Routt to Work initiative will use new strategies to help families | SteamboatToday.com
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Routt to Work initiative will use new strategies to help families

Upcoming Talk it Up event:

Routt to Work will hold a community seminar on strategies for increasing achievement and stability in the workplace for students and families.

The event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7 at the Allbright Family Auditorium at Colorado Mountain College, 1330 Bob Adams Drive.

The seminar will be useful for employers, social services employees, those working with youth and other professionals, according to Routt to Work coordinator Libby Foster.

Speakers will discuss how toxic stress affects the brain and will also teach executive skills, including time management and prioritizing.

“It will be about building a vibrant community and a vibrant workforce,” said Vickie Clark, director of Routt County Department of Human Services. “This info helps us all.”

Free lunch will provided with the seminar.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Foster at efoster@co.routt.... or 970-970-5288.

— An initiative to increase the economic stability of Routt County families is expanding its approach and debuting a new name this year.

The former Routt County Bridges Initiative is becoming Routt to Work, a change that allows the program’s partners to implement more strategies to help low-income families.

Upcoming Talk it Up event:

Routt to Work will hold a community seminar on strategies for increasing achievement and stability in the workplace for students and families.



The event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7 at the Allbright Family Auditorium at Colorado Mountain College, 1330 Bob Adams Drive.

The seminar will be useful for employers, social services employees, those working with youth and other professionals, according to Routt to Work coordinator Libby Foster.



Speakers will discuss how toxic stress affects the brain and will also teach executive skills, including time management and prioritizing.

“It will be about building a vibrant community and a vibrant workforce,” said Vickie Clark, director of Routt County Department of Human Services. “This info helps us all.”

Free lunch will provided with the seminar.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Foster at efoster@co.routt…. or 970-970-5288.

By using the Bridges Initiative or Bridges out of Poverty name, facilitators were tied to specific, strict frameworks for helping families, which were developed in the 1980s by Dr. Ruby Payne, rather than being able to implement new research into their work, according to Vickie Clark, director of Routt County Department of Human Services, one of three initiative partnering agencies, along with Routt County United Way and Lift-Up of Routt County.

“We wanted to be able to expand beyond the the work of Ruby Payne,” Clark said.

Clark and representatives from the partnering agencies and Routt to Work coordinator Libby Foster have been working with social policy research company Mathematica to hone in on new evidence-based practice models, which they plan to debut with a new class of Routt to Work students in May.

“[Mathematica] helped us to understand that there’s a lot more out there than Ruby Payne,” Clark said.

While some aspects of the initiative will remain the same, including offering a personal economic mobility class to about a dozen local residents, a new approach will begin with Routt to Work this year.

Rather than the 17-session, 10-week class offered in the past, Routt to Work will be implemented in an enhanced three phases — Talk it Up, where community partners come together in support of helping families in need; Step it Up, where 10 to 12 individuals or families participate in a six-week class; and Move it Up, where participants implement the strategies they’ve learned to improve their own lives.

Organizers will work with health and human services agencies to identify families and individuals ready to play an active role in improving their lives economically, professionally or personally in a variety of ways.

“We’re looking for folks that are motivated and committed to looking at their personal situations or lives and wanting to improve,” Foster said. “Together, we’re going to tackle this person’s plan and make it a reality.”

The program will require participants to reflect on their lives and it will ask them to commit to hard work, persistence and determination, Foster said.

The initiative’s new name reflects the route taken by local participants to reach their goals and potentially secure their position in the workforce, as well as the collaborative work of the numerous organizations involved.

As part of its ongoing efforts, Routt to Work has recently been awarded a two-year, $50,000 Daniels Fund grant.

The grant will provide substantial support for Routt to Work, which operates on an annual budget of about $59,000.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


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