure where to find them." And, that's OK. You don't have to do it on your own. There are a couple different ways to connect families with services.
And one framework that fans of this webinar series are probably familiar with is the refer partner, and do-it-yourself model. So, one option is to think about, what are the needs that families have, the goals that they have set in the family partnership process? And then, figure out, who does what and share that information with the client.
It might also involve finding organizations and creating a formal-referral network, so that you can help families make those connections and find services and support that they're interested in. Going beyond referral, you might develop more formal partnerships with organizations, where perhaps you are doing a hand-off of clients, of families, to partner organizations and really helping to make sure that those families actually make it to the partner organization and are able to access the service and support they're interested in. So, it's a little more involved in support than within the referral model.
Under partnering options, you may also co-locate multiple services. So, this could mean that several services that families like to use are in the same building, maybe they're co-located in similar areas, not exactly the same building, and it could ultimately mean that services are co-located, meaning that they are provided by partnering organizations in the same space, as Head Start or Early Head Start.
And last is the do-it-yourself option. And this can be the most challenging in time, and resource-intensive one. But, it's definitely an option for programs that either feel like the services the families need are not available in the community. Or programs that feel like they have the capacity, the expertise, and the skills to be able to provide some of these services, as part of their Head Start and Early Head Start program. So, this framework is something that we'll come back to in the conversation.
And it's just always helpful to try and make these types of webinars a little more accessible and maybe less anxiety provoking as folks can feel like, you don't have to do it yourself all the time. You can partner and sometimes a referral is the best place to start or, you know, makes the most sense for your community.
So, wanted to spend just a little bit of time, and we will be going through this pretty quickly. But just giving you a sense of who are some of the organizations and partners that, that offer some of these services? And we'll go through a few of them right now. And many of these may be ones that you have in your community. Some communities may have all of them; I suspect that all of your communities have at least some of these partners. But these are just general types and categories of partners that you might look to, to support the employment training and career goals that families in your Head Start program have.
The first is the Local Workforce Development Boards. So, every state has regionally defined local workforce development boards that are responsible for developing and implementing plans to use federal funds under the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act, to support workforce training and employment services. So, under the 2014 law, the local boards must prioritize low-income and low-skill workers for many of their services. And they are likely a good source of information and contact in your communities. So, if you're not already aware of them, you may want to find out where they are, and the best contact person. And they will likely know what the overall workforce training and education master plan is for your community, and can help you identify some potential partners. And you can find them by going to the Career One-Stop website which we'll be sharing with you a little later in the webinar. Another partner is the — or potential partner — are community colleges, so education and workforce training is part of the mission of every community college. And your Head Start families are either already or have the real potential to be their clients as well. Look especially for Career Pathways Program. Or other initiatives that exclusively encourage enrollment, in completion of programs that lead to a real credential or degree in high-demand professions. You can go into more depth on some of these topics by looking at some of the past webinars and some of the resources that we'll share later in this session.
Another possible partner are American Job Centers, and they're also known as, "One-Stop Centers." Which are designed to provide a full range of assistance to job seekers under one roof. The centers offer training referrals, career counseling, job listings, and similar employment-related services. And customers can visit a center in person or connect to the center's information online or through kiosk-remote access. There are nearly 2,500 American Job Centers which are supported by the US Department of Labor's, Employment and Training Administration. And they're located throughout the United States. So again, you can find one near you by going to the Career One-Stop website.
Another possible partner are libraries. So, many libraries deliver adult education, job search, and other services directly. Or they may make spaces available for community partners to deliver them on site. They may be a good hub of information, not only on what might be available under their roof, but what else might be available in your community.
And last, but definitely not least, Community Providers. These are local, nonprofit organizations. Some of them, may be in the audience today. And they can offer services or could be, you know, partners that you refer to, and they can provide employment and training programs. So, there are lots of examples of these. You may think of names like Goodwill Industries, or chapters of the United Way, Catholic Charities, career training contractors, maybe even churches and other state-based organizations. There's really a lot of different folks who provide these services. You just need to take a closer look in your community, if you aren't already aware of, and referring or partnering with these organizations. And, with that, I'm very excited to introduce our guest today.
So, Jacqueline Edwards is the Deputy Director for the Maricopa County Human Services Department, based in Phoenix, Arizona, and as HSD Deputy Director, Jacqueline leads cross-divisional program initiatives to align programs and services for the benefit of the clients which includes HSD's Two-Generation Approaches and Family Center Coaching Initiative. This cross-divisional work has been recognized nationally, as an emerging best practice. In addition, she also oversees the department's Administration Policy and Planning Division. And her passion for public service and helping those in need, achieve their dreams, really drives her work in human services. So, I hope you'll all join me in virtually welcoming Jacqueline to the webinar.
Jacqueline Edwards: Hi everyone.
Anand: Hey Jacqueline. We're so glad to have you, so you can share your experience with our Head Start Community here. And maybe, just to get started, it would be great if you could just share a little bit more about the Maricopa County Human Services Department, your mission, and the work as it relates to Head Start and Early Head Start.
Jacqueline: Great. Thanks, Anand. I appreciate it. So, Maricopa County Human Services Department, we are in Arizona, so Phoenix-metro area. We are the largest county in Arizona. And the fourth-largest county, in population, in the country. So, we have over 4 million people. And, to serve those folks, our mission is to provide and coordinate a central support and social services to vulnerable populations to enhance economic, educational, and social opportunities and strength in communities, as well.
So, what that mission does, is really drive our programs and our services to the to the vulnerable populations in Maricopa County. And, we have a wide array of services -- from infants to infrastructure. And, so on the infant side, we have Head Start, Early Head Start. We're also Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships. We have been a grantee for over 50 years. So, we're really proud of the services, the early education, services that we provide for our community.
In addition to Early Head Start, we also provide community action programs. So, we provide community services, like basic-needs assistance, and really looking at the causes and conditions of poverty in partnership with our local town cities and community-based organizations. Other services we provide is Workforce Development. We are a Workforce Development provider under that Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which Anand was saying earlier. So, that's a direction, a strategic direction, as a local Workforce Development Board, we operate two American Job Centers. And provide employment and training services to those who have barriers to employment.
We also provide intensive services to keep our seniors and those with disabilities living independently in their homes. As well as weatherization and homeless initiatives, and community development like affordable housing and other services. That's where that infrastructure comes in. So, you know, it's this wide array of services that were driven by our mission, and really looked to see how we can take all of the resources that we have here, and make a difference in the lives that we have to serve here in Maricopa County.
Anand: Thank you so much Jacqueline for giving us that background. And it's great to know that your work covers really, across the life-span, and I think for the purposes of this conversation, as I mentioned earlier, folks who are familiar with the Parent Family and Community Engagement Framework, know that we, and the research we looked at think that family economic mobility is a really critical aspect of family well-being. But it would be great to hear from you, Jacqueline, about, why it was so important to provide employment, training and career services for the families that you're serving through Head Start and Early Head Start.
Jacqueline: So, we know that low-income families struggle in a number of ways, and we know that their children are not as likely to be prepared for kindergarten. You know all of this data.
All these folks, I'm sure, know all this data, that's why doing the good work in the classroom and helping the families every day in Head Start. So, it all focuses on the family. That's the first thing, and, you know, the pathway out of poverty into success, and to break that generational poverty, that many of our families are experiencing, is through employment training and career services.
So, we're in a unique position in Maricopa County, because of the complement of programs and services that we do have under our umbrella, to provide a thoughtful, comprehensive whole-family approach and include in that key aspect of employment and training to our families.
Now, even more than that, we know that by utilizing our service complement or by partnering with others out there in the community, that the quality early childhood education through Head Start and partnership in Workforce Development, and basic needs services, you know, really results in improved outcomes for adults, children, the whole family. We're able to better meet the needs of those families by partnering these programs together. And really leverage our resources across federally-funded programs. We know we have limited amount of funding, so how can we serve our families greater? So, that's why we really took on the approach of incorporating employment and training services with our Head Start families.
Anand: Thanks, Jacqueline. And just wanted to pause as a bit of housekeeping. Remind folks if you have questions, and we hope that you do, please feel free to share them in the general chat. I'll be having a bit more conversation with Jacqueline, to learn from her experience. But if you have specific questions, based on your experience and the program that you are working with or for, please feel free to share those. We will try to speak a little louder. It sounds like a few folks might be having a little trouble. So, we'll do our best to project a little more.
But Jacqueline, if we can pick up the conversation. I'd be really interested to hear a little bit about all the partners and collaboration that it takes to make this happen. You know, one thing that I think, that was interesting to me, would be of interest for this audience, is the integrated model of supported services. So, could you talk a little bit about that model, as well as just what it takes, in terms of you know partners, to make this work happen?
Jacqueline: Sure! So, under our umbrella, as I mentioned before, not only do we have our Early Education Division which has our Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care Partnership Programs, but we also have our Workforce Development Division. Which we're providing that employment and training services, to job seekers in our community. So, you know we took the approach, even though we were under that same umbrella, you know, we didn't have staff working hand in hand together.
So, we took a step back, and instead of making it more difficult for our clients, we can break down some of our own barriers, breaking down our own silos. And having our staff work greater together. So, having our Head Start Family Support staff work with our Workforce Development staff, our career specialists together.
So, the approach that we took, was by taking our Family Support specialist staff and partnering them with our Career Services staff. And to create a joint case-management model for this intensive work on both sides. So, we know that there's no such thing as a super-case manager. We have so many requirements, regulations just in Head Start. Let alone learning a whole other program or programs. Right? So, our Head Start Staff, their expertise is in Head Start and early childhood education and that family support. And our Workforce staff, they're experts in Workforce Development and in career services to those job seekers. So, let's have both of those staff retain their expertise but work together. So, we brought those folks together, and we said, "Hey. It's time for you to be best friends." Which, you know for people who'd never worked together, how do you make people best friends? Right? That's not exactly what we're telling the kids in the classroom that everyone has to be best friends. But we facilitated that effort so that staff would learn to work together, by learning about each other's programs. And again not having to be an expert, but by coming together, having regular meetings and working with clients directly together. So, that collaboration was really important for us to assist our clients.
Anand: So, it would be helpful, maybe, for folks to hear some of the kinds of employment training career services that you offered, and essentially, seeing as how we started this webinar, laying out just some of the types of services. So, maybe if you can give some examples of specific services that you all offered to Head Start and Early Head Start families. That might be helpful for folks.
Jacqueline: Sure. So, by having this joint case-management model what we were able to do was really focus on what those needs of the families are. So, were not, families know what's best in their life, and what their dreams are. So, we're here to support them jointly as they move through their own career pathway process. So, we were able to provide in this partnership, a whole cluster of services — from apprenticeships, to certificate programs to occupational skills training — that could lead to those specific certificates. GEDs. And along with all of that, we were able to have folks end up being co-enrolled. So, not only is their family and their children enrolled in Head Start and receiving that great quality early childhood education, but also we enrolled them in that Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. And that means that they qualified for a number of services, as well.
Like I was saying, the apprenticeships, the occupational skills trainings, but also support services. So, transportation services, potentially extended child care services, if it was outside of our hours of operation. Maybe they needed books for their classes. So, there were additional supports that we could use by, again, taking more than one of our, more than one of those federally-funded programs, and coming together to provide this greater complement for clients.
Anand: Thanks, Jacqueline. I see some questions popping up around collaboration and you know what that actually took to do that with staff. So, I would just encourage folks to keep sharing those questions and we'll come back to those in just a few minutes. But now that folks have a sense of the model that you've used, and some of the specific strategies and services that you all use, wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about some of the family outcomes. So, Jacqueline, if you don't mind just sharing a little bit about the outcomes that you all measure, and just say a little bit about how you track them.
Jacqueline: Sure. Just ... I want to step back for just a minute, before we talk about outcomes. And just really briefly, Anand, share about some of the ... How we kind of redesigned these services to better support parents on their employment goals. So, we decided that it was necessary to have more frequent contact then maybe what we had required before. So, that we're building that stronger relationship with families. So, whether it was the Head Start staff or the Workforce staff, let's contact our parents through texting. Right? And not waiting for them to tell us if they have a need, but really asking those critical questions and forming that deeper relationship to see if maybe they would need additional types of support services, like utility assistance or rental assistance. Beyond that, many of the families we serve in Head Start, and specifically in this model, those parents had not been in the workforce. Either they hadn't been in the workforce before or it had been a significant amount of time.
So, we provided them with, you know, resume building, classes, other soft skills, interview, an employment academy for these parents, all to greater support their journey. By doing all of that, the staff in both programs working closer together. By having these tools and strategies, to further support the parents, and by having apprenticeships, and job training and resume. By putting all of that together, what we were able to achieve is significant family outcomes.
So, going back to your most recent question then, "How do we track outcomes?" So, other than tracking how frequently we're contacting families we did not create any new measures. So, we are still using the same Head Start measures on how ... On the school readiness for the children. This is vital component of a two-generational program. And clearly what we need to meet in Head Start. But on the workforce side we used the federally required performance measures for our workforce program. So that, you know, included tracking earnings increase, credential attainment, and, you know, other key characteristics about the participants, about these parents.
And so, when we looked at it, you know, holistically, what we were able to find was that the children were exceeding in their school readiness — from our fall measures to our spring measures. There was a 120 percent increase in school readiness. And the parents, these specific parents, there was a 93 percent earnings increase. Right? In the first year of our program. We have a 77 percent credential attainment rate for our parents who were enrolled in occupational training. So, that could be to receive a child development accreditation or a, you know, a first step in a nursing accreditation and other career pathways. And so, that 77 percent was actually higher than the population as a whole. And the average hourly wage earned by parents met that of what we had considered a living wage. So, it was between $14 and $16 an hour. So, we were really proud of the results from the hard work of this parents.
Anand: Thanks, Jacqueline. And I apologize. I was so excited to get to the outcomes, and hear about the success of your program. I was speeding ahead, but I really appreciate you talking more about the tools and strategies of some of the kinds of training and career services that you offer so that folks in the audience can get a better sense of the "how," and not just take away some of the successes that you've just shared. And it's really helpful to know that you're using you know, Head Start measures, and that you haven't necessarily added anything. And to hear that you're seeing some of that quantifiable success that you shared.
But I just wondering, would it be possible for you to share, you know, one or two stories about, you know, families that you've seen who have, you know, benefited from the Workforce Development program that you all are operating in partnership with you know, Head Start and Early Head Start?
Jacqueline: Yes. I'd love to share a couple of stories. So, you know, we had one family, who their child was enrolled in our Head Start program. The mother was unemployed, and going through a number of health barriers. She ... Had recently become a single mother. And in other programs, she had had multiple case managers, with, really, just filling out paperwork and not much help. So, that's outside of Head Start. But because of her child being enrolled, and us connecting her with these services, helping her out to make sure that the child had that quality education, we were able to enroll her in the Workforce Development Program. And she was able to get her licensure in speech pathology.
So, she had been working on that for a number of years, prior to the program, but because of the other barriers that she had, she was never able to actually obtain that. So, once she did she ... Got a job you know, within three weeks. It was miraculous. So, she went from having all of these other case managers, outside of us, that weren't really providing assistance to her, to not needing them and then having this successful employment where she was making $45,000 a year. So, you know, real success story right there. Another one is, again, a single mom. We got her son enrolled in Early Head Start. And she had had difficulties with substance abuse. And so, what her dream was, was to help others not have to experience that, or experience recovery in a different way than what she had to go through.
And so, by working with her we were able to enroll her in a — and pay for this enrollment into a program — in which she could become a substance abuse counselor. And she received accreditation. And now, you know, she's fulfilled her dreams. She's helping others that have had you know, substance abuse issues. And her child has really done so successfully well in our Head Start program. So, you know, we're, you know, through this, families are given the opportunity to change their lives. You know, we're glad just to be able to walk beside them, and, you know, coach, or assist them where we can.
Anand: Thanks, Jacqueline. It's always helpful to have those numbers and stories when we're talking about the difference that people are making in their programs. So, appreciate you sharing all of that data. Before we turn to some questions from the audience, wanted to just see if you had any overall, kind of, takeaways or lessons, and would love to hear any barriers or challenges that you had to face and how you overcame them. As well as anything on your mind that Head Start and Early Head Start programs who are interested in supporting employment goals should know when they're reaching out to community partners. So, any kind of lessons and advice you have for folks would be welcome, Jacqueline.
Jacqueline: Sure. So, the barriers and challenges in developing the program, would really, have to remember that again, as much as expertise lies in each area, you know, we were changing how we were serving clients, how we were serving these parents. And so, from the Workforce Development side, they're really geared to an individual job seeker. Now, I will tell you there's programs nationwide that are making a switch and that may not have that same mentality anymore. And I applaud them. But at least our Workforce staff, they were really great at serving that job seeker, but not thinking about them holistically. And, they were always having, you know, making sure that the client, that job seeker was coming to our Job Centers.
So, you come to us, you come to us on our hours. And sometimes creating additional barriers for clients. And so, that's where the excellence of Head Start and having the long history and all the expertise that each of you out there know about how to work with families. So, our Head Start staff had to train our Workforce staff on, "OK. Nope! Sometimes we're going to go out to the client's home — or maybe in the classroom — or somewhere else where it's convenient for that family." So, let's remove barriers. Right? Or, you know, let's think holistically about the family, rather than just that individual. I would also say that, you know, the line staff, that were working with the families, we really empowered them.
So, yes, we have to make sure that all of those federal requirements are still met, all those boxes are checked. But let's think outside of the box. Let's, outside of what we have to do, transactionally. How can we help to transform? Or aid in the transformation of these lives? And so, you know, staff learning that it's OK. Let's make some ... We can make changes in how we're serving in this joint case-management model. And we can make some mistakes along the way. And that's OK, too.
So, the staff feeling empowered enough to serve families how they need to. A lesson learned for us also is that, you know, managers and supervisors, the mid-level, really need to be involved right in the beginning. They're the ones that are making sure that we're meeting all of those, you know, federal guidelines and requirements. But let's make sure that they are involved in the program-planning piece of it, as well. And I would also say, kind of a, you know, a smaller nature, when you're recruiting families, and if you want them to be really focused on family well-being, and employment outcomes, when we did a joint flyer with both Workforce and Head Start, it wasn't about, "OK. You have to make sure you're this person and this qualification, all of that." It was a flyer to really share of how we can be supportive of the family. And we can get into all that transaction details, after the fact.
So, let's let them know, "Here's the opportunities if this is what your dream holds for you." And a big picture for what Early Head Start and Head Start programs should know is that first off, there's a lot of overlap on ... Between Workforce and Head Start. And you may not even know but on that federal requirement. So, you know the family outcome, family well-being, you have to have family partnership goals. And how families and parents are making progress towards their education or employment goals. That's something that they have cited. Job seekers in Workforce have to have career development plans as well, and goals. So, these overlap. Right? So, when working together, how does, you know, that's an area where you can see, that you can eliminate some of that duplication, and come together.
The other thing is that the populations are very similar as mentioned earlier, but under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, WIOA, individuals who have barriers to employment are required to be prioritized by federal law and regulations. And so, that includes displaced homemakers, low-income individuals, single parents including single-pregnant women, and long-term unemployed individuals. Along with, you know, there's a dozen categories of prioritization. So, that probably overlaps with maybe some of your more specific prioritization in your Head Start program. But certainly for who is qualified for both Head Start and Workforce. It overlaps. So, you have a common outcome and common clients, and a common outcome.
So, it's not that hard to be able to partner with folks. The other thing I would say is that, you know, when you're thinking about whether to refer partners or do it yourself, you're going to refer, you know, reach out to your local Workforce Development Board and your American Job Center, the service provider in that realm, and do a presentation so that it's not just a cold referral, you're not just handing a number to your clients. But maybe you have a warm referral service integrated. Also, when you're partnering that establishing formal relationships, you can do that, you can establish, like ours what we've done. It is a formalized partnership. And we even co-locate some of our Head Start staff now in our Workforce Center, in our American Job Centers, as well. And if you're thinking about doing it yourself, create a career navigator. You can have career pathways, just out of Head Start.
So, starting with the ... Head Start is a great program for that career pathway. You have a, you know, whether it's someone who needs to get their CTA, teacher assistant, you can build that to a teacher, a supervisor, educational manager, all the way along. And Workforce can, you know, if you end up developing that relationship, that partnership with Workforce down the line they can help you even if you're doing it yourself. They can help your parents in that career pathway, as well.
Anand: Thanks so much Jacqueline. And, I'm sure we could talk about lessons learned, for a lot longer, but I do want to make sure we get to at least a few of these questions from the audience. So, maybe we can do a bit of lightning round, and you can give a quick answer if you're able to speak to it, to a few questions. Jacqueline, if you're ready, we can try to dig into a few of these.
Jacqueline: Let's go. I'll be brief. Promise.
Anand: So, one question was mentioned was around tracking outcomes. So, Magdalena was asking, you know, "Is there any kind of template that you use for family outcomes that you all thought worked well for you?" And, a related question from Deborah, "What database do you use for the programs to document client info?" So, again, is there any kind of template you use, for family outcomes, and a related question, is there a database that you use for the program to document client info?
Jacqueline: So, we do not have a single database that we use. Because we're merging both of these programs. On the Head Start side, we use ChildPlus. On the Workforce side, there is a state system that we have to enter all of those job seekers' information. So, what we have to do is pull information out of both of those systems to get to those data points. But because we're retaining expertise in both areas, there's staff in both of those programs that are used to doing that in each area. So, if you're partnering with a local Workforce program, they're going to have their data system which they are required to keep track of client outcomes.
And so, kind of the roles and responsibilities for you to track the child outcomes, for them to specifically track the parent outcomes. And then you can take that information and enter it, you know, if you need to enter it in your system, or attach it to your family development plan. But that's how we were getting into the nitty gritty of these performance measures.
Anand: Thanks, Jacqueline. There was also a lot of interest about some of the statistics you mentioned. So, I know this has been mentioned in the chat, but could you just repeat again the statistic or outcome around credential attainment? And what that statistic, what population or group of folks that was referring to?
Jacqueline: Sure. So, of our parents, that we've sent to occupational skills training, those are short-term trainings, anywhere from six weeks to nine months, that results in a certificate or some type of recognized credential, like a CTA, like a CNA, like dental assistant. So, of those parents that we sent to occupational skills training, 77 percent of them reached credential. So, they went through the entire training. They took their tests for their credential, and 77 percent of them attained it on their first try. This is, I would say, this is a significant marker, because in the workforce world, many times the credential attainment is in the lower 70s, or so. And for a population, like our Head Start parents, that may a number of different barriers to their success. This was a key component for us, to show that we were making a difference in those lives.
Anand: Thank you. And there was a question from Lisa about how you train your staff to aid in the family's transformation. And I think people resonated with that term. So, Jacqueline, I don't know if there's a little more you can say about how you train staff to aid in family transformation.
Jacqueline: Yes. We went on a full, really extended, training plan with our staff, called, "Family Center Coaching." You can look up more information on Family Center Coaching through the Prosperity Agenda. And what we did, you know, that really put the family's at the driver seat. And we're teaching not just our Head Start staff, but those Workforce staff, and everyone under the Human Services umbrella, how important it is to assist families, not by telling them what to do. We don't know what's best for the families. They know what's best. They get to be the ones in the driver seat. And we are helping them along the way.
So, that, I would strongly recommend looking up Family Center Coaching. It's a wonderful methodology, and really gives the tools for staff to transition between whether it's coaching, case management counseling, what not, it provides a really great foundation for success.
Anand: Thank you. We had one more question about working with parents that don't know how to speak English at all. That came from Magdalena. I was just curious if you had any experience working with families that have no or very limited English proficiency? And any kind of insights into how to partner with those families?
Jacqueline: Yes. So, we do. A couple of different things. One, because where we're situated, we have a number of families that Spanish is their first language. So, what we've done is hire Head Start staff and pay them a premium for being able to speak Spanish, as well. We have other families, like refugee families or other migrant families, or those who have limited to no English skills yet. And we can partner with our Workforce Development Program.
So, this is another thing for all of you to know. Under WIOA, that's the workforce law, that Adult Education Program has to, they are required by law, to work with the Workforce Development Board, and be in or be connected to the American Job Centers. So, that whole system is all interconnected. We, even with this two-gen approach here, we were able to provide English as a second language courses to our families, and then build their career pathway from there.
Anand: Well, Jacqueline, thank you for not only answering these questions, but just for joining us for this session. It's been extremely helpful, and there's been a lot of chats going back and forth between participants, so thanks all the participants, also for joining us and for sharing questions. And also, resources. I see some folks sharing some tools and contact information which is always, always encouraged.
So, before we formally close out, just a couple things. I will be going through this quickly. But there are basically just a few teasers for upcoming information. But we do have a document that has adult employment training, career planning resources. And some of those things you'll find on there are links and more information about CareerOneStop which is, again, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. You'll find information about the American Job Center and a finder tool that is on CareerOneStop.
So, you can find out where the closest CareerOneStop ... Sorry, American Job Center, is near you. And there's also a link to the Office of Career Technical and Adult Education, which is housed at the U.S. Department of Education. And there are great resources around things like, adult ed and literacy and career and technical education at community colleges. And there's also, on that OCTAE website, community college students' resource web page, that has specific resources for that population. There is also an ApprenticeshipUSA Toolkit that is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Apprenticeship U.S.A program, and it can help you find information and locate apprenticeship programs near you. And there are also tools to help workers who've been laid off.
So, mySkills myFuture is a resource, that folks who were laid off, or who just want to change careers, can explore new careers that may use skills and experience that they've gained through previous work. Another resource that we linked to is Workforce GPS. And this is an interactive online communication and learning technical-systems platform that offers resources and peer-to-peer connection, and supplements other technical assistance that's available through the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration.
And last we have the Occupational Outlook Handbook. That's a resource from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics that can help you find career information on duties, education and training, pay and outlook on hundreds of occupations. So, we hope that you'll take some time to check those out.
And we also wanted to mention that we have an upcoming event to share a Toolkit that many of us at the National Center on Parent and Family Community Engagement have been working on for a while, an Economic Mobility Toolkit for Head Start and Early Head Start. So, the date will be announced, but the webinar will be taking place, hopefully very soon, and it will allow participants to learn more about the Toolkit, and it has a whole bunch of great information to help Head Start and Early Head Start programs reflect on what they're doing right now to support family economic mobility, and what they might like to be able to do to support family economic mobility goals that parents and their programs have.
And to really think about how to integrate training, education, career planning topics into the work that they're already doing. So, stay tuned, and we hope that many of you tune in for that webinar, as well. And, what would this webinar be if we didn't mention My Peers? There's an Economic Mobility Learning Community where you can continue the conversation, that has been started on this webinar. And share resources and tools in between webinars. So, you have the registration info there. It can take a couple days to get an email message, once you do register for an account. After that, click the login link and create a user profile. Find the EM, that stands for Economic Mobility Learning Community, and click, "Join" on the landing page. And you can be part of the conversations. So, the learning does not have to stop here.
Last, but certainly, not least, it's not too late. If you are just joining the Building Foundations for Economic Mobility webinar series, all of the past sessions have been archived. So, if you're new you can see what you've missed. If you're a long-time fan, you can go check out your favorite episodes, and relive any of the past webinars from this series. And there is wealth of expertise, again. We shared a little bit here, just to catch folks up who may be new to the series.
But there are many, many wonderful webinars with guests, like Jacqueline who share their expertise from programs around the country. And with that, we thank you for staying with us. A big thank you, again, to Jacqueline Edwards for sharing her expertise with us. A big thank you to all the folks behind the curtain here, that make these webinars possible.
And last, but not least, a big thank you to all of you, the audience. Not only for joining today, but for the important work that you're doing every day, partnering with families, and supporting healthy development of children and the economic success of their parents all around the country. We're grateful for that work, and we hope you have a wonderful day. And tune in next time for the Building Foundations of Economic Mobility webinar series.Close
Learn new strategies to connect families with financial capability services and education and career planning. New and experienced staff will find economic mobility information and resources that can be used in programs or shared with families.
Note: The evaluation, certificate, and engagement tools mentioned in the video were for the participants of the live webinar and are no longer available. For information about webinars that will be broadcast live soon, visit Upcoming Events.