KRA Monthly Spotlight!

This month’s Spotlight! is shining brightly on the CTWorks Program* operated by KRA Corporationand the phenomenal recruitment assistance and support provided to a new business-customer.  Jerry Santostefano, KRA Expeditor for the JFES (Jobs First Employment Services) operation of CTWorks, prefaced their story with, “We do try real hard here in Hartford, and the North Central Region of Connecticut, to make a positive difference for jobseekers and employers alike.  Our Spotlight! story is a prime example of those efforts,” which involved a massive worker recruitment and referral campaign, spearheaded by Artie Owens, our KRA Business Services Manager and his Team, for the HomeGoods Distribution Center [HGDC].”

With the expansion and opening of 13 new TJX retail stores (HomeGoods, Marshalls, and T.J. Maxx) in the Northeast, the HGDC needed to fill hundreds of warehousing positions for the management and operation of the new fulfillment center in Bloomfield.  Owens reported, “The KRA/CTWorks Business Services Team developed a partnership with the employer and after consultations with the HR recruiters determined the full extent of their need for assistance.  Immediately, our Team began planning and organizing a ‘recruitment blitz’ that we held at the KRA/CTWorks Hartford Public Library  satellite location.” 

Connecting with the local workforce, which is comprised of many talented and motivated job seekers, the recruitment strategy was multi-faceted.  Contacting community partners, culling the current customer base for candidates, and using social media networking, the Team advertised that the HomeGoods Job Fair was not restricted to jobseekers enrolled in KRA/CTWorks programs, but entirely open to the public. Owens stated, “KRA/CTWorks Career Agents assigned to the Hartford Public Library satellite location worked tirelessly providing resume-development,  interview-coaching, and targeted job-matching services in the weeks leading up to the Job Fair, as well as the day of the event.  The result? An astounding 380 prospective workers!”

Crediting many entities for the accomplishment, Owens concluded, “Due to the successful teamwork of the Hartford Public Library staff and KRA staff assigned to the Library, Martha Rolon and Nordia Savage; and Business Services Team members, Mohamed Chaouki, Lisa Lazarus, and Myrna Fienman, 93% of the workers at the HomeGoods New Hire Orientation had attended the recruitment drive!  We intend to continue our partnership with HomeGoods, and are confident that the relationship will only get better.”

Sofia Bonilla, Human Resources Generalist/Recruiter, HomeGoods Distribution Center, summed up the experience with this testimonial: “It was a pleasure working with Artie Owens and his team at CTWorks.  In the middle of our peak season when we needed to hire a large number of associates during a short period of time, we were fortunate to be able to partner with Capital Workforce Partners.  The team is dedicated to helping their customers gain employment by networking with businesses in the community.  The Job Fair they set up had phenomenal results.”

*This 37-town, multi-site CTWorks operation, funded by Capital Workforce Partners (CWP), includes a One-Stop Career Center Program that serves WIA-eligible Adult/Dislocated Workers, and a TANF-funded Jobs First Employment Services Program.  Each or the four offices includes a walk-in Online Learning Center, with computers equipped with job-search applications, assessment tools, skills-training software, and self-paced job-readiness software targeted for specific populations, such as veterans and ex-offenders.  Special CTWorks programs include a Homeless Veterans Integration Program; an employment-retention program for ex-offenders who are currently employed; and a National Emergency Grant (NEG) Program for WIA Dislocated Workers separated from employment due to downsizing, reorganization, or closure at specific companies in the Region.  NEG enhances CTWorks’ ability to tailor career counseling, training, 21st century job-search strategies, resume preparation, and job development services for these select customers.