Participant Centric

Partnering with our Clients

Addressing the Real Issue

Access:

Project ARRIBA performs outreach and recruitment to an at-risk population interested in pursuing training for long-term career progression. The “at-risk” population includes, but is not limited to, low-income, minority, first-generation in college, single parents, veterans and unemployed/underemployed adults living in El Paso County. The Orientation is a formal presentation by a Project ARRIBA staff member to make clear to prospective applicants the background, purpose, community expectations, sacrifices and personal commitment required to succeed in college. Outreach and recruitment is aimed at the junior college development education programs, ESL programs, and the general student population at the junior college. In addition, outreach and recruitment is aimed at community agencies, housing complexes, local churches, job fairs, and program flyers are disseminated throughout the community.

Persistence/Completion:

Project ARRIBA uses intensive case management and wrap-around support services to increase academic retention and graduation rates for at-risk students in training. Case management is comprehensive and participant-centered and provides a valuable service to the training provider needing help retaining and graduating an at-risk student population. Case managers are responsible for working with the participants to successfully access training and services, monitoring participants’ progress and effectiveness, and providing counseling and accountability. Project ARRIBA maintains a student to case manager ratio of no more than 60:1.

Wrap-around support services mitigate socioeconomic barriers for all participants in training at the local junior college or university. Every 6 months, participant’s needs are assessed, and individualized levels of support are provided. Support services include, but not limited to, assistance with tuition, textbooks, school materials, childcare, emergency rent/utilities, public transportation, licensing exams, tutoring support, and other assistance to remove barriers from training.

Project ARRIBA also assists participants who are not fluent in English. In partnership with El Paso Community College, Project ARRIBA’s English as a Second Language to Living Wage program provides a streamlined process to help this population matriculate into a higher education setting through intensive case management and needed wrap-around support services.

Job Placement:

Job development and placement begins with the program’s Vision, Initiative, & Perseverance (VIP) group sessions/workshops. These sessions/workshops are designed to complement the participant’s standard college courses while developing needed soft skills. VIPs are designed to develop the participant for work and focus on pre-employment, and work maturity skills development with the expectation that the participant will develop critical thinking, life coping, conflict resolution, and problem-solving skills. VIP sessions also provide a platform for employers to meet with Project ARRIBA participants to describe their expectations, benefits, and career ladder options.

At the completion of training, participants will have completed the requirements for an associate’s degree or licensed certification in a demand occupation that pays a family-sustaining, living wage with benefits and a career path. Case managers work diligently to place each program graduate into living wage jobs by offering career counseling and job placement assistance. To ensure job retention, the case managers also provide job placement follow-up through monitoring of the job placement experience for up to 1 year. The case manager maintains communication with project graduates and employers on a yearly basis for up to 5 years to determine participant job satisfaction and personal economic success.

Program Innovation

Case Management

Case management is a necessary tool that provides a valuable service to both the participant and the training provider by increasing persistence and graduation rates. Case managers work individually and in-group settings with a caseload of no more than 60 active participants. The participants are grouped by occupation and assigned to a case manager. The case manager serves as the primary contact for participants throughout their program experience from enrollment to job placement to follow up. Case managers are responsible for working with participants to successfully access training and services, monitoring participant’s progress and effectiveness, and providing counseling and accountability.

360 Wrap-Around Support Services

Project ARRIBA provides 360 degree wrap-around support to increase academic persistence and graduation rates. Each participant’s needs are assessed and individualized levels of support are provided. Every six months the case manager re-evaluates the participant’s needs and changes the plan of support as needed. Wrap-around support services include, but are not limited to, assistance with tuition, course textbooks, school materials (e.g., nursing kits and uniforms) and testing fees (e.g., ACCUPLACER college entrance exams and state licensing/certification exams) child care, and other support services to ensure training completion.

Vision, Initiative, and Perseverance Sessions

These sessions/workshops are designed to complement the participant’s standard college courses while developing the participant for work and focus on pre-employment, and work maturity skills development with the expectation that the participant will develop critical thinking, life coping, conflict resolution, and problem solving skills. Weekly VIP meetings are mandatory for all Project ARRIBA participants during the spring and fall academic semesters.

Career Placement Services

At the completion of training, participants will have completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree or licensed certification in a demand occupation that pays a family-sustaining living wage with benefits and a career path. Case Managers provide job placement assistance and follow-up through monitoring of the job placement experience for up to one year to ensure job retention. If employment ends within the 180-day mark, the Case Manager provides the participant with further job placement assistance in the form of resume writing, interviewing skills and job search assistance.

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