Workforce Development Boards have been in existence in some shape or form in our nation and state throughout the course of history. From 1978 - 1998, these entities were known as Private Industry Councils (PICs) which had a narrower function than today's workforce boards, focusing primarily on increasing private sector involvement in federal job training programs.
In 1998, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) brought in a new era of programs and services for those seeking employment and businesses in need of skilled workers. Reauthorized by the Federal government as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) in 2014, this progress continues and evolves as needs change.
There are five workforce development boards in Connecticut today, and Capital Workforce Partners serves the 37 municipality region in North Central Connecticut. Here is a quick timeline of progress within this region:
Hartford area Private Industry Council, Inc. created through the greater Hartford Chamber Of Commerce to manage title 7 of (Private Initiatives program) under CETA – The Hartford area Private Industry Council, Inc. was one of the first incorporated nationally as a 501-C3. Capital Workforce Partners identifies this year as the year it was "established" as an organization. It was also the year, the organization started using the phone number 860-522-1111 for its central switchboard – that number is still in use today.
A shift in Federal legislation transitioned CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) in the city of Hartford to JTPA (Job Training Partnership Act.
The 90s represented a shift to a more "regional focus" for workforce development. One Stops had begun to be established regionally, technology put in place to support a broader system.
In 1996, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant replaced AFDC, reforming welfare “as we knew it” and establishing work requirements. Workforce Development Boards in CT assume responsibility for providing employment services through state Jobs First Employment Services and federal Welfare to Work programs.
In 1997, the CTWorks brand was established for the state's One-Stops, which were located at this time in the Capital Region in Hartford, Manchester and Enfield and the Hartford One-Stop wa moved from Washington/Holcombe Streets to 3580 Main Street
1998 broght in the The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) and this began to change the way regions administered job training programs; and was enacted to replace the Job Training Partnership Act.
In 1999, The Hartford Jobs Funnel began as Hartford Construction Jobs Initiative
- The new millennium served as a growth period for the agency in terms of staff, services offered and impact to the communities served. Focused initiatives throughout the region spawned more community engagement in the workforce development process.
- Youth Opportunity Grant was awarded - $28M
Tom Phillips, Alex Johnson and Pamela (Walsh) Nabors joined the Capital Region Workforce Development Board – bringing the organization in a progressive direction.
- Consolidated all staff to Pratt Street from other locations
CWP becomes the backbone for the Jobs Funnel
- YES Academy launched for inner city youths
Consolidation statewide workforce regions from 8 regions to 5.
- Capital Workforce Partners picked up 7 municipalities – and the New Britain and Bristol One-Stop centers
- The Capital Region Workforce Development Board was rebranded to today's Capital Workforce Partners
- Hartford Jobs Corps broke ground
- opened East Hartford satellite
- Ex-offender program established
Moved from Pratt St. to One Union Place – Hartford, CT
- DOL closed Manchester and Bristol CTWorks locations
- CWP opened Manchester CTWorks location
- Board adopted sector initiatives
Youth Opportunity Grant sunset; and sustainability plan – the Hartford Future Workforce Investment System was launched in Hartford with five target areas – Youth Work Experiences; Hartford Public Schools Prevention Teams; Adult/Alternative Education; Justice Involved Youth and Tracking and Reporting
Youth Program YES Academy becomes "Career Connections"
- Youth Committee reorganizes youth services to address the alarming low graduation rates in the region's city schools – and launched the Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program; with equal emphasis on out-of-school youth through WIA
Capital Workforce Partners 7 Career Competencies System launched
Commitment made to appropriate WIA Youth funding to 100% Out-Of-School Youth
- Disability Program Navigator program launched
- Through the procurement of significant grants, a major initiative to address the talent pipeline training needs of those in the Allied Health profession began to take shape. CNA Advancement Initiative launched.
- U.S. DOL ETA Awards CWP with distinguished award for its Building a Business Driven Workforce System entry.
- Closed East Hartford, Bristol One-Stop centers, due to reduction in resources
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was passed to help alleviate the strains of a steep recession.
The Mortgage Crisis Job Training Team was put in place to help individuals who are threatened with foreclosure to find employment services, training and placement assistance so that foreclosure could be avoided.
Hartford Jobs Funnel Serves over 2,000 in ten years
- FIRST – Focused Intensive Re-employment Success Training program launched to assist mid-career professionals to reenter the workforce.
- U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, partakes in Jobs Funnel 10-Year Anniversary celebration and chooses Hartford to host a national press conference on behalf of Youth Employment
- MACH – The MetroHartford Alliance for Careers in Health established.
- Subsidized employment becomes a key strategy in Jobs First program
- Encore!Hartford Program – a collaboration with Leadership Greater Hartford and UCONN was launched – with ITA scholarships now available to eligible WIA participants.
- Health Careers Project launched.
- Step Up – Subsidized Training and Employment Program launched.
- CTWorks Career Centers redesigned for better interaction with customers and maximizing technology
- Capital Region Adult Literacy Partnership (Later branded MoveUp!) launched.
- CTWorks satellite – CTWorks@HPL opened at the Hartford Public Library
- Jobs Funnel expanded to New Britain and Bristol
- Step Up program for Veterans launched.
- Thomas Perez confirmed as the new U.S. Secretary of Labor
- Jobs Funnel Women’s Welding and first CWP IBEST programs launched.
- CWP invited to the White House for its participation in Summer Jobs +
- CWP participates in Aspen Youth Development Practitioner Academy
- Evening Jobs Funnel classes for adults begin at AI Prince Tech
- The Federal Workforce Act of 1998 (WIA) is reauthorized as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
- Assistant secretary for vocational and adult education, Brenda Dann Messier speaks at CWP gathering
- New Britain YouthBuild program launches
- Advanced Manufacturing Employer Partnership is formed
- REACH Health Care grant is implemented.
- Hartford Opportunity Youth Collaborative is formed
- DEI – Disability Employment Initiative launched
- CWP becomes a recognized Employment Network to assist Social Security Disability beneficiaries to enter or re-enter the workforce
- Hartford North End is federally designated as a “Promise Zone.
- CTWorks Career Centers are rebranded as the American Job Center network
- Ex Offender program is rebranded as Free to Succeed.
- BEST CHANCE, an IBEST program for ex-offenders implemented by 14 area agencies is launched as part of the Governor’s Second Chance Society
- Secure Jobs Grant is implemented to better connect families transitioning from homelessness to the workforce system.
- Promise Zone Yes! – Career Pathways for Youth is launched.
- Dept. of Labor consolidates staff in New Britain and Enfield to Hartford.
- New Britain YouthBuild grant enables program to continue for 2 more years
- Alex Johnson becomes Acting President and CEO