Recently, at the KRA/CTWorks One-Stop* in New Britain, Elizabeth Esty**, U.S. Representative, 5th Congressional District of Connecticut…which spans Northwest and Central Connecticut…assembled key stakeholders in her District to discuss both supporting an economy that creates jobs, while ensuring there is a qualified workforce to meet the demand.
The Employment and Workforce Roundtable brought together more than 60 stakeholders, including representatives from a construction trade union; private-industry employers; the Jobs Funnel Program***; and two institutions of higher education, Central Connecticut State University and Goodwin College. Local and State Roundtable contributors included Tim O’Brien, New Britain Mayor; Sharon Palmer, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Labor; and Catherine Smith, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
The Roundtable began with a tour of CTWorks, including many of the programs operated by KRA Corporation. Esty spent time in the Online Learning Center, spoke with several KRA/CTWorks’ jobseeker-customers, and graciously greeted all the staff members she met. After her Opening Remarks, Esty asked for all 60+ attendees to introduce themselves, an activity that revealed the impressive diversity of the assemblage. Introductions were followed by an Open Discussion on the wide variety of Workforce Development programs that have proven to be successful in training and employing people in Connecticut. Esty noted that legislators and the public need to be informed about the positive impact of these programs, including the CTWorks operation.
The program ended on a very high note, with an employer- and jobseeker-customer relating their mutual experience at CTWorks. Both presenters were clearly impressed with the diversity of programs and services, and most importantly, the results of their involvement with the program. The jobseeker was especially thankful for the assistance, guidance, and support he received from several members of the CTWorks staff.
In recent years, CTWorks offices in Enfield, Hartford, and New Britain have been the venue of choice for many Legislative Open Houses and Roundtables hosted and attended by distinguished local, State, and Regional dignitaries and officials. Noteworthy among them are: Richard Blumenthal, Senator, Connecticut (CT); Joseph Courtney, U.S. Representative, 2nd District, CT; Alex Johnson, COO, Capital Workforce Partners (CWP), KRA client; Scott Kaupin, Mayor, City of Enfield; Sylvania Lopez, HR Director, Hispanic Health Council; Glenn Marshall, Commissioner (Former), Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL): Dennis Murphy, Deputy Commissioner, CTDOL; Tim O’Brien, Mayor, City of New Britain; Sharon Palmer, Commissioner (Current), CTDOL; Tom Philips, President & CEO, CWP; John Prescod, Executive Director, ConnectiKids; Pedro Segarra, Mayor, City of Hartford; and Charles Smith, Board Chair, CWP.
*CTWorks, a 37-town, multi-site operation, is funded by CWP, and includes a One-Stop program…part of the American Job Center Network…that serves WIA-eligible Adult/Dislocated Workers, and a TANF-funded Jobs First Employment Services Program.
** A graduate of Harvard College, one of two Harvard University schools that grants undergraduate degrees, and Yale Law School, Esty was elected to Congress in November 2012. She serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, as well as the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. For Esty, job creation and economic development are top priorities for the residents of her District, and is committed to reinvigorating the District’s manufacturing tradition through investments in infrastructure, research and development, and job training. Esty is also a strong proponent of helping small businesses and promoting the green jobs of the future in the 5th District. Read more about Esty’s stand on Jobs and the Economy at http://esty.house.gov/
*** The Jobs Funnel Program, funded by CWP, is a pre-employment preparation and job training service for Hartford and area residents seeking employment in the construction fields, and serves as the model “Funnel” establishment for the State. The name “Jobs Funnel,” is taken from a process individuals go through – “funneling” into the system to gain specific work competencies and trade-related certifications, “funneling” out of the system to embark on a self-sustaining and rewarding career journey.