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Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships News

Summer 2011

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Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Launches National Job Clubs Initiative

New Project Harnesses the Power of Community and Volunteers to Assist Jobless

There’s an old saying that searching for a job is a full-time job in itself. It requires a heavy dose of networking, both in-person and online; a commitment to self-promotion; and an ability to maintain a positive outlook. For years, job clubs and career ministries have supported job seekers in these areas. Often times run by volunteers and sponsored by a church, public library, or community college, job clubs offer a unique mix of networking, emotional support, and practical training. The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships recently launched a new initiative aimed at reaching out to the hundreds of active job clubs across the country, sharing effective practices and strategies, and facilitating partnerships between job clubs and the workforce investment system. The centerpiece of this new project is an online community where job club practitioners can access resources, share success stories, and connect with job club coordinators and other experts across the country. If you are a job club coordinator or if you are interested in starting a job club, finding a club in your community, or just learning more about their amazing work, please visit the online community and sign up to be a member. Here are some other links related to the project:

Employment and Training Administration Awards $340 Million in New Grants

Opportunities for Community Organizations to Get Involved

This past May and June, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration awarded $340 million in new grants to fund organizations and collaborations across the country involved in job training and employment activities. The grants are funded under nine, separate programs that will serve a range of job seekers, including at-risk youth, formerly incarcerated individuals, dislocated workers, and farm workers. Grantees include nonprofit organizations, community colleges, workforce investment boards, and state and local governments. The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships encourages community groups to connect with grantees in their local area and explore potential collaborations.

Building Bridges between the Department of Labor and Worker Centers

Center Works to Extend Protections to the Most Vulnerable Workers

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is commited to ensuring that all workers are protected under Federal labor laws, especially workers who are most vulnerable, such as low-income and immigrant workers. The many worker centers and other faith-based and community organizations across the country that support vulnerable workers play an important role in this effort. The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships has been working closely with Secretary Solis and DOL’s worker protection agencies to reach out to worker centers, provide them with up-to-date information and materials, and develop collaborative working relationships with DOL’s local outreach workers and investigators. One such example of these activities is a recent case in Tennessee where worker centers helped alert DOL officials to an employer’s abuses of the H2B guest worker program. DOL opened an investigation and issued penalties against the company, including barring them from participating in the guest worker program for three years.

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