In 2014, Coalfield committed to triple the scale of its job training and mentorship operations by replicating QJI in neighboring Lincoln and Mingo Counties.
Twelve youth from the two counties will be recruited from local partner high schools to participate in the two-year program, which will result in each youth attaining four professional 'green' construction certifications. The thoroughness of the two year opportunity provided in the form of QJI is evidenced in the 33-6-3 weekly model innovated by Coalfield: 33 hours a week are spent doing manual labor for Coalfield's general contracting business (construction, deconstruction and clean energy installation); six hours a week are devoted to core community college classes for an Applied Science degree. Some of the 33 hours of manual labor count as on-the-job credits applied towards the academic degree; and three hours are committed to life skills coaching (parenting, financial management, and goals setting) are examples of some topics covered.
In addition to geographic expansion, Coalfield's CGI commitment will deepen and strengthen the '3' in this model, reaching out to new partners and improving life-skills development for QJI participants. Coalfield committed to create active collaboration with three new life-skills partners, some of which could be research-based and other which will be direct service providers to support participating youth with the additional supports need to succeed in this endeavor (e.g. mentorship).
Month 1 - Key new staff hired in Lincoln and Mingo; Key new staff trained and certified; New Lincoln and Mingo QJI work-crews recruited
Month 2 - Office locations opened in Lincoln and Mingo; New Lincoln and Mingo QJI work-crews recruited
Month 3 - New Lincoln and Mingo QJI work-crews hired and orientated
Month 4 (other projects throughout the two year contract) - First deconstruction projects begin in new counties; CTC classes begin.
Month 6 - First energy efficiency training project
Month 12 - Large scale and energy efficient housing development project
Month 24 - Graduation from CTC and QJI; enter into private sector job
Ongoing - Graduation from CTC and QJI; enter into private sector job (QJI is a two year program for crew members)
More than four years have passed since the end of the Great Recession, and yet nearly six million young Americans are out of school and out of work, a staggering number that contributes to economic challenges, strains many local communities and limits long-term economic growth. At the same time, large and small businesses are struggling to fill four million job vacancies that are critical to both individual company success and overall economic growth.
Many of the leading businesses in America and around the globe are committed to addressing this economic gap for America's Opportunity Youth, 16-to-24 year olds who are out of work and out of school. Coalfield Development Corporation (Coalfield) seeks to address the issue of limited job opportunities for young people in underserved communities who are competing against more skilled professionals in a limited job market and are often left without opportunities to build or even embark on a stable career.
Coalfield currently operates Quality Jobs Initiative (QJI) in Wayne County, West Virginia. QJI is a job creating pipeline, taking Building Construction graduates of the local high schools into a more advanced training program hinged with the Community and Technical Colleges, and then into the private sector where successful technical careers are launched. Participants in this on-the-job training program become full time employees of Coalfield and perform real projects ('green collar' in nature) which help their communities address the difficulties of economic transition. Started at a grassroots level in Wayne County, WV in 2012, QJI had its first two completers finish out their two-year contract and graduate the program in 2014 with Associates Degrees in Applied Science. The program has nine participants in Wayne County on track for completion. Coalfield aims to replicate its success with QJI in Wayne County by supporting 12 youth in two neighboring counties.
In efforts to achieve a deeper impact, Coalfield Development seeks funding focused on Opportunity Youth job-training programs. To strengthen job training programs, Coalfield also seeks new partners (especially private sector partners) to ensure full-time employment upon completion of its programs. In its commitment to effectiveness and efficiency, and considering itself a "learning organization," Coalfield is always seeking out expertise and best practices.