Access Community Action Agency has recently completed the spring 2019 session of its job skills training program, Access to Employment. The program, now in its third year, is focused on eliminating barriers to employment for the low-income population of Tolland and Windham Counties. For this past session Access began a successful new partnership with Perception Programs to train women from Perceptions’ Grace and Next Step houses. After eight weeks of coursework focused on personal development and empowerment, financial literacy, and computer proficiency this cohort of students completed our program. The course culminated with a graduation ceremony and presentations of community projects which our students work on as a component of the curriculum.
Access to Employment will be starting its next session in the fall of 2019 and we are currently accepting applications. This is a free program available to anyone over the age of 18 who resides in any of the towns in Tolland or Windham Counties. This next session will run for ten weeks, with classes meeting for two hours three times per week. Anyone who is interested should contact Kathleen Krider (860-450-7455 or Kathleen.firstname.lastname@example.org) or can stop by Access’ facility at 1315 Main Street in Willimantic.
This program is made possible through partnerships with the United Way of Central and Northeastern CT, the Jeffery P. Ossen Family Foundation, Savings Institute Financial Group, Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, Webster Bank, Stop and Shop, and the Access Community Action Agency.
Access to Employment was created in 2016 as the result of a collaborative process with the United Way, Access, local funders and local business owners. Through collaborative discussions, 3 primary barriers for those looking to maintain stable, long-term employment were identified: low motivation, a lack of financial literacy, and inadequate computer skills. Access to Employment’s curriculum was then developed specifically to address those issues.
There are three primary components of the training: personal development, which relies on the University of Connecticut’s People Empowering People (PEP) curriculum. This section of the course is focused on motivation, effective communication techniques, problem-solving strategies, and developing leadership skills. Our financial literacy training is based on the FDIC’s Money Smart program and covers budgeting, financial goal-setting, developing spending and savings plans, appropriate use of credit, and debt management. The computer training provides an introduction to many of the programs most commonly used in the modern workforce. Students learn general computer basics, Gmail and professional email etiquette, the functions of the Google Drive, document formatting, spreadsheet use, and digital presentations. This training is all done on Chromebook laptop computers which are given to the students upon completion of the program.
The Access Community Action Agency is designated by the federal and state government as the anti-poverty agency in northeast Connecticut. Access provides food, affordable housing, job readiness services, and other pathways to economic self-reliance for vulnerable limited-income families and individuals throughout the region.
For more information about the services Access provides, visit us on the web at www.accessagency.org; or call (860) 450-7400 in the Willimantic area or (860) 412-1600 In the Danielson area.