PPEP’s Dr. John Arnold Receives Prestigious Award from the Mexican Government

John David Arnold PhD, the CEO and Founder of Portable Practical Educational Preparation, Inc., has been selected as a 2016 recipient of the Reconocimiento Ohtli Award, one of the highest awards given by the Government of Mexico.


The Ohtli Award was conceived to recognize and honor Mexican, Mexican-American or Latino leaders whose efforts have contributed significantly to the wellbeing, prosperity and empowerment of Mexican communities abroad. Ohtli is a Nahuatl word that means “pathway,” or camino in Spanish. The Institute for Mexicans Abroad, part of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, annually grants the Ohtli Award, which consists of a medal, a silver rosette, and a diploma. This acknowledgment honors people who have dedicated most of their lives and career to “blazing a trail” abroad for younger generations of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans as they strive to achieve their dreams.

“Estimados; With great humility and gratitude to the Government of Mexico for nominating me for the prestigious award known as Reconocimiento Ohtli. It recognizes the exceptional life achievements of individuals dedicated to service to the community. Especially to those nationals living and working here. It is a very special moment for me. As a child I lived, and was schooled in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico . I know first hand how it is to live in a foreign country. A new language, culture, and customs. However, I am very indebted to that experience. Had it not happened my life’s pathway would have been very different. Most of all, I would not have this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you that helped me along the way. Making possible all that we have accomplished together. The best way to sum it up is the words of Cesar Chavez; Si Se Puede. Because of him and all of you, together say Si Se Pudo!, Si Se Podra! Gracias!”

The induction and award ceremony will be held on September 18th at 7:30 pm at the Casino Del Sol Amphitheater in Tucson, AZ. For further information, please contact Connie Martinez at (520) 591-5600

PathStone PA Receives CAAP Distinguished Service Award

From the PathStone Messenger (August 2016)

PathStone is recognized for exceptional advocacy and leadership efforts on behalf of anti-poverty and community development programs. PathStone’s advocacy efforts directly impact policy, regulation, and legislative agendas that complement Community Action Association of Pennsylvania’s mission and goals.

PathStone Pennsylvania provides services to migrant and seasonal farmworker families, TANF recipients, ex-offenders, mature workers, children, youth, and other disadvantaged populations. PathStone provides training and employment services, child and family development services, and housing services directed at assisting those participants.

This year alone PathStone advocated on behalf of migrant and seasonal farmworkers, and ex-offender training programs at the federal level. Migrant Head Start and Regional Head Start Programs also at the federal level, TANF and CSBG funding at the state level and low income housing within local communities in Chester and Lehigh County.

PathStone Training and Employment staff worked diligently at the national level with the Association for Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) and the National Association for Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) to assure training programs allow for the upward mobility of the unemployed, underemployed and dislocated workers. Our very own, Nita D’Agostino sits on the Board of Directors for the AFOP and has played a vital role in the success of PathStone Pennsylvania and was recently featured in the NAWDP Advantage Publication!

With DOL Support, AFOP Brings Peer Best Practices Sharing

Rural Employment Opportunities (REO), a statewide non-profit in Helena Montana, participated in the AFOP Peer Best Practices Sharing Program in April.  Individuals from the NFJP programs in Texas and Arkansas flew into Helena along with AFOP Workforce Development Director Katy Nelson from AFOP headquarters in Washington, DC.

In the last two years, REO has had an almost complete turn over in staff including the executive director, program manager, CFO and most of the employment and training case managers so there was a huge gap in historical knowledge and operational practices.  It was extremely valuable to sit down with knowledgeable colleagues and be able to ask questions about how their programs operate.  We were able to discuss the new WIOA funding and regulations as well as ask about database issues, recruitment and where to find needed resources.  In addition, we were able to validate some of our own processes and procedures. We brought all of our staff in from across the state and they were able to get the “whys” behind some of the regulations and learn how the NFJP program has changed over the years.

One of the most valuable things about the program beyond the depth of knowledge these folks had, was the ability to really get to know them and feel like there was a place to go to get answers. The genuine concern and willingness to help that was brought to the table makes this an extremely valuable program to all grantees.

Reported by Jami Anderson Lind, Executive Director at REO Montana


Peer Best Practice Sharing and Review participants also gathered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for a demonstration of ORO Development Corporation’s electronic case management system and its integration with a paperless office system.  Participants spent two days talking to systems experts and ORO program staff to learn about their experience transitioning to a paperless systems, and the ways the systems have been beneficial to their operation and client services.

“I was happy to see how the electronic system workout for another organization and see their results. It was important to see how the filing system has the capability to have it work for your organizations style.”

One participant reported, “I was happy to see how the electronic system workout for another organization and see their results. It was important to see how the filing system has the capability to have it work for your organizations style.”  Another said, “A major takeaway is that change can always be challenging.  I think training is a challenge, getting everyone used to a new process. I think it will be a big job because of the variety of programs we work with, but I think, long term, it will save time, money and obtain good results.” Another participant stated about the setting, “I have sat in classes at different conferences about CERTSS; it was nice to see how it actually works by having an actual case manager work with it.  I learned about current barriers that ORO case managers face when they are out in the fields that could also be a potential barriers for our staff in regards to internet connectivity.”

If you are interested in participating in peer best practices sharing and review, please contact AFOP Workforce Development Director Katy Nelson at nelson@afop.org.