Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $899,957)
The WorkPlace (TWP) is an organization of ideas, actions, resources, and initiatives – all designed to strengthen the workforce. “Think it forward” is our corporate culture. Every discipline within our organization is encouraged to innovate and activate as we put ideas into motion for the greater good of the economy and society as a whole.
Priority: 1(A): TWP committed to developing equitable programming that removes barriers to access and opportunity for incarcerated individuals and returning citizens.
Reference – Priority Consideration is being sought for 1(A) (p15) and Category 2 (p5).
Proposed Programming: This program will be based in Bridgeport and will serve TWP’s 20-town service region including Ansonia, Stamford, and Norwalk. The Greater Bridgeport area is an important center for reentry efforts in Connecticut. Deliverables for the program include the expansion of market-informed training programs that prepare individuals for employment in their local community upon release.
Local Assessment: The city of Bridgeport is home to approximately 10,000 returning citizens. They often return to the same conditions from which they offended, especially regarding prospects for employment and income. As of April 2022, Bridgeport has an unemployment rate of 5.5%, compared to Connecticut’s rate of 3.8% and the US rate of 3.6%. Stamford, Norwalk and Ansonia have unemployment rates of 3.9%, 3.4% and 6.1% respectively. Given the impacts of COVID-19, unemployment rates are exceedingly high in the urban centers of Fairfield County.
Individual Reentry Career Planning: TWP’s case management model addresses the multiple barriers that impact employment and job retention for diverse groups, including the re-entry population. Case management begins with assessment. During assessment, staff analyzes which services and supports the participant needs. TWP assists participants in finding appropriate supports such as childcare, transportation, counseling, and/or emergency food services. This wraparound approach to coordinated services has been highly successful at transitioning individuals off services and into employment, job training, degree programs, and/or housing.
Connection to Employers: TWP has extensive experience recruiting employers across various industries and trades, ranging from small to large employers. TWP has developed and led sector-based initiatives in an array of sectors including Healthcare, Manufacturing, Transportation and Warehousing, Retail, Hospitality, and Information Technology.
Track and monitor employment outcomes: TWP commits to tracking/monitoring the following outcomes: 1) Employment Rate – Second Quarter After Exit; 2) Employment Rate – Fourth Quarter After Exit; 3) Median Earnings – Second Quarter After Exit; 4) Credential Attainment; 5) Measurable Skills Gain.