On January 1, Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead became Newtown’s first veterans contact specialist. The state-mandated position is charged with being a single point of contact and referral for any or all veterans issues at the local level.
Ms Aurelia Halstead was the appointee to that position serving veterans living in Newtown. She was recently informed of a new and successful job program specifically for younger veterans who have been most challenged in finding permanent full-time employment.
“I received an e-mail from the manager of intergovernmental affairs in Hartford regarding a program from a public-private partnership called The WorkPlace,” Ms Aurelia Halstead said. “And they are trying to identify veterans age 30 or younger who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer so they can to help them find employment.”
The WorkPlace is looking to identify 20 individuals between late February and early March to participate. The program, “Platform to Employment,” has been successful in seven cities across the country and in Connecticut in obtaining jobs for those completing the program, the agency states.
According to the program website, long-term unemployed individuals often feel disconnected from their careers; believe their skills are less relevant; and many choose to isolate themselves, leading to feelings of hopelessness and despair.
Platform to Employment is a public-private partnership that gives businesses a risk-free opportunity to evaluate and consider hiring participants during an eight-week work experience program. Participants receive a five-week preparatory program, including skills assessment, career readiness workshops, employee assistance programs, and coaching.
Upon completion, participants receive support locating open positions. Then, placements are made on a trial basis, paid for by The WorkPlace. The expectation is that if the company is satisfied with the candidate's performance, a full-time job will result.
Anyone interested in learning more about the program is encouraged to contact Ms Aurelia Halstead during daytime business hours at the Town Clerk's office at 203-270-4210, or link to program details at: platformtoemployment.com.
The program also seeks the support of businesses looking to assist long-term unemployed vets. Donations to the program can be arranged by clicking here.
Interested individulas can also view a video outlining Platform to Employment by clicking here.