Good jobs make for strong communities -and New Haven is rising! After years of door-knocking, leadership training, and organizing around an agenda that puts the needs of our communities front and center, we’re finally turning the tide in New Haven. In 2012 the Board of Aldermen unanimously adopted a legislative agenda reflecting key issues from CCNE’s 2011 report, A Renaissance For All Of Us: Building an Inclusive Prosperity for New Haven. This June, a comprehensive local Jobs Pipeline program (New Haven Works), which is at the heart of this work, officially opened its doors!
What do we want? Good Jobs! Throughout our history of door-knocking and surveying, residents have consistently raised jobs as a top issue. With close to 30% of residents in many neighborhoods unable to land stable, living wage jobs it’s no surprise that so many are concerned about employment issues.
During CCNE’s December 3, 2011 City-Wide Community Leaders meeting, a jobs funnel or “pipeline” that connects New Haven residents to good jobs was identified as a leading priority among the 300 participants. We have made great strides in the past couple of years thanks to everyone pushing to make our collective vision of inclusive prosperity for all New Haveners a reality! But we still have work to do..
What will it take? For a jobs pipeline to succeed at addressing the problems of unemployment, underemployment and violence in New Haven it must do more than provide training and support services. It must also connect people to actual jobs.
This kind of structural change requires the community to come together to press employers, developers, and city government to do their parts. We’ve reached a turning point in our city’s history and the work we’ve done together to win the BIG changes our communities need is paying off. In June 2013 the jobs pipeline, New Haven Works officially opened its doors to the public.
How we got here:
- Last April 2,000 people joined the “Let’s get to work” march & rally in support of the Jobs Pipeline, youth opportunities, and good contracts for workers at Yale University and other area companies. Read more on that here.
In our workplaces:
- Last June our allies in the Unions at Yale won an outstanding contract with Yale University. The contract included Jobs Pipeline provisions that will connect out-of-work New Haveners to good jobs at the University. This historic accomplishment not only opens Yale jobs to local residents, but also paves the way toward expanding the Pipeline to other major employers.
In the halls of government:
- In January 2012 the Board of Aldermen unanimously adopted a legislative agenda that includes the jobs pipeline.
- They then established a working group – made up of community leaders, employers, city officials, foundations and other key stakeholders – to develop a pipeline that meets the needs of residents, employers, and taxpayers while helping to address New Haven’s most pressing problems.
- At a packed April 2012 Public Hearing community leaders described the Jobs Pipeline as a public safety and crime-reduction strategy.
- In September 2012 the Board unanimously backed the working group’s plan to create a comprehensive jobs pipeline program (“New Haven Works”). One key point of the plan is coordinating existing initiatives, rather than duplicating services.
The Pipeline: New Haven Works is designed to connect New Haveners seeking work with local employers looking to hire. The organization will help employers find good recruits, and help job seekers be prepared to put their best foot forward.
- In December 2012 “New Haven Works” incorporated, hired an interim chief, established by-laws, and set up a physical main office location at 205 Whitney Ave.
- On June 5th 2013 New Haven Works officially opened its doors! For too long too many people in the neighborhoods where we organize have faced structural barriers to stable employment. The Jobs Pipeline is about breaking down those barriers.
Gov. Malloy hailed New Haven Works as a way to “share economic opportunity with the people who built this city.” Hear pilot program graduates tell their stories of how New Haven Works helped them overcome barriers to being hired locally (video from #NHV on Vimeo of New Haven Work’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 5):
For more on the “Jobs Pipeline” check out these articles:
12/05/11 “Grassroots Agenda starts with jobs“
12/13/11 “She’s ready to fight for a renaissance“
2/05/12 “A Pipeline in 90 Days“
2/10/12 “Push for ‘Pipeline’ gets underway“
2/14/12 “Should developers pay a ‘Pipeline’ fee?“
3/09/12 “City Eyes ‘Pipeline’ for unemployed“
4/16/12 “Jobs pipeline offers hope“
4/26/12 “Activists march for labor issues“
8/20/12 “‘New Haven Works’ promises a Pipeline“
8/31/12 “Yale begins laying ‘Pipeline’“
9/05/12 “New Haven Works gets green light“
9/05/12 “Jobs Pipeline sails through Board“
10/06/12 “New Haven Works Sets Up Shop“
03/15/13 “Will New ‘Pipeline’ Connect Her to a Job?“
06/05/13 “New Haven Works; so does Osikhena“
06/06/13 “New Haven Works helps in job search“
01/13/14 “Job ‘pipelines’ branch out”