2013, major employers, labor and elected city officials collaborated to create
New Haven Works, a public/private organization designed to ensure that regional
employers and businesses have access to a local talent pool and that qualified,
pre-screened city residents have access to good jobs and career pathways. The
New Haven Works Board of Directors includes the Mayor of New Haven, the
President of the Board of Alders, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and
Vice-Presidents from Yale University and Yale-New Haven Hospital, as well as
community and labor representatives.
Through a change in leadership and at the beginning of its third year
and subsequent changes in staff, New Haven Works has maintained organizational
stability. In its third year, New Haven Works continues to make progress in
each of its key programs. In FY’16 NHW enrolled an additional 522 new members
and placed 342 into regular or temporary jobs. New Haven Works significantly
expanded its employer engagement efforts by bringing on a Business Development
Director. The year was focused on strengthening New Haven Works' “Anchor”
relationships (Yale University, Yale-New Haven Hospital, and the City of New
Haven. Over the course of the year, New Haven Works increased referral volume
significantly. We engaged over 60 employers to better understand their hiring
needs and process, discussed the New Haven Works program and services offered,
and established a working relationship several new employers. NHW was able to
send referrals to 55 unique employers (not counting Anchors), nearly doubling
the number of referral partnerships year-over-year.
In the coming year, New Haven Works' focus will be to enhance our work in the following areas:
1. Employer Engagement: NHW will build on the relationships developed last year with existing partners and develop a limited number of new employer connections, based on some key lessons learned throughout the previous year.
2. Member Engagement: NHW will be focusing on the components of quality member engagement. This includes taking inventory of the services and case management NHW provides and how they can be improved.
3. Construction Pipeline: New Haven Works will focus on the Construction Industry and the creation of partnership with contractors, developers and unions in the building trades.
1. New Haven Works needs to increase its organizational capacity to assist its members in obtaining good quality, full-time employment. In addition to the existing 5 full-time equivalent (FTE) job coaches, NHW needs another job coach to assist members seeking employment in the education and healthcare fields. The cost of one FTE job coach is approximately $50,000 including fringe benefits and taxes.
New Haven Works collaborates with major employers and small businesses, as well as workforce development providers, support services, government initiatives, and labor organizations to identify comprehensive training programs for specific hiring needs in regional growth industries. New Haven Works pre-screened participants acquire the competencies, industry specific skills and certifications that employers need, and New Haven Works provides the individualized case management to ensure successful placement and retention in a good job. By connecting local families to employment opportunities and regional employers to qualified New Haven residents, New Haven Works builds stable neighborhoods and fosters long-term regional economic growth and development.
New Haven Works is successful in part because of the will of its diverse stakeholders. Government, employers, the community and labor all recognized the convergence of the following: (1) The urgent need to respond to violence and crime in the City and the understanding that improved economic security in the city’s high poverty neighborhoods would make safer and prosperous city for everyone (2) Continued economic growth and investment in the city’s core industries and the need to meet evolving workforce needs in the future. New Haven Works has support at the local and state government levels and partnerships with the city’s largest employers.
New Haven Works is the result of a grassroots public mandate to address a jobs crisis in the city of New Haven, where in some neighborhoods 22% of the residents are unemployed or underemployed, despite the fact that our core industries – particularly healthcare and education – are expanding (DataHaven 2016). Since opening in June 2013 we have made significant progress towards addressing the jobs crisis in the City and has since shifted its focus more heavily on the neighborhoods where the return to employment has been slower than the citywide average.
The creation of New Haven Works was the culmination of a two-year multi-stakeholder process, involving public hearings, a collaboration between the public and private sectors, and union, community, and business groups, to move residents into good jobs and provide job-ready applicants for local employers. New Haven Works seeks to:
1. Build a talent pool for regional businesses by recruiting, preparing, and screening City of New Haven residents for available jobs in growth occupations.
2. Collaborate on career pathways in educational services, healthcare, and construction to meet employer demand for a skilled workforce
3. Create access to regional jobs for city residents by collaborating with partner and participating employers to ensure that local residents successfully navigate pathways to employment.
Since we opened our doors, we have placed over 1000 city residents into jobs (including over 300 at Yale University, one of the region’s most competitive employers). That’s 1,000 families with more stable economic futures – strengthening the neighborhoods in which they reside.
In FY’16 New Haven Works significantly expanded its employer engagement efforts by bringing on a Business Development Director. The year was focused on strengthening New Haven Works' “Anchor” relationships (Yale University, Yale-New Haven Hospital, and the City of New Haven), moving existing employer relationships towards more meaningful participation, and expanding employer connections. NHW engaged employers for two primary purposes – to increase program outcomes and to assess key strategic questions that would inform the development of NHW’s program moving forward.
Looking ahead New Haven Works plans to build on top of the relationships developed and lessons learned in FY’16 by (1) Moving several existing employer relationships to more formal “Partner Employer” status; (2) Identifying and strengthening existing employer connections that have proven to not yield effective outcomes; and (3) Developing a limited amount of new employer connections, based on some of the key lessons learned in FY’16.
These efforts will be geared to increase and make more efficient our outcomes, and to continue to learn how we can best position our services to meet the needs of employers.
With both the growth in the construction industry and with the aging construction workforce, we anticipate seeing a growth in the demand for workers in the construction industry. New Haven Works is well positioned to help develop the city’s construction workforce. By capitalizing on over three years of experience removing barriers to employment, New Haven Works staff will create pathways for residents who have traditionally struggled to navigate and connect with opportunities in the construction industry.
In the second quarter of this fiscal year, New Haven Works saw forty-six (46) members utilize the transportation subsidy to participate in E4E and upon obtaining employment.
Boris comes to New Haven Works with a particular focus on building closer relationships with the regional business community, making sure that the services offered by New Haven Works makes hiring qualified New Haven residents as easy as possible for local businesses. He’s committed to making sure that New Haven growth translates into opportunities for local residents and businesses.
Boris has extensive experience building capacity for early stage organizations. Before coming to New Haven in 2012, he served as the Director of Finance and Operations at Groundswell, a social enterprise in Washington DC focused on the intersection of energy and community economic development. There he was responsible for developing and executing the business strategy for the organization.
Boris completed his MBA at the Yale School of Management in 2014. Over the last year, he has worked closely with Yale University, the City of New Haven and the business development community on strategies to increase the participation of local businesses in the supply chains of New Haven’s large institutions and businesses.
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A strong economy begins with a community that supports its people. When you support workforce training, financial literacy and public transportation, you enable individuals and families to work where they live, increasing their chances of economic success.
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