The City of Newport News was awarded a grant through the Virginia Department of Social Services’ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to increase workforce development activities in the Southeast area of the City. The $896,802 grant will support accessible workforce and training services at the Brooks Crossing Innovation and Opportunity Center, a new workforce center opening in the spring of 2019. After the initial 18 months of the grant, four additional funding years are guaranteed. This grant was created at the request of Virginia First Cities, a coalition of Virginia cities that advocates for increased collaboration and enhanced policies from the state.
To facilitate this grant, the City’s Department of Development will work with the Hampton Roads Community Action Program, the Greater Peninsula Workforce Board, and Peninsula Regional Education Programs. The City will also partner with employers, non-profits and faith-based organizations to offer citizens customized, flexible, comprehensive and innovative approaches to career awareness, skill development, wealth-building, supportive services, and integrated case management support.
“We are pleased that the Commonwealth recognizes the importance of investing in workforce training for our citizens,” says Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price. “This grant allows Newport News residents to earn industry certificates and credentials and many will leave the program with guaranteed jobs with our partners. Not only will our residents benefit, but our community and the economy will grow thanks to this generous TANF grant.”
Through this grant, the City is looking to serve 110 participants (90 adults and 20 youth) in the first 18 months. Participants will have the opportunity to earn credentials and higher education certificates and/or degrees. Participants will also benefit from on-the-job training, internships, GED support, pre-registered apprenticeships, skills training, and other workforce development services. The program will offer a minimum of four unique certificates, including Northstar Digital Literacy, Workplace Excellence Series, Career Readiness Certificates and OSHA-10.
This grant is part of the Virginia First Cities TANF Grant program, which is designed to support programs that end the cycle of poverty. Newport News’ application entitled “Navigating Wealth-Building for the Residents of the Marshall-Ridley Choice Neighborhood” complements the city’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.