How KRA created a new era for San Diego County career centers

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“Our mission is simple,” says KRA founder and President and CEO Knowlton R. Atterbeary. “We provide businesses with a trained and reliable workforce by preparing job seekers for today’s competitive workplace and global economy.”  

Since 1981, KRA has supported public- and private-sector agencies and organizations dedicated to workforce development services as essential to improving the lives of individuals and strengthening communities. Today, KRA is recognized as a national leader in workforce development for their innovative solutions, exceptional service and trusted results.  

Approach 

KRA employs a communitydriven approach where answers to questions—“Which job seekers in the community  most  need educational, skills training and employment opportunities?” and “Which employers in the community  most  need  skilled and reliable workers to meet short– and long-range workforce needs?”—dictat the goals and objectives  of KRA’s service delivery systems.

Their outcome-driven models leverage community resources and relationships to build programmatic innovations that strengthen San Diego County area economies by providing a comprehensive array of business and career services for employer and job seeker customers. 

Single Provider, More Seamless Service 

The San Diego Workforce Partnership’s six  career centers  are the frontline resource for San Diego County residents looking for work. Here they can tap into workshops, job search assistance and other resources at no cost, regardless of income or background. 

In July 2018, we consolidated career center operations were to a single provider. Through a competitive, community-informed process, KRA Corporation, which has served our region’s job seekers since 2012, was selected. 

In addition to comprehensive WIOA adult and dislocated worker workforce development servicesKRA implemented several programs during its previous six-year San Diego Metro Career Centers operation for customers with unique requirementsincluding: 

  • Breaking Barriers San Diego to support area businesses in hiring job seekers with mental health challenges 
  • CalWorks Expanded Subsidized Employment Program to transition public-assistance recipients from “welfare-to-work” by providing wage subsidies for employers to hire/train unemployed job seekers 
  • New Beginnings for justice-involved individuals, including a partnership with the San Diego Donovan Correctional Facility 

For the San Diego County career center system, KRA is continuing its tradition of collaborating with community and private- and public-sector agencies, organizations and stakeholders to provide the most comprehensive services possible to County job seeker and employer customersincluding: 

  • Job-I-Con, the area’s largest and longest running (four consecutive years) hiring fair event
  • Back to Work Daywhich yielded 10 on-the-spot job offers   
  • Adult Education Connection, a partnership with East Region Adult Educationlaunched in April 2019—that supplements KRA/Workforce Partnership workforce service programs with supportive community resources (e.g. financial, college matriculation, housing, food and health services). 

KRA also provides San Diego region employers a wide range of recruitment, screening, placement and retention services, as well as the opportunity to customize on-the-job training/occupational skills training programs to prepare area workers for targeted, sustainable employment.

Labor market research 

Understanding how to invest limited resources requires an in-depth understanding of labor market data and trends for making informed decisions about service delivery systems. KRA offers data briefings, workshops, analytical reports and capacity building services to improve labor-oriented program operations. 

Catch them on-air 

KRA’s Searching in San Diego podcast provides on-demand access to workforce services information and resources. Wondering where to start? Try the pilot episode on Why Social Media is Important for Workforce Development.

For more information, visit kra.com.   

To find a Career Center location near you, visit workforce.org/careercenters