Report Finds Low-Income Families Need Workforce Development to Succeed

Oakton, VA, April 3, 2007 – Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) has been named as having a best practice program model in improving the lives of the working poor. The Brookings Institute, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to independent research and policy solutions, gave their findings on reducing poverty in Washington, DC by providing working low-income individuals a way to maintain a level above the poverty line. The report found that workforce development should be a vital part of the strategy to move the working poor into the middle class.

Training Futures, a program run by NVFS, was named as an example for preparing individuals to work in the field of administrative support. Mary Agee, President and CEO of NVFS said, “Our mission at NVFS is to empower those individuals who truly want to improve their quality of life. Training Futures provides one way of doing that.” Individuals who enroll in this program will learn computer skills, business English, business math, keyboarding, bookkeeping, filing, basic accounting, medical terminology, and business communication skills. Those who enroll will also be provided with one-on-one support during their job search. Sharon LeGrande, Program Manager of Financial Services and Job Training said, “This program was started in 1996, and over that time, I have seen people truly grow and advance.

During the past two years, 93% of all enrolled trainees have completed the program and 91% of those secured full time employment. This is an amazing accomplishment!” Trainees in the Training Futures program also have the opportunity to transfer 7 – 18 credits to Northern Virginia Community College. The trainees not only have the opportunity to pursue a degree, but they will be given the chance for new successes in the future as well. The advances from Training Futures include two-thirds of all graduates receiving promotions, and 75% of them being rated “above average” on their performance reviews. LeGrande added, “We provide the knowledge, they provide the drive. That combination leads to a more prosperous career, and life.”