Careers for People, People for Careers. Your North Central Connecticut Workforce Source.

Preparing Youths for Connecticut’s Workforce.

by Marisol Concepcion & Qiona Woffard


Mr. Dwayne Thomas is the Data Analyst for Promise Zone YES!, Blue Hills Civic Association

Dwayne Thomas is the Data Analyst for Promise Zone YES!, entering and managing data for In-School and Out-of-School Programs. He also interacts with Youth Leaders, and on occasion leads workshops for Out-of-school participants. CWPs Promise Zone YES! Project Associate Marisol Concepcion provides technical assistance to Dwayne, and recently interviewed him about his experience with Promise Zone YES! at Blue Hills Civic Association.

Dwayne grew up in Kingston, Jamaica attending St. George’s College. Prior to his senior year of high school, Dwayne relocated to the United States, where he graduated from Weaver High School in Hartford, CT. He then attended Long Island University in Brooklyn New York on a Track and Field scholarship. His track career, unfortunately, ended due to an injury, but determined to achieve his goal, Dwayne earned a bachelor’s degree in sports science with a concentration in sports management and a minor in art.

Dwayne’s association with Capital City Track Club opened the door for him to become involved with Blue Hills Civic Association (BHCA).  BHCA Executive Director Lee Hunt was Dwayne’s former high school track coach. Mr. Hunt mentioned that there was a program Dwayne might be interested in called Promise Zone YES!.  During his initial conversation, he learned that his main role within the program would be recruitment, but at the same time make sure that the youths successfully complete the program, and either attain a post-secondary education or sustainable employment.  After the reviewing, the literature and a follow-up conversation with Mr. Hunt, Dwayne was sold on the program. 

Dwayne’s recruitment responsibilities increased over time as he grew in his role.  Today, in addition to his focus on intake and recruitment, his role has expanded to include now analyzing and tracking participant data for BHCA. “Most of the youths just go through

the motions of learning, so for someone to actually give them the assistance in finding a job, helping them get on their feet, take time to come see you, I thought from that moment I would like to work with these youths, if given an opportunity.”

If you have the opportunity to converse with Dwayne, you will see the passion in his actions and the manner in which he speaks about the youth population.  When he spoke of two participants Yasmine and Alika, he was energized and proud of their eagerness and desire to take advantage of what the program has to offer. Every time he saw them in the program, he could see their drive and determination eagerly asking if there are any assignments. “Seeing them wanting to be successful drives me to come here every day.”  In addition to his roles and responsibilities with BHCA, Dwayne is actively pursuing his EMT license. 

Promise Zone YES! Career Pathways for Youth is 100% funded by a $1,986,373.00 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. Awarded in 2016, the program provides high school seniors (ISY), and out-of-school youth ages 18-24(OSY), with an opportunity to gain valuable experiences through internships, employment, college coaching, career development, leadership training, and community service. The goals of the program are to ensure that youth: a) complete an internship; b) obtain employment; c) achieve post-secondary education (through college, trade school); and, d) receive a national certification.  All participants complete 280 hours in a 4-tiered system executed by Blue Hills Civic Association.

Promise Zone Yes! Career Pathways for Youth - For Students

This is a free program that will provide youth, ages 18-24 in the Promise Zone of Hartford, with 280 hours of paid competency training and work experience in the areas of healthcare, manufacturing, construction, energy, or IT. For more information - check out the info here, or contact:

Yvette Moore - moorey@bluehillscivic.org  860-560-7670 ext. 105

Promise Zone Yes! Career Pathways for Youth - For Employers

This is a great opportunity to bring young adults into your workplace. The program is free to employers, provides paid competency training to the youth prior to being placed and provides you with diversity of thought and fresh innovative perspectives.  Learn more below, and sign up today, or contact:

Rich Davis - rdavis@capitalworkforce.org  860-899-3480

Say Yes to Youth Employment for Success!

It's easy to get started.  Simply complete the brief questionnaire below.

For more information, contact:

Rich Davis - rdavis@capitalworkforce.org  860-899-3480

Yvette Moore - moorey@bluehillscivic.org  860-560-7670 ext. 105