HEADLINES

DanburyWORKS Receives $20,000 Grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

DanburyWORKS has received a $20,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation to help Danbury’s immigrant community and low-income workers find employment. DanburyWORKS is a community collaborative of more than 17 Danbury-based organizations working to reduce poverty in the City by 5% within the next 10 years.
 
As part of this grant, a Career Navigator will help to lower hurdles for job seekers through direct services to those searching for employment. The Navigator will also develop relationships with entry-level employers and engage with the local Manufacturer Roundtable to assess the skills needed to fill job openings. A Spanish-speaking community liaison will assist the Career Navigator in recruiting job placement clients and training participants, while bridging the culture and language gap and building trust with the immigrant community.
 
The grant-funded efforts also include a partnership with The Bridge to Independence and Career Opportunity (TBICO) to improve the soft skills of job seekers, through TBICO’s World of Work training.
 
Because child care is a crucial component in supporting the workforce, funds from this grant will also be used to provide professional development to improve the quality of care provided by licensed family child care providers in Danbury. Training will be offered to providers that are part of the Cora’s Kids program, which was launched by United Way of Western Connecticut in 2018 to improve the affordability and quality of child care in Danbury. EdAdvance will also connect with center-based child care providers to offer the trainings to their staff.
 
As of 2018, more than 30% of Danbury residents were born outside of the United States. Thirty percent are people of color, and 30% are Hispanic. Before COVID-19, 50% of Danbury households struggled financially; the number is likely to have increased since the start of the pandemic. DanburyWORKS hopes to improve the economic conditions of these households by improving the English language and soft-skills of adults and connecting residents in need of better jobs with local employers.
 
Community Action Agency of Western Connecticut (CAAWC) has assumed the role of backbone organization for DanburyWORKS as of July 2021, as it transitions into the workforce development phase of its community plan. 
 
“Danbury is a thriving city, in large part because of our immigrants and residents of color,” said Michelle James, Executive Director of CAAWC. “The goal of DanburyWORKS is to help these residents gain meaningful and well-compensated employment so their families can prosper. The success of our city depends on their success and a promising future for their children. We thank Fairfield County’s Community Foundation for their support of this work.”
 
For more information about DanburyWORKS, contact Michelle James, Executive Director of CAAWC, at 203-748-1952.

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