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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.

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

Holding Up Half the Sky

January 1, 2007

Through our in-depth research conducted in 2006-2007, we have concluded that the most critical need of women and girls in Fairfield County is economic security for low-income working women, especially single working mothers. Due in part to the high cost of living in our area, economic security was a recurring theme in almost every avenue of our research. As the most economically vulnerable population in our region, low-income working women need jobs with fair wages and benefits that will support high quality child care, stable housing, health care, as well as the education and skills necessary to improve their position over the course of their lives. A position of economic security enables women and children to move beyond a daily struggle of making ends meet and trading one basic need, such as food, medicine or rent, for another.