PROJECT QUEST INC Overview
Programs: The City of San Antonio, the seventh largest city in the country, and its surrounding area has a large population of under-educated, under-skilled adults who lack the resources and support system necessary to obtain a marketable skill. Per the U. S. Census Bureau, one-quarter of San Antonio residents age 25 and over do not have a high school diploma, and an additional 24.2 percent has only a high school diploma or GED. This is above the national avearge of 43% of adults in the county who have no education beyond high school. At the same time, the Monthly Labor Review reported in November 2006 that 24 of the 30 fastest growing occupations require post secondary credentials. This gap in educational skills is a huge barrier for many individuals, forcing them to remain at the bottom of the labor chain and negating any chance at career advancement. Project QUEST seeks to help bridge this gap by providing participants with a comprehensive array of educational and occupational training services, the type needed to compete for quality, long-term employment in today's workforce.Project QUEST services include outreach and recruitment, comprehensive applicant assessment, educational enhancement programs, occupational skills training, job search and placement, and case management services. Outreach and recruitment occurs at various community centers throughout San Antonio and informs residents about the advantages of comprehensive skills training. Community partners such as Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS), Metro Alliance, and other social service agencies help Project QUEST staff organize recruitment fairs and career fairs to reach individuals and families in need of training opportunities. The enrollment process begins with an orientation and comprehensive skill assessment to help applicants establish a career path and determine their academic competencies for training. Project QUEST staff conduct program orientations at various locations throughout San Antonio. Orientation is a brief presentation of the history, objectives and accomplishments of Project QUEST, and it informs applicants about their responsibilities as a participant. Applicants are also required to complete two exams: the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education), which determines their basic academic aptitude, and the SAGE (System for Assessment and Group Evaluation), which establishes an employment interest inventory. Project QUEST staff utilizes both the TABE and SAGE to determine an applicant?s training competency as well as a plan for enrollment.As a workforce development program, Project QUEST is unique because it first defines the skills required to succeed in targeted, high-demand occupations, then recruits, trains and develops individuals so that they are qualified and ready for immediate employment. Labor market research and information obtained from employers such as wage rates, availability of benefits and career mobility potential help determine the training programs offered. This approach helps improve participant success rates both during training and at job placement. In addition, by conducting exploratory interviews with industry leaders and professional organizations Project QUEST is able to project employment opportunities and career stability. Most participants receive their academic instruction and occupational training services from colleges within the Alamo Community College District, ensuring quality educational services and establishing a sound framework upon which participants can advance their education or training after leaving Project QUEST. Currently, Project QUEST offers training in industries such as Healthcare, Information Technology, and Business Services. Specialized training is available upon demand from employers or the availability of special funding. Most training is in nursing and the allied health fields.All Project QUEST participants receive intense training on workplace soft skills
The mission of Project QUEST is to demonstrate the social and economic benefits that can be achieved through investments in long-term training for those who otherwise would not have the opportunity. Specifically, Project QUEST, Inc. defines the skills required to succeed in targeted, hard-to-fill occupations and then recruits, trains and develops adults so that they are qualified and ready to fill employers'' needs for skilled workers.
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