Last week, it was reported that KRA, in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) and Capital Workforce Partners (CWP), KRA’s client, is hosting a series of Open Houses* in the North Central Region. The first, held in February at the KRA/CTWorks One-Stop Center office in Hartford, focused on the many benefits the CTWorks system provides for Hartford residents, and the feasibility of adopting, or adapting, a “Just Hire One” approach to employment development, as promoted by the National Association of Workforce Boards and the US Conference of Mayors. Distinguished discussants included Tom Philips, CWP President & CEO; Pedro Segarra, Hartford Mayor; Sharon Palmer, CTDOL Commissioner; Sylvania Lopez, HR Director, Hispanic Health Council; and John Prescod, Executive Director, ConnectiKids.
In March, for the New Britain CTWorks Roundtable, Palmer and Philips were joined by local government and business representatives including Tim O’Brien, New Britain Mayor; Stephen Shanahan and Donna Riley, ARNA Machine Company; and Judi Spreda, Peter Paul Electronics; as well as “Mr. M”, a successful KRA/CTWorks jobseeker-customer. Following a tour of the New Britain facilities, attendees discussed the wide range of services the One Stop Center offers to businesses and job-seeker customers in the community. A highlight of the event was the opportunity for businesses in attendance to express how much they appreciated and depended on the skilled job-seekers that use CTWorks as their conduit to finding employers looking for their specialized skills…a benefit to both the business community and skilled job candidates.
Another highlight was the opportunity for customers, like Mr. M, to express their gratitude for the opportunities they found at KRA/CTWorks. An unemployed single father, Mr. M was losing his home to foreclosure. When he enrolled in the program, not only did he receive career assistance to increase his employability, he also worked closely with staff to learn more about the Mortgage Crisis Program, through which he might be able to save his home. After an intensive series of job-readiness workshops and career-counseling sessions, Mr. M was selected for a temporary work assignment with Rosol’s Meat Products, a small manufacturer in business since 1928. According to Jerry Santostefano, KRA Customer Service Representative, “Within weeks of beginning his assignment, he was offered a full-time position and was able to recover from losing his home. Hope, persistence, and dedicated KRA staff at CTWorks teamed up with a local business to help this man save his family from an uncertain future. I know for a fact that Rosol’s has several employees who have worked there for more than 50 years! Who knows, maybe Mr. M will become one of them!”
*The third Open House, held recently at the KRA/CTWorks Enfield office, will be reported on next week.