Implementation Grant Winner

Hartford, Conn., received a three-year, $450,000 grant to implement its Hartford’s Working Cities initiative. This effort tackles two economic challenges facing Hartford – poverty and the need for an educated workforce that attracts and retains city and regional employers.

The initiative aims to create pathways that enable struggling young adults to move steadily toward quality employment with good wages. It expects to increase the number of employers prepared to hire young adults and, ultimately, spur economic and job growth.

Problem Problem

Gaps in the talent pipeline pose a serious challenge to city and regional leaders working to develop a robust and innovative economy. Resident education and skill levels are often a mismatch for available jobs, particularly those requiring more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. This hurts the productivity and competitiveness of local businesses, and it can result in companies leaving or simply not locating in Greater Hartford. The mismatch also leads to high unemployment or underemployment rates and significant financial and civic consequences for the city and its neighborhoods.

The systems that touch the young adult population are highly fragmented and prevent these disconnected young adults from achieving their educational and economic potential.

Strategy Strategy

This project created a place-based strategy that aligns and coordinates the stakeholders responsible for preparing young adults for the workplace. It includes:

  • Increasing access to job opportunities by expanding education and training groups
  • Developing plans to better align and coordinate services for young adults
  • Increasing the number of young adults who can find and keep jobs by lowering employment barriers, connecting young people to caring adult guides, and coordinating the efforts of employment navigators
  • Building leadership that can change current systems
  • Building community attachment by helping young adults develop advocacy skills, then creating civic and workplace opportunities to practice these skills.

Vision Vision

The Team The Team

  • Capital Workforce Partners
  • City of Hartford
  • CT Center for Advanced Technology/Advanced Manufacturing Employer Partnership
  • Education and Training Consortium members
  • Southside Institute Neighborhood Alliance (SINA)
  • Connecticut Children’s
  • Our Piece of the Pie
  • United Way of Central and Northeastern CT
  • Young Legends