Getting Ahead and Staying Ahead One Cohort at a Time
San Bernardino County is the largest contiguous county by area in the continental United States, with a population of 2.2 million. Despite decreased unemployment rates and recent job growth, San Bernardino County’s 16% overall poverty rate is higher than state and national averages and is the highest among comparable counties. Projected job growth is strong, but the county’s population of working poor is also growing. This collaborative presentation shares experiences and best practices to address poverty, unemployment, homelessness and long term sustainability for Welfare-to-Work (WTW) activities such as WEX, which provides recipients with opportunities to meet mandatory participation hours while gaining job experience. Working with this population, great collaborative efforts have occurred over the past two years bringing greater awareness, knowledge, employment, and new perspectives on life’s challenges breaking down barriers regularly faced. These barriers include a lack of coping and parenting skills, domestic violence, alcohol and/or drug use, poor well-being and mental health, housing instability, lack of social supports (social networks and family connections), credit and financial issues causing the under-resourced to remain in a cycle of tyrannies. TAD’s implementation of the “Getting Ahead” cohort continues to generate positive feedback and improve job readiness, which promotes workforce and economic development within San Bernardino County. This workshop provides an opportunity to discuss, share, and gain insight of ways to implement practices using the Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin-By World curriculum with successful/sustainable outcomes.
- Trinka Landry-Bourne: San Bernardino County Human Services Performance, Education and Resource Centers
- James Locurto: San Bernardino County TAD