Financial Asset Development
November 2, 2017
Hilton Garden Inn, Cary, NC
Members Present: Karen Armstrong, Kelly Woodall Beauchamp, Amanda Bergen, Teresa Strom (for Wayne Black), Anna Cunningham, Bryan Dooley, Senator Valerie Foushee, Myron Gavin, Alex McArthur, Dreama McCoy (for William Hussey), Will Miller, Tara Myers
Members Absent: Dave Richard, Paula Woodhouse
Guests: Brian Beauchamp, Jeanna Cullinan, David Owen
Staff/Contractors: Chris Egan, Donna Gallagher, Pat Keul, Devika Rao, JoAnn Toomey, Yadira Vasquez, Travis Williams
Committee Chair, Amanda Bergen, welcomed the members and called the meeting to order. She asked everyone to go around the table and introduce themselves. Minutes from the August 10, 2017 Committee meeting were reviewed.
MOTION: Dreama McCoy made a motion to accept the minutes from the August 10, 2017 committee meeting. Anna Cunningham seconded the motion. Kelly Woodall recused herself since she wasn’t at the August meeting. The motion was approved by unanimous vote.
Yadira Vasquez gave the fiscal report to the members and reviewed the detailed report on each initiative funded out of the Financial Asset Development Committee. Members did not have questions and they thanked Yadira for her update.
RFA Discussion on Innovative Employment Selection
Amanda Bergen discussed the intent of this initiative that it is to produce up to three paid and registered apprenticeship programs in high demand, yet achievable fields; develop collaborations between two local public school systems to advance pre-employment transition service (Pre-ETS) in those local communities; and strengthen the relationship between disability services and career services within the community college system and provide business mentoring opportunities for college students with I/DD.
The five (5) member Application Review Committee included one NCCDD self-advocate member, a former NCCDD agency member (NCDVR), and three topic experts respectively from the NC Div. of MH/DD/SA Employment Services, NC Dept. of Commerce Division of Workforce and NC Community College System.
One (1) application was submitted in response to the RFA. The Application review committee recommended the North Carolina Business Leadership Network, Charlotte, North Carolina for full funding in the amount up $100,000 per year with required minimum of 25% non-federal matching funds (minimum of $33,334), for up to 3 years, with Year 1 beginning March 1, 2018 and ending February 28, 2019.
Members discussed differences from this initiative with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Apprenticeships would be in business technology or health related and the identified students. There is no great opportunity for all kids – but there are some families really struggling to find employment. Manpower gaps were discussed. Can there be a process to create capacity and sustainability? Amanda also reviewed the expected outcomes.
A recommendation was made for the applicant to explore other counties or LEAs in addition to the one or two they have identified to the extent practical for capacity building. Also, that they do share their processing system so that it can be replicated.
MOTION: Senator Foushee made a motion that the North Carolina Business Leadership Network, Charlotte, North Carolina be approved as the applicant selected for the NCCDD initiative entitled Innovative Employment: Making Inroads to Long-Term Success through Apprenticeships, Pre-Transition Partnerships, and Post-Secondary Monitoring initiative, in an amount up to $100,000 per year with required minimum of 25% non-federal matching funds for Year 1 (of up to 3), beginning March 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019. Dreama McCoy seconded the motion. Anna Cunningham recused herself from the vote since she is on the board of one of the agencies that will be involved with NC BLN. The motion was approved by majority vote with the following contingency:
1. That the applicant be in compliant with Section 508 by the end of Year 1.
Upward to Financial Stability Initiative/NDI Update on Expansion Activity
Donna Gallagher gave an update on the National Disability Institute (NDI) initiative, Upward to Financial Stability. She discussed the extension that is to include outreach to the Latino population in the state. She handed out a sheet with highlights. The first thing they are going to do is create a webinar to see how they can get people ABLE ready and ready to open their account. There are many processes to follow including how to spend the money. There is a four-part series. NDI hired into their DC office someone who worked for the SS admin and she will be directing this. Donna will be assisting with the NC piece. They are translating into Spanish some of the materials, including the worksheets – but not the curriculum because there are so many pieces that change from year to year. They do not want to produce the wrong information or information that is constantly changing.
Their train-the trainer events this year will occur over two days and the Hispanic one will occur in March. The people trained must take the information back to their community to the people who need this information and they will track who becomes Master Trainers and any technical issues that come up. The extension runs until the end of June, 2018.
Questions and discussion occurred regarding this initiative and the members thanked Donna Gallagher for the update.
Expansion of Employment Opportunities for People with I/DD Initiative
Employment Services Coordinator, Pat Keul updated the committee with a final report on the initiative that ended September 30, 2017. She was involved in the first Project SEARCH project that came to NC in 2011. She discussed developing the apprenticeships; feeding assistant program, I/DD Peer Mentor apprenticeships and other industries have been identified. Interest is building with Power of the Dream (POD) and NC Business Leadership Network (NC BLN) for IT apprenticeships, hydroponics and other non-traditional industries.
Project SEARCH began with only four programs in the state. They currently have 14, with the last two coming on board this last year. Wake County will be in the mix within the next year. NC Vocational Rehabilitation (NC VR) will pick this up and will have a staff person dedicated to continue the progress.
She discussed the state employment coalition and how to fund an adult Project SEARCH program. In the community college system, they only use part-time instructors and that isn’t ideal for this program. Solutions discussed were to get together with industry leaders and identify competencies that are work-based internship trainings. She is also working with Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools on a new adaptive transition program.
Pat ended her presentation by saying how grateful she is to have been part of this initiative. The members thanked Pat Keul for her update and all her work.
Future Investments Updates
NCDVR Employment Campaign
Jeanna Cullinan from NC Vocational Rehabilitation (NC VR) discussed NC VR marketing and their employment campaign with the members. Two areas are targeted: employers and to address the perceived risk of hiring people with disabilities. She brought some materials for the members, as well as the materials from O’Neill Communications and NC Works. They are tracking responses and interest in this campaign and the videos, with collaboration with the Dept. of Commerce and Project SEARCH and are developing a narrative to tell the story and to communicate the goals.
She hopes to have a draft for the commission that is meeting November 15th. Another initiative in the preliminary stages is getting more input from the business community to get real-time feedback on how NC VR can improve their services and what they can do to expand the partnership.
Employment Collaborative and Website
Amanda Bergen discussed with the members the request for authority to draft a RFA on an I/DD Employment Collaborative and Informational Website. The NCCDD will collaborate with NC Vocational Rehabilitation (NCVR), the NC Works Commission and interested business partners to establish a Business Advisory Council (BAC). The BAC focus will be to increase the opportunities for individuals with I/DD and other disabilities to have clear pathways to competitive integrated employment and to encourage and support the business community to employ individuals with disabilities.
Travis discussed a ten-point slide to further explain the research conducted so far and that Tennessee Works is especially a good resource. There was discussion that there could be a timeframe for an “intent to release” to encourage qualified applicants to apply when the RFA is actually released for a period of 30-45 days – or even up to 60 days to allow for word to get out there to rural areas.
The proposal is for $100,000 per year for up to three years with a required 25% non-federal match. Year One will focus on cultivating partnerships and the development of a Business Advisory Council. Year Two will focus on securing input from the business community, self-advocates and families, as well as Employment Service providers. The second year will also focus on gathering stories that include traditional and non-traditional paths to competitive integrated employment (to be part of our awareness and successful stories of work), information on best practices, and work incentive programs.
Year Three will continue the focus of Year Two, along with securing a website designer to incorporate knowledge gathered along with ramping up a social media and public awareness campaign, designed to highlight the site by targeting educators, families, providers, and the business community. To address the targeted disparity population, Year Three will also include testing the site for translation conversion and/or translation of major topic areas to be available for print.
MOTION: Anna Cunningham made a motion for staff of the Council to have authority to draft the RFA regarding an I/DD Employment Collaborative and Informational Website initiative, in collaboration with Vocational Rehabilitation, self-advocates, employers and other possible partnerships, in an amount up to $100,000 per year with required minimum of 25% non-federal matching funds for a period of up to three years. Request for permission to release the RFA will occur at the February 9, 2018 Council meeting. Kelly Woodall Beauchamp seconded the motion. Tara Myers abstained from voting since she is employed by NC VR. The motion was approved by unanimous vote.
Wrap Up and Reminders
Amanda Bergen read two comments cards from earlier in the afternoon; the first was regarding how the RFA draft mentions community colleges but not university programs – and that they include internships and also have a strong employment/career focus. Also, another comment was read regarding NC VR and their relationship with people with disabilities since they were included in this proposed RFA.
She also reminded the members to fill out the committee preference forms, the survey, and their financial forms. The next meeting will be in February 8-9, 2018.
Kelly Woodall Beauchamp made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Tara Myers seconded the motion. The motion was approved. Amanda Bergen adjourned the meeting at 5:10 PM.