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Opportunities in Health Care: Evaluation of Career Connections Program at Norwalk Community College

May 1, 2019

The Career Connections program was a career pathways program at Norwalk Community College (NCC) aimed at connecting opportunity youth in Fairfield County, Connecticut to high-demand allied health care jobs in the local labor force. The term "opportunity youth" in this program refers to youth, aged 18 to 25, who have graduated from high school or the equivalent, are not pursuing postsecondary education, and are not making a living above minimum wage. The program design was conceived of by Fairfield County's Community Foundation ("The Community Foundation"), as part of its Thrive by 25 initiative. The Community Foundation also funded Career Connections. The Community Foundation, NCC and the NCC Foundation jointly selected Philliber Research & Evaluation as the third-party evaluation consultant for the program.Because of the many challenges these youth face, the program was designed to provide full coverage of the cost of NCC's allied health care certificate programs, as well as offer additional supports, such as workforce readiness training, internships, academic advising, job development, and subsidized transportation. An NCC Job Developer worked with employers to help place students in Fairfield County allied health care jobs. Career Connections, housed in NCC's Continuing Education and Workforce Development Division, launched in winter 2017 and concluded in fall 2018. 

The Evolution, Expansion and Evaluation of the Family Economic Security Program

October 1, 2016

In 2008, the Fund for Women & Girls of Fairfield County's Community Foundation created the Family Economic Security Program (FESP). The goal of the program is to assist low- and moderate-income working students – particularly women who are single parents – in securing postsecondary educational degrees that can lead to careers offering family-sustaining wages and benefits.This paper reviews the research that prompted the original design of FESP; examines the results of the initial pilot demonstration at one community college; and highlights current efforts to test an expanded, enhanced version of the FESP initiative at a second community college in Fairfield County. The paper also discusses the broader local and national context within which these efforts have been occurring.

The Full Circle of Women and Girls in Fairfield County

January 1, 2013

Fairfield County is home to four of the state's largest cities and 19 towns in between. The people who live within its borders are equally diverse. Fairfield County women live in various types of households and families, go to school downtown and in the country, work in sales, finance and health care and give back to their communities in many and various ways. This report aims to document the experiences of the women and girls of Fairfield County so that everyone - from community members to policy analysts - can better understand women and girl's lives and act to improve conditions for everyone from the baby to the octogenarian.

Getting Better at Teacher Preparation and State Accountability

December 22, 2011

Profiles the goals, activities, implementation, and challenges of the twelve states that won Race to the Top federal funds to improve teacher quality and preparation program accountability; analyzes their strategies; and makes policy recommendations.

An Appeal to All Americans: National Commission on Civic Investment in Public Education

May 24, 2011

A national commission comprised of top education and philanthropic leaders is calling with new urgency for an increase in the nation's commitment to and civic investment in public education. An Appeal to All Americans also represents the first national and independently authored report to outline standards of practice for public and local education funds.As federal and state governments make dramatic cuts to public education funding, the independent National Commission on Civic Investment in Public Education urges the public to redouble its efforts to ensure that the nation's public schools provide a high-quality education for all young people.The Commission, created by Public Education Network (PEN), was charged with making a renewed case for civic investment, highlighting the work of organizations that can build and channel that investment, and developing standards for the rapidly-rising number of citizendriven, local public education assistance organizations - local education funds (LEFs), school foundations, etc. - working throughout our nation to improve public schools.

Helping Students Succeed: Communities Confront the Achievement Gap

March 15, 2010

Between 2007 and 2009, more than 3,000 citizens met with their neighbors in community centers, classrooms, churches, and libraries throughout the United States to talk about the issue known as the achievement gap. Participants in the forums discussed three possible options for closing the gap: raising expectations; providing more funding for struggling schools; and addressing root causes, such as poverty and poor health. As they deliberated, the citizens learned a great deal -- about their schools and their neighborhoods, about the persistence of subtle racial inequities, about the lives of young people, and about how these factors interact to support or prevent learning. Attitudes about teaching and parenting were questioned and reassessed. The experience of immigrant families, shrouded by language and culture, was brought into focus.These and other findings are the subjects of this Kettering Foundation report. In the end, the people who participated in forums realized that schools cannot shoulder the entire task of educating the next generation, that the quality of education cannot be measured by test scores alone, and that success for all our children requires something more from all of us.

Strategies to Help Low-Wage Workers Advance: Implementation and Early Impacts of the Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) Demonstration

June 30, 2009

Work Advancement and Support Center (WASC) is an innovative strategy to help low-wage workers increase their incomes by stabilizing employment, improving skills, increasing earnings, and easing access to work supports. In its first year, WASC connected more workers to food stamps and publicly funded health care coverage and, in one site, substantially increased training activities.

The Power of Investing in Girls

January 1, 2009

The Fairfield County Community Foundation's Fund for Women and Girls began its grantmaking in support of girls in 2003 with these questions and others. Since then, we've distributed more than $780,000 to 22 organizations for programs that addressed a diverse set of needs among girls. Cumulatively, these programs reached over 1,200 girls living in Fairfield County. The Fund's grantmaking experience over five years has resulted in key lessons learned about the qualities of the most effective programs for improving the lives of girls, and about the role of funders in supporting effective programming. These lessons helped shape the Fund's emerging grantmaking strategy and formed the basis of a new strategic investor framework that was implemented in 2008. This white paper summarizes these lessons

Tale of Two Counties: Family Homelessness in Connecticut

June 1, 2003

This report examines family homelessness in Fairfield and Hartford counties, and illustrates that without both low-cost housing and social services homeless families will continue to languish in a cycle of poverty.