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Financial Asset Development Committee Minutes, August 2016

Financial Asset Development
Minutes
August 11, 2016
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn, Cary, NC

Members Present: Amanda Bergen, Jack Rogers (for Wayne Black), Adonis Brown, Anna Cunningham, Bryan Dooley (with Personal Care Attendant David Owen), Beverly Colwell (for Bill Hussey and Dreama McCoy), Jim Swain, Paula Woodhouse, Ron Reeve

Members Absent: Caroline Ambrose, Wing Ng, Dave Richard, Senator Tommy Tucker, David White

Guests: None

Staff/Contractors: Philip Woodward; Yadira Vasquez and JoAnn Toomey briefly

Interpreters: Caryn Cook, Somer Sutton

Introduction
Amanda welcomed the committee members, who introduced themselves.

Fiscal Update
Yadira Vasquez provided an update with two reports.
For the Identified Initiatives Pending Council Approval:
$194,000 is being held.
$334,000 is the projected combination of seven different initiatives in FFY 2017.
$395,000 is allotted for initiatives in FFY 2018.
$194,000 is remaining.
$1.2 million is the total amount reserved for initiatives.

For the Financial Asset Development report of current initiatives:
All three initiatives are on target for spending.
We are still waiting for the June Western Carolina University Request for Reimbursement.

Initiative Updates and Motion to Approve Continuation Funding

Learning and Earning After High School

The committee connected to Kelly Kelley and Megan McLaughlin at Western Carolina University (WCU) through GoToMeeting. Kelly and Megan shared a PowerPoint presentation.

They asked if everyone has had the opportunity to review the Roads to Learning and Earning (RTLE) website since the May meeting. Anna said yes. Others said they saw it during the May meeting.

The website is set to transition to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) on October 1. DPI will continue the match. Megan asked the group to please feel free to share resources for the website.

They reviewed what the Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are spending with their regular budget and the match. WCU hopes to have DPI join them electronically. Regarding the transition plan, there will be training on September 6, and WCU will arrange something else if DPI cannot physically attend it.

They are on the waiting list to present at the Exceptional Children’s Conference in November.

Anna had a question about the Capacity Building Partners slide: ETSU -- what and why? ETSU stands for Eastern Tennessee State University. An ETSU person lives in Asheville. More people than just North Carolina residents will access the RTLE website. Anna complimented WCU for reaching out to other entities.

Expanding Employment Opportunities Initiative Concept

Amanda made a motion to approve funding of the In-House Expansion of Employment Opportunities for People with I/DD initiative in an amount up to $110,000 for the period of October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017 for Year 1 of this planning grant that will include demonstration. Match to be determined for future external aspects of this effort. She asked if anyone has questions.
Amanda identified eight questions from the question cards collected prior to the committee meeting.

1: What will the $110,000 be spent on?
Philip explained:

  • Element I: $45,000 for paid apprenticeships based on three models that Pat Keul submitted for the Business ACTS apprenticeship program. The middle model for two apprenticeship program sites with six total apprentices costs approximately $45,000. (The other two models are for one program site with three apprentices and for three program sites with nine apprentices.)
  • Element II: $46,000 for Project SEARCH expansion based on the cost of one license ($16,000) and increasing the amount of work in the current Project SEARCH subcontract for the statewide coordinator from $25,000 to $30,000. Other partners would be required to pay a portion of the license fees for up to three total sites established.
  • Element III: $20,000 for the time involved in coordinating partnership/coalition meetings and other costs such as travel and accommodation expenses.

2: What is a definition of a demonstration?
Philip explained he cannot recall the exact definition from the DD Act, but he believes it is something new or a new approach that has not been done before, and it is not a best practice.

Anna asked if the new approach to Project SEARCH is a demonstration. She also asked if we can have a viable working coalition.
For her that means each component of this proposal has a demonstration.

Paula said the word “demonstration” is vague. We have several questions, and maybe we need to define it better. The word needs to focus on outcomes and the language in the motion.

Jack said it appears it looks as if there are 18 apprenticeship slots. Clarification: Pat Keul submitted three total models with 18 total apprenticeship slots, but NCCDD would not fund all three models, just one model.

Jim said establishing apprenticeships potentially would require a contract with VR requiring employment outcomes.

Jack said Child Support Services in the Interstate Unit at DSS will be a host site for Project SEARCH starting this month.

Ron said the demonstration needs to have outcomes.

Amanda said some of the other questions are being covered during this discussion.

3: Will we hire people in house to oversee this project?
Yes. Anna said the majority of the funding is for the needed expertise.

4: Will it cover expenses for other agencies/partners to attend meetings?
It covers meeting costs for partners to participate and accommodation costs, but it is a small portion of the total.
The other partners will share the costs.

5: Will it cover start-up expenses for Project SEARCH (the license fee was said to be shared by others)?
Yes. They will build shared costs into the model.
Jim asked if the partners have agreed to the shared costs for Project SERCH site start-up?
No. Anna said they will. The Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) will have a vested interest.
Ron said the relationship-building is our responsibility. This is what the Council is trying to demonstrate.
Anna said the Council has already invested a lot to show it can work. Now the Council needs more community buy-in.
It gives the Council a model we can replicate.
Ron said the Administration on Community Living (ACL) won’t let the Council continue on the same path we have been doing for three years.
For Project SEARCH, what does it take to be successful? Once the Council starts it, the sites can be sustainable.

6: Is it paying the wages of the apprenticeships?
Anna said the employer should pay the wages.
One of the challenges: some will take longer, but there will be buy-in from employers.

7: What kind of research suggests that apprenticeships work well to increase employment and financial wellness?
Paula responded that, in general, they work well.
Beverly mentioned the potential for success as one category.
Jim mentioned skill in the work environment.
There are different terms such as mini-apprenticeships.
Anna said the feeding assistant model is a good model of scaffolding to continue to grow the program.
Jack brought up registered youth apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships.
Adonis asked if it related to the public school system. No.
Apprenticeships are not limited to school-age people.
Ron said they are pathways for people to pursue. Which group of individuals does an apprenticeship work best for?
There’s a lot of desire in this arena to explore. The employers gain productive outcomes.
A lot of marketing is needed.
Paula said the bottom line is that the Council needs to promote it well.
The apprenticeship model can be a mutually beneficial partnership.

Anna brought up the barrier regarding people with I/DD referred to VR.
Ron said most apprenticeships happen outside of VR.

8: What are we doing to reach out to State Human Resource Management (SHRM) human resource managers? (Until they are on board, we will not get good movement. We must get them on board.)
Ron said the Council is finding demonstrations of success. He brought up the North Carolina Business Leadership Network (NCBLN).
Paula said we need to include HR.
Anna asked Paula what we should be mindful of. Paula said business leaders and HR are not there globally. Be mindful when we market with good results. There will be baby steps, not overnight results.

Adonis brought up the I/DD graduation rate. It is less than 70%. Employers want to know they can do the job. Reading comprehension is a skill.
Anna said looking at different levels is important.
Adonis talked about the challenges of getting a degree later in life.
Amanda mentioned the social construct with disability.
She said we have to sell the program for both the employer and the employee to feel as if they got the good end of the deal.

9: In addition to the above questions, a Council member had three questions for VR:
• It sounds as if WIOA will entail expansion of services:

  1. Are these increasing funding to cover this expansion in the budget in the agency?
    No. Anna asked if that means no changes in eligibility. Jim clarified that it expands the range of ages served. Jack stated that WIOA impacts both youth and adult programs. What is different is that the new WIOA mandates a priority of service for individuals with multiple barriers to employment. WIOA also impacts low-income individuals.
    Don’t operate in silos.
  2. Are these increasing funding to cover workplace support?
    No.
  3. WIOA sounds like a big enough change and connects to Goals One, Two, and Three that dedicating time to WIOA at the next meeting sounds worthwhile.
    Do we want to make a recommendation to do that? Where does it tie in to our current and proposed initiatives?
    As part of our proposal, the committee recommends getting full information about WIOA. We should really understand WIOA related to Element III of the employment initiative proposal. Jack said VR has a strong, visible presence in the WIOA Unified Plan. Maybe it would be good to have a panel. Jack recommended that a future Council meeting have WIOA partners present a about the WIOA Unified Plan and their role in it.

Amanda asked if we are prepared to make a motion. Amanda made the motion. Anna suggested replacing “demonstration” with “pilot.”
There will be a match where applicable. The proposal now comes with a recommendation for a presentation about WIOA:

The motion is “to approve funding of the In-House Expansion of Employment Opportunities for People with I/DD initiative in an amount up to $110,000 for the period of October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017 for Year 1 of this planning grant that will include a pilot. Match to be determined for future external aspects of this effort. In addition, this committee recommends a presentation about WIOA and the Unified Plan to be given at the full Council by WIOA partners at our next meeting. This will assist in identifying potential leveraging points and resource sharing.”

Anna made the motion. Adonis seconded it.
Ron said this allows the staff to generate an in-house initiative and gives the staff the authority to do this in the most efficient way possible.
Philip said he has employment discussions with various partners, including David Ingram, the I/DD Employment Specialist at the N.C. Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services (DMH/DD/SAS). Please feel free to contact Philip anytime by e-mail or phone to ask questions or discuss ideas.

There were two more comment notecards.
1: From Deb Zuver: “That is a great idea about bringing together all efforts working on employment and transition. Please remember to include inclusive higher education (post-secondary education for students with I/DD). Training and strong employment outcomes are central to these transition programs, and, as facilitator of the NC PSE Alliance, I’d love to help with connections.”
The committee commented that high expectations start with education.

2: This comment card has two comments:
• Widening employment opportunities beyond health industries should be a priority (including within Project SEARCH).
• Effective job coaching will be pivotal. For clients this includes work ethics and habits and specific skills. For employers this includes relating to the client vs. the disability and providing adequate accommodations. This is balanced by setting expectations/feedback.
Regarding expansion beyond health industries, government and private employers are opportunities, too.
Jack commented about how the model is changing for the better. The Project SEARCH model is changing. Paula said we can look at non-profits, not just for-profit businesses.
The stringent model does not need to be stringent.

New Business

Amanda brought up the issue of poverty for people with disabilities.
She mentioned NDI’s DISABLE POVERTY on-line pledge: http://disablepoverty.org.
Adonis said he is a new fellow for Points of Light. Tell Devika Rao for communication purposes.

Wrap Up and Reminders

Amanda reminded the members about the member survey.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 5:00.

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