ERIC Number: ED469859
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Sep
The Special Challenges of Offering Employment Programs in Culturally Diverse Communities: The Jobs-Plus Experience in Public Housing Developments.
Kato, Linda Yuriko
Immigration has made public housing populations increasingly diverse, a challenge met by administrators and staff at two housing developments participating in the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families. Immigrants and refugees from Southeast Asia, East Africa, and Latin America have settled beside native-born Americans. Foreign-born residents' needs extend beyond basic language training and assistance in workforce preparation. They are a diverse group, consisting of urban professionals who need certification, rural villagers barely literate in native languages, and others with physical ailments and psychological traumas. By their variety and prevalence in residents' lives, distinctive issues present major challenges. They may be reluctant to use child care and expose their children to alien cultural practices. Jobs-Plus staff are well-versed in social cues of ethnic groups, including taboos against certain foods, and mixed meetings of men and women. Employment programs clash with cultural priorities in that pressure to direct women into the workforce runs counter to traditional gender roles and encouraging residents to invest financial assets competes with responsibility to remit savings to relatives. Staff leave their offices to reach out to and accompany residents off-site to social service agencies, clinics, and immigration offices. Programs must balance residents' needs and preferences for culturally specific services with goals of preparing them to function in a diverse workplace and building a multicultural community. (YLB)
Descriptors: Community Characteristics, Community Development, Community Support, Cultural Context, Cultural Differences, Cultural Interrelationships, Cultural Maintenance, Cultural Pluralism, Demonstration Programs, Economically Disadvantaged, Employment Programs, Employment Services, Ethnic Groups, Foreign Culture, Immigrants, Limited English Speaking, Public Housing, Refugees, Social Integration, Social Support Groups, Unemployment, Welfare Services
Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, 16 East 34 Street, New York, NY 10016. Tel: 212-532-3200; Web site: http://www.mdrc.org. For full text: http://www.mdrc.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC.; Department of Labor, Washington, DC.; Joyce Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Surdna Foundation, Inc., New York, NY.; Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.; Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.; Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY.; James G. Irvine Foundation, San Francisco, CA.; Northwest Area Foundation, St. Paul, MN.
Authoring Institution: Manpower Demonstration Research Corp., New York, NY.
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Asia; Minnesota (Saint Paul); Washington (Seattle)