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Thu Jun 19, 2014

TMO leaders celebrated the leveraging of one million dollars for Capital IDEA-Houston this month. The first half million was awarded by the Texas Innovative Accelerated Career Education (ACE) program that the Texas IAF created and passed in 2013.  State Representative John Zerwas (R-Richmond) highly praised the program, declaring he "could not find a better use of $500K than to invest in Capital IDEA-Houston."  State Representative Sylvestor Turner (D-Houston) chimed in adding "we should continue to invest ...in these projects."

The second half was leveraged at the local level, with a quarter million coming from locally controlled CDBG funds and another quarter million appearing as a line-item in the City of Houston budget.  

Said Bishop James W.E. Dixon II, pastor of The Community of Faith Church, "Poverty is painful. Investing in our city's human capital through Capital Idea will impact individuals, families and children, for generations to come."


Tue Jun 17, 2014

Austin Interfaith leveraged a historic living wage concession from AISD school board members in a close-to-midnight vote approving the use of federal Davis-Bacon wage standards for workers employed on school construction projects.  After months of deliberation and negotiation, labor caucus leaders of Austin Interfaith testified at AISD board proceedings, backed by a large crowd of supporters.

Catholic Bishop Joe Vasquez’s letter exhorting the Board to support Davis-Bacon wages was followed by impassioned testimony from leaders representing LiUNA, Education Austin, IBEW, Painters Local 1779, Pipefitters, Workers Defense Projects, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and the Equal Justice Center.  Plans are in the works for the school district to soon establish an accompanying living wage floor to raise the wages of the lowest paid workers.  [Photo Credit: Austin American Statesman]

Additional Coverage Here


Austin Interfaith leaders exhort AISD school board to support federal wage standard for workers.
Wed May 28, 2014

Valley Interfaith Project leaders celebrated the passage of a measure which would raise $21 Million for Maricopa Community Colleges, part of a long-term regional economic development strategy of the organization.  

Monica Dorsey, board member of Arizona Career Pathways, testified in support of the measure stating, "These community colleges are the best driver of economic development that we have."

More here.

Thu May 22, 2014

Texas State Senator Jose Rodriguez called Project ARRIBA, and other Texas IAF labor market intermediaries, “the model workforce capacity job-training economic development program that we have in the state of Texas.”  With that said, leaders celebrated the award of $500,000 to ARRIBA to be used train an additional 300 students for a degree in a high demand occupation.  

 

A 2010 report prepared by the Institute for Policy and Economic Development at the University of Texas at El Paso, estimates that Project ARRIBA’s work provides a $26 return for every dollar invested.  Graduates of the labor market intermediary “contribute half a billion dollars to the El Paso economy,” ARRIBA Executive Director Roman Ortiz said.

The news came the same week ARRIBA celebrated its 1,000 graduate.

Project ARRIBA Receives $500,000 Grant to Improve Local WorkforceKVIA Channel 7 News

Project ARRIBA Receives $500,000 to Help 300 EPCC StudentsEl Paso Times

Video of Senator Rodriguez’s RemarksEl Paso Times


Thu May 1, 2014

Confronted with 40,000 unemployed & underemployed, while good manufacturing jobs remained unfilled and training facilities underutilized, DuPage United leaders worked together to form a novel plan.  Targeting 9,000 replacement skilled-jobs set to become available over the next ten years, DuPage established Career Connect Metro West (CCMW) to connect people to training programs for quality living-wage jobs in western Cook, DuPage and the Fox River towns of Kane and Kendall Counties.  Partnering with the Jan Addams Resource Corp. (JARC) and the Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing (AIM), CCMW will recruit cohorts of students for training with JARC and then work to connect them to manufacturers needing skilled workers.  

This workforce development strategy was developed out of the initiative of leaders who emabrked on 30 months of research, community-wide listening sessions, relationship building and public action.

More information here.  


Thu Feb 20, 2014

Capital IDEA celebrated its 15th anniversary and 1,000th graduate at the Norris Conference Center in Austin.  Elizabeth Soltero, the 1,000th graduate entertained the crowd with her story of triumph — learning English then learning her third language, Technical English, before landing a job in computer security.  Elected city and county officials were in attendance, and other graduates honored — including a single father who not  only worked his way through college, but volunteered at his son’s pre-school.

Facebook AlbumCapital IDEA

Elizabeth Soltero stands with Capital IDEA Executive Director Steve Jackobs.
Capital IDEA celebrates 1,000th Graduate, Elizabeth Soltero.
Fri Aug 9, 2013

Catholic Bishop Joe Vasquez and Jacob Cortes of Austin Interfaith stand with workersIn the latest battle of a longstanding fight for living wages in Central Texas, 200 supporters of construction workers, including Austin Interfaith leaders, Catholic Bishop Joe Vasquez of the Austin Diocese and Workers Defense Project, rallied on the steps of City Hall demanding that workers receive the pay promised to them by developers of White Lodging, in exchange for $3.8 million in fee waivers granted by the City.

In the wee hours of the night, City Council voted unanimously to stand by its revocation of economic incentives in light of the developers’ refusal to pay the promised prevailing wages.  

[Photo Credit: Alberto Martinez, Austin American Statesman]

Council Approves Revoking of Marriott IncentivesAustin American Statesman

City Council Affirms Original Agreement with Marriott Developer, ABC – KVUE

Tue Jun 25, 2013

AMOS stands with Governor Branstad as he signs bill appropriating $200K for Project IOWARepublican Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa signed into law a bill that will appropriate $100,000 per year for Project IOWA for the next two years.  Project IOWA is a labor market intermediary that prepares adults for dignified participation in the labor market by training for jobs that already exist, and thus also helping employers find motivated and skilled workers.  Project IOWA was established with the support of AMOS to better address the jobs -skills mismatch in the state.

Wed Feb 13, 2013

Before the Delta Regional Authority would award workforce development project NOVA $208 thousand to expand training opportunities further into the Delta region, the proposal had to win the approval of Republican Congressman Rodney Alexander and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.  Northern Louisiana Interfaith successfully urged both officials to sign off, allowing NOVA to receive the award and pull more people out of working poverty in the Delta region.

Not only does NOVA train for good-paying jobs, NOVA works to transform bad jobs into better ones.  When approached by a call center seeking to train workers for high turnover jobs paying $8 / hour, NOVA challenged the employer to invest in worker development for higher paying work.  The call center responded and now NOVA trainees start at $10 / hour and move to $12.50 / hour within three months, including benefits; call center attrition has dropped.  NOVA is becoming a new kind of hiring hall, offering training for dignified work that pays fair wages and offers benefits.

Sat Aug 11, 2012

In Houston, The Metropolitan Organization united key clergy in support of janitors as they fought to protect previous wage increases and benefits; prior to the strike, workers earned $8.35 /hour or $8,684 annually.  Cardinal DiNardo, Bishop Rinehart and TMO clergy held a press conference exhorting contractors to respect union contracts and to give Houston janitors a raise.  The janitors succeeded in maintaining the contract AND securing a wage increase over four years.

Tue Jul 24, 2012

Many middle and high -skill jobs in Iowa will be increasingly difficult to fill because of demographic changes, structural change in the economy and divergent skill distribution in Iowa.  To address this impending shortage, A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS) established Project IOWA to train participants in advanced manufacturing and healthcare.  Thirty six workforce development trainees graduated in 2012 with 86% now established in career-track jobs with full-benefits and earning as much as $20 per hour.

Fri Jul 20, 2012

In San Antonio, COPS/Metro Alliance leaders applauded the decision of Ramen noodle producer Maruchan to withdraw its application for tax incentives.   Leaders fought the proposal because the company was asking for $8 Million in taxpayer money to subsidize minimum wage jobs, undermining the wage standard set by COPS/Metro with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County.  When Maruchan changed its mind, leaders welcomed the company to town.  [Photo of Fr. Steven Gamez by KENS5]

Mon Jun 4, 2012

Two participants of W/SWIAF labor market intermediary Project Quest took top honors at a statewide vocational nursing contest, demonstrating “through their achievements both their individual commitment as well as the value of this program in generating highly skilled workers from within our local community,” said Dave Marttala, Project Quest’s executive director.  Project QUEST was the first W/SWIAF labor market intermediary established; based in San Antonio, it was created through collaborative relationships initiated by COPS / Metro Alliance , the San Antonio business community leadership, employers of high-skill workers and other private and public entities.

Thu May 5, 2011

On 2nd May 2011, Trust for London announced to the 2,000 citizens at Citizens UK's Living Wage 10th Anniversary Assembly the new rate of £8.30 per hour. A new figure was also agreed with Loughborough University and Rowntrees at £7.20 per hour for employers outside London.  A focus on the retail sector was agreed by the Living Wage Steering Committee and ‘Lush’ from the private sector offered to lead the way across their 20 outlets. It was also agreed to explore the four major supermarket chains and to seek a working relationship with them for the long term. 


Mon Nov 8, 2010

London 2012 from its inception has been an organising opportunity for TELCO, and the work continues. Over 700 people gathered at an Assembly in November 2010 to focus on the Olympics. We negotiated publicly with officials from all three Olympic Games agencies (the Delivery Authority, the Organising Committee, and the Legacy Company).

A month after our action, LOCOG (the Organising Committee for the Games) announced that all 130,000 jobs during the Games will be paid at least a London Living Wage.

During April, TELCO schools took advantage of the International Olympic Committee visiting London and organised a celebration rally of the Ethical Guarantees that were struck between TELCO and the Olympic agencies. Over 300 students from East London schools attended the celebration rally; gave ‘Civil Society’ awards to the Chief Executives of the Olympic agencies; reminded them of their commitments to the organised people of East London and asked LOCOG to work with TELCO to ensure that local people are given job opportunities during the Games. We have since held two successful pilot jobs fayres, spearheaded by St Thomas More in North Hackney and St Katherine’s in Bow.

In September, the TELCO team plans to roll out ten jobs fairs, clustered around anchor institutions.


In the News


Project Quest, DOL, Homegrown IT, Workforce Development, San Antonio

Project Quest Wins $6 Million DOL Award

Thursday, October 16, 2014
San Antonio Express News & More

Workforce development programProject QUESTwon an award of $6 Million from the US Department of Labor to train 475 adults in the San Antonio area for living wage IT careers.  Project Quest’s “Homegrown IT” program is backed by local employers including Rackspace, Zachry Holdings and WP Engine. 


Capital IDEA-Houston, Chase Bank, Carolyn Watson, Workforce Development, Economic Development

Chase Bank Applauds Capital IDEA-Houston & Invests $100K

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Carolyn Watson

Carolyn Watson, Chase Bank VP of Corporate Responsibility, announced the award of $100K to Capital IDEA-Houston at a meeting of the Houston Community College Board of Trustees. Capital IDEA-Houston, established by leaders of TMO as a labor market intermediary...


Capital IDEA-Houston, Workforce Development, Economic Development, TMO, Liz Valdez, Community Organizing in Houston, Community Organizing in Texas

TMO Leverages Additional Half Million for Job Training in Houston

Thursday, June 19, 2014
The Houston Chronicle

Less than a month after Capital IDEA Houston won a Texas Innovative Adult Career Education (ACE) grant, TMO leaders asked the City of Houston to invest local dollars.  The Council responded, with an additional $500K for Capital IDEA-Houston. 


Living Wage, Economic Development, Community Organizing in Texas, community organizing in Austin, AISD, Jacob Cortes

Austin Interfaith Wins Living Wage Vote on School Construction

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Austin American Statesman

Close to midnight, Austin Interfaith leaders prevailed upon AISD school board member to support a resolution pegging construction worker wages to federal Davis Bacon prevailing wage standards.  


living wages, AISD, Davis-Bacon, Minerva Camarena-Skeith, Workforce Development

Austin Interfaith Fights for School-Construction Wage Standard

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Telemundo Austin

Asserting that adoption of the federal Davis-Bacon wage standard will raise the negotiating power of construction workers, Austin Interfaith leaders testified at an AISD school board meeting that the current 200-based wages are inadequate for families to affords to live in Austin.


Arizona IAF, community organizing in Arizona, Workforce Development, higher education, Maricopa Community Colleges, Monica Dorcey, Joe Rubio

VIP Supports Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
The Republic

Says VIP leader Monica Dorsey:

"If you don't have a skilled workforce you're not going to have an economic recovery for everybody."


Workforce Development, Texas IAF, Community Organizing in Houston, Capital IDEA-Houston, Elizabeth Valdez

TMO's Capital IDEA Praised by Texas Representatives Zerwas & Turner

Friday, May 23, 2014
National Public Radio

Republican State Representative John Zerwas had high praise for TMO's Capital IDEA-Houston, stating that he could find no better use of $500,000 than the new workforce development program.   TMO leaders celebrated the Accelerated Contiuing Education (ACE) award, the program of which was established with the help of Texas IAF sister organizations....


Workforce Development, Economic Development, Public Accountability, Maryland IAF, PATH, Community Organizing in Maryland

Maryland IAF Public Action Geared Towards Jobs, Not Jabs

Friday, May 23, 2014
The Baltimore Sun

Why can't the big televised debates be run this way?

"We want your responses to these questions, not your critiques of each other," the Rev. Nancy Ladd warned the three gubernatorial hopefuls seated in the front pew of a packed St. Matthew Catholic Church.
The Maryland Industrial Areas Foundation promoted its May 14 candidates forum in Baltimore as being geared toward "jobs, not jabs."


Workforce Development, Economic Development, Texas IAF, Community Organizing in Texas, EPISO, Border Interfaith

ARRIBA Celebrates 1,000th Grad & ACE Award of Half Million

Thursday, May 22, 2014
El Paso Times

The same week Project ARRIBA celebrated its one thousandth graduate from its workforce development program, leaders celebrated the announcement that it had won $500,000 to expand access to training to 300 more individuals in El Paso...


JobPath, community organizing in Arizona, Community Organizing in Tucson, Kevin Courtney, Workforce Develoment

JobPath's Design as 'Bridge Out of Poverty' is Durable

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Arizona Daily Star

After PCIC leaders heard the stories of families during a massive listening campaign, they researched ways to address the need for good-paying jobs and created JobPath to provide financially-assisted education, hands-on guidance during the academic career and assistance with job placement upon graduation...


Community Organizing in Baltimore, Workforce Development

BUILD Targets Mayor: Don't Arrest, Hire!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
CBS Baltimore

BUILD has raised $1.2 million and has asked the city to contribute $600,000 over three years to fully fund a program which would employ people and keep them out of prison.  Rev. Calvin Keene says he and 200 other BUILD leaders from 40 congregations and schools across Baltimore City are ready to put people back to work.  "But the Mayor says no."


Workforce Development, Labor Market Intermediaries, Job Training, Joe Biden, Project Quest

NP Quarterly Recommends Biden See Project Quest for Training Ideas

Thursday, February 6, 2014
NonProfit Quarterly

“So here’s a suggestion for the Vice President: If you want to get the best possible advice on the job training programs that work, the ones that meet the needs of both employers looking for employees with skill sets and of job seekers who are looking for work, convene the nation’s best locally-focused job training nonprofits, put their leaders in a room, and have them hammer out the elements of the programs that really work based on their on-the-ground experience. Pull in the likes of Project Quest in San Antonio…”


living wages, economic justice, Work with Dignity, Executive Order, Minimum Wage

Executive Order BUILDs on IAF Living Wage Tradition

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
West / Southwest IAF
The IAF is happy to see attention being paid at the national level to the issue of wages. The President has announced plans to sign an executive order mandating a minimum wage of $10.10 / hour for all jobs that emerge from federal contracts.
 
An IAF affiliate, Baltimoreans United In Leadership Development (BUILD), designed and passed the nation’s first living wage ordinance in 1994, requiring that City service contract workers be paid a living wage. Affiliates across the West / Southwest IAF soon launched successful living wage campaigns of their own....
 

Organizing in Arizona, Arizona Interfaith, Valley Interfaith Project, Justice for Immigrants, Joe Rubio

AZ Bishops and Business Leaders Lend Voice to Call for Immigration Reform

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
The Catholic Sun & ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy

At a press conference convened by Valley Interfaith Project, Catholic Bishop Thomas Olmsted signed a letter to the Arizona congressional delegation for immigration reform, attesting that “the cost of inaction is too high.”


Economic Incentives, living wages, Economic Development, Living Wage Fight in Texas, Jacob Cortes

Austin Interfaith Wins Living Wage Requirement for Economic Incentives

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Austin American Statesman

...Austin Interfaith and the Austin-based Workers Defense Project had been pushing the city for more than a year to adopt stricter pay standards to accompany any incentive deals.... 


Economic Development, Labor Market Intermediary, living wages, Community Organizing in Texas, San Antonio, Rackspace

Project Quest Partners with Rackspace for Cloud Academy

Friday, September 6, 2013
San Antonio Express News

Project Quest, a local jobs training program established in 1992, has partnered with San Antonio-based Rackspace to recruit individuals interested in enrolling in Rackspace's Open Cloud Academy. There have already been 17 Project Quest students enrolled in the Cloud Academy, and Quest is seeking city funding to expand participation by its clients....


Workforce Development, Economic Development, Social Justice, Alinsky, Interfaith, Texas IAF

Texas IAF Reconstitutes Launchpad (Job Training) Fund to $5M

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Texas Tribune

The Launchpad Fund, which gave nonprofits $10 million starting in the 2010-11 biennium to support career training programs for low-income students, will be replaced by the Texas Innovative Adult Career Education Grant program. The ACE grant program will award about $5 million under a similar model to nonprofits for the next biennium....


Economic Development, Community Organizing in Texas, organizing in El Paso, Project ARRIBA, Training, living wages

Border Interfaith & EPISO Leverage $1.5 Million for Training

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
KTSM - Channel 9 News

Citing evidence that the regional return on investment for Project ARRIBA's workforce development is $26 for every $1 invested, the City Council of El Paso voted to increase funding to $1.5 Million over five years...


Community Organizing in Austin Texas, Texas IAF, NTO, Social Justice, living wages, Bishop Joe Vasquez, Jacob Cortes, economic justice, Economic Development, Economic Incentives, construction

How Austin's Marriott Incentive Deal Fell Apart

Saturday, August 10, 2013
Austin American Statesman

Catholic Bishop Joe Vasquez and Jacob Cortes of Austin Interfaith stand with workersJacob Cortes of Austin Interfaith engages with Catholic Bishop Joe Vasquez, Reverend John Elford of UUMC and Rev. Fred Krebbs of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and Louis Malfaro of AFT

If there was anything City Council members and the company building a downtown JW Marriott could agree to in the wee hours of Friday morning, it was this: the deal they struck two summers ago to get the hotel built unraveled...  More here.


Community Organizing in Texas, organizing in Houston, living wages, Interfaith, Saul Alinsky

NYT Cites Capital IDEA-Houston as Factor in Class Mobility

Monday, July 22, 2013
New York Times

“Houston is one of the few southern cities where upward social mobility is as high as cities in the Northeast and West… Roughly 22 percent of Houston children who grew up in the poorest fifth of the national income distribution have ended up in the top two-fifths today, according to the study.

In Houston, programs like Capital IDEA assist underemployed individuals who have obstacles in the way of furthering their education. In addition to helping pay tuition, Capital IDEA fast-tracks students through the remedial courses that can otherwise divert them from finishing their degree….”

Capital IDEA-Houston was established by institutional members of The Metropolitan Organization in Houston.


Workforce Development, Community Organizing in Texas, living wages, Social Justice, Interfaith

Quests' Results..'Extraordinary’ Says Head of City Taskforce

Monday, July 15, 2013
San Antonio Express-News

“Trying and difficult circumstances, namely the closing of San Antonio’s Levi Strauss plant, inspired the visionary leadership that created Project Quest more than 21 years ago. Different, but equally challenging circumstances, have led to redefining that vision that will carry Quest forward stronger than ever for the next 20 or more years.

Quest, a nationally-awarded workforce development agency, was founded by COPS/Metro Alliance, leaders of the business community, the city of San Antonio, the state of Texas and the regional Private Industry Council…”

[Photo of AJ Rodriguez By William Luther, San Antonio Express-News]

 

Community Organizing in Australia, Sydney Alliance, living wages, economic justice, Interfaith, unions

Unions Need to Rethink How They Build Power. Now.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Working Life

In recent weeks, unions have found themselves inadvertently under attack. In the ALP’s attempt to make itself re-electable federally, unions were said to be “part of the problem”. It’s true that a few corrupt union leaders have done nothing to help the labour movement in recent years, but working people in this country are in real trouble if the values unions bring to our public sphere are weakened.


Workforce Development, living wages, Labor Market Intermediaries, Organizing in Iowa

Project IOWA Celebrates One Year of Success

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Des Moines Register

Douglas Wells’ path to a well-paying job with potential for advancement had a few bumps, but the 27-year-old credits perseverance and a publicly and privately funded training and mentoring program with helping him reach his goal....


Economic Development, Workforce Development, community organizing in the Midwest, Labor Market Intermediaries

Project Iowa Gives Workers Stability and Dignity

Friday, April 5, 2013
Des Moines Register

 “Jalissa Daniels wrote dark poetry as an early adolescent…She became pregnant at 15, graduated from Scavo Alternative High School and worked at convenient stores and temp agencies. Even though these jobs helped pay the bills, they were not fulfilling…Finding full-time work with benefits was looking grim…  The[n] Rev. Diane McClanahan, one of the pastors at Trinity United Methodist Church, encouraged Jalissa to consider a new program called Project IOWA, which was initiated by AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy)….”

West / Southwest IAF


Workforce Development, Labor Market Intermediaries, Community Organizing in Louisiana, living wages

Labor Market Intermediary NOVA Wins $208K from Delta Authority

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
News-Star

Sabrina Washington came to NOVA during a traumatic point in her life after moving to northeastern Louisiana to escape Hurricane Katrina.

At NOVA, she found not only a job intermediary program, but a group of people who cared enough for her to help improve her life.


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