The Federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which superseded the Job Training Partnership Act, offers a comprehensive range of workforce development activities through statewide and regional organizations. Available workforce development activities provided can benefit job seekers, laid off workers, youth, incumbent workers, new entrants to the workforce, veterans, persons with disabilities, and employers. The Act will enable customers to easily access the information and services they need through the “One-Stop” service delivery concept. The purpose of these activities is to promote an increase in the employment, job retention, earnings, and occupational skills improvement by participants. This, in turn, improves the quality of the workforce, reduces welfare dependency, and improves the productivity and competitiveness of the region.
Disability Navigator (DPN): The DPN is to guide CTWorks Centers staff as they provide information to customers regarding the services and agencies available to help people with disabilities "navigate" through the challenges of seeking employment. The DPN works with and serves as a resource to CTWorks Centers staff to promote seamless, comprehensive and integrated access to services and ensure they have the knowledge of the state, federal and community programs that assist individuals with disabilities and the employers that hire them.
Jobs First Employment Services (JFES) is a program for Adults and Out-of-School minor recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families that helps them gain and maintain independence from federal and state financial assistance by providing employment, education, training services, and case management and the necessary skills needed to secure employment by the 21-month expiration of benefits. All participants receive assistance in preparing and looking for a job, transportation assistance, and help with payment for childcare.
Work Experience/Subsidized Employment is a program that works with TANF recipients with little or no work experience to become and remain independent of cash assistance. Participants are placed in subsidized employment in both private & public sectors earning wages while they engage in hands-on learning experiences at the worksite. Employers are encouraged to directly hire the participant upon successful completion of the work experience opportunity. Case managers work closely with employers and participants to address any concerns and arrange for any support services that may be needed.
JFES Intensive Employment-Focused ESL/GED Program is a program is provided by Eastern region Adult Education agencies (EASTCONN as the lead agency along with New London Adult Education & Norwich Adult Education). The program works with TANF recipients faced with challenging barriers in their pursuit of education and employment, including learning disabilities, lack of basic skills, and English language deficiencies. Trained staff helps them face these challenges and to develop and implement effective strategies to overcome the barriers that prevent them from maximizing their full potential.
Summer Youth Employment Program is a short-term summer work experience for income eligible youth ages 14-21. Youth are placed in individual worksites or in teams for a project based experience. The worksites developed try to match youth career interests and are related to career ladders as possible. Youth work on average 15-25 hours per week, for approximately 6 weeks and earn no less than state minimum wage. Worksites are public or not-for-profit entities and private for profit; working conditions comply with public applicable health and safety laws. The work experience provides youth with an opportunity to not only earn money but to also gain experience. The experience also develops educational and work maturity skills.
National Emergency Grants (NEG) provides supplemental dislocated worker funds to States, Local Workforce Boards and other eligible entities in order to respond to the needs of dislocated workers and communities affected by major economic dislocations and other worker dislocation events. Dislocation events may include the following: plant closures, large layoffs affecting 50 or more workers at a single site of employment, closures and realignments of military installations, multiple layoffs in a single local community that have significantly increased the total number of unemployed individuals in a community, emergencies or natural disasters, and other events as determined by the Department of Labor. This special grant [only for those impacted workers from those specific businesses] is available to assist these workers in enhancing their skills or retrain in some areas to begin the process of re-entry in a highly competitive job market for jobs that offer comparable wages and fringe benefits. This grant is also to assist in matching our local businesses with employment needs with those skilled workers who lost their employment.
Regional Transportation Collaborative, the program's purpose is to assist with transportation for employment related purposes, including transportation to and from job interviews, training, or employment. Another feature of the program called Car Based Solutions provides flexible and individualized options for transportation to employment related activities. It can be used to obtain assistance with car insurance, registrations, car inspections, back taxes, and car repairs just to name a few. Car Based Solutions is designed to increase the individuals' ability to secure and maintain employment by providing them with reliable transportation, especially in areas where public transportation is unable to accommodate them. There are very specific requirements for this feature that are explained during the orientation.
The Incumbent Worker Training, the program provides grant funding for customized training for existing businesses. Through this customer-driven program, the EWIB is able to effectively retain and keep businesses competitive through upgrade skills training for existing full-time employees. The program has been structured to be flexible to meet the business’s training objectives. The business may use public, private, or its own in-house training provider based on the nature of the training. Incumbent Worker Training is designed to benefit business and industry by assisting in the skill development of existing employees, increasing employee productivity and the growth of the company. Both are expected to result in the creation of new jobs, the retention of jobs that otherwise may have been eliminated, and an increase in wages for the trained workers.
21st Century Incumbent Worker Training Program – is an EWIB designed training program for Electric Boat to assist them to meet their need for Drafters. An innovative on-line drafting program couples with Community College academic support which will move former applicants with a skill gap into the design pipeline. Adult education will provide the basic skills assessment and refresher as needed. EB will hire participants that successfully complete the training, pass security clearance and drug testing.
Experts-in-School, program intends to reduce the shortage of Connecticut students who pursue advanced education in the sciences and engineering. In particular, the program will break down the barrier that keeps scientists invisible to young people by creating systematic links between K-12 teachers and scientists, engineers, and other technical professionals. Through EIS, teachers will open the door for scientists to support K-12 science and math education by contributing in the classroom. By facilitating communication between teachers and industry volunteers, EIS will ensure that visiting experts support teachers and students by reinforcing the curriculum through industry-relevant material. The Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB) is currently conducting EIS as a pilot program, and will coordinate the program’s statewide rollout.
Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Pathway Project will create a statewide, web-based interface that will: a) facilitate the linkage of scientists, engineers, and other technical professionals with K-12 teachers in Connecticut looking for curriculum resources and guest lectures; and b) inventory and track student internship opportunities and summer youth jobs. The value proposition relates directly to the synergy produced by combining a common interface between the education system and the workforce development system to maximize employer participation and improve relationship management with employers.
Healthcare Advisor is to provide outreach, assessment, training and advising to assist individuals to prepare for a career in healthcare, thus addressing Connecticut’s healthcare workforce needs. The Health Career Advisor position will be co-funded through the Eastern Workforce Investment Board and the Career Pathways Initiative in Nursing and Allied Health grant from the United States Department of Labor to the Connecticut Community Colleges.
Homebuilders EWIB partners with the Builders Association of Eastern CT and Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) in the development of a Residential Construction Career Ladder Program with funding from a US Department of Labor High Growth Grant. A Construction Technology Program is now available at QVCC that transfers to Central CT State University for a four year degree. Seven (7) area High Schools have started National Association of Home Builder’s Student Chapters helping to fill this labor market need.