Q1: When does the Finger Lakes Hired initiative end?
October 31, 2018
Q2: Are there marketing materials available for Finger Lakes Hired?
Yes, we have brochures for businesses and for job seekers. The job seeker brochures are customized by workforce area. We have a postcard that is being used for SNAP recipients in Monroe County. And we have a web site, www.fingerlakeshired.com. If you need a copy of the Finger Lakes Hired logo please contact us and request one to be sent to you or your marketing department. This also applies to all Finger Lakes Hired media inquiries.
Q3: Who is eligible to participate in the Finger Lakes Hired initiative?
There are three categories of eligibility.
- Long-Term Unemployed: Individuals who are currently unemployed must have lost their qualifying job on or after December 1, 2007 and have been unemployed for 27 consecutive weeks or more. They must have exhausted or nearly exhausted their unemployment benefits (if they were eligible for unemployment). Individuals who are currently underemployed, relative to the qualifying job that they lost on or after December 1, 2007, may also be eligible under this category. They must have a combined period of unemployment and/or underemployment of 27 weeks or more. The majority of program participants must fall under this category.
- Other Unemployed: Individuals who are currently unemployed and have been without a job for fewer than 27 consecutive weeks. We will not be able to accept many individuals in this category, which will be limited to exceptional situations.
- Incumbent Workers: Employed workers in need of a skills upgrade to obtain a new job or retain a current job, and where customized training is developed with an employer or employer association to provide the needed skills. To be eligible a worker’s employer must have an executed training agreement with RochesterWorks, Inc. This category is employer driven and limited to a small number of individuals. Preference will be given to employers who commit to advancing employees who complete the training.
The following eligibility requirements apply to all three categories:
1. Candidates must reside in the nine-county Finger Lakes Region, including: Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates counties.
2. Candidates must be at least 18 years old at the time of enrollment.
3. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as some post-secondary education and/or work experience. Candidates may have a college degree, but they do not have to possess a degree to be eligible.
4. Candidates must be co-enrolled in the WIOA Title I Adult and/or Dislocated Worker program.
5. Candidates must have an interest in working in one of the three Finger Lakes Hired industry sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, or Computer (Information) Technology
This grant is primarily intended to serve the Long-Term Unemployed. There will be times when a candidate is not accepted because their situation does not match the intent of the grant. For example, this grant is not intended to serve recent high school graduates. The eligibility criteria are objective, but they are also very complex. Please consult with an Education and Employment Specialist (EES) if you have specific eligibility questions.
Q4: How is it determined whether a candidate is underemployed?
For this initiative an underemployed worker is defined as one who lost their job during or after the recent recession and has obtained only episodic, short-term, or part-time employment but has not yet reconnected with a full-time job commensurate with the individual’s level of education, skills, and previous wage or salary earned prior to the individual’s loss of permanent employment. The combined period of unemployment and/or underemployment must be 27 weeks or more. If we are looking to show that the current job is not commensurate with the previous wage or salary, we would look at the current wage. If it is below 80% of previous wage or salary (as measured by calendar quarter), then they may be considered to be underemployed. However, wage and salary is only one of the characteristics of a current job that could be used to document underemployment. These situations can get very complex. Please consult with an Education and Employment Specialist if you have questions about whether a specific individual is potentially eligible.
Q5: Can the Finger Lakes Hired initiative serve veterans?
Yes. Finger Lakes Hired staff will provide priority of service to veterans and spouses of certain veterans.
Q6: Can a student who is already enrolled in a college or training program be eligible to participate in Finger Lakes Hired?
In some cases, yes. We can only enroll candidates who are interested in working in the advanced manufacturing, healthcare, or computer (information) technology fields. So if a student is already enrolled in a college or training program, we can potentially enroll them in Finger Lakes Hired if 1) they need services above and beyond classroom training to secure employment and/or 2) they need tuition or other supports available through Finger Lakes Hired to successfully complete their coursework.
Q7: Are all eligible participants enrolled into Finger Lakes Hired?
No. In addition to eligibility, we are looking for suitability. The main component to suitability is a candidate’s commitment to following through on their Employment Plan. If a candidate is not willing to participate fully in Finger Lakes Hired, they will not be enrolled. Sometimes barriers, such as substance abuse or lack of child care, which are beyond the resources of Finger Lakes Hired, will need to be addressed prior to enrollment. EESs will help individuals with barriers to obtain the services that they need to overcome them. Once a candidate is able to participate in the program, they can be enrolled. Additionally, in Monroe County the US Department of Labor is conducting a study to examine how this initiative helps participants improve their skills, and find and keep jobs. The results of the study will help us to improve the quality of services offered to all job seekers through our local workforce system. During the study, half of all eligible applicants will be selected by lottery to participate in Finger Lakes Hired training opportunities. The remaining applicants will participate in similar services or programs available through RochesterWorks! Veterans are exempt from the study.
Q8: What assessments are given to participants, and who administers them?
All program participants are strongly encouraged to take the ACT WorkKeys NCRC test. We can use the results to market job seeker participants to potential employers. If a participant wants to do some practice to get a higher score on the WorkKeys assessment, we can offer KeyTrain online learning to them. WorkKeys is administered by the Education and Employment Specialist or another career center staff. Participants who need help choosing an occupational goal will take a Holland-based interest assessment, Work Importance Profiler, or Ability Profiler. Participants interested in on-the-job training will take the Skills Survey. These assessments are usually administered by the Education and Employment Specialist (EES) but could also be administered by another career center staff or the College Liaison.
Q9: What job search services are available to participants?
All participants will develop an employment plan in cooperation with their EES. That plan may include workshops offered at the career center, individual job search assistance from the EES, job development by the EES and Project Manager, the use of hiring incentives such as an on-the-job training grant or work experience tryout, and participation in a five-day, intensive job search program, including Career Navigator or 5 Steps to Rapid Employment.
Q29: How are participants shared among the various staff and partner programs?
Education and Employment Specialists (EES) are responsible for tracking participants for as long as they are on their caseload. However, when participants are shared with another program or a College Liaison, the EES and partner staff member will need to communicate regularly and decide who will be the participant’s first point of contact at each stage of program services. For example, when a participant begins a college program, the College Liaison will likely be the first point of contact until the program is completed. After completion of the college program, the EES will again begin to act as the first point of contact. Each staff member should plan to stay in touch with the participant throughout the period of program services to maintain a rapport with the participant. Referrals both to and from the EESs are strongly encouraged.
Q30: When Finger Lakes Hired candidates are referred by a College Liaison or other partner program to an Education and Employment Specialist, how long will it take for the participant to be determined eligible, enrolled, and approved for training, if applicable?
We encourage College Liaisons to make referrals at least 4–6 weeks before the start of a training program. However, we realize that sometimes good candidates engage with the college closer to the program start. College Liaisons should work closely with EESs prior to semester and program starts to anticipate potential referrals. EESs should make every effort to accommodate late referrals when possible. Please note that in Monroe County most referrals will have to go through random assignment, which tends to delay enrollment by several additional days.