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Post Date:03/25/2024 12:00 PM

13 partner organizations will receive 16 workforce development grants of up to $100,000 each; funding training and instructional opportunities for 800+ young people as well as systemwide initiatives for several organizations that collectively serve 7,700+ young people.

Click here for a video of the press conference

NEW HAVEN, CT – Today, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker joined city, civic, education, and business leaders at  Wilbur Cross High School to announce the second round of grants for the City of New Haven’s Career Pathways Initiative, a career readiness and workforce development program designed to help connect New Haven high school students and young adults with meaningful career exploration opportunities and the education, skills, and training needed to obtain specialty certifications and good paying jobs in key professions and growing industries.

This second round of grant funding will provide approximately $1.4 million in grants to 13 New Haven programs, with each organization receiving one-year grants of up to $100,000 and multiple grants awarded to New Haven Public Schools programs and initiatives. These grants will fund training and instruction opportunities for over 800 young people in the coming year and will also fund systemwide initiatives for several organizations that collectively serve over 7,700 young people.

“In New Haven, we are committing to inclusive economic growth and building a city where every resident has the opportunity to thrive. The only way we’re going to make that happen is if our young people are educated, equipped, and connected to workforce opportunities that align with their interests and that align with the jobs of our growing and emerging economy. Our Career Pathways Initiative aims to do just that,” said Mayor Elicker. “This investment from the city supports a next generation workforce that will be more confident, better resourced, and better positioned to obtain good-paying jobs and enter fulfilling careers. I can’t wait to see what our young people will to do.”

The Career Pathways Initiative provides funding to entities and organizations that are offering, expanding, or developing their programming, capacity, and wraparound supports needed to connect New Haven youth to meaningful career exploration opportunities and to the hands-on education, skills, and training they need to obtain specialty certifications and good paying jobs in key professions and growing industries.

Grant recipients were chosen based on how closely their missions and proposals align with the City’s goals to advance cultural equity, reduce the racial wealth gap, and promote economic opportunity for New Haven youth and young adults.

To qualify for the funding, organizations also had to focus on one of the following key sectors: automotive; bioscience; computer science and coding; construction; creative economy; green energy; healthcare; manufacturing; public safety; and transportation and logistics.

The recipients represent a wide range of organizations providing a diverse offering of programs and services to youth and young adults.

These awards build on the first round of grants that were announced a year ago in March 2023 that allocated $1 million across 10 partners organizations in service of over 1,000 New Haven high school students and young adults. The Career Pathways Initiative grants are funded through the City’s allocation of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) dollars included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

The announcement took place in the atrium at Wilbur Cross High School, where two of the four grant programs for New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) grants to receive funding are based. A proposed program to create a business career pathway at the high school was awarded $70,093, and a pathway program to careers in healthcare at Wilbur Cross received $100,000. A third R & D pathway program for middle school students and a new position for an internship coordinator each received $100,000 in funding. The coordinator will assist students in secure employment and provide employability skills training and internship opportunities throughout the district.

Superintendent Negron said, “For the past 10 years, Wilbur Cross students have been able to engage in electives that best match their career interests. We have found that having this career focus has been an important motivator for them. Now, thanks to this grant, we can go even further in healthcare and in business. In addition to elective high school courses, we can offer college-level coursework, industry certifications, job training, and work-based learning experiences. I want to thank the mayor, the alders, and the economic development team for investing in our students and our future.”

Five of the 13 organizations are receiving grants for a second year based on the success of their programs.

District Arts & Education (DAE) was among the organizations receiving a grant for a second year, this time for a six-week pilot program exploring climate tech career exploration as well as coding and software engineering in partnership with ClimateHaven. The program culminates in the development of a finished product that allows each participant to demonstrate the application of learned knowledge and skills towards a climate-related opportunity or problem.

“A central commitment for DAE is not only providing current and critical digital skills to New Haven Public School students, but also being ahead of the curve and providing access to skills for emerging and future career opportunities, said A.M. Bhatt, founder and CEO of DAE. “This new funding from the City of New Haven will allow us to pilot a program in one of the most exciting, and most rapidly emerging, career fields: Climate Technology.”

Havenly, offering a small business development and entrepreneurship program for 10 young migrant women, was among the organizations to receive funding for the first time. In addition to training, the $50,000 awarded to that group will help provide wraparound services such as childcare and transportation for participants.

“According to Data Haven, New Haven is home to an estimated 15,000 undocumented immigrants, totaling over 11% of the population,” said Caterina Passoni, Co-Founder and Director of Growth at Havenly. “Barred from obtaining most employment opportunities and excluded from almost all forms of government support, thousands of undocumented immigrants in our city are forced to labor in exploitative working conditions, and are systematically kept in poverty. These conditions pose unique risks and challenges to immigrant women specifically. Through the Career Pathways Initiative, Havenly will build out a career pathway and ecosystem for immigrant women in our city to connect to the skills and resources they need to launch businesses, as a step towards creating dignified jobs for the undocumented community in New Haven.”

“The Career Pathways Initiative is just one example of the programs that have distinguished New Haven as a state leader in overall economic performance – and our economic growth is made possible by the talent and diversity of the entire community,” added Michael Piscitelli, Economic Development Administrator for the City of New Haven. “Together, with our partners, we are creating opportunities and opening access to meaningful careers for high school students and young adults that will afford them financial stability in the future and an opportunity to fully participate in New Haven’s present and future economy.”

The full list of the Career Pathways Initiative Round 2 grant recipients are below:

2024-03-25 15_35_28-Press Release_ Mayor Elicker Announces $1.4 Million in Second Round Grants for t


Lenny H. Speiller; (203) 725-4249;

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