CCNE honors MLK Day with “Celebration of Unity, Equality and Democracy”

Over the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr Day weekend, over 300 people gathered at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Bloomfield at a forum designed to promote greater democracy and end racial and economic inequality. A diverse group of Connecticut civil rights, labor, faith and community organizations came together to draft a plan for true racial and economic equality – including living wage jobs and reliable and high quality public services.

Our core problems are long term and cannot be solved by short term “band aids.” But our need to reverse the downward trend and make a difference in the lives of workers and communities is urgent and cannot wait.

Our core problems are interconnected and in many ways common. The same forces that push nearly all our economic growth to the tiniest minority of our wealthiest residents, ensure that they don’t pay their fair share of taxes. This denies state and local government the resources necessary to provide critical public services and build the critical public structures necessary to foster anything close to equal opportunity.  The same forces that appeal to bigotry, xenophobia and racism in order to divide us are the ones that attack unions for believing workers deserve decent pensions and health care, and the same forces that promote legislation that restricts workers’ rights.

We cannot allow these forces to divide us. We defeat them only by working together. The “Celebration of Unity, Equality and Democracy” was intended to kickoff both a long term Unity effort and to spur the group to engage right now in urgent actions that serve the long term change we envision.”

An ongoing coalition formed out of the event and will continue to work on key issues areas identified by the participants of founding groups, which represent close to 300,000 members across the state.




Yale Promises to Hire More New Haveners

Street pressure by New Haven Rising and the community-labor coalition paid off, as New Haven’s largest employer,  Yale University, announced it will hire 1,000 New Haveners over the next three years.


See article for more information:


New Haven Rising leads campaign for Access to Good Jobs

Photo Courtesy of "I love New Haven"

Photo Courtesy of “I love New Haven”

On September 9th 2014 an energized crowd of over 400 residents, elected officials, and local clergy packed the Elks Lodge on Dixwell Avenue to publicly launch New Haven Rising’s campaign for Access to Good Jobs for New Haven residents. New Haven Rising is CCNE’s membership-based 501c4 ally and sister organization.

“Our city is on the rise and we are determined to rise with it,” said NHR key leader and president, Seth Poole. “We are going to improve the economic standing of the people of New Haven.”

DSC04483-001There is a jobs crisis in New Haven: unemployment, underemployment, and low wages. Of 83,000 total jobs in the city, only 19,000 are held by city residents. And of the 47,000 living wage jobs, a measly 2,000 are held by residents in under-resourced areas like the Hill, Fair Haven, and Dixwell-Newhallville.

Picture1New Haven Rising held the press conference and rally after reaching their initial goal of educating 2,000 local residents about the lack of access to livable wage jobs for residents – particularly those that live in neighborhoods of need. This powerful event was just the beginning of a concerted grassroots campaign to shift the dynamics of poverty and employment in the city.

Read more in these press articles:

“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”

Piping Up: Employees, prepare to meet your employers (Jobs Pipeline)

“Piping Up,” by Sam Bendinelli

Yale Herald, September 21, 2012

The story of New Haven in the last decade is a tale of two cities. Most visibly, and especially since the recession took hold, there has been high unemployment. New Haven’s rate has hovered between three and five percentage points above the national average, and by the latest counts, 6,400 New Haven residents are actively seeking work. And then there are unemployment’s attendant consequences: low school achievement, spiraling levels of poverty, spikes in crime and violence. In 2011, there were 34 murders; it was the city’s highest tally in 20 years.

Yet at the same time, New Haven’s job market is actually growing. In April, while Connecticut as a state dropped 4,100 jobs, the New Haven labor market expanded by 1,700 posts. “There are two very different stories going on in our city right now,” said Laurie Kennington, president of the Local 34, the union representing Yale’s clerical and technical employees. “One is about the economic downturn and joblessness and violence; the other is about the revitalization of downtown and the expansion of the economy here.” What the jobs pipeline aims to do, then, is merge these two parallel chapters into a single narrative.


Read more on CCNE’s work in pushing for a “pipeline” -or comprehensive jobs training and local hiring initiative-  here:

(Scroll to the bottom to check out previous articles on the progress towards a Pipeline in New Haven).

CCNE Report highlights inequality, outlines solutions

The Connecticut Center for a New Economy is proud to release our new report, A Renaissance for All of Us: Building an Inclusive Prosperity for New Haven. The release comes on the heels of a large community meeting, held December 3, 2011 at Conte-West Hills School, at which hundreds of people from around the city came together to discuss the issues facing New Haven. In a packed school cafeteria, dozens of tables held small group discussions framed by some common questions about what people thought should be the priorities for the city in the coming year. Read more

1,000 rally against inequality; demand good jobs, end to violence

On December 6th CCNE joined forces with local union members, clergy, community activists and the Occupy New Haven movement at a rally to demand good jobs and an end to violence in the streets.

Read more

“Grassroots Agenda Starts with Jobs” at Dec. 3 City-Wide Community Leaders meeting

Hundreds of residents came together December 3rd at the City-Wide Community Leaders meeting to identify and find collective solutions to New Haven’s most pressing problems.

In a packed school cafeteria, people from across the city—including a significant number of local and state lawmakers—held small group discussions framed by some common questions about what they thought the city’s priorities should in the coming year. Read more