Grant Associates started operations in Washington, DC early in 2012 as part of an innovative new welfare-to-work strategy introduced by the District of Columbia Department of Human Services. The program provides work readiness and job placement services for Washington residents on TANF who are defined as “not work-ready”. By applying Grant Associates’ exceptional business development techniques and providing customers with the skills and knowledge they need to quickly assimilate into the workforce, the program will exceed its first year goals and, most importantly, change the perception of what is achievable in the communities where most welfare recipients reside.
In addition to its unique business engagement prowess, Grant Associates’ model working with community partners that can add value to the program and customers. In DC, two specific partners have played a crucial role in achieving results. The Washington Interfaith Network, led by Pastor Edmonds, provides spiritual support and counseling to the program’s customers. Spiritual leaders work with customers on a weekly basis, offering insights on the value of financial independence and encouraging them to stay motivated during difficult times. In addition, WINGS (Workforce Innovations to Navigate Global Solutions), an organization with strong national connections to corporate employers led by Steve Wing, has been instrumental in introducing Grant Associates to businesses in Washington that have large scale hiring needs, such as CVS Pharmacy and Allied Barton, and that offer pre-employment training that leads to permanent jobs. By using innovative methods to develop effective connections with the community, Grant Associates has been able to better reach the population it serves. Through motivation, intensive communications and effective preparation, our customers have been able to defy expectations and overcome what might have previously been seen as insurmountable barriers to employment.