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GRANT ASSOCIATES EXPANDS IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND

Montgomery County, MD, May 1, 2018 – Grant Associates, a nationally acclaimed workforce development company, announced today that it will expand its partnership with WorkSource Montgomery, Inc. to offer employment services for adults and dislocated workers, matching job candidates with employer needs across the county.

Grant Associates, a nationally acclaimed workforce development company, will operate American Jobs Centers in Montgomery County, providing services to both businesses and job seeking residents. Services for job seekers across a variety of demographic areas and levels of need include: resume building and job search workshops, credential attainment and training, and job search assistance including access to job listings in the Maryland Workforce Exchange System. Labor Market Information and access to computer labs and job referrals are also available at the Centers. One of the cornerstones of Grant Associates’ service model is also to build proactive relationships with businesses, both for-profit and non-profit, that result in direct access to job opportunities leading to employment.

Since 2016, Grant Associates has been providing similar services to the County’s youth residents through the WorkSource Montgomery Young Adult Opportunity Center. In addition to career services, this program also provides internships for youth to gain work experience as well as a variety of training and credentialing options.

“We’ve been very pleased with the work Grant Associates is doing with the WorkSource Montgomery Young Adult Opportunity Center,” said Dr. Ellie Giles, CEO of WorkSource Montgomery. “Their expertise as a convener and collaborator of County resources and their connection with strong employment opportunities will drive economic development and enhance quality of life through the empowerment of more county residents to enter high-demand sustainable career pathways. WorkSource Montgomery’s board and stakeholders strive for continuous improvement and service expansion to best serve Montgomery County.”

Grant Associates understands that starting with employment opportunities leads to successful and sustainable jobs for county residents by proactively preparing the pipeline for the opportunities of today and the demand of the future. As part of its new expanded services through the American Jobs Centers, Grant Associates will provide Employer Service resources to a wide range of businesses in key sectors to build the talent pipeline for the county’s 32,386 employers. Grant Associates will use a market-driven approach to identify hiring needs and drive the area’s economic development by working diligently to connect businesses with the hundreds of skilled workers in the county. The company will also assist employers with posting their available jobs in the state’s Workforce Exchange System, connect employers to training resources, and design and execute custom solutions for industry-wide skill shortages.

“We are excited to expand our demand-driven approach to career and business services to include both youth and adult workers in Montgomery County,” said Doug Cotter, President of Grant Associates. “We’ve seen some great successes in the Montgomery Youth program where we’ve developed strong relationships with businesses and other community partners, and we’re eager to build on those and bring similar successes to the American Jobs Centers.”

Grant Associates will employ a staff of 19 between two Centers to provide a full suite of services to the more than one million residents in Montgomery County.

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Grant Associates, Inc.

Grant Associates is a national, award-winning workforce development company that has become a trailblazer and a force for innovation in delivering workforce services nationally. A certified Woman-Owned Business, we have operated nearly 80 different programs in communities of all sizes that reflect our strength across the spectrum of workforce development: operating full-service One-Stops, sector-based initiatives, business centers, and programs that serve those on public assistance, as well as other targeted populations such as youth, justice-involved, veterans and the disabled. For more information visit: www.grantassociatesinc.com.

 

WorkSource Montgomery, Inc.

WorkSource Montgomery, a public-private partnership, convenes key stakeholders to create an innovative workforce system approach for sustainable, industry-driven talent solutions in Montgomery County, MD. For more information visit: worksourcemontgomery.com.

Does workforce development have a role in financial capacity building?

Call it what you will – Financial Capability, Financial Empowerment, Financial Literacy…In the field of workforce development, it has long been viewed as an “add on” or a “nice to have,” tangential to the real work we do. As workforce development professionals, should we do the work of connecting community banks and training institution partners—those with the tools for financial capability—to the many job seeking customers we serve? When one of the challenges of our field is that we are torn in so many directions, sometimes the amount of effort just getting a customer a job with a career pathway makes it hard to balance the immediate need and goal of employment with the challenging work of moving programs towards true human centered design. Is it enough for us to say that we specialize in and are experts in workforce development, or do we also need to specialize in all the other tools that address the myriad tertiary challenges our customers face beyond just getting a job?

Over the course of our 20+ years in the workforce development field, Grant Associates has had a front row seat to the many industry trends that have come and gone. Financial capability is one trend that we as a company are fully invested in (pardon the pun). As our thinking has evolved in this area, we fully believe that financial capability training is absolutely part of our role as workforce development professionals. Chances are all of us in this field have seen more than one job seeker pass through our programs who gets one low paying job after another, without ever being equipped with the tools to help him or her make real progress toward self-sufficiency. Financial capability skills are not something we’re innately born with or that necessarily come intuitively, and for many in the communities we serve, there’s simply no opportunities to learn these skills elsewhere.

At Grant Associates, we’ve begun incorporating financial capability tools for all our job seeking customers as well as our entire staff. We are testing assumptions that a person’s faculty in personal financial literacy will carry over into their ability to keep a job, and the drive to get a better job or move into a career pathway and toward greater self-sufficiency. These are not just “Terms of Art” for us, they are real aspirations backed by the program models and tools to make successful careers in our customers’ lives.

Research has shown that chronic stress, like that experienced by those living in poverty, has a negative impact on the development and functioning of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that directly impacts executive functioning. Executive function is what enables our working memory, cognitive flexibility, and our ability to control our behavior and look to the future to set and achieve goals. It should come as no surprise then, when the Federal Reserve reported earlier this year that 66% of those making $40,000 or less could not cover an unexpected $400 expense. When you’re just trying to keep your head above water, building a savings account seems rather irrelevant. But by introducing some basic financial capability concepts and helping customers gain those skills while also helping them find a job, we begin to build a foundation that enables customers to start to plan for their future and that of their families.  

Since we began benchmarking our work just under a year ago in one of our largest New York programs, we’ve seen improved Financial Capability Scale scores, increased rates of full-time employment, and improved retention rates—an increase of nearly 20% in our six-month retention rates, and a thrilling three-month period when we saw an incredible 100% retention rate for those placed in full-time jobs. In addition to the standard services available to address barriers, attain training and attending workshops, these job seekers also had access to Change Machine, a tool provided by our partners at The Financial Clinic whose mission and model is “to build working poor people’s financial security through an ecosystem of strategies that includes direct service, capacity building, and systems-level solutions and social innovations to create lasting change.” Initial data shows over $103,000 has gone back in customers’ pockets over the last year. The Financial Clinic’s long-term data shows that for every two financial security milestones achieved, customers see a 29% increase in earned income and 33% more hours worked.

Our early results are from just a small subset of the customers we work with annually. It’s exciting to think of the impact such training could have on communities large and small across the country. It’s clear to those of us at Grant Associates that there is something here worth building upon, and I encourage my colleagues from around the country to share any lessons learned when incorporating Financial Capability into their services. We are all in!

 

Marlena Sessions is a workforce development professional who has dedicated her career to creating self-sufficiency via careers for all people. She is the Vice-President for Public and Private Partnerships for Grant Associates, a national workforce development company that has operated nearly 80 different workforce programs in communities of all sizes.

Seattle Industry Leaders Discuss Challenges, Opportunities in Attracting Talent

Seattle Industry Luncheon

Seattle Industry Leaders Discuss Challenges, Opportunities in Attracting Talent

Grant Associates convened a group of industry thought leaders on April 17, 2018 in downtown Seattle to discuss workforce challenges and opportunities. Transportation and logistics, manufacturing and healthcare were each represented by leaders from companies including Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Machinists, Inc., Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Expeditors International.

The group delved into questions on the workforce development challenges in their particular companies and industries. They also offered optimistic solutions about how their companies are tackling the challenge of attracting talent. Finally, a succinct summary of trends “peeking around the corner” was shared. Several themes emerged, each of which are ripe and heavy with the need for deeper study. It was a very fruitful and lively conversation full of unique insights and creative solutions, and Grant Associates looks forward to holding similar discussions in other cities where we have a workforce development presence in the near future.

Industrial and Transportation Career Center Receives President’s Award for Commitment to Quality

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President Doug Cotter and Executive Vice President Paula Bailey presented the President’s Award for Commitment to Quality for 2017 to the Workforce1 Industrial and Transportation Career Center (ITC) team on Friday, March 16.

 

The Workforce1 ITC, funded by the NYC Department of Small Business Services, is located in Jamaica, Queens and has a sector-focused approach to workforce development. Each year the ITC successfully places up to 2,400 NYC residents, veterans and their spouses into full-time jobs paying over $10 in the transportation, manufacturing, construction, wholesale trades, waste management, and automotive mechanic and repair industries.

 

Grant Associates selects the President’s Award winner each year based on the results of the quarterly quality progress reviews and scores from Finance, HR and PAVU. The ITC team enjoyed a catered breakfast, and each staff member will receive one extra PTO day. Congratulations to Director Monique Cole-Green and the teams at the ITC Hub Center and the satellite centers!

Grant Associates honored to underwrite the 2018 Dwight Brydie Scholarships

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Grant Associates was honored to underwrite the 2018 Dwight Brydie Scholarships at the California Workforce Association’s Youth@Work 2018 conference held January 9-11, 2018 in Sacramento, CA. The scholarships, which posthumously honor a longstanding employee of the Economic Development District who was a passionate and committed advocate for youth, were awarded to three very deserving youths to assist them in reaching their education and employment goals.

 

This year’s three recipients, all in-program youth from California between the ages of 16-24, have worked hard to get where they are today and have bright futures despite the odds stacked against them. A young man who grew up in an abusive home and spent time in juvenile detention who will become a firefighter; a young “Dreamer”, who has watched her mother fight breast cancer, pursuing her goal of becoming a journalist; a young woman, who came into this world a two-pound preemie born with fetal alcohol syndrome, studying hard to become a neonatal nurse. These young adults have overcome more obstacles than most of us could ever dream of, yet each one of them has the drive and perseverance not only to succeed in life, but to make a difference in the lives of those in their communities through the careers they have chosen.

 

Grant Associates is proud to partner with the California Workforce Association to recognize these outstanding young people and we wish them much success in their educational pursuits and beyond.

GRANT ASSOCIATES LAUNCHES BUSINESS SERVICES PROGRAM IN HOUSTON TEXAS

GRANT ASSOCIATES LAUNCHES BUSINESS SERVICES PROGRAM IN HOUSTON TEXAS

October 16, 2017

Houston, TX – Grant Associates, a nationally acclaimed workforce development company, announced today that it will begin a new partnership with the Gulf Coast Workforce Board and its operating affiliate, Workforce Solutions, to begin offering employer services, matching job candidates with employer needs in the 13 county Houston-Galveston region of Texas.

On behalf of Workforce Solutions, Grant Associates will market and promote Employer Service resources to a wide range of businesses in key sectors to build the talent pipeline for the region’s 140,000 area employers. Using a market-driven approach, Grant Associates will identify hiring needs and drive the area’s economic development by working diligently to connect businesses with the hundreds of thousands of skilled workers in the region.

Doug Cotter, President, said, “We are excited to bring our demand-driven sector approach to business services to Houston at this critical time in their economic development.”

Grant Associates will employ a staff of 20 Business Consultants who will provide a full suite of services to more than 26,000 employers in the Gulf Coast region.
The services will include building strong relationships with area employers, connecting employers to their local Workforce Solutions Career Offices, assisting employers with posting their available jobs in the state’s Work in Texas portal, connecting employers to training resources, and designing and executing custom solutions for industry-wide skills shortages.

CHANCELLOR FARIÑA ANNOUNCES 600 STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN INTERNSHIPS IN NEW CTE INDUSTRY SCHOLARS PROGRAM

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CHANCELLOR FARIÑA ANNOUNCES 600 STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN INTERNSHIPS IN NEW CTE INDUSTRY SCHOLARS PROGRAM

CTE Industry Scholars Program helps students use classroom skills in real-life work settings

Nearly 200 employers participate in program to offer internships to CTE students

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced 600 high school students from 74 high schools have participated in the first year of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Industry Scholars Program, a new initiative that has connected CTE high school students from all five boroughs with paid internships at 189 employers in various industry settings. This summer, 397 students are participating in six-week internships. 203 students participated in internships this spring.

The new school-year and summer internships are part of a larger investment in CTE high schools, including opening 40 new high-quality CTE programs and strengthening and expanding work-based learning, including new apprenticeships and internships.

By 2019, CTE Industry Scholars aims to provide 3,000 school-year and summer internships.

“Through the CTE Industry Scholars Program, we’re preparing students for their future beyond high school, and giving them an opportunity to practice and hone the valuable skills they’ve learned in the classroom,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Equity and excellence means giving our students pathways to success after high school, and Career and Technical Education, internships, and industry partnerships connect our students with resources and experiences that will serve them in college and careers.”

“The CTE Industry Scholars program represents Chancellor Fariña and the City’s commitment to rigorous, high-quality Career and Technical Education that prepares students for careers in the 21st century,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “These new internships and investments by employers in work-based learning expose New York City students to real world job opportunities and skills. Employers are excited to continue partnering with the City as the CTE program expands.”

The CTE Industry Scholars also receive resume writing, interview prep, and other job readiness support over the course of their internships to ensure their success. In the first year of the program, CTE Industry Scholars are participating in internships in the following sectors: Automotive and Transportation, Business and Finance, Construction and Engineering, Culinary, Hospitality and Tourism, Information and Technology, and Media, Technology, and Design. Employers include the MTA, South Street Seaport Museum, Birch Coffee, Nobu 57, Square, Next Step Pictures, Metabronx, Karma Media, and the New York City DOE’s Division of School Facilities, which the Chancellor visited today.

The Chancellor met with some of the 39 high school students participating in the Division of School Facilities’ paid summer internship programs. Students are participating in Construction & Engineering internships, in fields from HVAC to the Division’s Energy Management Unit, where interns are developing a capstone project to make their high school more energy-efficient.

“We are excited to be part of CTE Industry Scholars, supporting our students’ development of career skills as they make valuable contributions to the Division of School Facilities’ work to provide safe, clean, and welcoming learning environments for all our students,” said Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose. “We look forward to continued participation in this program that benefits our students and schools.”

During the spring of this school year, the CTE Industry Scholars program also supported work-based learning at CTE high schools and program across the City, engaging more than 2,000 students in career days, work readiness training, mock interviews, site visits, and employer tours.

CTE Industry Scholars is a new addition to the set of internships supported by the DOE – including the Bank of America CTE Summer Scholars which provides 125 annual summer internships in IT and Media, Youth Career Connect which provides 150 annual summer internships in IT, Media, and Pre-Engineering, and the Computer Science for All Pathfinders Mentorship Program which provides internships in computer science-related fields. In future years, CTE Industry Scholars – which is supported by Grant Associates, a workforce development organization – will consolidate these existing programs.

“We’re thrilled to kick off the CTE Industry Scholars program, empowering our students to see the world beyond their classroom walls. Students will be able to gain invaluable access to the life of our City, and work within thriving industries. In turn, our industry partners will come to know the intellect, passion, and worldview of our extraordinary students. Together, we are working towards our vision of equity and excellence and ensuring our students can see the end of their hard work in our schools not merely as a diploma, but as real options for their future,” said Phil Weinberg, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning.

“Our continued commitment to the Bank of America CTE Summer Scholars program has been instrumental in helping youth gain invaluable skills and confidence in the workplace,” said Jeff Barker, New York president, Bank of America. “We’re thrilled that our initial investment and ongoing partnership have helped build a foundation for the expansion of new internship opportunities for NYC public school students.”

“We are thrilled to be working with the NYC Department of Education, Partnership for New York City, and NYC Center for Youth Employment to increase the quality and quantity of work based learning opportunities for the students of New York,” said Doug Cotter, President of Grant Associates. “We look forward to strengthening and scaling employer partnerships to provide thousands of high school students with exposure to work experiences and help build the future of NYC’s workforce.”

“The CTE Industry Scholars Program will provide our students with the quality hands-on training they need to succeed,” said City Council Education Committee Chair Daniel Dromm. “Thanks to support from industry leaders, these young people will be compensated while applying classroom learning in a work setting and honing their skills. Programs like these make public education more robust, and I will continue to support them.”
“The CTE Industry Scholars Program is an effective way to fully engage our city’s Career and Technical Education students. Paid summer internships will help prepare CTE students for career pathways in high-wage, in-demand fields, and learn invaluable skills through real-world experience,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “I commend Chancellor Fariña for supporting equitable educational opportunities for all of our city’s students.”

CTE Industry Scholars is aligned to the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which aims to ensure that by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college ready. Building on record-high graduation rates, record-low dropout rates, and a high-quality pre-K seat for every New York City 4-year-old, Equity and Excellence for All is creating a path from pre-K to college and careers for every child in every neighborhood in New York City.

GRANT ASSOCIATES HOSTS 5,000TH M/WBE CERTIFICATION AT ITS BRONX BUSINESS SOLUTIONS CENTER

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NEW YORK, NY – The NYC Business Solutions Bronx Center was the selected venue to host the 5000TH M/WBE Certified Award.

The event featured an address by Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Director of the City’s M/WBE Program, and Jonnel Doris – Senior Advisor at the Mayor’s Office of M/WBE.

Deputy Mayor Buery presented the 5000th M/WBE Certification award and Mayor Bill De Blasio’s personal letter of congratulations to Bronx Small Business Owner Miguel Cabrera of MC Transportation. Deputy Mayor Buery addressed the gathering and shared highlights from Mayor De Blasio’s goals for the M/WBE program.

Mr. Cabrera was assisted by Courtney Williams, Account Manager at the NYC Business Solutions Bronx Center to submit his certification application. He gave a brief overview of his journey to business ownership, and expressed his appreciation for the invaluable service he received at the Bronx Center. This sentiment was echoed by 12 other businesses who received their M/WBE certification through the assistance of the Bronx Center.

Also celebrating this award were Deputy Commissioner Deputy Kim Hardy – Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity, Deputy Commissioner Melanie Hart – Workforce Division, Yahaira Fuentes Director, BSC Center Operations, and Doug Cotter, President, Grant Associates.

 

MARLÉNA SESSIONS JOINS GRANT ASSOCIATES AS VICE PRESIDENT OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

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NEW YORK, NY – Grant Associates, a nationally acclaimed workforce development company, announced today that one of the most respected leaders in the field, Marléna Sessions, will be joining on July 5th as Vice President of Public and Private Partnerships.

In her new role, Ms. Sessions will engage with national leaders around some of the most pressing issues facing local economies today, with the intent of creating new solutions to strengthen our communities.

Doug Cotter, President, said, “We are thrilled to have Marléna joining our team, after having admired and respected the work she has done for many years. As Grant Associates continues to grow and learn as an organization, Marléna’s breadth of experience and passion for this work will be an invaluable asset in shaping solutions that effect positive change in the lives of the customers we serve.”

Ms. Sessions said, “Grant Associates has an amazing story to tell, with over two decades of experience trailblazing innovative solutions, and successfully running and growing large workforce programs. I’ve long been a fan,and I’m excited to be coming aboard at such a critical time in our industry.”Marlena Sessions

As CEO of the Workforce Development Councilof Seattle-King County since 2009, Marléna Sessions has guided Seattle-King County to national prominence as an innovative leader in job training initiatives. The Working for America Institute named the organization one of the top four workforce boards in the U.S. The Council was also one of the inaugural winners of the National Association of Workforce Board’s 2016 WIOA trailblazer award.

Marléna is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations (NAVSO), and a member of the Washington Workforce Association, serving on its Executive committee for several years. She also served on the Opportunity Center for Employment and Education (OCE&E) Policy Committee. She was the 2013 president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council, and continues to serve on its board of trustees. Marléna also founded the National Advisory Group for Connecting Homeless Jobseekers to the workforce system, and has offered expert testimony to Congress.

Marléna holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Whitworth University.

CONTACT: Michael Levy
Director of Strategic Partnerships
(646) 358-4555
mlevy@grantassociatesinc.com

GRANT ASSOCIATES MARKS ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY AS A NATIONAL WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROVIDER BY ANNOUNCING SYMPHONYNOTES™

NEW YORK, NY – Grant Associates, a nationally acclaimed workforce development company, is celebrating the milestone of 20 years of providing collaborative professional services to businesses and jobseekers in partnership with government and community organizations.

Since collaboration has been the cornerstone of the company’s strategy for success, it is proud to introduce a technology, Symphony Notes™, which will allow all of a community’s resources to work together in a strategic way to advance customer outcomes.

Incorporated in 1997 as a Women-Owned Small Business, Grant Associates has operated award-winning business services and employment & training programs under government contracts in Detroit, Newark, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Tulsa, Montgomery County, MD, and New York City. In 2016 alone, 12,000 of the company’s customers found work, bringing almost $300 million in income to the communities served.

Executive Chair and Co-Founder Dale Grant said, “We pioneered a lot of strategies that are now common practice – like demand-driven approaches that start with local business needs, sector strategies that align employment services with local economic development priorities, and the innovative use of technology to measure outcomes and continually improve customer service. SymphonyNotes™ is the natural next step in our work.”

Doug Cotter, President, added, “We are proud of the impact that we and our partners have had on hundreds of thousands of people’s lives, and that we have been active across the whole spectrum of national workforce development – from helping people below the poverty line become financially independent, to helping veterans learn new skill sets, to helping entrepreneurs launch small businesses.”

Tracking customer activities and outcomes, SymphonyNotes™ is a platform for collaboration that informs organizations and funders on the activities that produce the best results relative to cost. Using artificial intelligence, SymphonyNotes™ will also be able translate the data it collects into action. “We are excited about how this product can change our work. It will allow us to further a ‘No Wrong Door’ approach as a foundation of workforce development, and support career pathways in the most direct way,” said Cotter.

Melinda Mulawka Mack, Executive Director of the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals, said, “I have had the pleasure of working with Grant Associates in several capacities over the past 15 years – as a partner, contractor and now as a member. They have always been on the forefront of workforce development, specifically bringing organizations and businesses together to collaboratively solve persistent workforce challenges. Cheers to 20 years of success, and to 20 more!”

In addition to the introduction of SymphonyNotes™, Grant Associates recently launched a program to build business engagement in NYC Career & Technical Education (CTE) Schools, and next month will be launching four new programs with the NYC Human Resources Administration to help people on public assistance.

CONTACT: Michael Levy
Director of Strategic Partnerships
(646) 358-4555
mlevy@grantassociatesinc.com