Important dates: Application opens June 13, 2022. Applications due Aug. 4, 2022.

Background:

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven launched its five-year strategic framework in 2020 that prioritized connecting local residents to living wage employment in local economic growth sectors. Additionally, with the Foundation’s Stepping Forward Initiative, supplemental resources were made available to support this work in response to the devastating impacts of the pandemic and to advance racial equity in our region. Due to the pandemic, local, state and national job markets are experiencing significant shifts and labor shortages. Many workers are no longer willing to remain in or return to low-paying jobs that do not offer benefits with unstable work schedules. Research shows that individuals have not returned to work, in part, due to childcare issues, health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, and seek to improve their quality of life. New Haven’s current unemployment rate is 4.6 percent. This is a critical time in the New Haven and Valley regions to reimagine work and pave the way for improved economic stability for struggling residents and their families.

The Foundation seeks to support inclusive career pathways in local economic growth sectors that provide quality jobs (these are jobs that pay a living wage, offer meaningful benefits, predictable schedules, stable income, and worker engagement)[1]. We have a specific focus on supporting organizations that work with the following populations:

  • BIPOC Populations (Black, Indigenous, and people of color)
  • Women
  • Returning Citizens
  • Immigrants
  • Other underserved populations

The Brookings Institute 2021 Metro Monitor, which tracks the inclusive economic growth performance of the 57 large metro areas with populations between 500,000 and 1 million, indicates that Greater New Haven ranks 46th in growth, 51st in prosperity and 54th in inclusion. Additionally, the 2020 United Way ALICE report shows that a family with two adults, one infant, and one preschooler needs to earn a total annual income of $90,000 to achieve a survival budget. The Foundation sees strategic investments in career pathways for traditionally underserved populations as a significant component of the economic recovery and building a truly inclusive economy in the Greater New Haven and Valley regions.

Local Employment Growth Sectors: According to Connecticut Department of Labor data, the following sectors are experiencing growth and provide quality jobs: healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, biomedical/bioscience, technology/information, construction, and other growth sectors. The Foundation is focusing on these growth sectors given their long term trajectory for adding new jobs and/or responding to an existing need to replace workers who will retire in the next several years.

Key Goals for Career Pathways RFP:

Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), the Foundation aims to accomplish the following:

  • Invest in education and training efforts with employers and education/training institutions that prepare residents for quality jobs in middle-to-high skill occupations in local economic growth sectors.
  • Support initiatives that connect job seekers to employment that have clear opportunities for career advancement over time.
  • Fund efforts that have a strong employer partnerships where job seekers will likely be hired.
  • Fund efforts that encourage employers in economic growth sectors to hire job seekers who successfully complete skills based training and certification programs.
  • Fund efforts to support people of color, women, immigrants, and/or returning citizens in the Greater New Haven and/or Valley regions and other traditionally underserved populations.
  • Connect public school students, particularly Black and brown students who are underrepresented in STEM fields, to promising careers in the biomedical/bioscience fields.

RFP Priority Focus Areas:

The Foundation will accept grant proposals that focus on one or more of the following areas:

  1. Wraparound Supports – Funding to provide wrap around supports for low-income workers and job seekers that are needed for them to successfully participate in and complete skills based training/short-term vocational training programs for careers in industry growth sectors, and obtain and maintain quality jobs.
  2. Bioscience/Biomedical Careers – Occupations in bioscience/biomedical careers currently require a minimum of a four-year college degree and experiential learning beyond traditional classroom and laboratory environment. The Foundation will consider funding requests for programs supporting underrepresented students in STEM fields to enter bioscience/biomedical careers.


Type of Support

Importance of Support

Behavioral Health Services

The pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues that job seekers were experiencing. Providing behavioral health supports will be key in job seekers attaining and maintaining successful employment.

Childcare

A lack of quality and affordable childcare has been cited as one of the top barriers to women returning to employment. Providing support in this area will be vital to increase labor market participation.

Coaching, Mentoring, Career Advising & Navigation

For job seekers who have been out of the job market and/or are looking to advance in the workforce, coaching mentoring, and career counseling are important supports and will help participants to determine which careers are the best fit.

Developmental Math, Literacy and Computer Tech Skills

Achieving basic proficiency in math, literacy and computer tech skills is needed for job seekers to enroll in skills based education and training programs.

Externships

An opportunity for participants to connect their career interests to the workplace, get firsthand experience, and learn how employers operate.

Financial Planning

Financial planning allows participants to review, understand and make plans for their personal finances.

Internships

A short-term, paid work experience offered by employers for participants to attain entry-level exposure to a particular industry or field.

Pre-internships

Provides an overview of the internship program and an opportunity for students to ask questions about specific internship placements.

Stipends

A modest sum of money paid to participants to help cover basic costs while they receive career training.

Transportation

This allows job seekers to participate and complete skills based training and education programs. Additionally, stable transportation will allow job seekers to obtain and maintain employment.


[1] https://www.bostonfed.org/news-and-events/news/2018/quality-jobs-effort-announced.aspx

Have Questions?

Yolanda Caldera-Durant

Vice President for Community Strategies

203-777-7089

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