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Newtown's Bolinsky Celebrates Program To Help Long-Term Unemployed

State Rep. Mitch. Bolinsky addresses the new participants of the Platform to Employment program at its kickoff event.
State Rep. Mitch. Bolinsky addresses the new participants of the Platform to Employment program at its kickoff event. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R-Newtown) celebrated the kickoff and orientation of a program that aims to help the long-term unemployed get back to work.

Bolinsky, who spoke Jan. 6 to the new class at the Burroughs Community Center in Bridgeport and shared his own experience with job loss and how it impacted his family, said: “Platform to Employment is the absolute best example of partnership between the state and experienced, capable, long-term, displaced workers. The results are simply remarkable.”

The Platform to Employment kickoff event included welcoming newly enrolled participants to the program who shared their personal stories, heard from area legislators and were given an overview of course expectations.

“Participants in P2E participate in a rigorous program of skill development and job-re-training with WorkForce and then experience nearly an 85-percent placement rate, working their ways back into Connecticut’s mainstream economy. By comparison, on average in today's sluggish economy, longer-term displaced individuals generally have just a 20-percent re-placement rate. This program is special,” Bolinsky said. “By focusing on a holistic approach that bolsters the job seeker, hones their skills and opens them up to accept the concept of ‘personal re-invention,’ this program does more than just reemploy folks, it energizes them!”

Platform to Employment is a program that helps the long-term unemployed return to work and Connecticut employers address the need to find skilled workers. It is offered statewide with classes in Bridgeport, Waterbury, New Haven, Hartford and the Norwich/New London areas.

This is a national program started by New Haven’s Joe Carbone. Carbone was frustrated by the way unemployment is measured. After you use up your 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, you don’t count in the unemployment statistics so there was no one helping the long-term unemployed, he said.

Platform to Employment was developed to address the need for the long-term unemployed to return to work and the employer's need to recruit skilled workers. The program provides individuals with a five-week preparatory program, including skills assessment, career readiness workshops, employee assistance programs, coaching and more.

You can learn more about the Platform to Employment at its website.

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