WORKFORCE SERVICES

About Workforce Services

Congress Heights Community Training and Development Program (CHCTDC) program is designed to help job seekers access employment, training and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. To achieve this goal, CHCTDC has brought together industry leaders who will serve as Trainer/Employers, Educators with special expertise in Human-Centered program design, and a Student Success Specialists who will work to help the adult learners’ transverse the pathways to careers. Adults in our target population are limited in their career opportunities because they lack some postsecondary education, such as an associate degree or an industry-recognized credential, which is increasingly required to compete in the workforce. The adult career pathways offered by CHCTDC prepares unemployed, underemployed and dislocated workers for jobs by offering flexible career pathways provided by education institutions, community-based organizations and business and industry.

These adult career pathways lead individuals to an associate degree, bachelor’s degree; an industry recognized credential or certificate, and ultimately, employment within a specific occupational industry. We have integrated multiple levels of education, including adult literacy, adult basic education, GED instruction with postsecondary career technical education (CTE) certificate and associate degree programs. Education, workforce and support services are connected so that instruction and support are integrated and available as individual’s progress along the pathway. Skill and knowledge acquisition along a pathway will allow individuals to move not just vertically, but also horizontally, as they move from one job to the next. Career lattices, unlike career ladders, offer flexibility in moving between industries rather than just within one industry.

Our program includes the components suggested by the Center for Occupational Research and Development:

  • An intensive prep stage designed to prepare participants for job entry and postsecondary study
  • Industry-focused curriculum that prepares participants for employment and career advancement
  • A multi-step career ladder that begins with job-entry skills and concludes with advanced technical skills
  • Partnerships with community and government agencies that can supply resources to participants to overcome personal issues that might impede study and/or employment
  • Part-time employment in appropriate positions upon completion of the prep stage
  • Personal and academic support services essential to student success

 

Our model seeks to: i) increase the focus on serving the most vulnerable workers-low-income adults who have limited skills, lack work experience, and face other barriers to economic success; ii) expand education and training options to help participants access good jobs and advance in their careers; iii) help disadvantaged and unemployed adults earn while they learn through support services and effective employment-based activities; and iv) align planning and accountability policies across core programs to support more unified approaches to serving low-income, low-skilled individuals. Like many programs, CHCTDC uses a “team teaching” approach that utilizes dual instructors – one with expertise in adult learning and basic skills instruction, and another with content-area expertise in the industry or occupation being targeted. Our IET approach supports the attainment of both secondary (high school equivalency) and postsecondary credentials. Additionally, we provide support services and pathway navigation to ensure that participants can persist and succeed in reaching their educational and vocational goals, led by the Student Success Specialist. Research findings tell us that the sequential model was discouraging for many workers, who often languished in community-based classes or other non-credit courses that did not have specific relevance for their career interests. Research conducted using data from the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges in 2005 showed that just 30 percent of ABE students were able to earn any college credits within five years.

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