Project ARRIBA provides the educational, financial and social support system needed for a disadvantaged population to access, persist in, and complete a degree or credential in a high-demand occupation, leading to living-wage employment in the El Paso region. The at-risk population served includes, but is not limited to, low-income, minority, first-generation in college, veterans, single parents, and unemployed/underemployed adults. In 2017, the organization aims at accomplishing the following:
Goal 1 - Access: 350 participants will be case managed, provided wrap-around support services, and will access long-term training;
Goal 2 - Graduate: 70 participants with the skills necessary to access careers in nursing, allied health fields, information technology and other demand occupations;
Goal 3 - Job Placement: Job place 70 participants in the El Paso Region with average wages at or above the living wage goal of $14.00/hour.
Project ARRIBA provides a holistic and integrated delivery system approach to workforce development through a comprehensive program that addresses an individual's barriers to a higher education and the overall needs of our region to a population that is over 80% Hispanic.
This approach begins by working with area employers to determine their immediate and future needs for a skilled workforce. All targeted occupations, specific educational curriculum development, and workforce development strategies then follow to suit employer needs. As a result, Project ARRIBA's Staff and Board of Directors have developed strong working relationships with area healthcare employers as jobs in healthcare continue to be in high demand in El Paso, Texas.
Project ARRIBA uses intensive case management and wrap-around support services to increase academic retention and graduation rates. Case management is comprehensive and participant-centered and provides a valuable service to the training provider needing help retaining and graduating an at-risk student population. The at-risk population includes, but is not limited to, low-income, minority, first-generation in college, veterans, single parents, and unemployed/underemployed adults. Case managers are responsible for working with the participants to successfully access training and services, monitoring participants' progress and effectiveness, and providing counseling and accountability.
Wrap-around support services mitigate socioeconomic barriers for students in training. Every 6 months, participant needs are assessed and individualized levels of support are provided. Support services include, but not limited to, assistance with tuition, course textbooks, school materials (e.g., nursing kits and uniforms), childcare, licensing exams, tutoring support, and other services needed. Awards to participants are paid directly to the training provider or specific vendor providing the service. At the completion of their training, participants attain a bachelor's degree, associate's degree, or licensed certification in a demand career. Target occupations include nursing, allied health, information technology, and other demand occupations.
Case mangers facilitate weekly Vision, Initiative, & Perseverance (VIP) group sessions. Sessions are designed to develop the soft skills needed in the work place in topics ranging from problem solving to personal budgeting. As participants near graduation, case managers work diligently to place each program graduate into living wage jobs.
In 2015 the White House named Project ARRIBA as one of three “Bright Spots" programs in El Paso, TX, investing in the success of Hispanics by helping close the achievement gap in the areas of College Access and STEM Education. The Workforce Strategy Center (WSC) 2009 report, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, recognized Project ARRIBA as one of the nation's top 14 successful workforce models from across the U.S. that is pro-actively addressing the challenge of providing disadvantaged workers with the technical and postsecondary education needed to qualify for skilled positions. Other notable recognitions include the Texas Economic Development Council's (TEDC) top workforce development program for communities over 100,000 in population, the Harvard Innovation in Government Award, and recognition by the U.S. Department of Commerce has one of the top twenty programs in the nation that represent Workforce Innovation and Economic Adjustment Strategies.
To ensure that successful performance is met, Project ARRIBA tracks participant progress and program outcomes through case management and monthly monitoring of the client database. Case managers make contact with participants on a weekly basis to assess academic progress and/or the need for support services. Case management interventions are tracked through case notes that are audited by the CEO. Participant information is tracked through ARRIBA Database Management System (ADMS) and continuously updated in order to provide information to evaluate participant progress.
Furthermore, at the start of each year, the Board of Directors approve a participant forecast which details enrollments, graduates, and terminations. On a monthly basis, management and board members review progress made in the areas of college access, program persistence and graduation rates, as well as job placement rates and wages.
2017 marked Project ARRIBA's 18th year operating as a workforce intermediary that invests in human capital to improve the lives of low-income El Pasoans, meet employer demands, and build the local community. We continue to be employer-driven, regionally focused and participant-centric.
350 participants accessed training and case management services in 2017, in-line with 2016. This led to 92 participants graduating in nursing and other healthcare related degree programs from the El Paso Community College (EPCC) and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). On average, it took this cohort of 93 graduates, 2.0 years to complete their job training. 91 participants entered employment in high-demand occupations with average wages over $48,300 per year.