In 2000, the program expects to more than
double that amount.
In addition to the employment program, PWP
trains women in nontraditional careers, at-risk youth, displaced workers,
public housing residents and other very low income, unskilled and unemployed
individuals for manufacturing positions throughout the region. A subcontractor,
Manufacturing Technology Training program (MTT), offers comprehensive support,
career and life skills training, English as a Second Language classes, counseling
and referral for as many as 48 Hartford residents a year.
In 2000, the program implemented a self-sufficiency
assessment tool that was field-tested in the training programs. The tool
will be used to define a baseline and as a periodic resource for measuring
progress and obstacles.
In addition, the program is also initiating
an Individual Development Account program. Contributions from low-income
participants will be matched dollar for dollar, and participants will learn
personal economic skills related to individual savings goals (purchasing
a home, education, capitalizing a business or obtaining a car for transportation
to a job).
The Community Economic Development Division
of Co-Opportunity developed PWP; an existing Hartford nonprofit committed
to creating job opportunities and economic development in depressed neighborhoods.
PWP is the first replication of a model program in San Francisco. One of
the reasons for the programs rapid success is that it was built out
of expressed interest and demonstrated need in the Hartford community. Part
of the planning process for the PWP project involved asking neighborhood
residents about their concerns and interests. Results indicated that 60
percent of those polled wanted to bring new and existing businesses, with
a commitment to hiring neighborhood residents, into the neighborhood. A
full 14 percent reported having woodworking skills, 35 percent recognized
the need for training, and another 30 percent said the lack of jobs in the
area was a key problem.
A furniture manufacturing plant that would
be neighborhood-based responded to the need for employment and training
opportunities. The Precision Wood Products factory, a nonprofit venture
with a social purpose, was the outcome. The factory provides quality employment
with a special commitment to those who are unskilled, unemployed and from
low-income households or dependent on public assistance. Recognizing that
the employees face multiple hurdles to self-sufficiency, the program staff
is committed to helping them set their own goals and track their progress.
Contact: Patricia Spring, Phone: (860) 236-3617
Tracking Number: 1561
Winning Category: Geographic