Tag Archive | National Transitional Jobs Network

Vermont Works for Women: Connecting Women and Girls to the Transformative Power of Work

By David T. Applegate, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

TJat Intervale 2014

The impacts of poverty are deeply felt across racial and gender divides – but there is no denying that poverty is a particularly important issue for women. The numbers don’t lie: there are nearly 18 million women living in poverty in the United States and women are twice as likely as men to retire into poverty.

Vermont Works for Women (VWW) was founded 27 years ago with the intent of bridging the gender gap in employment – particularly in traditionally male-dominated fields like carpentry, plumbing, and other trades. Over time, VWW’s mission has expanded and evolved to a broader focus of promoting economic independence for women and girls.

Recently, Rachel Jolly – director of women’s programs at VWW – took the time to talk with the National Initiatives team about the employment services provided by VWW to women and girls in Vermont. In our interview, we discussed VWW’s emphasis on meeting individual participants where they are at in their employment and educational needs and the importance to the economy of increasing and diversifying the career opportunities for women and girls.

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NTJN Member Spotlight: D.C. Central Kitchen

By Jonathan Philipp, Research and Policy Assistant, National Transitional Jobs Network

central kitchen

In honor of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, we decided to focus our member spotlight this month on an organization that is tackling both these issues at the same time!

Since its founding in 1989, D.C. Central Kitchen has used food as a tool to change lives. Every day they make over 5,000 meals which get delivered to 100 different homeless shelters, transitional homes, and nonprofit organizations at little or no cost. They aren’t just providing food though, D.C. Central Kitchen also directly addresses the root cause of hunger: unemployment. Read More…

Finding Their Voices, and Speaking Up: Part 1.

The National Transitional Jobs Network and ACCESS Discuss Michigan Earn + Learn’s Visit to Washington, D.C.

Interview transcribed by Caitlin Schnur, Workforce Policy and Research Fellow, National Transitional Jobs Network

DCTripOn September 19, the Earn + Learn Southeast Michigan region’s Participant Advisory Council (PAC) boarded a plane headed to Washington, D.C.  With the support of a travel scholarship from the National Transitional Jobs Network (NTJN), and with the NTJN’s D.C.-savvy Melissa Young to guide the way, the PAC members had an eventful and exciting week in D.C. that included a day-long visit to the Hill to talk to members of Congress about just how important it is for them to champion Transitional Jobs programs like Michigan Earn + Learn.

Launched in 2011, Michigan Earn + Learn is a statewide initiative that helps low-income, at-risk individuals who are disconnected from employment and education, including many young minority males; returning citizens; and chronically unemployed individuals reenter and succeed in the labor market.  Earn + Learn participants gain work experience (and earn a paycheck!) via a Transitional Job while also pursuing education or job training to help them advance in the workplace.

Melissa Young, the NTJN’s Associate Director, and Rabih Bazzi, a job developer at one of Earn + Learn’s partner organizations, ACCESS, spoke about their experience in D.C. and the importance of having constituents  speak directly to their elected officials. Read More…

See More of B.MORE: An Insider’s Look at the B.MORE Initiative

Interview by Caitlin Schnur, Policy and Research Assistant, National Transitional Jobs Network


James Jones, B.MORE Project Coordinator

Racial inequality is still painfully widespread—with the unemployment rate for black Americans at about double that of white Americans, more than one in five working age black men living in poverty, and more African-Americans on probation, parole, or in prison today than were slaves in 1850, our country needs to stop standing by and start standing up for black men. With support from the Open Society Foundations’ Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA), the National Transitional Jobs Network (NTJN) B.MORE project is opening doors to employment and economic advancement for low-income black men across the country.

Earlier this year, NTJN brought on James Jones as the B.MORE Project Coordinator.  James’ previous work experience involved community organizing, coalition building, and advocacy for residents of public housing in St. Louis, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C.  While James loved working directly with constituents, he was drawn to the B.MORE Project because he knew it would give him a different lens through which to approach anti-poverty work.

In this interview, the NTJN’s Policy and Research Assistant, Caitlin Schnur, sat down with James to talk about the B.MORE Project’s current work, the importance of collaboration across related fields, and why he can’t get enough of E&L Barbeque in Jackson, Mississippi.

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6 Good Ideas to Fight Unemployment

By Melissa Young, Associate Director, NTJN


Last week, President Obama put forward an ambitious vision for his second Presidential term in his State of the Union address, including six good ideas to fight unemployment, grow good jobs at home, and ensure that no one who works full time lives in poverty. Whether or not his vision will gain traction within the contentious ranks of our divided Congress over the course of the next four years remains to be seen. Meanwhile, in the coming months at the National Transitional Jobs Network, we’re poised to continue to fight for federal policies that get chronically unemployed Americans back to work.

Here are the six good ideas the President proposed last week:

1. Creating Pathways to Jobs For All Americans. The president put forward “an ambitious plan in his budget to support summer and year-round jobs for low-income youth and put the long-term unemployed and low-income adults back to work.” Read More…