A Closer Look: The Generation Work Partnership in Hartford

Posted December 6, 2019, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Young person learning a vocational trade.

As part of Gen­er­a­tion Work™, the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion is invest­ing in five part­ner­ships — in Cleve­land, Hart­ford, Indi­anapo­lis, Philadel­phia and Seat­tle — to explore new ways of help­ing young peo­ple gain the knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence need­ed to secure jobs that pay fam­i­ly-sus­tain­ing wages.

This post, which focus­es on Hart­ford, Con­necti­cut, is part of a series that explores how each part­ner­ship is work­ing to posi­tion young peo­ple — espe­cial­ly indi­vid­u­als of col­or and those from low-income com­mu­ni­ties — for work­place success.

The Chal­lenge

Despite region­al job growth since the Great Reces­sion, Hartford’s unem­ploy­ment rate — which exceeds 6% — is near­ly dou­ble the state’s rate. Bud­get con­straints have made it more dif­fi­cult for local edu­ca­tion and train­ing sys­tems to pre­pare low-income res­i­dents of col­or — espe­cial­ly youth and young adults — to meet busi­ness demands and secure long-term careers. At the same time, orga­ni­za­tions that help young peo­ple find employ­ment in Hart­ford have tra­di­tion­al­ly worked in iso­la­tion, devel­op­ing inde­pen­dent pro­gram­ming and met­rics for suc­cess while strug­gling to coor­di­nate their efforts with pub­lic insti­tu­tions and local employers.

Hartford’s Approach

The Gen­er­a­tion Work part­ner­ship in Hart­ford aims to improve and align edu­ca­tion, train­ing and sup­port ser­vices to bet­ter sup­port youth and young adults and con­nect them to indus­try-rec­og­nized cre­den­tials and career advance­ment opportunities.

To advance this effort, the part­ner­ship is focused on facil­i­tat­ing data shar­ing, engag­ing youth in pro­gram devel­op­ment, and oth­er proven strate­gies for help­ing young res­i­dents build skills and suc­ceed in high-demand indus­tries. The part­ners are also help­ing employ­ers adopt racial­ly equi­table and inclu­sive prac­tices and match young peo­ple with jobs that ful­fil their inter­ests and needs.

Key Part­ners

  • Cap­i­tal Work­force Part­ners, the region’s work­force devel­op­ment board, helps indi­vid­u­als over­come employ­ment bar­ri­ers and clos­es the gap between skills and local hir­ing needs.
  • City of Hart­ford Depart­ment of Fam­i­lies, Chil­dren, Youth and Recre­ation, which over­sees ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­tion and oth­er youth pro­gram­ming, works to ensure that the city’s young peo­ple — ages 9 to 24 — achieve aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess and self-sufficiency.
  • Hart­ford Foun­da­tion for Pub­lic Giv­ing, the region’s largest com­mu­ni­ty foun­da­tion, brings orga­ni­za­tions togeth­er to share infor­ma­tion, review local issues and lever­age resources effectively.
  • Hart­ford Oppor­tu­ni­ty Youth Col­lab­o­ra­tive works with fun­ders, pub­lic part­ners, ser­vice providers and oth­er stake­hold­ers to imple­ment strate­gies that con­nect Hartford’s youth to edu­ca­tion and employment.
  • Our Piece of the Pie, a com­mu­ni­ty-based orga­ni­za­tion, helps young peo­ple devel­op edu­ca­tion­al, employ­ment and per­son­al skills that con­tribute to their success.
  • Unit­ed Way of Cen­tral and North­east­ern Con­necti­cut — the partnership’s con­ven­er — mobi­lizes peo­ple and resources to pro­mote youth suc­cess and help indi­vid­u­als land sta­ble jobs and fam­i­ly-sup­port­ing wages.
  • Work­force Solu­tions Col­lab­o­ra­tive of Metro Hart­ford, a fun­ders’ col­lab­o­ra­tive, is com­mit­ted to devel­op­ing an edu­cat­ed, eco­nom­i­cal­ly self-suf­fi­cient work­force that meets employ­er needs via sec­tor-based partnerships.

Defin­ing Success

The Gen­er­a­tion Work part­ner­ship in Hart­ford sees suc­cess as cre­at­ing a more coor­di­nat­ed and inte­grat­ed work­force sys­tem that helps young peo­ple — espe­cial­ly res­i­dents of col­or — find well-pay­ing jobs that lead to sus­tain­able careers. This effort calls for increased data shar­ing among work­force prac­ti­tion­ers and improved col­lab­o­ra­tion with employers.

Learn more about Gen­er­a­tion Work in Hartford

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