Imagine this: A school system that bases its success and is accountable, not only on the number of graduates, but how successful they are in the years that follow. How might this change the way we educate?
That’s the exact measure of accountability built into The Center for Working Families at Foothills Family Resources (FFR) . It’s not just how many people participate. It’s not how many participants earn a GED or certification. It’s not even how many participants gain employment. FFR measures the success of our work by how the lives of those worked with have improved up to two years post-graduation.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation developed the Center for Working Families (CWF) model as “an approach to help low-income families reach financial stability and move up the economic ladder” that specifically helps families “increase their earnings and income,” “reduce financial transaction costs” and “build wealth for themselves and their communities.” In order to move from FFR’s historical model of services, the national CWF model was modified to fit the population and region that we serve.
Steps for success in the Center for Working Families:
- Apply for acceptance into the program. While we will do everything we can to support participants, individuals must show a motivation to improve their situation, and make the changes that are necessary for personal growth.
- Interview: All applicants that meet minimum requirements will be scheduled for an interview. This not only serves to further assess a potential participant’s motivation, but provides a real world interview experience before the program begins.
- Attend six bi-weekly group sessions which focus on financial skills, resume development, interview techniques, mock interviews, networking and the overall soft skills needed to be successful.
- While attending sessions, education will begin at the appropriate level. This ranges from earning a GED to technical job training at Greenville Technical College. Funding for education and job training is unique to each candidate and may come from FFR, Greenville Technical College, SHARE LADDER or a combination of each. The goal is to get people trained and in the workforce!
- Once the educational component is complete, participants will work with CWF staff to fine tune their resume, search and apply for open positions, prepare for interviews and, finally, make decisions on job offers. Yes, we have had participants in the position of having to choose between offers!