Economic Security For All Grant Success Brings Additional Funding Through March 2023
April 29, 2022
The Economic Security for All (EcSA) grant was originally secured in 2019 with a goal to lift 250 families out of poverty in the 98404-zip code in Eastside Tacoma. Since then, the program has expanded to serve five zip codes in communities experiencing a high rate of poverty in Tacoma, Lakewood, Parkland, and Spanaway. By the end of 2021, the program has helped nearly 300 people connect to jobs, training, financial literacy coaching, education, and resources to build a better future.
The first funding cycle ended March 31 but was renewed for a second cycle in April 2022 through March 2023 and will expand to all of Pierce County. The program has had many successes in its first cycle with the partnership of WorkForce Central, Career Team, DSHS, and Goodwill of the Rainier and Olympic Region.
From January 2021 to present, Career Team has spent $141,771.91 in funding on EcSA customers, to include Support Services and Individual Training Accounts. They placed 52 people in training for employment in professions including CDL, Healthcare (Phlebotomy, Medical Coding, CNA etc.), Accounting, Dental Assisting, Construction, Aerospace Advanced manufacturing, and Paralegal.
Career Team also provided support services to 83 people in purchases such as rent, utilities, work clothes, exam fees, and transportations costs in supporting participants in their employment goals.
One of those participants was Rodney, who when he enrolled in the program in December 2020, was homeless. He was hoping to begin electrical training, but his school of choice was not open at the time due to COVID. So, Rodney enrolled into EcSA and another workforce program in January 2021 and began working with his Career Advisor to develop an employment plan. Through the program, he received navigation of labor market information, training research, and job search strategies. During his time in the EcSA program, he was referred to Clover Park for career mapping, Goodwill for Financial Literacy, and 211 for basic needs. He also attended an EcSA Workshop hosted by DSHS regarding Soft Skill development. In May 2021, he obtained sustainable employment in maintenance at an apartment complex located in Lakewood, earning $25 an hour.
Low Income Housing Institute, Career Team and Goodwill have partnered under EcSA to help those experiencing homelessness navigate employment obstacles by offering Career Readiness modules on site, basic digital literacy, and financial education through the Economic Security for All program. These modules lasts 6 weeks and offers 40 hours of instruction. Co-enrollment with the Basic Food Employment and Training program (BFET) and Workforce programs assists participants in additional funding education, training and wrap around services to guide individuals into career pathways.
In the first Aspen Court/LIHI pilot beginning in February 2022, as a collaborative, they enrolled 27 students all currently experiencing homelessness into the program. Twenty-two students graduated 6 weeks later with all 22 meeting BFET eligibility, 15 enrolling into WIOA. Utilizing both funding streams has allowed for access to technology, wi-fi and wrap around services such as transportation, work clothing and in several cases working toward secondary education. Graduation was held on March 17, 2022 for the 22 students. Of those students, 6 went into full-time employment, 2 were able to find housing and all were provided with laptops through Indeed funding. We continue to work with each student to secure employment.
WorkForce Central bridges the gap between job seekers, employers, and community organizations to build a robust workforce pipeline and ensure economic vitality across the region. We strive to enhance the quality of services offered across the system to ensure consistent, effective experiences for its stakeholders, cultivating economic prosperity for clients. Economic stability brings security to the community, and we are honored to have a role in that development.