What is SPOKES?
In 2003, an academic and job preparation skills program entitled SPOKES (Strategic Planning in Occupational Knowledge for Employment and Success) was created by WVABE under a contract between the WVDOE, Office of Adult Education and Workforce Development and DHHR, and in collaboration with the WIBs.
The SPOKES program model was designed to provide intense daily activities that would address academic and “soft skills” necessary for adults to pursue gainful employment. Although the program is designed for participants functioning at or above the 4th grade level (FFL #3 and above) there is some flexibility about including participants who score at lower levels.
The SPOKES program consists of assessment, a repeating cycle of modules related to job readiness, work process skills, technology skills, work-related academics, and vocational training in customer service. The program allows WV WORKS participants to be referred to the program and receive services on “any given Monday.” Referrals can be made at the start-up of any week.
Participants officially referred to and enrolled in SPOKES classes must have an identified need for instruction and/or enhancement in one or more of the module areas that prevents them from getting employment or advancing in a job. Individualized, computer-aided, small/whole group, and work-based/site instructional techniques are utilized within the program delivery of services.
In addition to having a certified full-time ABE SPOKES instructor, and in some cases a part-time ABE SPOKES instructor, the SPOKES program has access to a Career Development Consultant (job coach). The Career Development Consultant (CDC) is responsible for establishing industry partnerships; coordinating job development, placement, monitoring, and follow-up; developing individualized pre- and post-employability plans for participants; and explaining employer tax incentives and benefits. Additionally, the CDC, or “Job Coach” assists with job follow-up. In fact, job follow-up continues up to six months after job placement.
Some SPOKES classes move to different locations within a region for varied lengths of time based on participant enrollment. Generally, these ‘roving’ SPOKES classes run in each location for a minimum eight week period of time. This ensures the opportunity for participants to begin on three different Mondays before the class moves to another location.