Program Report: Person-Centered Pathways

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Career coaches partner with residents and their families who receive public assistance in support of individual and family stability and work and career goals. Three complementary programs – Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Diversionary Work Program and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Employment and Training Program ­– deliver public assistance services through a family-centered, self-determinate-based lifelong learning system. Career coaches provide coaching that is guided by participants’ choices and grounded in engagement, education, employment and employment retention. Through these programs, participants strengthen essential skills, personal agency and self-determination by choosing and pursuing the activities that matter most to them and lead directly towards establishing solid career paths.

Minnesota Family Investment Program

Program year: January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016
2016 program budget: $13,887,630 

8,801 Residents served       3,863 Placed in employment       $12.95 Average hourly wage

Diversionary Work Program

Program year: January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016
2016 program budget: $1,328,120

2,111 Residents Served    707 Placed in employment     $12.67 Average hourly wage

Image of Desiree Guerra

Pathway: Healthcare

Desiree Guerra

“I used the resources that were offered to me and went from homeless, jobless and no further education to having my own apartment, two jobs and my first time in college.” 

- Desiree Guerra

The Pipeline to Prosperity program provides focused and coordinated services to Ramsey County families living in areas of concentrated poverty. A single mom in her mid-20s receiving MFIP assistance, Desiree Guerra began working with an employment counselor through the program in the spring. “Within just a few months of their first meeting, Desiree was successfully employed, independent and actively pursuing educational goals. Desiree’s employment counselor referred her to a program where she was able to obtain her Certified Nursing Assistant license, and then helped her enroll in a tuition-free Nursing program for non-traditional students at Saint Paul College. Through the Lifelong Learning Initiative, the counselor coached Desiree on long-term personal and career goals as opposed to more short-term measures. Desiree credits the counselor with providing “so many helpful resources to succeed in life.”

MFIP in Ramsey County: Innovation at Work.

Workforce Solutions was recognized in 2016 for implementing a new innovative approach to employment assistance through the administration of MFIP in Ramsey County. 

Through the Lifelong Learning Initiative, employment counselors utilize a range of performance measures with a focus on long-term employment plans that help clients plan their own futures on career paths with sustaining wages. Built on evidence-informed platforms with the help of Mathematical Policy Research, the program uses enhanced coaching to strengthen essential executive functioning skills. The initiative’s “4E” success indicators – engagement, education, employment and employment retention – provide participants increased opportunities for choice and achievement.  

The Lifelong Learning Initiative was featured in a long-form article in GOVERNING magazine’s October issue and received a “Promising Practices” award from the Minnesota Workforce Council Association (MWCA). 

Read the article in GOVERNING