The Providence Housing Authority is one of six public housing authorities in the country selected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to participate in Jobs Plus, a federally-funded initiative to assist public housing residents to enter the workforce. The PHA is excited and eager to launch the Jobs Plus Program (JPP) with $3M in grant funding over 48 months in the Hartford Park and Manton Heights family developments.
An extensive network of partners have joined forces with aligned visions to create the JPP program which aims to increase residents’ earned income and advance employment gains by effectively integrating the three main components of the Job Plus Initiative: employment related services; financial incentives and the creation of a network of peer and community “supports for work”.
The JPP program incorporates workforce development strategies to help the unemployed secure jobs by offering industry-driven training programs, apprenticeships, progressive education and credentialing pathways. The agency identified local partners to deliver comprehensive employment-related services in five areas: (1) employment readiness, (2) job training; (3) job placement; (4) job retention and advancement, and (5) work-enabling services.
The Job Plus Program will maximize access to critical support resources among public housing residents such as child care, counseling and mental health services and citizenship preparation. The program will financially encourage participants through what is called earned income disregard, which allows increased earnings without increased rent for the grant period of 4 years.
Also vital to JPP’s success will be genuine resident engagement through the formation of a Mentor Advisory Board and the employment of four new Community Coaches. The PHA believes that community and peer involvement will be an essential ingredient for strategic program outreach and acceptance that will lead to achievable outcomes in the target sites.
The PHA is joined by 14 community partners in the JPP effort including the City of Providence, Providence/Cranston Workforce Solutions, Network RI, the RI Department of Labor, Family Service of Rhode Island, Boys & Girls Club of Providence, Children’s Friend and Service RI, GroundWork Providence, RI Family Literacy Initiative, Stepping Up Rhode Island, the Genesis Center, Sherwin Williams, Building Futures and Comprehensive Community Action Program.