In July 2004, ETA awarded demonstration grants to twelve Workforce Investment Boards to promote sustainable collaborations between faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) and the workforce investment system. The grants were intended to: 1) increase access to the workforce investment system among underserved populations; 2) provide new or enhanced services to job seekers; and 3) build FBCOs’ capacity and enable their ongoing participation in the workforce investment system.
The report describes three different models implemented by the WIBs for integrating FBCOs into the workforce investment system, each of which represents a different combination of possible FBCO roles. The three approaches are: a) Recruit and Refer, wherein FBCOs conduct outreach, provide supportive services, and then refer clients to the One-Stop Career Center for placement, b) Provide Specialized Job Readiness Training, wherein FBCOs provide training tailored to target populations followed by job placement or referral to the One-Stop Career Center, and c) Offer Comprehensive Services, wherein FBCOs provide a range of employment and social services in an accessible location within the community.
The report also presents information on the employment outcomes of project participants and resources leveraged from the community by the FBCOs. Finally, the report provides lessons learned from the experiences of the grantees, including successes and shortcomings of the grant projects, according to the three main research questions: 1) Why should the workforce investment system collaborate with FBCOs? 2) What are the main barriers to collaboration? and 3) What steps can be taken to build productive partnerships between the workforce investment system and FBCOs?