United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) is proud to announce that Sandra Ferreira-Molina has been named Director of DanburyWorks, an economic development collaborative of more than a dozen Danbury area organizations and institutions focused on lifting the number of immigrants and people of color out of poverty by 30 percent within 10 years.
Ferreira-Molina will lead the activities of DanburyWorks to reduce barriers to programs and opportunities that can increase wage-earning potential by building trust among the diverse cultures in Danbury, improving proficiency of the English language, and increasing access to affordable quality childcare.
“From her distinguished career in public service and experience in health policy, business development and governmental affairs, Sandra brings extensive knowledge of the programmatic resources and effective outreach necessary for DanburyWorks to build trust in our community,” said Kimberly Morgan, CEO of UWWC. “Her leadership in navigating this path to our greatest goals will bring the work of the DanburyWorks collaborative to the forefront of the community.”
Most recently, Ferreira-Molina served as the Associate Director of Health for the Health & Human Services Department in the City of Danbury. During this time, she was part of the winning Danbury grant team to be selected as one of 35 Champion Cities nationally for the Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge, a grant award that brought $100,000 to the City of Danbury to increase the number of available, affordable, quality early childcare slots.
Ferreira-Molina has more than 15 years’ experience working within the state and local community. She has held numerous positions in public service, including working for the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for almost five years. She also worked in different capacities in workforce development, day care licensing, asthma, and policy, planning and development. Additionally, Ferreira-Molina worked for the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families for eight years in the Medical Assistance Unit under Revenue Enhancement. She returned to the CT DPH to work with Public Health Emergency Preparedness where she sat on the CT DPH Mobil Field Hospital Board of Directors as well as the CT DPH Health Preparedness Advisory Committee.
“Through my personal and career experiences I realize the positive impact a diverse community can have,” said Ferreira-Molina. “By emphasizing our shared values, while also acknowledging and accepting our different cultures, we can empower all to build a stronger Danbury. This will be key to achieving the goals set forth for DanburyWorks and elevating the lives of many in our city.”
Originally from Medellin, Colombia, Ferreira-Molina came to the United States at the age of 6. She holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Hartford and a master’s in business administration and science management from Albertus Magnus College.
Participating agencies in DanburyWorks include: Age Well Community Council, City of Danbury, Community Action Agency of Western Connecticut, Danbury Promise for Children Partnership, Danbury Public Schools, Danbury Youth Services, Connecticut Institute for Communities, Ecuadorian Civic Center of Greater Danbury, Ed Advance, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Regional YMCA, UWWC, Western CT State University, Western CT Regional Adult and Continuing Education, and Western CT Health Network, as well as local Danbury residents and business owners. UWWC serves as the fiscal agent for the initiative.