Hardship to Hope: Combating Situational Poverty

The COVID-19 pandemic caused tens of millions of people to lose their jobs—people who have worked their entire lives. The Fedcap Group is committed to helping these individuals develop new skills required to become employed in high demand, skilled trades.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented public health emergency and has triggered job losses and business closures not seen since the Great Depression. The economic crisis has resulted in a massive spike in those facing situational poverty—external circumstances or events that push jobholders and working families below the poverty line.

A sudden illness or job loss can plunge a family into a circumstance called situational poverty. People who have had regular employment and have strong work skills are suddenly out of work and unable to meet their day to day financial obligations. It can be tremendously frightening for the individual and their family. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted millions in this way, threatening the well-being of individuals, families and entire communities.

Industries that employ tens of millions of people, including hospitality, food service, retail and transportation, may permanently downsize or change. Permanent job losses due to the pandemic are expected to be between 6.2 million and 8.7 million by the end of 2020, posing dire threats to individual and national economic recovery. “We know that as people spend more time unemployed, their labor market skills atrophy, their connections to the employers weaken and many start getting discouraged and ultimately leave the workforce,” Marianne Bertrand, a leading expert on the pandemic’s labor market, told the Washington Post.

Millions who face situational poverty will need to upgrade existing skills or acquire new ones, now and in a post-COVID-19 environment. The Fedcap Group’s recent acquisition of Apex Technical School, a well-known vocational and technical school in Queens, New York, greatly expands our capacity to help individuals out of situational poverty and into sustainable, well-paying jobs.

Founded in 1961, Apex Tech serves about 1,400 students annually with seven 900-hour certificate courses in skilled trades including refrigeration, automotive service, auto body, welding technology, electrical and advanced electrical, plumbing and construction. Apex certificate programs are highly regarded and have been shown to have a substantial positive impact on economic mobility—leading to entry level careers. Apex is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and licensed by New York State Department of Education.

The combination also complements and expands our existing career training platform offered through the Fedcap Career Design School where we offer training in high growth sectors such as Security, Culinary Arts and Total Facilities Management followed by job placement and post placement supports.