The City of Takoma Park is 30% foreign-born and some residents have language challenges and/or training and education that is not recognized in the US and cannot be used for job attainment. However, Takoma Park shares a border with the nation's capital and therefore benefits from a robust job market with a variety of employment options from entry level to executive suite. This education and opportunity disconnect contributes to the City's underemployed population. Residents struggle with understanding the job search, interview, and networking process.
There are County resources available through one organization. However, most residents are not aware of these resources and face cultural, language, and internet access barriers to employment assistance. The City has partnered to bring in-person County workforce services to the City monthly for 2 hours, but that is not enough time to serve the needs of the residents. Additionally, the City has no internal capacity to provide job counseling or employment assistance outside of partnerships with other organizations. This is exacerbated by the City's lack of connections and knowledge of surrounding job training and workforce programs. Therefore, residents don't know where to go to get employment help and the City has limited information and resources to help them.
This results in:
- Underemployed residents that are often in financial crisis
- Increased Housing vulnerability
- Increased Hunger vulnerability
The City of Takoma Park's Housing and Community Development Department seeks a solution with the following outcomes:
- A software solution that connects residents to nearby workforce development, job training, and English language programs
- Software with language capability
- City staff access to program availability and descriptions for resident referrals
- Ability to track residents' program completion
- Identification of available workforce and job training programs
- Increased household income for underemployed residents
- Increased housing and food security