FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2022
Patrick McGloin (on behalf of Capital Workforce Partners)
Phone: (860) 841-3921
Capital Workforce Partners Receives Federal Funding to Provide Career Training, Job Placement, and Support Services to Returning Citizens
$595,418 in federal funds to help formerly incarcerated Hartford-area residents with career training
Hartford, CONN. – March 31, 2022 – Capital Workforce Partners (CWP) today announced that the organization has received $595,418 in federal funds to support their Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (BEST Chance) program. The BEST Chance Program is an initiative that provides manufacturing, construction carpentry and culinary training for Returning Citizens with an emphasis on 18–24-year-olds in the Hartford area. The new funding will support up to 50 individuals with career services, workforce training, job placement, and support services.
The funding was made available through the Fiscal Year 2022 federal omnibus spending bill. The program was submitted by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.
“There is a pressing need for employment and training resources to help Returning Citizens transition to self-sufficient careers, especially women and persons of color,” said Alex B. Johnson, President & CEO of CWP. “We are incredibly grateful to U.S. Senators Blumenthal and Murphy for their hard work to secure these critically needed funds. Capital Workforce Partners is now even better positioned to help Returning Citizens, especially those impacted by the pandemic, get good jobs and start their careers.”
In addition to work readiness training and job placement, CWP’s BEST Chance program includes services for substance abuse treatment, mental health services and other healthcare and behavioral health support. CWP will be partnering with Community Resources Inc. to undertake outreach to the North Hartford Promise Zone (NHPZ) as well as to students at the Hartford American Job Center.
“This funding will address the barriers to employment so many people face when trying to reenter their communities and rebuild their lives after incarceration,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. “Capital Workforce Partners’ BEST Chance program will provide the much-needed support services to get people in good-paying jobs and on a path to a career and healthy life.”
“People leaving the criminal justice system often face challenges to finding employment,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. “This federal funding will support Capital Workforce Partners’ I-BEST Second Chance program to give young people who were formerly incarcerated the skills they need to secure a good-paying job and get back on their feet.”
“The BEST Chance program helps people who have returned to our community after incarceration, and who want to build a different life for themselves and their families, get on track to get a job, support their families, and contribute to our community,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “I’m grateful to our Congressional delegation for their support, and grateful to our partners, from Capital Workforce Partners to CPA, Goodwin University, Community Resources, Inc., and others. By providing job training and career services in manufacturing, construction, and carpentry, the I-BEST program is a perfect example of giving folks a hand up, and our whole community benefits from that.”
“Capital Workforce Partners continuously seeks out opportunities to help residents secure reliable employment no matter their circumstances,” said U.S. Rep. John B. Larson. “The I-BEST program is a success story for engagement with young adults re-entering society following a period of incarceration. These funds are a worthwhile investment in good-paying manufacturing jobs in the Greater Hartford area, and I would like to commend Senators Blumenthal and Murphy for championing I-BEST and securing these funds in the Senate. I was proud to support this program and so many other community-led initiatives for our region as part of this year’s government funding package.”
“Historically, the BEST Chance program has had an 87% job retention rate, a metric that shows Returning Citizens staying employed, paying taxes, and becoming productive members of their community,” said Johnson. “When you consider that the average yearly cost of incarceration for an 18-24 year old individual in Connecticut is about $40,000, the $12,000 one-time cost of training an I-BEST participant offers a remarkable return on investment.”
To learn more the BEST Chance program, please visit https://capitalworkforce.org/best-chance-for-a-second-chance/.
About Capital Workforce Partners
As the state’s Regional Workforce Development Board for north central Connecticut, Capital Workforce Partners helps individuals overcome barriers to employment and closes the gap between skills and business hiring needs. Capital Workforce Partners invests in youth and future workforce development, develops sustainable career paths for adult workers, and assists employers in targeted industries through a variety of programs and services provided through the American Job Center network. Capital Workforce Partners is a 501 (c)3, private, non-profit organization. Please visit www.capitalworkforce.org for more information.