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Blended Funding and Resource Development: Montana

The Montana Choice, Control, Career Project

One Stops consist of partnerships; various agencies working closely under the single roof. However, these partnerships face considerable barriers in developing 'braided' funding; instances where many funding streams are used simultaneously to assist a singe individual to greater effect. In the Montana Choice, Control, Career (MCCC) Project, staff are building on a history of success involving a variety of partners in the process of funding an employment project.

For instance, John, working out of the Glasgow Job Linc, received funding from the project, from the local Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and from a Social Security PASS Plan to buy the various pieces of equipment (including a new truck) required to start his hauling business. Another individual benefited from these same services to fund his business, and also used 'Extended Support' funds offered under the Workforce Investment Act to assist him with living expenses while his business grew. Funds from the project were used in combination with vocational rehabilitation monies to leverage a Small Business Loan to assist another individual in opening her own Cyber Cafe in Poplar, MT.

Roger Shelley, a principle consultant to the MCCC Project, points out that the first mistake most professionals make is to think of this as funding development. Rather, he says, it is best to think of this as 'Resource Development'; gathering the various resources, supports and funding sources that a person has at their disposal for the greatest possible benefit to them.

What this requires is relationship building, and a knowledge and respect for the various systems involved. Before seeking funding from an agency, staff should have met with them to find out what and who they fund, and what must be done before they will release funding in a given instance. If staff are willing to do the work to learn about and conform to the rules of these systems, and build relationships while they are doing so, they will open the door to developing funds around the individuals they serve.

For further information, contact:

B. Roger Shelley
Roberts Consulting

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