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									                                Mt. Hood Community College
                         Steps to Success Program Website Content

Mt. Hood Community College home page (

Save Steps to Success!
Due to proposed budget cuts, the Oregon State Department of Human Services (DHS) plans to
shut down the Mt. Hood Community College Steps to Success (STS) program on June 30,

This means hundreds of disadvantaged Oregonians will no longer have access to career services,
training, skill building, work experience, support and resources that help them overcome barriers
and become contributing members of the workforce.

The loss of the STS program is a loss to our community. Learn more about this situation and
how you can help.

Existing Steps to Success page (

The MHCC Steps to Success (STS) program, in operation for more than 20 years, is in serious

Gov. Kitzhaber’s balanced budget recommends cutting funding to STS by 60 percent,
essentially shutting down the program.

In mid-April, DHS will decide what entities will administer the remaining Jobs Opportunities
and Basic Skills (JOBS) program. Another contractor, and not MHCC, may become the prime
contractor. If this occurs, there may be a limited role for MHCC, or it could be excluded

           This is a crisis for MHCC, and we need your help to save the program.

Our clients come from disadvantaged backgrounds and rely on STS to learn the skills and
qualifications necessary to obtain permanent jobs or to transition into new careers.

We excel in placing those clients with businesses. For the eight months ending January 2011, we
placed an average of 131 clients per month, versus a target of 109. Other contractors, including
ones currently being considered as prime contractors for this program, often fall below their
expected targets.

STS helps clients achieve the successes that build their self-confidence, sense of self-worth and
a belief in a positive future, and those successes are about to end.

Visit our FAQs or the following pages for more information about the program, its importance to
our community and how you can help:

      Strong Community Support
      Student Stories
      Statistics Tell the Story
      What You Can Do to Help

Page: Strong Community Support

   Adventist Health
   American Cancer Society
   Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce
   Human Solutions, Inc.
   Rose City Associates
   Swank MS Foundation
   Westside Secretarial Service
   YWCA of Greater Portland

“Our organization has benefited from the students who have helped us on numerous occasions
with our wellness and special event programs designed to build a healthier community…[it is a]
valuable resource to the entire community.” - Judy Leach, director of marketing and
communications, Adventist Health

“I have seen many of East Portland’s small businesses boost their income and thus hiring ability
by hosting a Steps to Success student. In some cases, the students have become permanent
employees.” - Karla Signs, American Cancer Society

“I have personally spoken to a number of businesses that have used this program and ALL of
them have nothing but wonderful things to say about the experience. The East Metro area needs
to have these programs enriched and not dismantled by lack of funding.” - Rich Sorem, Rose
City Associates

“Our Office Manager started here at the Chamber more than seven years ago as a student of the
Steps program…we have had several additional students who have been a valuable asset to our
company and have moved on to full-time careers partly from the experience they gained working
for the Chamber.” - Alison Hart, CEO, Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce

“Human Solutions has benefited from the partnership with Mt. Hood Community College’s
Steps to Success Program…Many employees at Human Solutions started in employment with
the Work Experience program, moved to [the] Jobs Plus program and then became permanent
employees. Without coming through the Work Experience program, the intern would not have
been able to demonstrate the skills necessary to do the job and would likely still be surviving on
[public assistance] rather than successfully becoming self-sufficient.” - Shauna Childress, energy
program coordinator, Human Solutions, Inc.

“Mt. Hood Community College’s Steps to Success has been an extremely effective and
successful program for my non-profit to participate in, allowing us to work with an intern…In
fact the program has been an essential factor in our ability to continue our progress on the
foundation’s goals.” - Kendra Key, executive director, Swank MS Foundation

“We are currently working with the Steps to Success program to assist us in meeting our clients’
needs. Having Steps to Success interns work in our office helps us to work at growing our
business while giving them an opportunity to gain work experience – it is a win-win for both
sides. My company is able to stay in business, continue to pay taxes, and help other businesses

remain viable as a result of this program.” - Mary Ann Gray, president, Westside Secretarial

“My agency relies on the support from the interns through the wonderful Steps to Success
program in order for us to continue to serve seniors in our community, and I hope that sufficient
funding will be provided for the program and for the future.” - Kristina John Baptiste, program
manager, Senior Services, YWCA of Greater Portland

                                 Mt. Hood Community College
                       Steps to Success Community/Workforce Partners

Child                 Located at MHCC. Provides subsidized, high-quality child care to
Development           members of the Steps to Success (STS) community.
Center & Head
Child Care            Part of the Child Development and Family Support Program at MHCC,
Resource and          the CCR&R-MC provides a link between providers and families seeking
Referral of           quality child care, offering services to parents, providers and the
Multnomah             community. Provides child care referrals, parent resources, emergency
County (CCR&R-        child care scholarships, free technical support regarding licensing and
MC)                   coordinates workshops and trainings for child care providers.
Dress For Success     Dress for Success accepts women clients who are referred by social
                      service agencies; Dress for Success conducts quarterly workshops on
                      professional dressing for work; provides interview clothing and coaching
                      for women entering office environments; 30 days post-hire Temporary
                      Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) clients are eligible to participate
                      in professional women’s groups to receive mentoring from professional
                      women, attend classes on networking, finance, credit repair, nutrition and
                      other ongoing support.
Housing Authority     Provides support and services to residents of subsidized public housing.
of Portland (HAP)
Human Solutions       Helps low-income and homeless families gain self sufficiency by
                      providing emergency family shelter, job training, affordable housing,
                      eviction prevention and emergency household assistance. Facilitates
                      grants for energy assistance and provides work experience opportunities
                      for STS clients.
Job Corps             WorkSource programs co-enroll youth ages 18-24 years old into intensive
                      training services. Job Corps students staff Career Resource Room and
                      provide other core service support.
Local School          STS teen-parent program partners with local school districts and
Districts and         community based alternative schools to provide high school and GED
community based       completions.
alternative schools
Metropolitan          Trains volunteers to work with low income individuals and families.
Family Services       Provides free and low-cost services that support children and families
                      such as SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) after school programs,
                   Children & Family Enrichment (CAFÉ), parent education and foster
                   grandparent programs. The Ways to Work program provides low-interest
                   loans to working parents to purchase, repair or maintain a car for work,
                   childcare and school-related transportation needs.
MHCC               Provides computer skill training to the general public as well as students
Community Skills enrolled in WorkSource and Jobs Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS)
Center             programs. Offers self-paced training on a wide selection of computer
                   applications in an up-to-date computer lab that is open seven days a week
                   and staffed with knowledgeable instructors.
MHCC/PCC Adult Provides GED preparation and other fundamental literacy, math,
Basic Skills (ABS) technology and science skills to the general public as well as to students
                   enrolled in WorkSource and JOBS programs.
MHCC/PCC ESL ESL instruction provided through ABS. Offered to the general public as
Instruction        well as students enrolled in WorkSource and JOBS programs. Prepares
                   English language learners for continued education, vocational and
                   personal goals.
National College   Free health clinic and sliding fee scale medications for emergency
of                 assistance offered to low income families, including those participating in
Naturopathic Med the JOBS program. Also serves as a work experience site for JOBS and
icine              WorkSource clients.
Oregon             STS clients with documented or suspected disabilities may be co-enrolled
Department of      to receive job search assistance and eligibility certification for special
Vocational Re-     programs (such as preferred worker or full learning needs).
Worksource         WIA One-Stop, Oregon Employment Department and DHS SNAP
Oregon             programs are co-housed to form WorkSource Oregon. Provides
                   employment training, career exploration and counseling, job search
                   assistance, labor market information, comprehensive assessments,
                   computer literacy and other short term training programs to qualifying
                   individuals, including those co-enrolled in STS, SNAP, WIA Adult, DWP
                   and Trade Act programs.
WorkSource         OED provides staffing and hands-on employment services to our
Oregon             customers using the Oregon Labor Market Information System (OLMIS).
Employment         OED will also provide customers with specific, updated information about
Department (OED) the demand for workers by skills, wage level and geographic area.

Page: Client Stories

   Alberta’s Story
   Aurora’s Story
   Billy’s Story
   Carlos’s Story
   Danetta’s Story
   Heather’s Story
   Sherese’s Story
   Sherri’s Story

“I am a single mother of three children and this program is really helping me and my family.
With this program I can get help with my childcare while I continue my education for my GED.
Once I get my GED I will be able to get nurses’ training which will allow me to be able to
support my children. This program is very helpful to us now and will continue to be in the
future.” – Danetta H.

“I’m extremely concerned about losing our programs of GED classes and our JOBS program.
Should these programs be forced to shut down, my family and I would be extremely affected
because I can no longer work as a cake decorator or baker again because of an injury to my back.
Without these JOBS programs, I cannot train to become a nutritionist or any other new career.
My family would suffer a great deal. I probably would have to apply for disability, and I would
feel worthless. My children are already so proud of me for doing these programs. I would not
want to disappoint them. I’m 46 now and not getting any younger.” – Sherri H.

“The Steps to Success JOBS program has helped me and many others to prepare for completing
our education, and giving us the skills we need to succeed in the workplace. This program
actually gives me the faith to believe in myself.” – Sherese H.

“I am a single parent to a six year old boy, in the last four years we have been through a variety
of life changing events. Our most recent in 2009 when I was laid off from work and in 2010 the
exhaustion of my unemployment benefits due to lack of state extension funds. This led us to a
financial crisis. Unable to cover our living expenses we faced eviction. Unable to land
employment, I applied for public assistance and my family was awarded TANF and SNAP
benefits through DHS. In addition, I was set up with a plan coordinator who developed a plan of
steps to be successful in the JOBS program. Shortly after, I was offered the position as a Career
Center Specialist. Since I started the JOBS program I am continuously impressed with the level
of care and quality service delivered to us clients. We are blessed and so grateful for all the
support and help we receive. Without excellent organizations like JOBS and Steps to Success
programs who contribute much to the community, success seems far away. The services these
programs offer benefit communities at large and help individuals make better decisions that will
benefit their future.” – Carlos C.

“I am a single mother who never graduated high school. I couldn’t find another source of
education that didn’t have to imply money to attend. In one month I have gained and
accomplished much more here than I know if I was anywhere else. I am so close to getting my
GED now. I want to have a great job to support my family and help achieve my goals in life. I

honestly appreciate all the help that they have to provide for myself and peers. This is a great
privilege!” – Aurora M.

“At a young age I became a single parent which made it very difficult for me to finish school.
This program has given me the opportunity to get a GED and better my chances at going to
college and getting a good job. I have also done other parts of the program that helped me learn
how to use a computer. I’ve learned to do a resume, cover letters and thank you letters. The
program also helps with daycare and transportation needs. These programs have helped me very
much and hopefully will continue to help others in the future.” – Alberta M.

“Before I applied for assistance my struggle to find work was feeling like a losing battle. Then
one day I filed for help from TANF and SNAP for my children and myself. Suddenly, I had a
team of people there to see me through my hardships of finding work again. Being an
independent person it was overwhelming in the beginning to realize I could actually ask for help
when I felt lost. The staff helped me find confidence by believing in me and telling me often I
could do anything I set my mind to. Sometimes, even we adults need to hear that. When I felt I
lacked skills, the staff helped by placing me in a college course for the healthcare field. Which I
am proud to say I graduated from. They helped to fix my resume for today’s job market. The
staff even advised me on the best way to conduct myself for job interviews and sent me to Dress
for Success when I explained I had nothing in my closet suited for an interview. I am now in an
internship with the Well Arts Institute set up by the Steps to Success staff. I am thankful for this
opportunity in many ways. I feel blessed. It has been a great fit from day one. I enjoy my time at
work knowing I am furthering my career and bettering the lives of my children. Knowledge is a
beautiful thing. Each day I am able to work, is a day in which there are new skills to be added to
my resume and another step towards financial independence.” - Heather R.

“I’ve been a single dad of three boys for 2 ½ years. In April 2010 the auto body shop I worked
for closed down. I worked there for 11 ½ years. I started looking for work and it was hard
without a GED. I was 12 and in the 6th grade when they threw me out because I have ADHD. I
spent my whole life hiding it. I needed help with food and medical for my boys so I went to
DHS. Steps to Success is helping me learn how to read, write and do math. While I’m going to
school to get my GED, I’m learning how to fill out an application, list references and learn
computer skills. These programs are important because they help me with the skills I need to
succeed without further assistance.” – Billy M.

Page: Statistics Tell the Story

MHCC Steps to Success Facts and Statistics
   MHCC’s Steps to Success (STS) program has consistently exceeded its goals.
    Specifically, for the eight months ending February 2011, MHCC placed an average of
    131clients per month, versus a target of 109. Comparably, for the same time period,
    Portland Community College placed an average of 62 clients per month, versus a target
    of 72.
   Eighty-nine (89) percent of our clients who find employment through the program
    remain self-sufficient.
   MHCC STS finds jobs for approximately 200 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    (TANF) clients each month (69 percent of the total placements).
   Of the 257 placements reported for STS, 200 are from MHCC, or 78 percent of the total.
   Historically, MHCC’s STS program has earned accolades and awards, including:
        o Considered the premier welfare-to-work program in the country by a 1998 study
            by MDRC. MDRC was founded in 1974 as the Manpower Demonstration
            Research Corporation. Its name was changed in 2003 to MDRC. The
            organization is dedicated to evaluating policies and programs for low-income
        o Awarded the Gresham Chamber’s Golden Note Award for contributing project
            assistance to businesses and organizations at no cost in January 2009
        o Received the Collaborative Solutions Northwest LLC’s “A Million Thank You’s”
            award in 2010
   The proposed changes would result in layoffs of 50 or more MHCC employees and
    decreased opportunities for MHCC students and community members.

Workforce and Economic Facts and Statistics
   More than 14 percent (14.3 percent) of Oregonians live at or below poverty income
     levels, with 6.2 percent in extreme poverty. (2009 figures)
   Almost 19 percent (18.7 percent) of Oregon children (166,073) live in poverty. The
     national level is 20.7 percent. In addition, 8.7 percent live in extreme poverty compared
     to a national level of 9.3 percent. (2009 figures)
   Currently, there are 11,000 TANF recipients in Multnomah and Washington counties,
     with 4,244 families served
   Approximately 85 percent of the people who get a job from the JOBS services stay off of
   Approximately 85 percent of clients who find employment through JOBS remain self-

          D2 Official Placements                     PCC   MHCC       Total
          Monthly Individual Target                   72    109        181
          Percentage of Individual Target
          Contribution to Total                      40%    60%       100%
          July 2010 – Number of clients placed
          in jobs                                    59      127       186
D2 Official Placements                 PCC   MHCC   Total
Monthly Individual Target               72    109    181
Percentage of Individual Target
Contribution to Total                  40%   60%    100%
Percentage of Individual Target
Achieved                               81%   117%   103%
Percentage of Combined Total Target
Achieved                               32%   68%    103%

August 2010 - Number of Clients
Placed in Jobs                         64     124   188
Percentage of Individual Target
Achieved                               88%   114%   104%
Percentage of Combined Total Target
Achieved                               38%   66%    104%

September 2010 – Number of Clients
Placed in Jobs                         69     135   204
Percentage of Individual Target
Achieved                               95%   124%   113%
Percentage of Combined Total Target
Achieved                               47%   66%    113%

October 2010 – Number of Clients
Placed in Jobs                         49     120   169
Percentage of Individual Target
Achieved                               68%   110%   93%
Percentage of Combined Total Target
Achieved                               22%   71%    93%

November 2010 – Number of Clients
Placed in Jobs                         65     140   205
Percentage of Individual Target
Achieved                               90%   129%   113%
Percentage of Combined Total Target
Achieved                               45%   68%    113%

December 2010 – Number of Clients
Placed in Jobs                         68     171   239
Percentage of Individual Target
Achieved                               94%   157%   132%
Percentage of Combined Total Target
Achieved                               60%   72%    132%

January 2011 – Number of Clients
Placed in Jobs                         55     116   171

D2 Official Placements                 PCC   MHCC    Total
Monthly Individual Target               72    109     181
Percentage of Individual Target
Contribution to Total                  40%   60%     100%
Percentage of Individual Target
Achieved                               76%   107%    94%
Percentage of Combined Total Target
Achieved                               31%   64%     95%

February 2011 – Number of Clients
Placed in Jobs                         64     118    182
Percentage of Individual Target
Achieved                               88%   109%    101%
Percentage of Combined Total Target
Achieved                               35%   65%     100%

Total Number of Clients Placed
YTD                                    493   1,051   1,544
Average per month:                      62    131     193

Page: What You Can Do to Help

Help us save Steps to Success!

You can:

   Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper using this template
   Write a letter or e-mail to your local elected official using this template
   Visit our Facebook page
   Follow us on Twitter



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