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WHO started AAW:
In 2004 Susan Main was running an award winning staffing agency when she recognized the need to do something more to help people experiencing problems in receiving and obtaining resources in the community that actually worked together in a process successfully helping people who had workforce barriers. She took this challenge to Dorothy Devereux, CEO of Vocational Resource Services, and together they started an effort to bring together community partners that could add value to this venture. A gathering of talented, like-minded individuals came together in September 2004 and the AAW concept grew from there as a community effort. By November 2004 the group was 20 strong and a retreat took place to form AAW’s strategy through a process called “The Path of Least Resistance” presented by Burl Waits. Mary Lyn Kagan came on board at the retreat and volunteered her services in assisting AAW in its application and qualifications to become a 501c3 nonprofit and through the years her assistance via her project management and grant writing skills helped them AAW receive a half a million dollar grant/contract through ARRA for the Dept of Rehabilitation in 2009. About two month later AAW was awarded another grant/contract through Employment Training panel, again through the combined efforts of Mary Lyn and Susan, for $200,000 to train employees for higher wage, higher skilled positions within their companies.

WHY AAW was started:
Susan Main clearly saw that older workers and baby-boomers were unable to find employment due to a variety of factors working against them. They decided to build a safety net for persons that were falling through the cracks and who could not find employment, though they have a capacity to be productive. Dorothy saw the need to help Veterans and the functionally disabled and Mary Lyn’s expertise was with disadvantaged and emancipated youth. Another group that was identified as needing assistance to re-enter the workplace were ex-offenders, so processes were put in place to accommodate this population as well. The rehabilitated (workers that were injured on the job) also needed retraining and job positioning to ensure gainful employment. Thus the core populations AAW was to serve were established.

WHAT was the initial expected outcome:
The founders, Susan, Dorothy and Mary Lyn, developed a process to which they could evaluate and refer clients to a palette of service providers who would address each client from a holistic – wraparound perspective. The AAW program was a brainchild of Susan Main which was in line with the Managed Medi-Cal system (Geographic Managed Care) i.e. having a case manager overseeing the entire process from start to finish. This was taken from Susan’s past experience in overseeing a medical organization that provided medical services to the Medi-Cal families in the Sacramento County and later to be duplicated state wide because of its huge success. By establishing continuity of services with accountable outcomes and preventing the duplication of services and having measurable outcomes, this significantly improved the quality of service delivery and the results were seen in successful long term job placements.

WHEN – The Beginning...
Originally on track to open in 06, the launch of AAW was delayed due to Susan having had a life threatening illness requiring major surgery. This put the process back by at least one year, so beginning of 2007 the organization swung back into motion and in doing so started its legacy. It utilized the offices of Dorothy Devereux and had a dedicated phone line installed. AAW opened their services to the disabled and veterans in the spring of 2008 when it started the pilot program after having received two significant startup foundation grants. That January, AAW installed an enviable Board of Directors, assisted by the volunteer efforts of William Garcia. The Board chair was Sheriff John McGinness, also included was Dr. Alexander Gonzalez (Sacramento State University President), Selvi Stanislaus (Executive Director of the CA Franchise Tax Board), Stephen Lard (CEO Genesis Wealth Group), Dr. Gregory Jenison and renowned government liaison and former Director of CA Health and Human Services, Dr. Marion Woods. With the help of the two groundbreaking foundation grants, VetFund and State Street Foundation, it assisted AAW in providing what is called their PEP (Personal Employment/Enrichment Plan). They were able to stretch the grants out through community partners that volunteered their services to the program and the funding from the grants were leveraged to their best extent.

WHERE did AAW open it's doors?
After receiving the ARRA Dept of Rehabilitation grant/contract AAW opened its first larger location at Mather Air Force Base Park on Bleckely in March of 2010. This serves the Highway 50 corridor, and portions of the Highway 99 and Highway 80 corridors. The second location was opened in July of 2010 in Placer County in Roseville, near the Galleria Mall off of Roseville Parkway. This area serves the 80 corridor up to the Arden area and north to Auburn.




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