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The Family Education Collaborative Receives When Work Works Grant

By Sharon Cowen, UNH Cooperative Extension
October 29, 2008

Manchester is a new, participating community in the When Work Works program, a result of a grant received by the Family Education Collaborative.

The Family Education Collaborative is a partnership of UNH Cooperative Extension, UNH Manchester, YWCA of Greater Manchester and Child and Family Services. The grant is for the 2008-2009 grant year.
           
When Work Works is a national initiative to educate employers and recognize effective and flexible workplaces. In 2003, the Families and Work Institute, the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Twiga Foundation formed When Work Works. 

Since the start of the initiative, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has provided funding for the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. The awards honor organizations which used flexible work practices to meet the needs of both employer and employees. When Work Works launched in eight communities in 2003, with additional communities added each year.  Last year 30 communities participated throughout the country.  Manchester now joins these communities. 

The lead organization for the When Work Works project in Manchester, the Family Education Collaborative, is an established consortium of educational and social service agencies working to promote family well-being. Started in 2007 with a UNH outreach scholarship grant, the Family Education Collaborative works to strengthen families through parent education and prevention programs, engage in family science and research to promote family life education, and as a laboratory for students to understand and develop skills in family life education. The Collaborative and its members serve diverse audiences throughout the greater Manchester area. 

American businesses are facing a different environment than at any point in history. A global economy and rapidly-changing business dynamics, along with changes in workforce demographics, mean unprecedented challenges. The U.S. economy of the 21st century is fast-paced, highly competitive, and increasingly service and knowledge based.

At the same time, American workers are more diverse and aging. As the baby boomers retire, the labor pool shrinks, and demand for skills and knowledge grows, American employers will need to be creative to recruit and retain a talented workforce.  

When Work Works and the Family Education Collaborative will help build a bridge between the needs of Manchester’s working families and their employers, to provide a healthier family climate and a more productive workforce.

The collaborative seeks to strengthen its relationship to Manchester employers, strengthen the business community’s ability to attract and keep healthy family workers, and ultimately strengthen Manchester.

In addition to the grant, the initiative will provide free technical assistance and support for educational and training events for area employers. For further information, contact Extension educator Sharon Cowen at the Hillsborough County office of UNH Cooperative Extension at 603-641-6060.


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