Every year since 2006, the has placed at least 25 Middletown students into summer employment through the Middletown .
In 2010, when federal stimulus money helped support summer youth employment, 70 were employed. As state and federal funding has decreased due to budget constraints, the program’s placement list of student workers has grown smaller while the waiting list has grown considerably larger.
In order to be eligible for the program, applicants must come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds as defined by the CT Department of Labor. The Chamber has the capacity through its dynamic membership to place these youngsters into subsidized employment in a wide variety of professional fields for six weeks in the summer months, at 20 hours per week.
Program applicants are put through a comprehensive pre-employment screening process which takes into account their hobbies, interests, work experience, future plans, comfort level on the computer and on the phone and other important factors such as transportation and availability in the summer months. Applicants selected to work in the program are then placed into the best possible employment situation for the individual.
Program host sites come from the government sector, the nonprofit sector and most notably the private sector.
The primary funding source for this program is Workforce Alliance, the Workforce Investment Board for the state’s South Central Region based in New Haven.
Workforce Alliance does great work supporting workforce development throughout its area of focus. In 2012, the Chamber is partnering with the City of Middletown and other community partners to eliminate or significantly diminish any waiting list that would exist if the organization relied on state money only for this program.
The City of Middletown has committed $20,000 for this venture which will go a long way toward diminishing that waiting list. The goal is to at least match the $20,000 from the city with outside funds from the private sector and the local foundation community.
Liberty Bank Foundation, Middlesex United Way, Seasons Federal Credit Union, Middlesex County Community Foundation, Middle Oak and the Middlesex Coalition for Children have all stepped up to help support the program in 2012. From these sources, $18,500 has been raised.