Funds Will Support the Collaborative’s Efforts in the Areas of Jobs, Education, and Training
DANBURY, CT -- A city-wide collaborative focused on helping lower-income residents build better lives has been awarded a $22,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation (FCCF).
DanburyWORKs is designed to improve the lives of the 50% of Danbury city residents who live in poverty or who struggle to make ends meet. It links services across the community to make it easier for households to access the tools they need to improve their economic situations and become a stronger economic force in the city.
Sandra Ferreira, Director of DanburyWORKS, said the funds are crucial to launching the second phase of the work, which focuses on Jobs, Education, and Training. The funds will also potentially play a role in helping to bring national funders to the table.
“Over the past 18 months, we have made great strides in the first phase of our work, which focused on Trust, Language, and Child Care,” Ms. Ferreira said. “Now, with this support from FCCF, we are well poised to take the next steps toward improving employment for lower-income Danbury residents.”
During the second phase, current partners, such as Naugatuck Valley Community College, Danbury Public School’s WERACE (Western Connecticut Regional Adult & Continuing Education) program, the Northeastern Workforce Development Board, and the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce, will play key roles in identifying ways to improve employment prospects for Danbury residents.
DanburyWORKS is supported by the Boston Federal Reserve’s Working Cities Challenge Grant. The initiative has brought together local organizations, businesses, social service agencies, government officials, and educational institutions to jointly improve the economic vitality of Danbury. It also brings together residents who recognize the barriers that are limiting the contributions of people of color and immigrants and are committed to making a change.
Photo: Members of the DanburyWORKS collaborative participated in a Workforce System Summit sponsored by the Boston Federal Reserve Working Cities Challenge Grant on September 20, 2019.
DanburyWORKS is a collaborative focused on making Danbury a place where all families can thrive. Its mission is to improve equity and quality of life in Danbury. Partners include community residents, the City of Danbury (including the Danbury Library, Danbury Police Department, and Danbury Fire Department), Community Action Agency of Western Connecticut, Danbury Chamber of Commerce, Danbury Public Schools and WERACE, EdAdvance, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Families Network of Western Connecticut, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Northeastern Workforce Development Board, Positive Discipline of Western CT, the Regional YMCA, Salvation Army, and the United Way of Western Connecticut.
About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards and has awarded over $220 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. As a trusted nonprofit partner and thought leader, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation brings together community organizers, business experts and philanthropists to solve our region’s challenges. Our goal is to create a vital and inclusive community, where every individual has the opportunity to thrive.
About United Way of Western Connecticut
United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) improves the lives of hard-working, struggling households by mobilizing the resources of local communities to create lasting change. We help residents across Northern Fairfield County, Southern Litchfield County and the City of Stamford by focusing on the vital building blocks for a good life: Education, Financial Stability and Health. We are committed to ensuring that every child enters school ready to learn, every family is financially stable, and every community we serve is healthy and strong. We are particularly focused on a population that United Way identifies as ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) in our communities. A United Way report published in September 2018 revealed that in Connecticut, more than 1 in 3 households has earnings above the Federal Poverty Level, but below a basic cost-of-living threshold. Combined with those who are struggling below poverty level, 40% of all households in the state are experiencing ﬁnancial hardship. By leveraging the collective power of the community, we are focused on creating an environment where individuals and families are self-sufficient and can achieve financial independence.
United Way of Western Connecticut