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EAGER to Learn EAGER to Develop Job Skills - a Jobs First Success

In March 2015, the teams at the American Job Center (formerly CTWorks) in Hartford and New Britain re-launched the Educate and Accomplish Goals for Employment Readiness (E.A.G.E.R.) program. This program, for recipients of Temporary Family Assistance enrolled in the Jobs First Employment Services program, is designed to successfully prepare participants for their job search. The 10-day program allows participants to take an active role in their learning by participating in virtual training sessions and applying those practices to their job search. Participants also receive instructor facilitated workshops on job seeking topics and then actively apply those skills to their job search, so that they can accomplish their goals. Topics include job search skills, such as résumé and cover letter, interviewing, and networking, but also information that will allow the participant to be successful on the job. Customer service skills, workplace communication, and problem solving is emphasized to ensure success on the job.

In the E.A.G.E.R. program, participants are 'eager' to learn.  In both Hartford and New Britain, the teams found participants 'eager' to develop their job skills.  The Hartford E.A.G.E.R class was facilitated by Career Agents Eliz Cruz and Taquisha Ramos.  Hartford E.A.G.E.R participant, Kathie Clouser stated "My favorite part was taking the personality test and discovering my strengths and weaknesses."

Another participant in the Hartford class, Robert Veal summarized his experience with the E.A.G.E.R program and job search.

"Entering this program two weeks ago, I really didn't know what to expect. I guess I knew all there was about getting a job. . . You find the job you are interested in and apply to it. You list your work experience and your work history; however I'm aware I've been out of work for almost five years. Obviously, I'm doing something wrong. I thought maybe my criminal history is out of character. I started asking myself "Why can't I get a job? Am I too old? What's the real story here?" Then I entered the E.A.G.E.R. program and obtained the answers to my questions. It does not have anything to do with age or perhaps criminal history, but more about attitude. I was losing faith in myself. I had lost the ability to believe in myself. These past two weeks have opened my eyes to many things and now I have the confidence to keep trying because it's not just me I am doing this for. It is for the respect of my daughter whom I love more than life itself because the hero in me wants to be a 'Super Dad' and not a failure. I want to show her that even if you fall down, you get back up."

The E.A.G.E.R redesign project was initiated by Karen Brown, Operations Manager and led by Karen Cirincione, Unit Supervisor. With the assistance of Subject Matter Experts, Charles Botts and Joseph Seymour, virtual training modules and curriculum were created for this program.  The American Job Center / CTWorks Career Centers in North Central Connecticut are operated in partnership with Capital Workforce Partners, the Connecticut Department of Labor and KRA Corporation.

Reported by: Karen Cirincione, Unit Supervisor