Before he discovered the Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) BuffaloVisit disclaimer page program at Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Development Consortium, Inc., Jacob considered himself a typical example of the working class poor. He lived paycheck to paycheck, working dead-end jobs with no direction. At the end of the day, he barely made enough money to support himself. While he received Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) benefits, he made too much to qualify for food stamps. Times were difficult for Jacob and he desperately wanted to make a change in his life.
A member of the Spirit Lake tribe, Margo spent much of her early life on the reservation working odd jobs to provide for herself and her family. During this time, she worked in customer service, early childhood education, and administration. She was content in these jobs but always wanted to return to school and earn a degree in a field that appealed to her.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients in Texas face a challenge when it comes to training and education. Under the state’s work-first service model, parents are required to work a minimum of 30 to 40 hours a week to receive TANF benefits. This forces them to choose between work and school. Through thoughtful planning with community partners, Alamo Colleges District’s Alamo Health Profession Opportunity Grant (Alamo HPOG) program found a way to offer full-time training to TANF recipients without fear of losing their benefits.
Shawntray did what most people do who want to make a better life for themselves, she went to school and got a degree. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she realized entry-level jobs in her field barely paid enough to cover food and housing. To earn a decent living, she needed a master’s degree. But after racking up $30,000 worth of student loans, the prospect of taking on more debt was not appealing.
As a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipient, Audrey qualified to enroll in the Health Careers NWVisit disclaimer page program offered by Worksystems, Inc. Health Careers NW prepares participants for training in healthcare career pathways, supports them through training completion, to help them find careers that offer family-sustaining employment. While working at the Portland Airport to make ends meet, Audrey began her journey to becoming a medical assistant (MA) in 2018.
Naomi found herself pregnant during her senior year of high school. Despite her pregnancy, she graduated at the top of her class, with a 3.7 GPA. Naomi started researching her options and went to an information session for certified nursing assistant (CNA) training at Louisiana Delta Community College. She knew she would need financial assistance, and at the session learned of the Northeast Louisiana Professional Healthcare Opportunities— Careers and Support Project (PHOCAS) program. Naomi applied and was selected for PHOCAS. She started CNA training at Louisiana Delta Community College in May 2016. "PHOCAS helped with everything; tuition, books, and even a gas card for me to travel back and forth. It was amazing and relieved so much stress."
The Northwest Ohio Pathway to Healthcare Careers (NOPHC)Visit disclaimer page Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) program at Zepf Center focuses on helping low-income individuals obtain the education and training needed to pursue a job in the healthcare field. This project also builds upon the community Bridges out of Poverty initiative, which focuses on empowering people to progress out of poverty.
San Jacinto College re-engages and incentivizes students to complete their training.
In August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated much of the Houston area, affecting many students and staff of the San Jacinto Community College District both financially and emotionally. After the storm, the college’s Health Career Pathways PartnershipVisit disclaimer page HPOG program struggled to maintain its relationships with students. This took a major toll on the program’s ability to create successful pathways towards employment.
To address these issues, San Jacinto College made efforts to staff up after displaced staff and faculty caused high turnover. The College then set out to implement a student re-engagement strategy to bring participants back into the fold.