The mission of WIN, a farewell welfare initiative, is to change the prospects for unemployed or underemployed, non-high school graduates through a combination of study and training. Begun in Schenectady, New York in 2016, WIN can be replicated in other cities.
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 at a construction site, NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) course work, construction training in framing, painting, sheet rocking, and taping, and, at the end of a process that will take roughly one year, a job, the program will take participants from welfare to work.
While there are other programs that tackle each of these issues, we have been told by experts in the field that no other initiative combines all of them. And, of course, none seeks to provide a job for those successfully completing the program.
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, when we have established the success of the program in Schenectady, we will bring it to other cities.