CNI - Employment Services
Bridging the path to meaningful employment and providing opportunities for career development are central goals of the Choice neighborhoods Initiative. Through individual counseling, skills assessment, resource identification and strategic financial and logistical support, those otherwise isolated from the job market can overcome employment opportunity barriers.
To achieve this, the Housing Authority has engaged the services of Housing Opportunities Unlimited (HOU) and their staff of Case Managers and a Workforce Specialist. Working one-on-one with Washington Village residents, HOU performs individual assessments that include evaluating work skill levels and work history, identification of appropriate training opportunities and providing workforce readiness preparation. The HOU Workforce Specialist coordinates with NHS Self-sufficiency staff and the CNI Partnership Manager who provide financial support and, where applicable, enrollment in employment incentive programs. The CNI has established a dedicated fund to provide the resources needed to complete employment required training and certification programs or to cover costs related to meeting employment requirements (eg. protective clothing, licensing, etc.).
Key partners in the employment and career strategy include The WorkPlace, Career Resources, the Norwalk Community College and the Norwalk Youth Employment program.
The Choice Neighborhood Initiatives South Norwalk website posts job applications as they come available.
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CRI currently serves South Norwalk residents with all available programs at the Bridgeport facility and through a satellite office in Stamford offering WIA and JFES services. There is no satellite office in Norwalk at this time but there is a commitment to create a satellite office.
In support of the Washington Village/South Norwalk Transformation Plan, CRI will provide all agency and One-Stop services for residents of Washington Village and the greater South Norwalk Neighborhood. CRI will use existing resources and seek other funding to provide the following One-Stop Services to Washington Village residents:
- Digital Literacy Training
- National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) pre-test, tutorial and testing
- JFES and WIA services
- Earned benefits Outreach, determining eligibility for 13 different benefit programs with a half-hour intake
- Job Matching, if employing a CRI Job developer
- Full access and coordination with all Bridgeport services
- Funding to offer STRIVE and Adult Education on-site
CRI is excited to support the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative and to expand the serves to the residents of Washington Village and South Norwalk.
~ Career Resources Web Address: www.careerresources.org ~
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The NHA will be establishing a satellite CNI office facility to coordinate the provision of Case Management and Relocation Services. Within this space The WorkPlace will be provided a furnished office with phone and WiFi service and basic administrative support systems. A furnished conference room/training room will also be provided for workshops and other training events. These facilities will be provided at no cost to The WorkPlace.
In support of the Norwalk Housing Authority's Washington Village/South Norwalk Transformation Plan, The WorkPlace will provide the following in-kind services for residents of Washington Village and the greater South Norwalk neighborhood in conjunction with a FY 2013 CNI implementation grant. Deployment of the CTWorks Career Coach, a self-contained vehicle equipped with state-of-the-art telecommunications equipment. The Career Coach offers a full array of employment, re-employment and employers' services. It contains 10 computer workstations with the ability to accommodate additional people, through the use of wireless laptops. The Career Coach is able to respond to private and public workforce related needs. It will increase access for people with disabilities, and gives a greater presence to areas that do not have an employment center nearby. Youth and adults, who might not otherwise be attracted to employment centers, will have these services available when the CT Works Career Coach goes out to the Washington Village public housing site and the greater South Norwalk neighborhood.
In addition, The WorkPlace will dedicate ten individual training accounts (ITA) each year to eligible residents of the Washington Village and the greater South Norwalk neighborhood. With more than 195 programs of study to choose from, the value of each ITA is $3,000. Furthermore, if resources for infrastructure and staffing become available, The Work Place is willing to explore locating a satellite CTWorks One Stop Career Center in South Norwalk.
~ The WorkPlace Web Address: www.workplace.org ~
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Norwalk Community College
Over the past 10 years alone, we have invested and/or leveraged the following initiatives and resources in the area:
- Expanded college facilities with the Center for Information Technology (2003) and the Center for Science, Health and Wellness (2011) enabling the college to better prepare substantial numbers of graduates in STEM occupations and related fields;
- Co-founded Norwalk ACTS for Children (2005) and continue to lead the organization;
- Provide the Family and Children's Agency's after school program for academically at-risk middle school children with classroom and office space, student labor, and additional support since (2007);
- Launched a Horizons program on campus (2013) to serve low-income children with multiple risk factors.
- Developed a community service learning program (2006) which links several hundred NCC students annually to assist with meeting community identified needs.
Over the next five-year Choice Neighborhood grant period, the College will commit financial and in-kind resources to support the educational activities, human services, and other community investments included in the Washington Village/South Norwalk CNI Transformation Plan. Our contribution includes a broad range of programs and initiatives, including:
1. Vocational, Career and Technical Programs:
NCC offers the following Workforce Investment Act (WIA) approved programs that Washington Village/South Norwalk residents are eligible to participate in: CREDIT PROGRAMS - Accounting Certificate, BEST-Building Efficiency & Sustainable Technology Certificate, Health Office Information Specialist, Child Development Associate Credential, Gerontology Certificate, Legal Assistant, Medical Assistant, Mental Health Certificate, Networking Certificate, Recreation & Leisure/Therapeutic Certificate, Relational Database Certificate, and Web Development Certificate. NON-CREDIT PROGRAMS – HAZWOPER Initial, A+ Certification, Auto CADD, Bookkeeping Certification, Bookkeeping Practices, BPI Building Analyst & Envelope Professional Certification, Building Energy Worker Training, Certified Nurse Aide, Computer Graphics, Computer Programming, CT Lead Supervisor, Customer Service for Health Care Professionals, Dental Assistant Program, EKG, Envelope Professional, Medical Billing and Reimbursement, Microsoft Office Specialist, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy Technician Specialist, Real Estate Principles and Practices, Security Officer Certification, Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship, Travel Careers, Veterinary Assistant Certificate, Weatherization, Web Design, Web Mastering.
The table below summarizes our targeted new enrollments from Washington Village. These are a sample of our WIA-funded training programs only. For WIA-eligible programs, the Workforce Investment Board reimburses NCC for the students' tuition so the class is at no cost to the student. Note that students can enroll in any number of other classes available at NCC but WIA training funds would not be available to cover those costs.
Program # Enrolled per Class Cost per unit
(student or class)
Value per year Total over 5 years Health Office 4 $5,006 $20,024 $100,120 Child Development Associate 4 $2,262 $9,048 $45,240 Medical Assistant 4 $7,025 $28,100 $140,500 Building Energy Worker Training 3 $3,000 $9,000 $45,000 Building Efficiency
& Sustainable Technology
2 $4,956 $9,912 $49,560 Small Business Management
4 $2,735 $10,940 $54,700 Pharmacy Technician for Healthcare Professionals 4 $1,300 $5,200 $26,000 Dental Assistant Program 4 $2,855 $11,420 $57,100 TOTAL 29 $103,644 $518,220
Because of our unique position to add vocational training programs with the WIB's approval, we will work closely with NHA and its partners to add targeted vocational classes that may not be currently available.
2. Health Care:
In 2011, NCC opened the Center for Science, Health and Wellness on our campus in Norwalk. The result of a public/private partnership, this impressive building, which earned Gold LEED certification, is a community showcase for preparing students for careers in a variety of STEM fields, as well as nursing and allied health, exercise science, and health office management. Offering a variety of health pathways from non-credit certificates to degree programs, NCC is the primary educator of the local health workforce, producing several hundred graduates each year to fill positions in health offices, long-term care centers, hospitals, and medical clinics. In addition to preparing the workforce, the college partners with the community to improve health and wellness of community members with such efforts as the annual Heart Walk and are working closely with the South Norwalk Community Center to further develop a partnership aimed at leveraging our resources to improve the health of local residents.
3. Early Learning Programs:
NCC is the primary educator of early childhood teachers in southwest Fairfield County and graduates approximately 60 students from our ECE certificate and associate degree programs annually. We are also one of the key partners who worked in collaboration with Stepping Stones Children's Museum to develop and implement the Early Language Literacy Initiative which is working in concert with local community agencies to expand access to high quality early care in Norwalk. NCC faculty are active members of the Norwalk Early Childhood Council and helped to shape the 2012-16 Norwalk Early Childhood Action Plan. As an anchor institution of the Washington Village/South Norwalk CNI, NCC Early Childhood Education program faculty will provide professional development to early learning programs in Washington Village/South Norwalk. Professional development services will include mentoring existing early childhood education sites, recruiting current ECE teachers to continue their education in order to earn additional educational credentials, and collaborating with early childhood education programs at the area high schools to ensure a seamless pathway from secondary to post-secondary education.
NCC will also specifically recruit new Washington Village children to participate in the newly established Horizons program, a summer enrichment program which invests in children from kindergarten through high school preparing them for success in post-secondary college or careers. The Horizons program will have an enrollment of 12 children per year and of these, at least 4 slots are expected to be filled by children from Washington Village.
4. K-12 Outreach:
NCC is working closely with the Norwalk Public Schools on aligning the Common Core Standards with college entrance expectations. To date, there have been discussions at every institutional level, faculty through executive, to close the gap between high school and post-secondary expectations. Early delivery of college entrance examinations to alert students and their parents to deficiencies has resulted in an increase of students electing to take four years of high school mathematics and decreased the number entering college requiring substantial remediation. The college will look to recruit South Norwalk high school students to participate in our ConnCAP (Connecticut Collegiate Awareness) program which provides tutoring and a summer enrichment activities for first generation and low income students, as well as our Connecticut Scholars and TRIO programs which provides intensive advising and tutoring from college entrance through graduation. NCC commits to the assignment of academic leadership to sustain and grow the partnership between the public schools serving Washington Village.
5. Community Service Learning:
NCC has a substantial service learning program that places several hundred students in community agencies on an annual basis. The Service Learning program is coordinated by a full-time staff person with the additional support of student workers.
6. Lifetime Learning:
NCC's commitment to education is evident for the entire lifespan. Each semester, several hundred seniors are able to register, for free, on a space available basis in college courses. In addition, for more than 20 years, NCC has hosted a large group of active seniors who operate a robust series of educational activities at NCC. The presence of several generations on our campus makes for a diverse and vibrant educational environment which benefits all of us. NCC is interested in working with the Norwalk Housing Authority and its People Lead to ensure that these benefits are available and accessible to residents of Washington Village.
~ Norwalk Community College Web Address: www.ncc.commnet.edu/default.asp ~
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City of Norwalk - Office of the Mayor
In support of the Norwalk Housing Authority's Washington Village/South Norwalk CNI Transformation Plan, the Norwalk Mayor's Office will provide the following in-kind services for residents of Washington Village and the greater South Norwalk neighborhood:
The Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program will ensure that residents of Washington Village and the greater South Norwalk Neighborhood comprise 20% (approximately 28) of the participants of the program.
Before youth are assigned to a worksite, they spend one week in intensive workshops during the last week of June learning appropriate business behavior, business dress, and employer expectations. They also participate in financial literacy workshops so that they learn to manage the money they earn. Worksites include both private sector and non-profit organizations.
- The Norwalk Mayor's Office currently serves about 140 youth in its Summer Youth Employment Program each summer, about 10% of which are residents of South Norwalk/Washington Village (about 14 youth) and will continue to do so over the five year CNI grant period.
- In support of the Transformation Plan, the Mayor's Office of the City of Norwalk will develop and implement a program initiative to provide 14 new slots for Washington Village/South Norwalk residents per year in its Summer Youth Employment Program for the five year CNI grant period. This commitment is newly generated and is in direct support of the Washington Village/South Norwalk CNI Transformation Plan.
~ City of Norwalk - Office of the Mayor Web Address: www.norwalkct.org/index.aspx ~
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To achieve financial stability through education and job training, explore the Family Self- Sufficiency Program (FSS). Throughout the program, you will work with a case manager and attend group workshops to assess your strengths, identify barriers, set and achieve goals.
One of the greatest benefits of the FSS program is help with saving toward a goal. With the help of the FSS, as your income increases, you will be able to save a portion of your rent into an escrow savings account. When you accomplish your goal within the period of your FSS agreement, you will graduate and receive the money in your escrow savings account which will have earned interest.
The FSS partners with local agencies and service providers to help you with:
- Job training
- Job referrals
- Resume development
- Financial literacy, money management & budgeting
- Credit counseling and repair
- Homeownership Programs
- Mortgage assistance
- English as a second language
- GED classes and other education programs
- Higher education
- Parenting skills
For more information or to apply:
Federal Housing residents, please call: (203) 838-8471
Section 8 participants, please call: (203) 838-8471
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Washington Village Self-sufficiency Fund
Through its Washington Village Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI), the Norwalk Housing Authority (NHA) will provide specific assistance to Washington Village residents who are actively engaged in self-sufficiency activities. This assistance must be directly connected to a resident pursuing an educational, skill building or employment service that cannot be secured in-kind from program partners. Funds will be awarded on a case-by-case basis and previous assistance is not assurance that future assistance of a similar type will be available. Specific uses of these funds will include:
- Purchasing a public transportation pass that will be used for educational, skill building or employment services.
- Costs related to securing a valid driver's license necessary to qualify for an employment opportunity.
- Purchasing clothing to be worn at a job interview or other uniform or protective clothing, equipment or tools for an employment-related activity.
- The cost of enrolling in a job training program including books and related supplies that will lead directly to an employment opportunity.
- Assisting residents with child care that is needed to attend an employment training program or an employment interview.
- Other specific expenses that assist a resident in pursuing educational, skill building or employment services.
- Assisting with registration and/or legal fees needed for renewal of professional licenses or registrations required for employment.
Each Washington Village household may receive up to $300 of services through this fund in a
single year, with limited exceptions made for special circumstances. NHA will conduct an annual
review of the fund and determine if the amount designated for each household should be
increased or remain the same.
For more information or to apply:
Emendya Edouarde, (203) 952-1461 or your Case Manager
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