On April 4th, 2016, we will begin construction training at Bienville Basin. This will be the first training we have held since returning to the original site at Iberville. With the training site and our offices now within walking distance, we are more accessible to our residents. We anticipate a class of 20 participants, comprised of our residents and employees on our partners’ construction sites who meet the income requirements of the training program. To date, we have 11 participants who are Bienville Basin residents or former Iberville residents. The workforce department will collaborate with our case workers to ensure that residents have the tools that they need to successfully complete the training and are prepared to seek employment afterwards.
Childcare continues to be a barrier for a lot of our residents, especially those with preschool age children, due to lack of access to childcare centers and other childcare gaps. One of our residents, Sheila James, is working through childcare barriers in order to pave a path for success. Sheila’s children will be in school when she is in the training classes. She has also enlisted the assistance of her family. However, her children were on spring break when Shelia came into our office to complete her application. Shelia gave adequate notice to office staff and we were able to prepare activities for the two children beforehand. Sheila was able to focus on completing her application.
Sheila hopes to begin as a laborer on the construction site and to gain more knowledge in the construction field along with the certifications that she’ll receive upon her completion of the training. Many of our participants experience childcare struggles. Sheila, like many other are working through these struggles, and working with supportive family members and staff. This support helps Sheila gain training and potential employment.