Career Services to Multicultural Populations Forum – June 2022

Instructions: Create an original post and describe the major groups of people with whom you work and the backgrounds from which they originate. Identify the key resources that you use with this group.  Then respond to one classmate’s post. You will make a total of two posts.

Remember that our learning group works in a full value environment: We treat our colleagues with respect and professionalism. Our comments should reflect this culture.

35 thoughts on “Career Services to Multicultural Populations Forum – June 2022”

  1. Mandolynwitnik says:

    The major groups that I work with as a career coach are women with children receiving TANF benefits Cash or SNAP from the State of OH. My clients are mostly Urban White, African American and Latino. The key resources that our agency offers are virtual work readiness courses in English and in Spanish. I can offer my clients a hotspot if Wi-Fi is a barrier within their budget at the moment. If a smart device is an issue, a tablet can be purchased for $10.00. During the height of the Pandemic, we were able to deliver food and baby items. Daycare is something I can expedite for a client with our local Jobs and Family Services Agency as well. I work in Cleveland, OH and there are a lot of resources to utilize. I have clients that are single without children. Some of them have criminal backgrounds. We can refer these clients to a local Legal agency that helps with expungement if the charges are eligible. Transportation is something we can help with for job interviews, and for 2 weeks upon employment. Respecting each individual, and addressing to their needs or barriers , can build a great relationship.

    1. eric.blair says:

      Hi Mandolyn!

      Childcare is often a barrier for our young parents. In order to get them to work they need to be able to have a trusting place to leave their children. Unfortunately in our area, this is often very difficult due to certain qualifications or simply that there is no space available at the child care providers in the vicinity of the client.. It is great that you have a good resource to utilize in these situations!

    2. fmking says:

      The resource you have for low-income parents is fantastic! Some young parents in Waycross, Georgia, find it difficult to find childcare, which is a barrier to employment. The waiting list is appalling. The process is excruciatingly slow. One young lady with three children has been waiting for childcare assistance for over a year. I’m not sure if it’s due to a lack of employees, resources, or childcare options. However, it’s encouraging to know that you’re able to assist single mothers in Ohio.

    3. tyhoward says:

      You have some great things going on in your office. Offering hotspots is a great, how are the hotspots funded? I am really impressed with you all being able to deliver food too. These are some great ideas, I am sure I don’t have the funds for, but I can try to do it on a lower scale. Thank you for sharing these things that you are doing in your office. We don’t have public transportation here, but we offer a transportation incentive. I agree with regardless of the participants background or barriers we still have to respect them and not be judgmental. Great post and thank you for sharing because it has helped me.

    4. sbennett says:

      I think it is great you guys are able to supply hotspots for people. Living in a rural area, the wifi was a major issue when schools were home during the pandemic. Wifi is still a major issue because it is still hard to reach in certain spots. Some participants do better under an online class vs an in person setting. A lot of people will hold back from taking a class if they do not have access to proper equipment needed to take a course. I do wish we could find a way to provide hotspots.
      Childcare is also a major issue in our area. We have long waiting list to get children on. I had to wait four months when I started at SGRC to get my son in a daycare in the area, and had already went through five sitters who couldn’t work around scheduling. It is very stressful and iften another barrier for parents to go back to school, or even seek better employment.

  2. eric.blair says:

    We are generally working with 16-24 year Olds with barriers to employment. Many of the clients that we work with are opportunity youth that have documented disabilities. These range from learning disabilities, cognitive and mental or psychiatric.

    In terms of resources, we often connect this population with the regional Department of Rehabilitation for additional support related to employment and/or education. For those that are interested in going to community college, we refer them to the Disabilities Services and Programs for Students (DSPS). They will assist youth with registering for classes among other supportive services.

    We work with a number of foster youths. It is important with this population, to be in contact with social workers and school counselors as well as the office of education to help facilitate any services for the youth that may be necessary for their success in the program and beyond.

    1. kyang says:

      I find it interesting that you work with foster youth. Unlike the regular youth that are out of school or have a disability, foster youth also have their own set of challenges. I don’t work with the youth population, but I used to be a CASA volunteer so I understand some of the challenges that come with this population. It can become easy to stereotype people into boxes to fit them into categories. Regardless of what type of group they belong to, it’s important to see them as individuals. This helps us to better empathize with them.

  3. kyang says:

    My center is located onsite at the community college. We do provide service to the community public, but we mainly service clients that are students of the community college. I tend to work with clients that are low income, and come from minority groups. They mainly range in ages from 18 – 45 depending. Due to the programs that I am assigned to, I tend to work with more female clients than male clients. Key resources that I have used for referrals for my clients here are: 211 (Community Resource Directory), and Family Resource & Referral Center (childcare needs). My clients are already enrolled in a training program, so my focus is to come alongside them and assist them with supportive services. These are things and services that are deemed necessary for them to be able to complete their training program. Examples include: assistance with textbooks, uniforms, certifications, licensure, etc.

    1. vicente.jimenez says:

      Your Center seems great, and it’s a great service for students, especially since College can be expensive. I especially liked that you help with textbooks, uniforms, certifications, and licensure. I feel an added obstacle for students is these items. They save up to pay for tuition and then have these additional expenses.

  4. lifecoachleanne says:

    One major group of people that I work with are Active Military spouses. Prior to this position I had a very different mindset/perspective on employment challenges and opportunities for this people group. I think it is first helpful to even recognize that this is a “people group”. There is a definite culture that exists with in the military, and within the group of military spouses. They do have unique needs that the general population does not have. I then began to apply this line of thinking to other “people groups”. I found that this really expanded the idea of “diversity” for me.

    Specifically looking at Military Spouses – there are a wide variety of backgrounds, educational attainment is varied, and their ability to hold employment has multiple factors. Their situation many times depends upon their spouses assignment which can lead to a quick change without notice. This can create employment barriers due to multiple jobs in a short amount of time, they can not complete education or training due to a change in station, or even lack of employment opportunities due to station assignment. It is helpful to know the resources available to military spouses and to make sure you connect.

    Other issues that affect the general population also affect the military spouse population, such as childcare needs, transportation, etc. Many spouses need to work in order to financially contribute to the family. So there is added stress of meeting an immediate need that can often show up in career coaching sessions. This again is helpful to know outside resources available to the military community and to make sure they get connected.

    1. lalonso says:


      I did not realized how difficult it is for Military Spouses. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to work with anyone from this population but your post has helped me gained a new perspective on their barriers to employment. We often overlook our military and the stress that comes from dedicating not only your life but your family’s life to this service. To have to jump up and move at a moment notice would be difficult for any type of individual that is seeking long term employments. I wonder if with Covid-19 and the opportunity for working remotely has really helped this population. Thank you for sharing your experience with this under discussed population.

    2. LORI says:

      It seems this group is overlooked at times. My son is in the military and it is very difficult for his wife. They have a small child and no family close by to lend a hand. I see the importance of making that connection and getting the resources into their hands. Options for online education and employment have been helpful for my daughter in law since the waiting list is so long for on base daycare.

  5. lalonso says:

    My center is in a small town and in partnership with a local agency that focuses on inexperienced youth or farmworkers and/or their dependents. I am not assigned to work with any specific group; nonetheless, the location and the alliance has helped me evolve a diverse clientele. My clientele includes students from a community college, the local adult school, youth, farmworkers, and other members of the public. I can provide primary services such as vocational training, on-the-job training, supportive services, and direct placement or co-enroll with the local agency to provide supportive services to their clients. Resources that I provide my clients are Department of Rehabilitation, Employment Development Department, California Human Development, Human Services Agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services through California Human Development, Federal Student Aid, and Delta College.

    1. bhoward says:

      Thank you for sharing this. It sounds like you are able to serve the people in your area very well. Working with the community college is very helpful in supporting people and giving them the extra training they need to find employment. Our area does on-the-job training as well and this has been very helpful in placing people who really want to learn and need a job. There are many dislocated workers who want to get back to work and this gives them the opportunity to either learn a new skill or add to a skill they had at their prior job.

  6. bhoward says:

    In our area, we serve 18 counties in the southeast area of Georgia. Our area doesn’t have big cities like Atlanta, it is more rural. We work with adults, dislocated workers (18 and up), and youth (16-24). These groups are generally African Americans, Whites, and Hispanic and they come from varying backgrounds. Most are considered low income thru our eligibility and guidelines process. We serve youth ages 16-24 seeking to obtain their GED. Along with their GED training we offer them the option of a work experience program to help as they prepare for employment. Our providers work thru the local technical schools and colleges to assist students with financial assistance while in school. We provide support payments for transportation and child care as well as provide aid with tuition, books, uniforms, etc… We strive to help students while in school by supporting them and once they complete we offer help with the job search, resumes and job interviews. The best resource we can provide is support.

  7. LORI says:

    One of the groups I assist through WIOA are students who are in their junior year of college or beginning a technical program. I work closely with the schools to provide the best financial services to the students. This program offers assistance with tuition and daily support to help with gas and childcare. I also work with youth who are seeking their GED. WIOA pays for testing, offers daily support and gives monetary incentives once the GED is obtained and again when the student gets a job or enrolls in college. If they prefer to find a job once they obtain their GED, we can place them in a work experience. We will find them employment and pay their salary for 16 weeks. After that 16 week period if the employer chooses they can hired the student. If they want to further their education we can help them in the process of entering college.

    1. Cmatney says:

      Thank you for sharing, it sounds like our programs or similar in a lot of ways. Assistance, support, and hope. There are so many client’s, I know who can appreciate the help and assistance we provide.

  8. Cmatney says:

    In our center I work with a diverse group of individuals: P2E (prison to employment/probation), VEAP/Vets, and Adults. Individuals are assisted through WIOA and our program offers assistance such as Vocational Training, OJT (on-the-job-training), direct referrals to employment, and supportive services. I assist individuals and guiding them on the path they are most interested in. We place them with employers once training is completed, OJT for 6 months, while paying 1/2 their wage and in the end they are successfully hired on as a permanent. We also provide Job Readiness classes for client’s that need assistance with Resume writing or Interviewing skills and job readiness. We also outsource our clients that are in need of typing certification or need to acquire their GED, or housing. For client’s that need help with transportation we have supportive services available: Daily or Monthly Bus passes and if needed will purchase client’s a bike. What’s truly amazing though is the success that is achieved with each individual client!

    1. shirleydaviswioa says:

      Glad to see that you all assist those who have a background, but now are trying to be productive citizens. We live in small southern area, if we had public transportation or program that could assist some students with bike that would be a great asset.

  9. fmking says:

    We serve low-income African Americans, Caucasians, and Hispanics who live in rural or small-town areas. Some are youths, adults, and/or dislocated workers. Participants originate from a range of backgrounds, including homeless, single-parents, veterans, unemployed, and two-parent households who are underpaid or the size of the family outweighs the income. Some of the participants are dropouts seeking a GED, while others have a training certification, associate, or bachelor degree and are seeking education for jobs that are in demand and provide a higher income for a better way of life. As a result, we at WIOA provide our participants who are currently enrolled in school and the WIOA program with financial assistance for transportation, childcare, books, uniforms, and other expenses in effort to encourage and make obtaining an education for a better lifestyle a little unchallenging.

    1. amoccia says:

      I work in a center in a bigger city in Central CA with a bus system; its reliable, however, not desirable to have to commute using the bus system. I am curious as to how serving those in a rural area would be different. It sounds as if the barriers are the same; however, the approach would have to be different. We have a large homeless population that we can access by walking the streets, and our English Language Learners are local as well. We are in the Central Valley so we have a large agricultural population, so we can go to the fields to talk to people as well. However, a lot of the farmworkers live near or have access to the bigger city resources. Housing is one of the biggest challenges here for everyone in CA. Especially affordable housing. We have good contacts with Housing Authority and other CBO’s that provide housing solutions.

  10. tyhoward says:

    I work with age group 16-24 years old. They are coming to us with numerous of barriers that can range from the following:
    • Homeless
    • Runaway Youth
    • Youth in Foster Care
    • Out-of-Home Placement
    • Ex-Offender (arrested or convicted of a crime)
    • Incarcerated at program entry
    • Pregnant/Parenting Youth
    The demographic of our participants are coming from low poverty areas, and with some mental issues. Once we identify the needs of our participant we are able to provide them with the proper services. We have made local community partnerships to help us to be able to provide the service our participants may need. We rely a lot on our community partnerships to help us to provide the best for all of our participants.

    1. vicente.jimenez says:

      Seems like our programs serve the same demographic of individuals. I think we might have the same issues. Our program is limited to what we can offer for support. One of the obstacles we often run into is our clients want to work but then they have other issues That are out of our scope of practice or we just don’t the funding to help. It’s great that we have these partnerships programs to better help your Clients.

    2. saporras says:

      We worked with the same population of clients, Our program also focus in the ages of 16-24 to provide them with a secure employment, career exploration, paid work experience and post secondary education. Working with our local community partners has been the best results for my clients too.

  11. shirleydaviswioa says:

    I also work with youth ages 16-24 years old who have some of the same barriers, some of the common problems these students face is no transportation, lack of work experience and single parents. Since the pandemic began the schools that we are affiliated with started to offer Online Adult Education learning as well, which has been a great help for those who don’t have transportation or reliable childcare for their kids. This year we are increasing our daily amount that is allotted to students which I certainly think will help with these gas prices nowadays. Other than assistance with funding the cost of the GED, we offer two incentives, one for obtaining their GED and another for obtain a job and/or enrolling into college.

    1. cgonzales says:

      HI Shirley,

      We work with similar demographics. Transportation seem to be a huge barrier for our youth as well. Some of our gang affiliated youth may not even be allowed to ride the bus so they have to walk. We have been able to provide these clients with bikes to get to and from job sites and appointment with staff. Our goal is to try and eliminate any type of barriers we can. You are doing great work!

  12. sbennett says:

    We are located in rural small-town, Waycross, GA. Through WIOA we help serve low-income African-Americans, Caucasians, and Hispanics through-out our surrounding 18 counties. We usually take in applications on youth ages 16-24, adults, and/or dislocated workers ages 18 and up. These participants range from various backgrounds such as foster care youth, runaway youth, pregnant or parenting youth, single-parent households, unemployed, underpaid two-parent households, and veterans. Each individual goes through our income guideline procedure, where we base each participant on eligibility with their family size and income. We also range in participants that have dropped out of school and needing to obtain a GED to participants that have graduated high school, received a certificate, associates, and even bachelor’s degrees. Through WIOA we provide transportation and support payments, along with help for materials such as books, uniforms, and certain tools needed to make it easier for participants to complete the area of study. With our youth we also offer a Work Experience program to help those out of school youth work while getting their GED. Along with the Work Experience, we offer incentives to the youth one for completing GED course, and one for employment.

    1. jcunningham0404 says:

      As I read your post I saw how similar the populations that our agencies serve are. We serve some of those that you listed but they are not our key demographics. The single-parent household is one factor that I left off of my post, but it is very applicable. I would like to see our agency target more help for veterans, but they often have overwhelming housing and mental health needs. We are not able to provide those components of wrap-around services, but we can make referrals to partner agencies. We have begun offering incentives (gift cards) to our clients for completing our programs.

  13. jcunningham0404 says:

    Our organization has 6 locations throughout the East Bay (across the bridge from San Francisco). We have three major contracts. One targets parents of children under the age of 18. The other is a State generated re-entry program that connects those on probation or parole with employment, educational, and training opportunities. The populations that these programs serve in our communities are predominately African American (men and women), Hispanic (LatinX-Men), and Caucasian Millennials (Men). Our WIOA funding casts a much wider net in addition to the aforementioned we serve, the underemployed (low income), unemployed, those affected by COVID (changing careers), and those on public assistance. Another growing demographic with our programs is those who did not finish their high school diploma. We connect them with local GED programs and continuation programs to close the gap in their education, in the hopes of qualifying them for more suitable employment. The key resources we offer are transportation support (transit passes for trains or buses), and the purchase of tools and other equipment and uniforms. We provide a transitional employment program where our clients work 20-25 hours a week while engaging in job clubs & employer spotlight (they meet with employers via Zoom for prospective employment opportunities), resume updates, and career advising/referrals.

  14. amoccia says:

    In my position I work with two special grants; one is AB109 and STEP. AB109 focusses on individuals that have non violent offences and are currently on parole. We have a desk at the Parole Office, and the Parole Officers refer clients to our department. We recently had a Reentry Job Fair that was well attended. We have about 10 employers in our area that hire ex offenders, including Amazon, and Food 4 Less(grocery chain). One of the biggest challenges in working with this population is the need for housing and the ability to obtain their basic documentation. If the inmate can get these documents before they are released there is little to hold then back; otherwise, they need to obtain these documents in order to be employer. The second population I work with is the disabled youth population. We have a grant from the Department of Rehabilitation to service 16 to 21 year old students. We work along with DOR to assess the individual to see how we can employ them. Similar to the paid Work Experience program; we pay for their wages, workman’s comp, and supportive services. It is such a job to see both of these groups grow, get their jobs, and move on to more advanced and rewarding positions.

  15. vicente.jimenez says:

    I Currently work with ages 16-24 with Barriers to Employment. Most of the clients have some type of disabilities. If they have a Disability we refer them to the Department of Rehab. At our Resource Center we’re pretty fortunate to have many different assistants. If the client is homeless we can refer them to our Housing Assistant Department. For clients who are pregnant or parenting, we have many Family Support Programs.

    1. martha.avila says:

      Hello Vicente,
      I also work with the same age group. It is nice when we have other resources that are able to provide assistance in areas that we are unable to. The collaboration is very important in helping make a difference for the youth. Nice work.

  16. martha.avila says:

    The group that I as a career coach assist is at-risk youth with different barriers. Most of the youth that we work with have a barrier of being justice involved. I love working with this population because I know how hard it is being young and not having someone there to guide their path. I want to have influence in their life, so they know that there are more opportunities out there. Our organization gives the youth incentives for reaching milestones like completing the work readiness training and graduating from high school these incentives help the youth stay engaged and shows them that if they do good there will always be a reward.

  17. cgonzales says:

    In our area, we work with a lot of youth who are justice involved and/or foster youth. Working with these youth can be difficult at times because their “walls” are already up due to situations they have been through in the past. Building trust with these youth especially can be difficult but worth it. Once they open up and are involved, reaching small program goals and bigger long term goals such as graduating high school or securing employment, it’s great to see! In our area, we have great resources for mental health, transitional housing, tutoring and we offer all of those to clients when they enroll in our program.

  18. saporras says:

    The group of population I current work with is youth in the ages of 16-24 in-school and out of school. We assistance them to secure employment, career exploration, post-secondary options and our paid work experience. We also assist them in sharpening their work ethic skills and soft skills by them completing our Workreadiness workshops they receive an incent of $100. If there in school and they graduate and receive their high school diploma they receive another $150 for completing that milestone. Generally we assist foster, homeless/runaways, school drop-outs, justice involved, disable and pregnant/parenting and low income either basic skills or ESL.

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