At the ribbon-cutting ceremony that launched New Haven Works a year ago, New Haven resident Josue Rodriguez spoke about being unemployed despite his skills.
On June 12, at a press conference celebrating the one-year anniversary of New Haven Works, Rodriguez spoke again, this time about his six-month, paid, on-the-job training position in Yale’s Information Technology Services (ITS) department.
“Today,” Rodriguez said, “I have a much better chance of getting a position in the IT field because of the opportunity I’ve had to learn new Web skills and project management. I am confident that with the support of New Haven Works and Yale ITS, I will have a career at Yale University.”
Yale’s Lisa Sawin, associate director for ITS user experience and Web services, noted that Rodriguez and fellow intern Marwa Khaboor have been “essential team members” by providing hands-on site building and tech support for Yale units, ranging from administrative offices to academic departments.
“The last time I checked the support forum,” she said, “there were 15 pages of IT questions [Josue] has answered for our community.”
Other speakers at the press conference, held at New Haven Works headquarters at 205 Whitney Ave., included Governor Dannel P. Malloy; New Haven Mayor Toni Harp; Jorge Perez , president of New Haven Board of Alders; New Haven Works board member Denzel Walker; and representatives of some of the 20 partner employers — like John Greeno, owner of New England Conservation Services. His Woodbridge-based company has hired two New Haven Works candidates for full-time jobs and two more for on-the-job training positions.
The Mayor congratulated New Haven Works on exceeding its first-year goal. “We are proud,” she said, “that all city residents are eligible to participate in what New Haven Works offers. We are proud that roughly 330 residents have already found work as members of this program.”
In one year, New Haven Works has built partnerships with Yale and other employers who hire new workers for regular employment; provided paid on-the-job trainings for in-demand skilled work in fields like information technology; and created a pipeline of qualified, vetted New Haven residents ready for jobs. New Haven Works provides a wide range of support for both employers and prospective employees, and utilizes state incentives like the Governor’s StepUP program.
“We are prepared to work hand in hand with organizations like this,” said Malloy, “organizations that are doing everything in their power to have a properly-prepared workforce to fill the needs of employers with great paying jobs and good benefits in the community in which they live.”
Others in attendance at the press conference included Attorney General George Jepson, Connecticut’s attorney general; Mary Reynolds, director of New Haven Works; Diane Young Turner, Yale’s New Haven community hiring initiatives director; Bob Proto, president of Local 35; Mike Peel, Yale’s vice president of human resources and administration; Bruce Alexander, Yale’s vice president New Haven and state affairs and campus development; and some of the 50 paid interns that New Haven Works has placed with city employers this summer.