“New Haven Works” Pipeline to connect unemployed residents to jobs advances

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:

In the streets

  • 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):

New Haven Works Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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

2/01/12 “New Haven Aldermen agree on ‘vision statement,’ issues

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

3/11/12 “Jobs Pipeline forum looks at employment issues in New Haven

4/16/12 “Jobs pipeline offers hope

4/26/12 “Huge rally highlights need for jobs in New Haven as ‘Pipeline’ seeks ways to connect residents to opportunities

4/26/12 “Activists march for labor issues

4/26/12 “2,000 Rally for Pipeline – & put Eli on Notice

6/27/12 “Yale Workers OK New Contract – 6 months early

8/16/12  “New Haven ‘Jobs Pipeline’ group plan seeks to connect residents to jobs

8/18/12 “Good contracts & community benefits at Yale -one union member’s reflections

8/20/12 “‘New Haven Works’ promises a Pipeline

8/22/12 “‘Jobs Pipeline’ group in New Haven plans to match residents to jobs

8/30/12 “High hopes, no guarantees for jobs through New Haven Works program

8/31/12 “Aldermen hear public input on Jobs 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

9/21/12 “Piping Up: Employees, prepare to meet your employers

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

06/07/13 “New Haven Works linking city residents to jobs at Yale

06/28/13 “New Haven creates ‘jobs pipeline’ to fight poverty, unemployment

12/23/13 “New Haven agency helps 110 lands jobs in 6 months”

01/13/14 “Job ‘pipelines’ branch out”