Implementing a Workforce Development Ladder

Workforce Development Ladder
Workforce Development Ladder

Details on the Workforce Development Ladder

The concept is the creation of a three-stage/three-phase workforce development program where people move along a ladder to permanent jobs.  GABIDDC/a> will work with other organizations such as the workforce development technical training programs of the University of the District of Columbia to develop a multi-faceted workforce development program including:

  1. Work Readiness Services:
    a.  Needs assessment of readiness for employment;
    b.  Case management services, including critical work supports and benefits such as transportation subsidies, clothing assistance, and access to a supportive service referral system;
    c.  Basic counseling/career coaching that helps individuals evaluate their career interests, establish goals, and develop a plan to acquire the education, training, life skills, and work experience needed to advance their careers;  
    d.  Drug testing, medical testing, criminal background checks, credit checks, and related counseling. 
  1.  Life and household skills development and instruction for clients who would benefit from such training in “soft skills” to stabilize and improve their household-family situations thereby complementing their growth within the workplace and the training and assistance provided there.  
  2. Adult basic education and literacy instruction for native English speakerswho lack a high school credential or need to upgrade their skills in order to expand their college and career prospects.
  3. Job training programsto help individuals obtain the skills and credentials they need for in-demand jobs, with an emphasis at this point on preparing workers for construction, property and facilities maintenance and management, and “green jobs” positions, which are fields that GABIDDC has identified as having strong employment prospects in the DC Metropolitan area, and work settings in and around Georgia Avenue and Upper Northwest DC.  UDC will be the primary partner for the delivery of technical training to program participants.

As the mix of business activities changes on the Walter Reed campus, it is anticipated that additional career areas can be addressed (such as life sciences employment in association with activities at the Children’s Hospital research campus) as part of this program.

  1. English as a Second Language instruction for individuals for whom English is not their first language.
  1.  Job placement assistance including help with job search and placement, resume writing, and interviewing.
  1. Job retention services working with clients and employers to assist workers in the transition to permanent job placements.

Stage 1: Entry phase.  The proposed “Georgia Avenue Partnership” business improvement program on Georgia Avenue would serve as the entry point into the program, where workers would be responsible for providing cleaning, greening, and visibility services on the corridor, assisting in the corridor’s improvement and revitalization.

Employees would be provided with training in life skills, work readiness and technical knowledge, and other assistance as needed, complemented by coaching.  It is anticipated that this phase would run from 12 to 18 months.

Partnership between Georgia Avenue Business Improvement District and Development Corporation and the Emory Beacon of Light Community Development Corporation

  • Street maintenance and cleaning services
  • Greening activities (tree box improvement and maintenance, plantings, cultivation of plants etc.)
  • Marketing and ambassador duties

Stage 2: Middle phase at the Walter Reed Campus.  As their skills and experience develops, the idea is that people working for GAP project can advance to jobs in building and facilities maintenance on the Walter Reed campus, not just in the portion under development by the Hines/Trident/Urban Atlantic partnership, but ideally also in the sections of the campus that will be under the control of the U.S. State Department and Children’s Hospital.

The idea is that these positions would be facilitated placements—not permanent jobs but more akin to apprenticeship-type positions, with continued provision of life skills and technical training as well as coaching and other assistance as needed.  This phase would run from 12 to 24 months.

Stage 3:  Outplacement.  The third phase is placement into permanent jobs, working with clients, contractors, and other employers to develop sound matches between employees and employers.  Some employers may choose to hire the workers that have been with them as apprentices, while other employees will find permanent positions elsewhere.   

Adding other workplace opportunities to the program’s second stage.  It is anticipated that other work placement opportunities can be developed by GABIDDC and other partners to extend the range and number of positions available to program participants in the middle phase of the three-stage workforce development program.

Deconstruction.  For example, Scott Nordheimer of Urban Atlantic has suggested that a “deconstruction program” could be developed in association with the demolition of Building 2 on the Walter Reed campus.  GABIDDC is approaching the Sustainable Communities Initiative, the parent organization of the building materials recovery and resale nonprofit Community Forklift (based in Edmonston, Maryland in Prince George’s County) and previous recipient of grants for deconstruction, to develop a proposal to submit to Hines/Trident/Urban Atlantic concerning this opportunity.

Green Jobs.  Using as models the Green Development Zone of the PUSH Buffalo organization and the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, GABIDDC aims to develop initiatives concerning opportunities in weatherization, energy, composting and zero waste development programs, and property testing and problem abatement, among others.

This is a follow on to the “Workforce Development Ladder” concept paper written by Richard Layman

PDF copy of the paper: http://www.gabiddc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Georgia-Avenue-Partnership.pdf

ContactGABIDDC