The mission of WIN, a “farewell welfare” initiative that was begun in Schenectady, New York in 2017, is to change the prospects for unemployed or underemployed individuals through a combination of study and training.
By providing a second chance for participants through an earned high-school degree, life-skills training throughout the program, an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) card so students can work on a construction site, NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) course work, and construction training in framing, sheet rocking, taping, and painting in a program that will last roughly six months, WIN seeks to take participants from welfare to work.
While there are other programs that tackle each of these issues, we have been told by those in the construction field that no other initiative combines all of them.
Our initiative is a unique approach to an old problem. By combining each of these important pieces into a coherent package, we are bringing new attention–and a potential solution–to a longstanding, vexing problem. And, with growing evidence of the success of the program in Schenectady, plans are underway to bring it to other cities.