As a case manager, you know all the reasons it seems impossible for some clients to find stable employment in a career they love. But with the proper job training, solutions to overcoming the barriers may be closer than they think.
In 2022, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report stating that poverty levels are increasing: 11.4% of the American population lived in poverty in 2020. That’s 37.2 million people and 3.3 million more than in 2019.
You know that individuals struggling to make ends meet can list many reasons why they haven’t been able to find full-time, well-paid employment in a field that fulfills them. Often, the barriers are highest for marginalized groups and underrepresented cultures, as well as workers who have been dislocated.
Your clients may feel hopeless, but you can help. By better understanding their perspective, you can offer practical and effective solutions to help them get on track financially and get out of poverty once and for all. Here is a closer look at barriers to employment and ways to address each.
While there are many reasons people struggle to gain stable employment, these are some of the most common barriers case managers hear. Barriers to employment can seem very large, whether concerns from a client or worries from prospective employers. These concerns include:
Lack of transportation
Poor health conditions or disabilities
Lack of childcare
Lack of language skills
Age, either too young or too old
No work experience
Inadequate job training or lack of education
Financial concerns for jobs requiring credit checks
Inappropriate social media content
Unexplained employment gaps
When working with a client, it’s best to address each barrier individually. When there is more than one reason why a person is struggling, it can feel like a mountain. But with your help, they can overcome whatever stands in their way.
Work with each issue, one at a time, to find solutions to help them overcome barriers.
Clients need to be empowered to overcome their own barriers to employment, although as a case manager, you can help with practical solutions. No two clients are alike, so be sure your offer is customized to their specific situation.
Whether it’s online training or online work, many people are able to work from home even when they can’t work or learn outside of their home. Many libraries offer free time at a computer, while some companies will even pay for an internet connection if it’s necessary for the job. Encourage your clients to be creative and open-minded when searching for solutions.
If they qualify, workforce grants like WIOA can facilitate no-cost job training for your clients. Look for an online school that provides support along the way so your clients can gain confidence and pass their certification exams successfully. MedCerts partners with American Job Centers as an approved training vendor in more than 30 states. Students are partnered with personal education consultants to help them reach their goals.
Finally, clients who believe they can overcome their barriers are more likely to do so than people who think it’s impossible. Ask your clients if they believe in themselves enough to work together for a solution. Saying “yes” is the biggest step they can take toward success.
Sandy Mead has over 22 years of experience in the workforce development space and helps MedCerts create career opportunities and build relationships with workforce offices.
As the National Director of Workforce Development, Sandy partners with workforce offices across the country to assist in the WIOA requirements of providing skills gained and national credentials to increase successful career pathways. She has been instrumental in increasing performance data outcomes and helping participants achieve credentials to enhance employment.