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September 2016 Newsletter

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

13 Barriers to Employment

The new WIOA legislation identifies 13 barriers to employment. It recognizes the significance of these barriers to education and economic success. The law increases the focus on serving the most vulnerable workers.

The 13 barriers:
• Displaced homemaker
• Low income
• Individual with a disability
• Ex-offender
• Homeless
• Foster care youth
• English language learner
• Low levels of literacy
• Cultural barriers
• Migrant and seasonal farmworker
• Exhausting TANF within two years
• Single parent
• Long-term unemployment

The policy is designed to expand education and training options to help participants find good jobs and career pathways. Support services are provided to help overcome these barriers. Core programs are to align to serve those most in need.

As part of our data collection, it is important to identify those with significant barriers so the best possible support services can be provided to help people meet their goals. Although self-identified, the intake process should include some guidance on indicating any barriers to employment. Definitions of barriers can be found here.

The statewide performance report includes employment rate, median earnings, credential rate, and measurable skill gains categorized by each barrier. The employment rate measures those employed in the second and fourth quarters after exiting the program. Median earnings are the midpoint of all earnings in each category the second quarter after exit. Credential rate measures those participants who obtain a recognized post-secondary credential during the program year or within one year after exit and who were employed. Measurable skill gains have five types of gains: educational functional level gain, secondary diploma or equivalent, secondary/postsecondary transcript/report card, training milestone, or skills progression. This performance report will be compared to other states. It will help identify those who are doing well with support services and those that may need different support services.

Victor's Story

After dropping out of school at the age of 15, Victor decided to return and finish school. Upon obtaining his High School Equivalency Diploma he enrolled in mechanical engineering classes. He is pursuing his dreams and now feels that many doors have opened up for him.

View Victor's story here.

Coordinator Spotlight:

Meet April Maldonado

April Maldonado
Data and literacy specialist
Indian Hills Community College

How long have you been a coordinator for adult education?
I have worked in adult education at Indian Hills for about two and a half years.

Tell us one thing you enjoy about your position.
My favorite part of this job is meeting new students and talking to them about their potential and all of the possibilities furthering their education can bring to them.

Tell us about yourself - family, pets, hobbies.
I am the mother of two adult children, both living in the Des Moines area. My daughter was recently hired as a special education teacher for the Des Moines Public Schools. My son lives in West Des Moines doing carpentry. I have a significant other of 15 years who keeps me grounded. I have two dogs and a cat that keep me from missing my kids too badly. If I find any spare time, I love to go to cultural and county fairs as well as flea markets. I also take scenery pictures. I have worked in many different roles in education over the last 20 years, almost always in support roles. I do have a teaching license, and I sub whenever I get the chance. I started as a program assistant at Indian Hills in the spring of 2014. My role has morphed into a compilation of many varied duties, including some coordinator responsibilities. I love working in education. Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I used to want to travel the world. Now, my dream is the ultimate road trip-to travel to every state in the United States and experience the culture and learn about the people in each place.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?
Superpower? To be able to speak in any language so that I could communicate with every person I meet.

What words of wisdom would you pass on to your childhood self?
To live in each moment and enjoy each day. We work so hard to prepare for the future that we sometimes forget to collect good memories.

Inspire Success

Your Future Starts Here Iowa wants to help people share their stories. As an adult, it can be a daunting task to earn your HSED, start an ESL/ELL program, further your education or begin your career, but now, more than ever, is the time to start. Share your story and encourage someone to forge their path today!

 START TODAY · 1.800.316.6850 ·


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