Technology As An Ally in Fighting Poverty!

Technology As An Ally in Fighting Poverty!

January 9, 2023

Every new technological advancement has the opportunity to change the lives of people with barriers to economic well-being.

Just consider a few of the ways that technology serves as a major ally to the war on poverty—especially for women and children.

    1. E-learning platforms offer entrepreneurs in remote and difficult to access locations training and business advisory services. This is increasingly effective for women-owned small businesses.
    2. Mobile banking offers the poor access to banking without transaction costs and without the need for a traditional, physical bank. A Brookings Institute policy brief reported that access to banking helps the poor protect their assets and invest wisely. It allows them to save money without fear of theft. Brookings reported that, “One study from the Philippines found that access to formal savings increased women’s economic empowerment by raising their influence over household consumption choices, children’s education and use of family planning.”
    3. Mobile technology has increased incomes for small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs, particularly by connecting them to better markets.
    4. Mobile health care via cell phones offers access to medical information otherwise inaccessible to impoverished people. A recent Ghanaian project, for instance, targets pregnant women who lack access to information on how to promote healthy fetal development, reports the Research Council of Norway. Mothers receive weekly, automated messages designed to help counterbalance superstition and pregnancy-related myths. “All they need to receive these messages is an inexpensive mobile phone,” says Jacqueline Møller Larsen of the Grameen Foundation in Ghana. “The health information they receive in this way can make a real difference in the health of both mother and baby.”
    5. Increase access to education. Many children, especially disadvantaged girls, in rural areas of the world, have limited access to education. And many of the schools that rural children can attend struggle with poor-quality teachers and limited resources. But new technology like solar-powered computers and projectors allow students to participate in real-time, interactive lessons with quality teachers.

At The Fedcap Group, we are striving to join these cutting-edge strategies with our own Single Stop technology. Single Stop began with a simple question “How do we connect the 46 million Americans living in poverty with the billions of dollars of life-changing resources that go unclaimed each year?” Connecting families to these resources was a problem of logistics. So Single Stop set out to use technology to create a new pathway for economic mobility in the United States. We designed an accessible, user-friendly online platform that connects people to the financial resources critical to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Since 2007, we have helped over 2.1 million people get connected with benefits and resources. In FY2022 alone, Single Stop served over 87,000 individuals, facilitating access to benefits and needed supports valued at $374M. Households who completed our benefit screening were found eligible for an average value of $12,000 in needed supports per household.

In the past decade we have expanded our services to serve college students struggling to remain in college due to financial and other stressors such as need for childcare. In FY 2022, we served over 22,000 college students across 50 college campuses.

Independent evaluators underscore Single Stop’s impact in the educational sphere.

The Institute of Education Sciences has recognized Single Stop through its What Works Clearinghouse as a tool to improve academic achievement and progression in college.

The Rand Report study found that Single Stop clients are more successful in college than their peers who do not utilize the organization’s services. Single Stop use was associated with increased college persistence, meaning that students are more likely to return to college for another semester, or the following year, if they take advantage of Single Stop services.

Metis Associates evaluated the Single Stop program at the Community College of Philadelphia. The study followed students from Fall 2014 through Fall 2017 and found that students who utilized Single Stop services are more successful in college than their peers who do not utilize the organization’s services.

Technology is a profound ally in the fight against poverty. And The Fedcap Group is so proud to be part of the solution!

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

¡La Tecnología Como Aliada en la Lucha Contra la Pobreza!

 

9 enero 2023

Cada nuevo avance tecnológico tiene la oportunidad de cambiar la vida de las personas con incapacidades para el bienestar económico.

Solo considera algunas de las formas en que la tecnología sirve como un aliado importante en la guerra contra la pobreza, especialmente para las mujeres y los niños.

    1. Las plataformas de aprendizaje electrónico ofrecen a los empresarios en ubicaciones remotas y de difícil acceso servicios de capacitación y asesoramiento empresarial. Esto es cada vez más efectivo para las pequeñas empresas propiedad de mujeres.
    2. La banca móvil ofrece a los humildes acceso a la banca sin costos de transacción y sin la necesidad de un banco físico tradicional. Un informe de Brookings Institute, informó que el acceso a la banca móvil ayuda a los pobres a proteger sus activos e invertir sabiamente. Les permite ahorrar dinero sin temor a ser atracados. Brookings informó que, “Un estudio en las Filipinas encontró que el acceso al ahorro oficial aumentó el empoderamiento económico de las mujeres al aumentar su poder sobre las opciones de consumo en el hogar, la educación de los niños y el uso de la planificación familiar.”
    3. La tecnología móvil ha aumentado los ingresos tanto de los pequeños agricultores como de los empresarios, en particular al conectarlos con mejores mercados.
    4. La atención médica móvil a través de teléfonos celulares ofrece acceso a información médica que de otro modo sería inaccesible para las personas necesitadas. Un proyecto reciente en Ghana, por ejemplo, se efoca en las mujeres embarazadas que carecen de acceso a información sobre cómo fomentar un desarrollo fetal, informa el Research Council of Norway. Las madres reciben mensajes automatizados semanales que son diseñados para ayudar a contrarrestar la superstición y los mitos relacionados con el embarazo. “Todo lo que necesitan para recibir estos mensajes, es un teléfono móvil económico,” dice Jacqueline Møller Larsen de la Grameen Foundation en Ghana. “La información sobre la salud que reciben de esta manera puede hacer una diferencia real en la salud tanto de la madre como la del bebé”.
    5. Aumentar el acceso a la educación. Muchos niños, especialmente las niñas necesitadas, en las zonas rurales del mundo, tienen un acceso limitado a la educación. Y muchas de las escuelas a las que pueden asistir los niños de zonas rurales batallan con maestros deficientes y recursos limitados. Pero las nuevas tecnologías, como las computadoras y los proyectores que funcionan con energía solar, permiten a los estudiantes participar en lecciones interactivas en tiempo real con maestros de calidad.

En el Fedcap Group, nos esforzamos por unir estas estrategias de vanguardia con nuestra propia tecnología de Single Stop. Single Stop comenzó con una simple pregunta: “¿Cómo conectamos a los 46 millones de estadounidenses que viven en la pobreza con los miles de millones de dólares de recursos transformadores y que no se reclaman cada año? “Conectar a las familias con estos recursos era un problema de logística. Así que Single Stop se propuso utilizar la tecnología para crear un nuevo camino para la movilidad económica en los Estados Unidos. Diseñamos una plataforma en línea, intuitiva y fácil de usar que conecta a las personas con los recursos financieros fundamentales para romper el ciclo de la pobreza.

Desde el 2007, hemos ayudado a más de 2,1 millones de personas a conectarse con beneficios y recursos. Solo en el año fiscal 2022, Single Stop atendió a más de 87,000 personas, facilitando el acceso a beneficios y apoyos vitales valorados en $ 374M. Las familias que completaron nuestra evaluación de beneficios, fueron elegibles por un valor promedio de $12,000 en apoyos necesarios por hogar.

En la última década, hemos ampliado nuestros servicios para servir a los estudiantes universitarios que luchan por permanecer en la universidad, debido a factores financieros estresantes y de otro tipo, como la necesidad del cuidado infantil. En el año fiscal 2022, servimos a más de 22,000 estudiantes universitarios en 50 recintos universitarios.

Evaluadores independientes subrayan el impacto de Single Stop en el ámbito educativo.

El Institute of Education Sciences ha reconocido a Single Stop a través de su “What Works Clearinghouse”; como una herramienta para mejorar el rendimiento académico y la evolución en la universidad.

El estudio del “Rand Report”, encontró que los clientes de Single Stop tienen más éxito en la universidad que sus compañeros que no utilizan los servicios de la organización. El uso de Single Stop se vinculó con una mayor persistencia en la universidad; lo que significa que es más probable que los estudiantes regresen a la universidad por otro semestre, o al año siguiente, si aprovechan los servicios de Single Stop.

“Metis Associates” evaluó el programa de Single Stop en el Community College of Philadelphia. El estudio rastreo a los estudiantes desde el otoño de 2014 hasta el otoño de 2017 y encontró que los estudiantes que utilizaron los servicios de Single Stop tenían más éxito en la universidad que sus compañeros que no utilizaban los servicios de la organización.

La tecnología es una profunda aliada en la lucha contra la pobreza. ¡Y el Fedcap Group está muy orgulloso de ser parte de la solución!

Como siempre, agradezco tus comentarios.

Do Leaders in Your Organization Think, or Do They Think Critically?

Do Leaders in Your Organization Think, or Do They Think Critically?

December 20, 2022

I am always intrigued by the pull to be tactical when strategy is what is called for. It is the same pull to do something, anything, as opposed to slowing down and doing the right thing.

As leaders in an unpredictable and challenging marketplace, it is critical that we do that which is best for the organization, regardless of what is most expedient or what seems right at the moment. This requires critical thinking. Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But if you spend enough time observing people’s thought processes and listening to their reasoning, it becomes very clear that the thinking, left to itself, can be biased, distorted, or uninformed. This is troubling given the fact that the quality of our work (and our life) depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Sloppy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life.

That said, excellence in thought is possible, however it must be systematically cultivated.

In 1987 Michael Scriven & Richard Paul, presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform, and defined the process of critical thinking as:

The intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, depth, breadth, and fairness.

Note that they described the process of critical thinking as disciplined and requiring skill.

 

I have met individuals who are brilliant thinkers, but not necessarily disciplined. I have met others who are very smart and know a lot but have yet to hone the skill of applying information in strategic ways to draw reasoned, informed conclusions.

The best critical thinkers I have met are keenly aware of how flawed human reasoning can be. They work diligently to develop intellectual integrity and possess the following traits:

    • Asks vital questions—the more precise the better in order to fully understand the problem or situation;
    • Gathers and assesses relevant information, testing the information against relevant criteria and standards;
    • Thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and
    • Communicates effectively with others when struggling to find solutions to complex problems.

While I have yet to meet an individual who thinks critically in every situation as everyone is subject to being swayed by bias, blind spots, history or passion around a topic, there are those who have cultivated a way of thinking that is remarkable in its discipline and consistency. And according to these individuals, the process does not occur overnight but over a lifetime.

As leaders, we need to be committed to developing the intellectual discipline required in critical thinking. And this journey should be transparent to our staff and our colleagues. We need to be talking about the process of critical thinking, the rigor required in critical thinking, the importance of thinking critically before simply acting. We need to highlight and celebrate critical thinking characteristics when we see them.

Critical thinking may be the most valuable characteristic of any leader—and the most challenging to cultivate.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.


¿Los Líderes de Tu Organización Solo Piensan o Razonan de Manera Crítica?

20 diciembre 2022

Siempre me intriga la atracción de ser táctica cuando la estrategia es la que se requiere. Es la misma atracción para hacer algo o para hacer cualquier cosa; en lugar de reducir la velocidad y hacer lo correcto.

Como líderes en un mercado impredecible y desafiante, es fundamental que hagamos lo que sea mejor para la organización, independientemente de lo que sea más conveniente o de lo que parezca correcto en ese momento. Esto requiere pensamiento crítico. Todo el mundo piensa, que es nuestra naturaleza hacerlo. Pero si pasas suficiente tiempo observando los procesos del modo de pensar de las personas y así como escuchando su razonamiento; queda muy claro que el pensamiento, dejado a sí mismo, puede estar sesgado, distorsionado o desinformado. Esto es preocupante dado el hecho de que la calidad de nuestro trabajo (y nuestra vida) depende precisamente de la calidad de nuestro pensamiento. El pensamiento descuidado es costoso, tanto en dinero como en calidad de vida.

Dicho esto, la excelencia en el pensamiento es posible, sin embargo, debe cultivarse sistemáticamente.

En 1987 Michael Scriven & Richard Paul, presentaron en la “8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform” y definieron el proceso de pensamiento crítico como:

El proceso intelectualmente disciplinado de conceptualizar, aplicar, analizar, sintetizar y / o evaluar activa y hábilmente la información recopilada de, o generada por, la observación, la experiencia, la reflexión, el razonamiento o la comunicación, como una guía para la acción. En su forma ilustrativa, se basa en valores intelectuales universales que trascienden las divisiones temáticas: claridad, exactitud, precisión, consistencia, relevancia, evidencia sólida, profundidad, amplitud y equidad.

Ten en cuenta que describieron el proceso de pensamiento crítico como disciplinado y que requiere destreza.


He conocido a individuos que son pensadores brillantes, pero no necesariamente disciplinados. He conocido a otros que son muy inteligentes y saben mucho, pero aún tienen que perfeccionar la destreza de aplicar la información de manera estratégica para sacar conclusiones congruentes e informadas.

Los mejores pensadores críticos que he conocido son muy conscientes de lo defectuoso que puede ser el razonamiento humano. Trabajan esmeradamente para desarrollar la integridad intelectual y poseen las siguientes cualidades:

    • Hacen preguntas fundamentales; cuanto más precisas, mejor para comprender completamente el problema o la situación ;
    • Recopilan y evalúan la información relevante; comparándola con los criterios y normas pertinentes;
    • Piensan con la mente abierta dentro de sistemas alternativos de razonamiento, reconociendo y evaluando; según sea necesario, sus suposiciones, implicaciones y consecuencias prácticas; y
    • Se comunican eficazmente con los demás cuando luchan por encontrar soluciones a problemas complejos.

Si bien todavía no he conocido a un individuo que piense críticamente en cada situación; ya que todos están sujetos a ser influenciados por prejuicios, lados flacos, la historia o pasión en torno a un tema; hay quienes han cultivado una forma de pensar que es notable en su disciplina y consistencia. Y según estos individuos, el proceso no ocurre de la noche a la mañana, sino durante toda la vida.

Como líderes, debemos comprometernos a desarrollar la disciplina intelectual requerida en el razonamiento crítico. Y este viaje debe ser transparente para nuestro personal y nuestros colegas. Necesitamos hablar tanto sobre el proceso de razonamiento crítico como del rigor requerido en el pensamiento crítico, así como de la importancia de pensar críticamente antes de simplemente actuar. Necesitamos resaltar y celebrar las características del razonamiento crítico cuando las vemos.

El razonamiento crítico puede ser la característica más valiosa de cualquier líder y la más difícil de cultivar.

Como siempre, agradezco tus opiniones.

Community Work Services Launches New Apex Clean Energy Institute in Boston

Community Work Services Launches New Apex Clean Energy Institute in Boston

Kicks Off with High Demand Training for Placement into Well-Paying, Sustainable Jobs in the Solar Energy Industry; Will be Expanded to Wind Power & Other Renewable Energy Sources in the Future

First Class Enrolled in Solar Training Program are Returning Citizens who Were Formerly Incarcerated to help them Secure Path to Economic Well-Being

Students Who Complete Program Will be Awarded Six College Credits from Paul Smith’s College to Pursue Additional Higher Education Programs

December 13, 2022

Boston, MA—Community Work Services in partnership with Apex Technical School and Power52 Clean Energy Access Institute today announced they are launching a new Clean Energy Institute to train underrepresented communities in high demand, well-paying jobs in solar energy. CWS, Apex Technical School, and Power52 are all affiliates of The Fedcap Group, a nonprofit focused on achieving economic well-being for underserved communities.

The 450-hour solar training program created by Power52 Clean Energy Access and Apex Technical School and taught at CWS will provide training in basic digital skills and financial literacy, as well as micro grids/smart grids and solar energy systems design. In addition, the program will provide hands-on lab training in solar photovoltaic installation including, safety, fall protection, construction, power tools, safe operation, pipe bending, and racking assembly.

The first class of students comprises returning citizens to the community following incarceration. A recent report by the Brookings Institution has found lower recidivism from returning citizens if they have sustainable employment.

Graduates of the 450-hour solar energy training program will receive six college credits from The Fedcap Group’s partner Paul Smith’s College. These credits can be used at Paul Smith’s or other colleges or universities to secure pathways into other certificate and degree programs to participate in additional upskilling to graduates of the Apex Clean Energy Institute.

“The Apex Clean Energy Institute will be a model we will replicate in many underserved communities as a way of providing job skills in high demand sectors that will result in sustainable employment for those too often left behind,” said Christine McMahon, President and CEO of The Fedcap Group. “CWS is doing important work building pathways to economic well-being by connecting individuals, like returning citizens, with an array of programs and educational opportunities from shorter job training programs all the way up to college degrees.”

“CWS has been working with the Boston Community for 145 years, providing high-quality job skills training and employment opportunities, combined with the tools and strategies that enhance our participants’ ability to gain and retain employment,” said Craig Stenning, Executive Director of CWS Boston. “The Clean Energy Access Institute is the next step in our efforts to ensure our participants learn skills that will serve them for many years to come, and with the growing demand for sustainable energy sources, this training is a natural fit.”

“The expected demand for solar photovoltaic installers is expected to grow by 52% over the next decade with a starting median salary near $50,000 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,” said Robert Wallace, Founder and CEO of Power52 Clean Energy Access Institute. “Our training will change the lives of many individuals and their families in a meaningful and positive way. I’m proud of our team that made this happen.” View a video of Robert Wallace speaking at the event.

“The Apex Clean Energy Institute will provide our graduates with the skills necessary to join the growing green energy field. In addition to receiving a certificate students will also receive credits towards a college degree,” said Steve Markowitz, President of Apex Technical School. “Thanks to our partner Paul Smith’s College we are able to create a path for CWS graduates that choose to take the next step and go on to college.”

The launch of the new Apex Clean Energy Institute was made possible by funding from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Commonwealth Corporation, and National Grid Foundation.

The Fedcap Group also thanked the following agencies for their support of the project: City of Boston Public Safety/Office of Workforce Development, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Citizens Energy Group, Nexamp, and Resonant Energy.

View a video of the ribbon cutting on YouTube.

About The Fedcap Group
For 87 years, The Fedcap Group has developed scalable, innovative, and potentially disruptive solutions to some of society’s most pressing needs. Serving 340,000 people this past fiscal year, The Fedcap Group provides educational services to every age group, vocational training and job attainment in high-growth industries, as well as support services such as behavioral health services—all targeted to helping people achieve long-term self-sufficiency. The Fedcap Group also invests its time and resources in broader system change—working in partnership with federal, state, and local government to improve the way services are designed, funded, and delivered.

About CWS
Founded in 1877, Community Work Services (CWS) helps people who face barriers to work obtain employment and achieve self-sufficiency through innovative job training, placement and support services. CWS is a company of The Fedcap Group.

About Apex Technical School
Since 1961, Apex Technical School has enjoyed a rich tradition of service to New Yorkers who know us well for our adult vocational technical school which offers training in skilled trades. Our hands-on training courses give individuals the basic trade and labor skills needed to secure an entry-level position in the field. Located in Long Island City in Queens, Apex offers 900-hour certificate courses in high demand areas such as: air conditioning and refrigeration, automotive service, welding technology, electrical and advanced electrical, plumbing and construction. All of Apex’s trade programs offer hands-on training in as little as 7 months. Apex is licensed by the New York State Education Department and accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Apex Technical School is a nonprofit organization and a member of The Fedcap Group, an international nonprofit, dedicated to creating opportunities for people with barriers to economic well-being.

About Paul Smith’s College
As the only four-year institution of higher education located in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York, Paul Smith’s College provides real-world, hands-on learning in fields such as business and hospitality, culinary management, forestry, environmental sciences, and natural resources. The college draws on industries and resources available in the region while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. The community of resourceful, enterprising, supportive, and adventurous individuals collectively provides experiential education, student support in the classroom and beyond, and meaningful opportunities for alumni. The college conducts research and advocacy on issues that improve the planet and the lives of the people who inhabit it. Learn more at paulsmiths.edu.

Contact:
Susan Walsh, 212-727-4200, (SWalsh@fedcap.org)

Fueling an Accessible and Equitable World

Fueling an Accessible and Equitable World

December 12, 2022

December 3rd marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities as first proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992. Fifteen percent of the world’s population—over one billion people—live with some type of disability.

The theme of this year’s commemoration is: Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world.

The discussion around the theme of using innovation to fuel an accessible and equitable world sparked conversations around the world about how best to do just that—including at The Fedcap Group. Our goal is to design and refine precise interventions to break through the barriers that interfere with an equal platform.

Through our many companies of The Fedcap Group, we are testing innovations that can be replicated world-wide. These include innovative approaches to education, technical training in high-demand fields such as welding, automotive repair, and carpentry, employer-based training, job placement, and long term career planning. Our efforts are enhanced by partnerships with businesses and organizations who share our commitment to a diverse workplace. This is the work that has propelled us forward throughout our nearly nine decades.

Key to being on the foreground of system change is asking the question “WHAT ELSE?”

While we have come a long way, what else can we do to break down barriers for those with disabilities?

What else can we do to create access and equity?

How can we effectively leverage technology to help more people with disability enter the workforce?

What else can we do to eliminate stigma?

Sometimes it starts with us. What do we believe about the capacity of people with disabilities to work in competitive employment settings? Are there any biases we hold that impact our ability to help a person with a disability dream big dreams?

Sometimes it starts with families. In our work with individuals with developmental disabilities, from time to time we meet families who are fearful of having their adult child enter the competitive workforce, because they fear their loved one may be subjected to ridicule or embarrassment. And the truth is they might be. Helping families see the importance of their child taking a risk, making their way in the world, feeling pride in earning a paycheck overcomes the fear.

Sometimes it starts with business. The Fedcap Group partners with nearly 10,000 businesses around the world. We find that our business partners are consistently impressed by both the productivity and the work ethic that people with disabilities bring to the workplace. And the more innovative we are with the use of technology to create equity in the workplace, the more effective and productive people with disabilities can become. We have heard time and again that the presence of those with a disability enhances the culture of the organization.

What is your approach to working with those with disabilities? What are the “what else can we do?” questions that you are considering in order to achieve access and equity?

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

Impulsando un Mundo Accesible y Equitativo

12 diciembre 2022

El 3 de diciembre se celebró el Día Internacional de las Personas con Discapacidad, proclamado por primera vez por la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas en 1992. El quince por ciento de la población mundial, más de mil millones de personas, vive con algún tipo de discapacidad. El tema de la conmemoración de este año fue: Soluciones transformadoras para el desarrollo incluyente: el papel de la innovación en el fomento de un mundo accesible y equitativo.

El tratado sobre el tema del uso de la innovación para impulsar un mundo accesible y equitativo provocó conversaciones en todo el mundo sobre la mejor manera de hacerlo, incluso en el Fedcap Group. Nuestro objetivo es diseñar y refinar intervenciones precisas para romper las barreras que interfieren con una plataforma igualitaria.

A través de nuestras numerosas filiales del Fedcap Group, estamos probando innovaciones que puedan replicarse en todo el mundo. Estas incluyen enfoques innovadores en la educación, capacitación técnica en campos de alta demanda como: soldadura, reparación automotriz y carpintería, capacitación del empleado basada en el empleador, colocación laboral y planificación de carreras de largo plazo. Nuestros esfuerzos se ven reforzados por asociaciones con empresas y organizaciones que comparten nuestro compromiso con un lugar laboral diverso. Este es el trabajo que nos ha impulsado a seguir a lo largo de nuestras casi nueve décadas.

 

La clave para estar en primer plano del cambio del sistema; es hacer la pregunta “¿Y QUÉ MÁS?”

Si bien hemos recorrido un largo camino, ¿qué más podemos hacer para derribar las barreras para las personas con discapacidades?

¿Qué más podemos hacer para crear acceso y equidad?

¿Cómo podemos aprovechar eficazmente la tecnología para ayudar a más personas con discapacidad a ingresar a la fuerza laboral?

¿Qué más podemos hacer para eliminar la estigmatización?

A veces comienza con nosotros. ¿Qué creemos sobre la aptitud de las personas con discapacidad para trabajar en entornos de empleos competitivos? ¿Hay alguna preferencia que tengamos que afecte nuestra capacidad de ayudar a una persona con discapacidad a soñar grandes ilusiones?

A veces comienza con la familia. En nuestro trabajo con personas con problemas del desarrollo, de vez en cuando nos encontramos con familias que temen que su hijo/a adulto/a ingrese a la fuerza laboral competitiva, porque temen que su ser querido pueda ser objeto de ridículo o vergüenza. Y la verdad es que podrían serlo. Las familias que ven la importancia de que su hijo/a se arriesgue, que se abra camino en el mundo, sintiendo orgullo de ganar un sueldo supera el miedo.

A veces comienza con las empresas. El Fedcap Group tiene colaboradores con casi 10.000 empresas en todo el mundo. Descubrimos que nuestros socios comerciales están constantemente impresionados tanto por la productividad como por la ética de trabajo que las personas con discapacidades aportan al lugar de trabajo. Y cuanto más innovadores seamos con el uso de la tecnología para crear equidad en el lugar de trabajo, más efectivas y productivas podrán llegar a ser las personas con discapacidades. Hemos escuchado una y otra vez que la presencia de personas con discapacidades mejora la cultura de la organización.

¿Cuál es tu enfoque trabajando con personas discapacitadas? “¿Qué más podemos hacer?” ¿son estas las preguntas que estás considerando para lograrles acceso y equidad?

Como siempre, agradezco tus comentarios.

Fedcap Employment’s Customer Contact Team Wins ‘Team of the Year – Hidden Heroes’ at the Employability Related Services Association’s Awards in the United Kingdom

Fedcap Employment’s Customer Contact Team Wins ‘Team of the Year – Hidden Heroes’ at the Employability Related Services Association’s Awards in the United Kingdom

December 9, 2022

(New York, NY)—Fedcap Employment, The Fedcap Group’s United Kingdom-based organization dedicated to helping individuals find sustainable work, received national recognition for the part it plays in improving and even saving the lives of its customers. Fedcap Employment’s 28-person customer contact center located Middlesbrough, England won the Team of the Year – Hidden Heroes category at the Employability Related Services Association’s Awards.

The Fedcap Employment team is an essential component of the organization, ensuring the UK government’s Department for Work and Pensions’ Restart scheme in the South Central region of England maintains a high performance of getting people back into the jobs market. Team members also become lifesavers with every member of the team having dealt with at least one call from a suicidal customer.

“On behalf of the entire Fedcap family, we commend our colleagues at Fedcap Employment for their lifesaving work in the United Kingdom, helping those in significant distress to remain safe, first and foremost—and then putting individuals on a path to sustainable employment,” said Christine McMahon, President and CEO of The Fedcap Group.

Brian Bell, CEO of Fedcap Employment, said, “I’m incredibly proud of the work our Customer Success Center do and it’s fantastic that they’ve been acknowledged with this prestigious award. They are so important to ensuring we provide the best service possible to our participants, so they feel fully supported and know that we’re here for them.”

Now in their 10th year the ERSA Employability Awards are an opportunity to highlight best practices in the sector and this year Fedcap appeared on the shortlist of five of the 10 categories.

In addition to the win, Fedcap’s Scotland-based business was highly commended in the Significant Achiever of the Year category after customer Heather Miller completely transformed her life after being unemployed for many years. The 54-year-old had suffered years of depression, anxiety and financial hardship after her son was stillborn, unable to leave the house and afraid she’d never work again. Her “incredible” journey to sustainable employment started after Fedcap Scotland supported her and encouraged her to apply for a temporary job and now she’s achieved permanent employment status.

Heather Miller said, “I never saw a future before, no sort of life outside my house and with my depression and anxiety controlling me. I now have a future for me and my family. Fedcap Scotland helped me get my life back.”

Susan Paterson, Fedcap Employment, Operations Director said, “The Customer Contact Team is the backbone of our operations, they make everything run smoothly and are a fundamental part of the business. The team consistently goes above and beyond what is expected of them and we are delighted they have been recognized in this way.”  

About Fedcap Employment and The Fedcap Group

Since 1935, The Fedcap Group has developed scalable, innovative and potentially disruptive solutions to some of society’s most pressing needs. The Fedcap Group serve over 250,000+ people each year across an international footprint. The work of The Fedcap Group is structured within four major areas of practice—workforce development, educational services, health services, and economic development— and delivered through a growing number of top-tier companies—each focused on helping people with barriers achieve long term economic well-being.

Fedcap Employment delivers the UK government’s Restart Scheme in the South Central region of England, as well as other funded programs across the country. Fedcap Employment also delivers the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Wiltshire, Hampshire, South West, Avon, Somerset and Gloucestershire. For more information on how Fedcap helps communities across Britain, visit www.fedcapemployment.org

Photo caption: April Hodgson, Customer Success Adviser; Paul Norris, CSC Delivery Manager and Susan Paterson, Fedcap Operations Director, celebrate their win at the ERSA Employability Awards

Contact:
The Fedcap Group:
Susan Walsh, 212-727-4200, (SWalsh@fedcap.org)

The Fedcap Group Successfully Reports Fiscal Year 2022 Financial and Operating Results

The Fedcap Group Successfully Reports Fiscal Year 2022 Financial and Operating Results

The Fedcap Group Reports Fiscal Year 2022 Financial and Operating Results

  • Revenue Growth of Nearly 9% to $360 Million Reflects Organic Growth of Domestic and International Services Platforms
  • Fiscal 2021 Acquisitions Leveraged to Further Expand Education and Workforce Development Training Capabilities
  • Nation’s Largest Digital Skills Center Created at Civic Hall @ Union Square, NYC
  • New Green Education Program Launched

New York, December 8—The Fedcap Group, the parent company for a growing family of top tier nonprofit agencies, today reported its operating and financial results for the fiscal year 2022 ended September 30th. The Fedcap Group is committed to providing services that positively impact the lives of people with barriers to economic well-being, through its network of 23 nonprofit subsidiaries, across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

“We delivered strong operating and financial results in FY 2022, achieving virtually all contract deliverables and posting an 8.8% year-on-year revenue increase, primarily driven by organic growth,” said Christine McMahon, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our performance reflects excellent execution on existing contracts and demonstrates how well our expertise and qualifications are aligned with the priorities of funding agencies and the needs of the clients we serve. This past fiscal year has been an exciting period for The Fedcap Group, as we were able to achieve industry-leading outcomes for a greater number of individuals, while building out our service platforms in the U.S. and internationally, amplifying the positive impact of our programs.

“In fiscal 2022, we successfully expanded our education and workforce development training capabilities, described below, which provide critical bridges to the economic well-being of the communities we serve.”

Over 300 international participants attended the webcast, for which an audio playback is available.

2022 Operating Results

The Fedcap Group provides a diversified array of services to break down barriers and create pathways to economic well-being. These include education and workforce training programs designed to reach at-risk and underserved populations and help place them in sustainable well-paying jobs. To achieve this mission, The Fedcap Group operates across four key practice areas: education, workforce development, health, and economic development.

Education

The education practice has programming that spans from cradle to career. Over the past year, this practice has achieved significant growth in its early childhood services all the way through college-level vocational and credit-bearing education.

Post-Secondary/Higher Education

In fiscal 2022, The Fedcap Group has expanded post-secondary programming, through several key initiatives:

      • Creating Civic Hall @ Union Square, which will be operational in 2023 and which will be the largest digital skills training center in the nation. Spanning 85,000 square feet on six floors, Civic Hall will include a collaborative community space, state-of-the-art conference and events center, and a 42,000 square foot Digital Learning Center (DLC) that includes 22 classrooms to be shared among the nation’s leading technology training and job training organizations.

      • Completing the acquisition of Power52 Clean Energy Access Institute’s Solar Technician/Installation program and in so doing expanding The Fedcap Group’s capacity to deliver high-demand, well-paying green energy job training to underserved communities.

      • Strengthening our partnership with Paul Smith’s College by integrating our education programs into their curricula. Specifically, after a rigorous academic review, Paul Smith’s College will award six college credits graduates to Fedcap’s Power52 Solar Technician/Installation program as well as the new Home Automation and Industrial Automation programs at Fedcap’s post-secondary vocational school, Apex Technical School.

At Apex Technical School, we continue to train individuals and successfully place them in well-paying jobs. This past year, Apex enrolled 2,600 individuals in high demand fields such as electrical, HVAC, welding, and auto repair. A total of 1,950 completed their training program (graduation rate of 75%), and of those graduating 1,482 were placed into jobs (job placement rate of 76%). The average wage for a recent Apex graduate with no experience is approximately $41,000 per year. With some experience in the field the average wage is approximately $82,000.

Early-High School Education

Our early education programming provided through Easterseals and other programs continues to demonstrate success in assisting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities entering the workforce. In FY 2022 we provided services to 2,272 children ages 0-8 delivering an array of evidence-based interventions that promote long term economic and social well-being. One hundred percent of children from inclusive childcare programs entered regular kindergarten. Our special education school located in New Jersey achieved a 100% graduation rate and 100% of the graduates entered college or technical schools for the past three years.

Workforce Development

The workforce practice continues to represent the area in which The Fedcap Group serves the largest number of individuals through a broad range of services domestically and in the United Kingdom and Canada.

We have substantially increased the number of individuals we placed in well-paying, sustainable jobs. In FY 2022 we placed 24,000 people in jobs—nearly an 80% increase from FY 2021 and a 300% increase from FY 2020—a strong trend, with 29% of new job placements earning $17.00 or more per hour.

In FY 2022, we ramped up the large, multi-year contract awarded to us in the UK to provide support for those unemployed as a direct impact of the pandemic, and we continued to effectively manage our large Canadian workforce development contract. Our work for international clients accounted for approximately 30% of total FY 2022 revenues.

In order to expand workforce and education training programs, we launched a joint venture between Fedcap Inc. and UP360—a Canadian Based Virtual Reality Technology firm. Our new VR technology will enhance and expand access to programming across The Fedcap Group family of nonprofits including in workforce, education, and health.

Among our services is the Single Stop benefits screening, case management, direct services platform, which has helped connect over 87,000 individuals needing support to an average of $12,600 per household in benefits this past fiscal year. In the aggregate Single Stop facilitated access to benefits valued at $374 million during this past fiscal year.

Health

The health services practice continues to expand. In FY 2022 we provided wellness services to over 43,000 people (behavioral and physical health care, treatment for substance use disorders), with a view to helping them stabilize, and secure the skills and education required to achieve sustainable economic well-being.

Additionally, ReServe—a subsidiary of The Fedcap Group—was awarded over $10 million to support underserved neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including creating community health vaccine education teams to promote the COVID-19 vaccination. We sponsored 352 community education events, distributed over 1,250,000 Covid materials including PPE, testing kits and health information and made 1,800 referrals for employment.

We continue to expand our services to veterans and military-aligned families. In FY 2022, 14,950 veterans and their families were positively impacted by at least one of the arrays of community services supported by Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services.

Economic Development

Our economic development practice comprises business services operations that directly employ the populations we serve.

A total of 1,010 people are employed in our commercial businesses—the majority of whom have disabilities or other employment barriers. 156 new jobs were added in FY 2022 in Total Facilities Management—our largest commercial enterprise. The average salary is $42,550 annually.

The Fedcap Group also made significant strides in helping underserved communities that frequently lack access to capital in order to build equity for economic well-being. This year we received a $125,000 Technical Assistance grant from the federal government to assist in our launching of a Community Development Finance Institution. This is a major step forward in unlocking loans and equity to benefit communities left behind.

2022 Financial Metrics

Revenue for FY 2022 ended September 30th, 2022, was $360 million, an 8.8% increase from the same period last year. Operating expenses were $354.3 million, 88% of which represented direct program expenses. The Fedcap Group reported an operating profit of $5.3 million for the period ended September 30, 2022, consistent with the $5.4 million earned in the same period last year.

At September 30th, 2022, cash and marketable securities were $60.1 million compared with $53.9 million for the prior year.

Summary and Outlook

“The Fedcap Group remains committed to innovation, identifying new strategies to affect change in people’s lives, and improving the systems within which services are delivered,” said Christine McMahon, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The entire Fedcap organization works diligently every day to bring critical services to individuals and communities in need across our expanding geographic footprint. As we make a positive impact on society, we also are managing to the highest Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards, by reducing our energy usage, maintaining a collaborative working environment, and prioritizing transparency, specifically as we provide semi-annual updates on our operating and financial results.”

About The Fedcap Group

For 87 years, The Fedcap Group has developed scalable, innovative, and potentially disruptive solutions to some of society’s most pressing needs. Serving 340,000 people this past fiscal year, The Fedcap Group provides educational services to every age group, vocational training and job attainment in high-growth industries, as well as support services such as behavioral health services—all targeted to helping people achieve long-term self-sufficiency. The Fedcap Group also invests its time and resources in broader system change—working in partnership with federal, state, and local government to improve the way services are designed, funded, and delivered.

Contact

Susan Walsh, 212-727-4200, (SWalsh@fedcap.org)

Financials

Consolidated Statement of Financial Position As of September 30

Consolidated Statement of Activities
for the periods ended September 30, 2022, and 2021

The Fedcap Group’s Power52 Clean Energy Access Institute and Apex Technical School to Train Underserved Communities in Solar Energy Technology at Civic Hall @ Union Square

The Fedcap Group’s Power52 Clean Energy Access Institute and Apex Technical School to Train Underserved Communities in Solar Energy Technology at Civic Hall @ Union Square

New Solar Installation Workforce Certification Combines Digital Education with Hands-on Training to Help Meet Growing Demand for New York’s Clean Energy Workforce

Individuals Who Complete Program will be Awarded Six College Credits at Paul Smith’s College

First of Many Programs to be Offered at Civic Hall @ Union Square; Programs Scheduled to Start in First Half of 2023

December 2, 2022

New York, NY—Power52 Clean Energy Access Institute and Apex Technical School will offer a 450-hour solar photovoltaic installation training program at The Fedcap Group’s Civic Hall @ Union Square digital skills training center. The program will start when doors open at Civic Hall @ Union Square during the first half of 2023.

The solar training program will provide courses in basic digital skills, financial literacy, micro grids/smart grids (utilizing digital technologies to better manage electricity use), solar energy systems design, as well as provide hands-on solar photovoltaic installation training.

“This is the first of many programs and partnerships to help New Yorkers struggling with barriers to employment break into technology focused jobs,” said Christine McMahon, President and CEO of The Fedcap Group. “This program will help train underserved communities in well-paying sustainable tech-related green energy industries in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of the tech capital of the world. There, students in this program will work alongside other programs and companies providing unparalleled networking and other job opportunities. It’s fantastic to see this project begin to become a reality.”

“Our solar photovoltaic workforce certification program combines digital skills education with hands-on solar installation training which will give graduates a significant advantage in the clean energy workforce,” said Robert Wallace, Executive Director of Power52 Clean Energy Access Institute. “Most importantly, we are committed to economic and social justice and will focus our recruitment efforts to those underserved communities who have been left behind.”

There is significant demand for solar photovoltaic installers over next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 52% growth in demand with a median salary of $46,470 annually.

“This program combines that best of hands-on hard skills training with digital education to best prepare students for growing green tech energy jobs to today and tomorrow,” said Steven Markowitz, President of Apex Technical School. “We’ve been educating individuals in New York City for more than sixty years and this is among the most exciting partnerships we’ve been a part of. Students are going to love the world-class classrooms and program offerings offered at Civic Hall @ Union Square.”

Graduates of the solar certificate program will be offered continuing education and upskilling opportunities at Paul Smith’s College, particularly in clean energy and other climate change related programs. Specifically, graduates of the program will be awarded six college credits to continue their education in related fields.

“The vision for Civic Hall has always been to make the most diverse types of high-tech job training available to the most diverse population of New Yorkers,” said Andrew Rasiej, Co-Founder and President of Civic Hall. “This new program for clean energy job training not only demonstrates this commitment to diversity but also supports New York City’s need for a clean energy future.”

About The Fedcap Group
Since 1935, The Fedcap Group has developed scalable, innovative and potentially disruptive solutions to some of society’s most pressing needs. The Fedcap Group generates nearly $400M of revenue annually to serve over 250,000+ people each year across an international footprint. The work of The Fedcap Group is structured within four major areas of practice—workforce development, educational services, health services, and economic development— and delivered through a growing number of top-tier companies—each focused on helping people with barriers achieve long term economic well-being.

About Power52’s Clean Energy Access Institute
CEA-Institute, a Fedcap Group partner, prepares individuals for careers in the renewable energy industry. CEA craft instructors are committed to all students no matter their back story. With Power Principle resources, the Institute creates opportunities that give students access to workforce options in this growing industry. CEA-Institute’s Renewable Energy Program training will help students navigate a career with CEA power principles and life-skills; National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) standardized curriculum; PV Solar curriculum to support obtaining North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) credentials; and curriculum to aide with navigating the green environment with project management skills. The Renewable Energy Professional Training class format for individuals is a hybrid setting, both online and in-person, including hands-on laboratory experiences. For anchor institutions with stakeholders who require workforce training, CEA-Institute will design, develop, and deliver custom curriculum solutions.

About APEX Technical School
Since 1961, Apex Technical School has enjoyed a rich tradition of service to New Yorkers who know us well for our adult vocational technical school which offers training in skilled trades. Our hands-on training courses give individuals the basic trade and labor skills needed to secure an entry-level position in the field. Located in Long Island City in Queens, Apex offers 900-hour certificate courses in high demand areas such as: air conditioning and refrigeration, automotive service, welding technology, electrical and advanced electrical, plumbing and construction. All of Apex’s trade programs offer hands-on training in as little as 7 months. Apex is licensed by the New York State Education Department and accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Apex Technical School is a nonprofit organization and a member of The Fedcap Group, an international nonprofit, dedicated to creating opportunities for people with barriers to economic well-being.

About Paul Smith’s College
As the only four-year institution of higher education located in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York, Paul Smith’s College provides real-world, hands-on learning in fields such as business and hospitality, culinary management, forestry, environmental sciences, and natural resources. The college draws on industries and resources available in the region while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. The community of resourceful, enterprising, supportive, and adventurous individuals collectively provides experiential education, student support in the classroom and beyond, and meaningful opportunities for alumni. The college conducts research and advocacy on issues that improve the planet and the lives of the people who inhabit it. Learn more at paulsmiths.edu.

About Civic Hall
Founded in 2015, Civic Hall is one of the nation’s leading organizations focused on learning and collaboration to advance technology and problem-solving for the public good. It has grown into a thriving community with more than 1,000 members and organizations that includes tech companies, government and nonprofit agencies and philanthropic and academic institutions and has become the center for NYC’s efforts to develop a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive technology industry. The Fedcap Group acquired Civic Hall in 2021.

Contact:
The Fedcap Group:
Susan Walsh, 212-727-4200, (SWalsh@fedcap.org)