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DAWN - Dignified Advancement, Workforce Navigation

YWCA Tri-County Area
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AmeriCorps members will work with adult learners and/or opportunity youth in a 1-on-1 settings; and by building skills and knowledge needed for adults or opportunity youth obtain and maintain employment. Each client served will have an AmeriCorps member dedicated to intake, establishing individualized goals, and creating an individualized employment plan.

Service Activities

Member Activities:
• Intake and recruitment of clients
• Community Outreach to recruit employers, educational centers, and volunteers for job/education fair
• Pre/post assessments, data collection
• Create and implement client’s Individualized Employment Plan (IEP)
• Client follow up
• Utilize data collection system
• Support monthly workshops

Community Need Addressed

AmeriCorps Dignified Advancement Workforce Navigation (DAWN) will address and resolve community's high rate of poverty and underemployment in our area by increasing job readiness skills. There are pockets of Montgomery County, specifically in Pottstown and Norristown, that experience higher percentages of families living in poverty. According to US Census 2017, Pottstown and Norristown's poverty rates are 22.0% and 21.5% respectively, which is five times higher than Montgomery County's average 4.3% poverty rate. Factors that contribute to poverty are unemployment and underemployment. Many people live in poverty because they are unable to find a job that pays a living wage or experience barriers to employment, including lack of education, skills, or training. DAWN is following the lead of the PA DHS 2019 initiative, which recognizes that successful employment and training programs focus on whole-person approach. PA DHS determined that to support participants on the path to professional empowerment and self-sufficiency, individual strengths, challenges, barriers, and goals must be addressed. This type of program does not presently exist in Pottstown or Norristown. AmeriCorps members will
provide 1:1 direct service to clients recommended by the Work Force Innovation Opportunity ACT (WIOA) 2017 and PA DHS 2019 to create a client's Individualized Employment Plan (IEP) that will lead to improved job readiness.

Position Outcomes

The PA Department of Human Service's theory of increased success within employment and training is not just about getting someone a job, but instead is about empowering them to develop tools and skills needed to attain self-reliance. This shift, from focusing on placement to long-term success, addressing barriers, and prioritizing long-term goals, will equip clients with the skills needed to achieve family-sustaining jobs. DAWN is following the PA DHS recommendation by utilizing 10 full-time AmeriCorps members to provide 1:1 client support from intake to job readiness improvement. DAWN will establish a benchmark that 75% of clients will have improved job readiness to surpass the standard. YW3CA proposes that this will be achievable because AmeriCorps members will provide 1:1 individualized support to our clients that does not presently exist.


Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Living allowance, Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training

AmeriCorps members will be provided with pre-service training prior to the start of their direct service with clients and then ongoing training (bi-weekly) member driven, AmeriCorps topic revisits, and program content. AmeriCorps members will be trained on AmeriCorps specific training including, but not limited to, prohibited and unallowed activity, service logs, life after AmeriCorps, grievance policies, hours, and expectations. Our program has an AmeriCorps member handbook that will also outline all the topics covered during training. AmeriCorps members will be trained on design and implementation procedures of the program with pre-service and ongoing training. Members will practice these procedures through simulation/practice to become confident in the program procedures. Members will also have trauma informed training, bridges out of poverty training, implicit bias training, government program training since the program’s target population falls below the federal poverty rate, may possess barriers or trauma, and may participate in government funded safety net programs. Program manager will provide a minimum of weekly contact with each member and be available for feedback or support daily via email or phone. Host site supervisors will be accessible daily, and provide training, support, answer questions, and concerns members from members. AmeriCorps members will also a signed Member service agreement that will outline responsibilities and expectations.

Education Benefits

College Degree, GED/High School Diploma

AmeriCorps members will gain skills in social work, job training skills, community outreachand networking. Members will be involved in event planning and management, program evaluation, data collection and analysis.

Skills you will gain

AmeriCorps members will gain tangible and translatable skills in adult and/or opportunity youth education and workforce development by directly serving learners and communitybased organizations dedicated to improving education and job readiness skills of adults or opportunity youth. AmeriCorps members will gain skills in social work, job training skills, community outreachand networking. Members will be involved in event planning and management, program evaluation, data collection and analysis. AmeriCorps members will participate in organizational and program specific orientations. Their work will require development of presentation and recruitment skills, interpersonal and team building skills. Their involvement with different service providers and clients in need will also enable them to understand and implement trauma informed practices and social emotional learning. All of these skills will aid AmeriCorps members in their own job search.

Competencies You Will Develop
Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Consistently choose the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment
  • Activity Types Hands On Activities, Office Activities, Professional Activities
  • Focus Areas Community & Nonprofit Development, Economic Security, Education & Youth
  • Length of Service 11 Months
  • Education Requirements Associates Degree (AA)
  • Placement Individual and Team Placements
  • Service Setting Community-based Nonprofit, National Nonprofit/Affiliate
  • Weekly Training Hours 8

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