A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

Product Distribution and Self-Sufficiency Job Training

Last Revised: Mar 14, 2011 - Initial Posting: Mar 15, 2005
Purpose

The Welfare Reform Liaison Project Community Action Agency provides Product Distribution and Self-Sufficiency Job Training to help low-income individuals and families move toward self-sufficiency.

Description

Mission of WRLP

Welfare Reform Liaison ProjectThe mission of the Welfare Reform Liaison Project Community Action Agency (WRLP) is to provide those services that will enable economically disadvantaged individuals and families to move toward self-sufficiency through collaboration with the federal and state agencies, the faith community, corporations, other agencies from both the public and private sectors, as well as the local citizenry - History of WRLP.  A Strategic Plan was established as a guide for development of further initiatives that will help fulfill the mission of WRLP - see WRLP flyer.

WRLP offers Retail and Entrepreneurial Training to help individuals gain skills and behaviors that can lead to greater self-sufficiency. 

Training is offered through a combined classroom and experience-based program model.  Support services are also provided on an individualized basis through WRLP’s case managers.  Training is available through the an Entrepreneurial Model incorporating the following components:

Personal Development Training

Personal and job skill training is provided through formal coursework.  Courses are primarily offered through partnership arrangements with collaborative partners such as Guilford Technical Community College.

Personal skill courses focus on employability skills, personal development, and financial literacy.  A variety of material is used with the curriculum including 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Who Moved My Cheese, and Money Smart.

Academic and technical skill courses include academic upgrade such as GED, Introduction to Computer, Microsoft Word/Excel, Computer Repair, PhotoShop, video and cable tv production, and management-related courses.

Retail TrainingWRLP Distribution Center Flyer

A simulated training environment is used by WRLP through operation of a Product Distribution Center.  The agency leases a 16,000 square foot building that serves as the central location for the warehouse.  Items are received at no cost through Gifts In Kind International. The goods are made available to authorized individuals affiliated with faith-based and non-profit organizations who have applied to be members of the Distribution Center.  There is no cost for items selected other than a small handling fee charged for each item in accordance with WRLP Distribution Procedures.

Gifts In Kind International

The Distribution Center is open all-day Monday – Friday and half-day Saturday.  This setting provides hands-on training for WRLP students in skills such as receiving, bar coding, inventory, assessment of product quality, stocking shelves, loss prevention, storage, customer service, register operations, shipping, and of course, the development of good work habits.

Co-op Training is an approach that WRLP promotes to create real-life training experiences for WRLP students.  A Retail Assistant Management Training track has also been developed through a partnership with Family Dollar Stores, Inc..  Applicants must pass a drug test and criminal background check (no felonies), as well as the Unicrew Learning and Leadership Assessment prior to enrollment.  A minimum of ten (10) students is required per class that lasts for 8 weeks and involves on-line training through Family Dollar.  The Distribution Center is used for additional training followed by direct observation activities at Family Dollar stores.  Qualifications are developed for jobs that pay up to $38,000 per year with benefits.

Entrepreneurial Initiative WRLP Digital Media Training

A variety of American Management Association/AMA-certified courses are offered in conjunction with Guilford Technical Community College.  Areas featured include Information Technology (Microsoft network certification, computer repair, etc.) and Digital Media Production.

WRLP has developed CopyCents to serve as an in-house entrepreneurial venture for students to gain direct experience with the skills they have developed.  Graphic design and video production services are publicized through a CopyCents ad and have included:CopyCents Digital Media Flyer

  • An 18-minute video (Promises Made, Promises Kept) that documents the history of the Community Action movement with a focus on North Carolina
    Display boards for conferences

CopyCents Film Festival

Here's the winner of the first annual WRLP CopyCents Film Festival: Faces of Poverty: What's Behind the Sign
You see the signs on busy street corners and you have your own ideas on what is behind the sign. This short film takes you behind the sign and educates on what life is like for the homeless in a medium size city.  CLICK HERE to see all six videos that were produced for the CopyCents Film Festival.
Outcomes

Recognition of WRLP

A Way That Works - News Coverage Jan. 2010

A Way That Works (January 2010), published by the Greensboro News & Record, highlights the benefits of WRLP.

WRLP has been the recipient of various awards including the 2001 Nonprofit Sector Stewards Award from the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits.  Favorable media coverage has also been received on WRLP itself, as well as the partnership with Family Dollar.

WRLP Feature Story - Gifts in Kind Annual Report 2006An excellent article on WRLP was included in Gifts In Kind International's 2006 Annual Report.

Celebration of Success

  • $1,467,687 … Documented earnings for 130 employed graduates of WRLP's 2008 training program
  • $7,027,408 … Documented earnings for 179 graduates from inception through October 31, 2009
  • 148 … Number of students who received training from July 2008 through June 2009
  • 45 … Number of individuals who have already received income through FPC Job Services
  • 23 … Students completed training by Copycents Digital Media
  • 23 … Graduates from the American Management Association Certificate Program
  • 14 …Students currently enrolled in the American Management Association Certificate Program
  • 13 … Graduates who earned an income that exceeded poverty guidelines

Key Highlights (FY09)WRLP Digital Imaging Training

  • Video Production Program, Digital Imaging Training Program, and basic needs packages for homeless and displaced workers, all made possible from funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • Launched training program in new High Point facility and re-opened Product Distribution Facility in High Point.
  • Continuing to provide leadership for the GTCC Quick Jobs Advisory Committee.
  • Continuing to manage AmeriCorps VISTA Project for over 23 agencies.
  • "Clean," unqualified opinion resulting from the annual audit of financial statements.
  • Successful "Faith Summit" held with 350 participants in May 2009.
  • Family Connection – Partnership with Guilford County Department of Social Services.
  • Celebrating Our [Foster] Children – Partnership with Guilford County Department of Social Services.
  • Teacher Supply Warehouse – Partnership with Guilford Education Alliance and GC School System.
  • Gifts In Kind International – Partnership to process and store toys with Ronald McDonald Houses.
Contact

Fred Newman, Vice President of Operations
336-691-5780