Reach & Reach Higher

Renea Covington, Program Director

Glenda Johnson, Reach Higher Assistant

REACH PROGRAM

The REACH Resident Income and Employment Program provides public housing residents with 29 hours of on the job training at $8.75 per hour for 6 to 18 months.  Individuals train in areas such as Maintenance, Grounds, Clerical, Housekeeping/ Vacancy Crew, and Special Projects.  Participants are required to enroll in English as a Second Language, GED preparation training, computer training or post-secondary training.

Thus far, since the inception of the program, the Housing Authority of Bowling Green has been able to hire over 28 full time employees, many of whom are still employed.  Five residents currently participate in the program.  REACH is an internal program of the Housing Authority using HUD Capital funds.  REACH is the recipient of the 2002 SERC Regional Award.

2011-2012 SPOT LIGHT

  • HABG departments serving as training areas include: Maintenance, Grounds, Clerical, Housekeeping/ Vacancy Crew, and Special Projects.
  • Thus far, since the inception of the program, the Housing Authority of Bowling Green has been able to hire over 27 full time employees- many of whom are still employed.
  • Eight residents currently participate in the program.

REACH HIGHER PROGRAM 

Since 1997, the Housing Authority of Bowling Green’s REACH HIGHER Welfare to Work Program has been creating opportunities for men and women to enhance personal abilities, assist with overcoming barriers to self-sufficiency, move successfully into the workforce, and retain employment, ultimately removing the participating from welfare.  This significant, award- winning program provides services to residents of Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, and Warren Counties in Kentucky, providing welfare participants with six months of job skills training in an effort to permanently remove them from public assistance programs.

Participants work for 30 hours per week at a minimum wage job at no cost to the employer and participate in four hours per week of job and life-skills training.  The jobs are provided by more than 180 community partners that serve as employment sites throughout the service area.  Community partners include companies and businesses in the retail industry, manufacturing, service industry, clerical, medical, special projects, non-profit, university, and hospitality industry.  Training topics include: resume writing, interviewing skills development, goal setting, workplace expectations, time management, money management, parenting skills training, mental health assistance, and other life skills.

While in the program, participants receive subsidized childcare, transportation assistance, car repair assistance, and pre-employment, work-related expenses.  Extensive case management links participants to mental health counseling, post-secondary education, GED training, ESL training, domestic violence prevention, sexual assault counseling, food and utility assistance and other services based on client need.  Upon graduation from the program, participants will have garnered employment and overcome barriers to job retention including transportation, education, and childcare issues.  On-going assistance is provided to graduates to ensure job retention is maintained beyond program participation.

Funding to cover all aspects of the program including participant wages, direct benefit needs, training, management, and program administration is provided through an annual grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.  In 2011-2012, 91 participants have thus far been served with 46 individuals graduating and 30 currently enrolled.  Of those graduates, 83% were placed into unsubsidized employment at an average wage of $8.16 per hour.  Since program inception, 1997, the Housing Authority of Bowling Green’s Reach Higher Welfare to Work Program has been creating opportunities for men and women to enhance personal abilities, assist with overcoming barriers to self-sufficiency, move successfully into the workforce, and retain employment, ultimately removing the participating from welfare.  This significant, award-winning program provides services to residents of Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, and Warren Counties in Kentucky, providing welfare participants with six months of job skills training in an effort to permanently remove them from public assistance program.  Participants work for 32 hours per week at a minimum wage job at no cost to the employer and participate in four hours per week of job and life-skill training.  The jobs are provided by more than 180 community partner that serve as employment sites throughout the service area.  Community partners include companies and businesses in the retail industry, manufacturing, service industry, clerical, medical, special projects, non-profit, university, and hospitality industry.  Training topics include: resume writing, interviewing skills development, goal setting, workplace expectations, time management, money management, parenting skills training, mental health assistance, and other life skills.  While in the program, participants receive subsidized childcare, transportation assistance, car repair assistance, and pre-employment, work-related expenses.  Extensive case management links participants to mental health counseling, post-secondary education, GED training, ESL training, domestic violence prevention, sexual assault counseling, food and utility assistance and other services based on client need.  Upon graduation from the program, participants will have garnered employment and overcome barriers to job retention including transportation, education, and childcare issues.  On-going assistance is provided to graduates to ensure job retention is maintained beyond program participation.

Funding to cover all aspects of the program including participant wages, direct benefit needs, training, management, and program administration is provided through an annual grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.  Since program inception, and 82% employment and retention rate has been achieved for all program participants with 539 individuals successfully graduating from the program.

2011-2012 Outcomes

  • 91 unduplicated Participants have been served during this fiscal year.  30 of those individuals are still currently enrolled.
  • During the 2011-2012 Fiscal year, we received over 136 referrals from DCBS Case managers throughout the ten county BRADD area.
  • To date over 539 individuals have graduated from the REACH HIGHER Program.
  • During this fiscal year, thus far, 46 individuals have graduated from REACH HIGHER Program 37 of whom have been employed with an average wage of $8.16 per hour, 2 have enrolled full time in Post-Secondary Education.
  • Reach Higher clients have maintained 95.5% overall program wide Friday training attendance rates.
  • Three parent and child activities have been held year to date during the fiscal year:

April 13, 2012, Western Kentucky University Photography Workshop

May 3, 2012 SKYPAC Picture Stories Gallery Opening/Reception

May 4, 2012 SKYPAC Golden Dragon Acrobats show

  • Seven post-secondary/vocational training program seminars have been held to date:

September 23, 2011- Trio Educational Opportunities Centers- Post- Secondary Education Opportunities/ Financial Aid

November 11, 2011- Bowling Green Technical College Post- Secondary Education/ GED/ ESL/KY National Career Readiness Certificate

December 2, 2011- Trio Educational Opportunities Centers-Post Secondary Educational Opportunities- one-on-one planning/financial aid counseling

January 27, 2012- Trio Educational Opportunities Centers-Post Secondary Educational/ Financial Aid

March 23, 2012 – Trio Educational Opportunities Centers- Post Secondary Educational/ Financial Aid

  • Thirty one individuals received Car repair/Work related expense assistance
  • Fifteen individuals received Transportation Assistance
  • Fourteen individuals were referred to Specialized Mental Health Counseling
  • Five individuals were referred to Kentucky Legal Aid for legal assistance.
  • Eleven individuals were referred to GED classes.
  • Five individuals were referred to Barren River Area Safe Space.
  • Three individuals were referred to and began Post secondary education classes.
  • One individuals began Cosmetology School.
  • Twelve individuals ( graduates/ current participants) received assistance with 2011 Tax Preparation.