FACES OF POVERTY: THE WORKING POOR Agenda Define “working poor” Overview of the WDC Profile of the working poor in Racine Work readiness challenges of the working poor Case scenarios Economic impact of poverty in Racine Working poor? What does that mean?
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, YouTube (video)
Source: YouTube Video
35 yr. old Black male, HS/GED, temporary employment history with annual wages of $10,000.
20-30 yr. old female with 1 or more children with annual wages of $16,000
25-29 yr. old female, 2 to 3 children, HS/GED, employed in retail or health care (CNA) with annual wages of $18,000
27 yr. old Black male, w/o HS/GED, temporary employment history, with annual wages of $12,000
Male with average annual wages of $5,000
54% < $10,000
25% >$10,000 - $20,000
71% - part-time, operator, assembly, skilled trades and service industry
51% - driver’s license
Source: WDC Quarterly Report
23% < HS/GED
64% < $10,00
20% >$10,000 - $20,000
54% - part-time, operator,
trades and service industry
58% - driver’s license
Source: YouTube Video
Source: Bridges out of Poverty, Payne, DeVol, Dreussi Smith
Sue recently graduated with an LPN credential. She’s obtained a job in Kenosha 15 miles from her home in Racine. While attending school she lived with her mother who cared for her children, but she has moved in with her boyfriend who is also the father of two of her four children. She depends on her boyfriend for transportation to and from work and he picks her children up from school. Sue and her mom are not talking since her boyfriend insulted her mom. Sue has used all her sick days and has been late for work several times.
Sue gets a collect call at work from her boyfriend. He’s unable to pick her kids up from school. Jane leaves work to pick-up her kids and returns the next day to find she has been terminated.
What work readiness challenges does Sue face?
John is a 25-year-old high school drop-out who has been accepted into a 14-week, 5-day a week, 8-hour-a-day training program. Upon completion of the program, he will have a 95% chance of obtaining employment with a salary of $13.50/hr. The only caveats are he must attend every day, must be on time and must complete the program with a passing grade.
On week ten of the program, John doesn’t show up. His mother calls at 1:00 p.m. to report he was placed in custody over the weekend for failure to pay child support. Further, he will not be released until he pays arrears of $5,000.
What work readiness challenges does John face?
Mary is a 26 year old woman with three children. She is on probation for assaulting her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend and her 10-year-old son is on supervision for hitting his teacher. Mary has been on and off public assistance since her first child was born. She’s currently receiving food stamps, child care assistance, and medical assistance.
Mary has the following obligations and she doesn’t have a valid driver’s license or a vehicle:
1) She must comply with an employability plan that includes spending 32 hours a week
searching for employment.
2) She must attend monthly meetings with her probation agent and must pay $100 a month
towards $3,000 in court-ordered restitution.
3) She must attend monthly appointments with her 10-year-old son’s social worker.
4) She must attend weekly anger management counseling and family counseling sessions.
What work readiness and life challenges does Mary face?
Larry was a participant in CNC Boot Camp #2. Prior to Boot Camp, he had been imprisoned for three years. While incarcerated, he earned his HSED, passed food service certification coursework and earned a welding certificate. After his release, he held a temporary assignment for six months earning 5.75 per hour. He was concerned that his criminal background, work history, and lack of education would prevent him from carving out a stable future. In his own words, he wanted “to achieve a better life for my family as well as myself.” He also wanted “to reach my goals of being a better man and a positive role model in the community.” He was receiving FoodStamps.
Larry successfully completed our CNC Boot Camp in early August 2005 and accepted an offer to work at Pioneer Products through a temporary agency earning 10.00/hr. The following he was hired permanently and has worked continuously since with the same employer. Until the recent economic downturn, he was able to schedule regular overtime. He now earns 11.50/hr and is able to provide for his family and afford some of the extras that had always been out of reach. He is not only one of our success stories, but the company hiring him likes to quote his story as one of their successes also. They recognized his potential, invested in his on- the-job training, and are pleased with his work. He meets or exceeds standards for both quality and production numbers. So far, he has not been affected by the layoffs.
Alice Y. Oliver
1717 Taylor Avenue