New Economic Mobility Program tackles limited income, employability

April 27, 2022

The Food Bank of Delaware has launched the Economic Mobility Pilot Program.  This initiative seeks to address the root causes of food insecurity: limited employability skills and less than living wage incomes needed to support oneself and a family.

Barbara Boese recently joined the Food Bank of Delaware’s team as the Economic Mobility Program coordinator, bringing with her experience as a State of Delaware administrator from the departments of Labor and Children, Youth and Their Families. Employing multi-pronged approaches, Boese is connecting with food-insecure people at our mobile pantry sites. One of her goals is to create a series of focus groups to help identify challenges to becoming employed or better employed. She’s already met with people in New Castle County at Goodwill, Kingswood, Claymont and Rosehill Community Centers and Calvary Church in Kent County to seek their insight and feedback about how to best meet needs.  Additional focus groups are scheduled in Sussex County at the Polytech Job Fair and Crossroad Community Church in late April and early May.

“We’ve had a positive response through word of mouth. We are looking at creating a comprehensive, people-centered plan that includes services such as child-care and transportation so the workforce development can be successful,” said Boese.

In addition to the focus groups, there will be one-on-one meetings to assess financial wellness, basic reading and math skills, career goals and more. The program will attempt to match participants with existing workforce development opportunities in the community, Boese explained.

“We will spend about six months with neighbors working on training, career launch and job search,” she added. “We are moving people into employment through upskilling. We want to equip them with the tools to assure job retention.”

Boese explains that community involvement is essential to the success of this initiative. “We are earnest in developing the right kinds of services with the community and really partnering,” she said.

To learn more about the new pilot, please contact:

Barbara Boese
Economic Mobility Coordinator
(302) 292-1305 ext 278

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