From IBSA to you, best wishes for a prosperous New Year.
Addressing Disproportionate Unemployment
IBSA Around the Office, State & Region
In an effort to keep our friends, supporters and donors informed of activities impacting their lives in local and state government, we want to share with you a glimmer of hope that should help low-income men and other under-served populations obtain real-world job skills and employment.
It has been a full-time job over the last 20 years advocating for solutions that would decrease chronically high unemployment level of men, women and young people in Kansas and the U.S. Countless presentations at council meetings, testimony in state committees, meeting with ever-changing city councilpersons and county commissioners, department directors and management in corporations that we empower through our purchases. At the end of the day, my talking points remain the same:
‘Black and minority unemployment, and single-parents in poverty is way too high,
‘Something concrete and sustaining must be done about it’.
‘What is being done isn’t working and hasn’t worked’.
”Failed programs need to be eliminated so that effective ones can be launched to fix problems that have solutions’.
Our goals, objectives and efforts in 2014 will be consistent with what they have been since we opened our office in downtown Topeka 20 years ago (1993)
Public policy advocacy on issues that matter,
Job readiness training, coaching and retention services,
Job development and support services,
Worksite experience opportunities for those looking to gain/upgrade office/clerical skills, close gaps in employment, learn specialty software and programming languages, and other services/programs to help clients become gainfully employed
Self-employment development & support services, including youth-based services and activities in IT (website design & enterprise development) and salesmanship.
Seizing New Opportunities to Address Chronic Unemployment Through Training
The opportunity to pilot a pre-apprenticeship program in Topeka will also include the ability to initiate computer programming instructed in ways that would capture the energy and interest of youth and young adults living in targeted neighborhoods. We feel that if we don’t develop the next generation of web designers, app creators and computer systems technicians; then who will?
We will increase our efforts to open up access to job skills training in our agency for those eligible for work experience, worksite training and subsidized employment opportunities for no/low-income youth, adults and elders 55+. Now that those under 50yrs old and with no dependents must be working or participating on job training, community service or volunteerism to obtain food stamps, the time is right for rolling out more program options and worksite training opportunities; not less.
IBSA Programs & Services by the Numbers
Even though we’re still gathering and analyzing our data for 2013, we’d like to share with you what we know for sure:
In 2013, IBSA programs provided direct service to over 40 clients that included both young adults and adults. Clients, interns and program participants completed over 600hours working with staff, counselors, completing assignments and through volunteerism or community service. Work activity include coordinating the annual Suit Drive with the local Men’s Wearhouse and fitting over 45 men with professional interview attire, over 45 men/women primarily homeless persons received Google phone cards with local numbers for job search, and staff and volunteers completed countless hours of data-entry in online directories and databases, facilitating group discussions about community problems and issues of concern, or performed other services that helped to maintain our facilities and workload.
6 self-employment clients from DCF received more than $27,000 in grants for their business, 2Older Kansans worked in our office under a subsidized employment & training program offered by SER-National. 2student interns from Washburn University completed over 80 hours of required community service hours. Additionally, 5clients referred by the Kansas Dept. of Children & Familiesobtained employment and other job retention support services in order to keep their job. 1DCF client entered into a Community Job Tryout to reenter the workforce. Some of these numbers are approximate, but there is more than space allows
Whether it was the advocacy efforts that opened the doors to more public funding for local workforce training programs targeting low to-moderate income adults; or our leadership efforts that brought unprecedented Internet connectivity to the oldest and largest public housing development in Kansas, our approach and ability to keep pushing for positive change is only due to the ongoing support provided our agency by individual, business owners and supportive nonprofit agencies. Please consider making a donation today.
IBSA has been fortunate to be a magnet for volunteers with many skills and talents. We currently have several individuals that choose to volunteer in helping us to upgrade and maintain our computers or to fix those of our clients, friends and small businesses we work with. My goal as leader of this organization as always, is to help them acquire the skills and certifications that will assist them to market themselves to do work they can proficiently do. From fixing a broken screen on tablets and cellphones, to designing posters/flyers or getting a virus off of a computer,,, we are fortunate to have talented people selflessly giving of their time and talents.
Since this is the time of the year that nonprofits ask its base to keep their organization in mind for their annual giving through contributions and donations, I want to also ask for your financial support to assist help our efforts in 2014.