Local Legislators Attend “Campaign for a Working Connecticut” Roundtable

February 1, 2012

Stamford – State Senators L. Scott Frantz (R-36) and Bob Duff (D-25) and State Representative Fred Camillo (R-151) participated in a job training and transitional housing roundtable hosted by St. Luke’s LifeWorks and Career Resources on Thursday, January 26th.

“I strongly commend non-profit organizations that provide essential services to those who are most in need,” said Senator Frantz. “Joblessness, homelessness, and addiction are some of the most serious challenges facing our community today. This discussion was an eye-opening reminder that we have an ongoing responsibility to help people gain the skills they need to become self-sufficient in an otherwise difficult economy.”

“The meeting was a stark reminder that while the recession might be ‘officially’ over, it’s not over for many in our area,” said Senator Duff. “We heard of the daily struggles many have, including families with small children, to find decent housing, stable work and earn a wage that allows for a reasonable standard of living. As legislators, we must continue to fight for jobs until everyone who needs a job has one.”

The roundtable featured a discussion of job training and transitional housing programs.

Senator Frantz speaks at the “Campaign for a Working Connecticut” roundtable.

Senator Frantz speaks at the “Campaign for a Working Connecticut” roundtable.

“St. Luke’s Lifeworks provides an essential lifeline,” said Representative Camillo. “Visiting these individuals brought home the issues that often go unheard, and never addressed. I pledge to work with Scott Wilderman and his staff on legislation to focus on the problems faced by those who are trying to re-enter the workforce after a rough stretch, but are unfairly denied work due to an antiquated way of evaluating job applicants.”

“Clearly, the recession is not over for many in our state,” said Scott K. Wilderman, President and CEO of Career Resources, Inc. “It will take bipartisan support to make sure that those in need do not fall deeper into poverty and homelessness.”

“For most of the people we serve, the only way out of homelessness is through employment,” said Jason T. Shaplen, CEO of St. Luke’s LifeWorks. “Unfortunately, many of these same people don’t have the skills they need to get a job. That’s where our job-training programs enter the picture. They provide people with the skills they need not only to get a job, but also to lead healthy, productive, stable lives. At the end of the day, employment is THE key to breaking the cycle of homelessness aid.”

St. Luke’s LifeWorks’s mission is to break the cycle of homelessness by helping people achieve – and maintain – permanent housing and stability in their lives. A key element of this is helping people prepare for, find, maintain, and advance in employment. For more information, please visit their website at www.stlukeslifeworks.org.

Career Resources is a non-profit workforce development organization that prepares “youth and adults in Southwestern Connecticut to gain employment and progress in their careers.” Based in Bridgeport, the group “provides them with skills, resources, and support necessary for personal development, economic self-sufficiency, and career advancement.” For more information, please visit their website at www.careerresources.org.

The “Campaign for a Working Connecticut” is a coalition of numerous community organizations, workforce boards, chambers of commerce, and educational institutions with the goal of increasing workers’ skills and helping families gain self-sufficiency. It is led by the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, or CWEALF. For more information, please visit their website at www.campaignct.org.