Profile of Success: Solutions for a More Skilled Workforce
In her earlier years, when Gail Moran first attempted college, she declared biology as her major. However, like many women, after meeting her husband and having children, Gail put aside her aspirations to care for her family. She later went back to school but switched her concentration to information technology, a decision followed by more than 30 years of various jobs that, as she put it, “fed my pocket, but not my soul.” Then, for the first time in her life, Gail found herself unemployed. Persistent search efforts proved fruitless as Gail was laid off three more times, leaving the mother of two jobless for a total of five years.
But Gail is amazingly determined. While searching for a job, she came across information about the enhanced Certified Nurse Assistant program, managed by Metro Hartford Alliance for Careers in Health Care through the support of Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford. Gail enrolled in the program immediately. The rest is history. Gail graduated valedictorian of her class and successfully took on two full time internships for the duration of the program. She told us, “This way, I got twice the experience.” Today, Gail is employed full time at $14.70 an hour by one of her internship employers. She also has per diem opportunities at the second internship employer at $14.39 an hour. And, she is committed to pursuing further education to continue to advance.
Since 2008, Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford has built a diverse coalition that addresses the needs of employers for a prepared workforce while creating job and career advancement opportunities in health care, energy/utilities and manufacturing.
United Way, a founding member of Workforce Solutions, recognizes that jobs with advancement opportunities put people on paths to financial security while maintaining employers’ competitive edge.
In June 2013, the Collaborative received the National Fund for Workforce Solutions 2013 Chairman’s Award for Exemplary Collaborative in recognition of its network of partners, including employers, education and service providers, government, and philanthropicorganizations and, most importantly, the success of people like Gail Moran.
The Collaborative’s funders include: American Savings Foundation; Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; National Fund for Workforce Solutions; Nutmeg Foundation; Prudential Foundation and, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.