DAWN of a New Program

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DAWN of a New Program

Categories: News, Opportunities

Adults in Montgomery County have new opportunities to forge a new path to sustainable employment through a partnership between YWCA Tri-County Area and AmeriCorps/Corporation for National and Community Service through the AmeriCorps DAWN program.

Launched this week with AmeriCorps member orientation, AmeriCorps DAWN (Dignified Advancement Workforce Navigation) will work with job seekers in 1-on-1 settings to build job skills that will help gain and maintain employment. AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs aimed at improving lives and fostering civic engagement. AmeriCorps members commit their time to address critical community needs such as mentoring/tutoring  youth, fighting poverty, sustaining public parks and lands, preparing for disasters, and more.

AmeriCorps DAWN’s is modeled on the PA Department of Human Service’s theory of increased success within employment and training: Success is not only obtaining a job, but also includes developing tools and skills needed to keep a job and attain self-reliance. The focus on long-term success, addressing barriers, and prioritizing long-term goals will help adults build the skills needed to achieve family-sustaining jobs.

Workforce Navigators will help job seekers assess their skills and needs, developing an Individualized Employment Plan with each job seeker that will lay out the steps needed to achieve one or more goals.  Workforce Navigators will assist adults as they craft strategies for job searches, resume writing, interview skills, and build “soft” job skills such as interpersonal communication, time management, and work ethic. Workforce Navigators also will help adults find educational and training opportunities, and will follow them after employment to help them with any obstacles that may arise. Adults participating in AmeriCorps DAWN will participate in monthly personal and professional development programming.

In return for their service as Workforce Navigators, AmeriCorps members will gain work experience and professional development, and receive a stipend and an award which may be used toward education and training after their AmeriCorps service ends.

Seven AmeriCorps members will be Workforce Navigators for AmeriCorps DAWN, addressing

poverty, unemployment, and underemployment among adults by helping them improve their job readiness skills. The seven Workforce Navigators are:

Pottstown: Oksana Poulis, NyJaisha Washington, Mercedez Jackson, and Lamall Phillips;

Norristown:  Shanice Russell, Krystal Perea, and Carmella Hall.

AmeriCorps DAWN will be located at the Pottstown Integrated Wellness Center, 724 N. Adams Street, 2nd Floor, Pottstown, PA 19464 and at Montgomery County OIC, 4056, 1101 Arch St 2nd floor, Norristown, PA 19401.

For adults interested receiving Workforce Navigation, in Pottstown contact YWCA Education and Training Center at 610-326-READ and in Norristown, contact Montgomery County OIC at 610-279-9700.

AmeriCorps DAWN Members (left to right): Carmella Hall, Mercedez Jackson, Lamall Phillips, Shanice Russell, Krystal Perea, Tamara Pacowski-Ferrizzi