Successful Connecticut Program Putting the Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work Will Go National

  Successful Connecticut Program Putting the Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work
  Will Go National

    The WorkPlace, AARP Foundation, Citi Community Development and Walmart
Foundation will expand the Platform to Employment program to 10 cities across
                                     U.S.

Business Wire

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- November 15, 2012

The WorkPlace with the support of AARP Foundation, Citi Community Development
and the Walmart Foundation announce the national expansion of the highly
successful Platform to Employment (P2E) program, which creates a pathway to
employment for the long-term unemployed. Long-term unemployment impacts more
than 5 million Americans who have been actively seeking a job for more than
six months. This population represents 40% of unemployed workers.

P2E, which began in southwestern Connecticut, will be expanded to address the
specific needs of unemployed workers over 50 and military veterans. Starting
in January, P2E will launch replication sites in 10 U.S. cities beginning with
Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas and San Diego. The program is a proven model that
demonstrates that the right job readiness programming, combined with personal
and family support services and financial counseling, can return the long-term
unemployed to the workforce. Tested in seven different cohorts, including
participants from urban and suburban communities, P2E has placed more than 70%
of program participants into work experience programs, with nearly 90% of
these individuals moving on to full-time employment.

AARP Foundation will provide a grant to specifically recruit and serve
long-term unemployed workers who are over 50 years of age. This
populationcontinues to spend longer periods of time looking for work and
securing a stable income. AARP Foundation is working to reverse the downward
spiral that many older Americans and their families face.

“Today, Americans 50+ face choices and pressures no one could have prepared
for,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP Foundation President. “Job loss and long-term
unemployment among those 50 and older have wiped out retirements savings and
caused any hopes of a secure financial future to fade. AARP Foundation is
pleased to support the expansion of Platform to Employment to help put people
50+ back to work in good jobs in their communities and pave the way to a
brighter and more secure future.”

With additional support from the Walmart Foundation, P2E will provide services
to veterans returning to the civilian workforce in each city and will include
at least two cohorts of female veterans. In addition to career opportunities
for veterans and military families, Walmart and its Foundation have committed
$20 million through 2015 to support organizations and programs that provide
job training, transition and education assistance to veterans.

“As one of the nation’s largest private employers of veterans and those on
active duty, we share The WorkPlace’s vision of a country where every veteran
has a chance to succeed economically and support his or her family,” said
retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Gary Profit, senior director of military
programs at Walmart. “Walmart is committed to making that vision a reality by
supporting organizations and programs that provide job and skills training to
our veterans. These young men and women stood up for us, and now it’s our turn
to stand up for them.”

Platform to Employment offers a five week preparatory program which includes
workshops on resume writing, interview preparation, self-marketing and other
skills. Additionally, each participant and their family has access to
behavioral health services and counseling. Following the preparatory program,
participants are then matched with employers who have job openings. P2E
enables employers to have a risk free evaluation of participants during an
eight week trial period where wages are subsidized by The WorkPlace.

With support from Citi Community Development, P2E participants also receive
financial counseling and credit rebuilding assistance so they are better
equipped to face the significant financial challenges many families confront
during extended periods of unemployment. P2E clients will not only receive job
readiness skills and enter a system to get matched with local career
opportunities, but they will also be counseled on refining their household
money management skills and tools to begin to rebuild their credit at a time
when many are financially overextended and lack previous levels of regular
income, or none at all. Earlier this year, Citi was nationally recognized for
its support of P2E with the American Bankers Association’s first-ever
Community Commitment Award in the Economic Development category.

“Platform to Employment focuses on supporting the needs of those who often
worked for decades before becoming long-term unemployed and who face
significant challenges in securing employment while also managing a different
household financial situation,” said Bob Annibale, Citi’s Global Director of
Community Development and Microfinance. “Citi is pleased to be partnering with
fellow supporters in building the capacity of The WorkPlace to dramatically
scale this essential program nationwide and to support many more Americans in
rebuilding their professional and financial identities.”

“We know that the power of hope is essential to the creation of great things.
Platform to Employment is an example of how a caring community can make a
difference on a national stage.” said Joseph Carbone, President and CEO of The
WorkPlace.

About The WorkPlace

The WorkPlace conducts comprehensive planning, and coordinates regional
workforce development policy and programs to prepare people for careers while
strengthening the workforce for employers. As national leader in the field,
The WorkPlace regularly shares ideas and best practices with lawmakers,
foundations, think tanks and other workforce development organizations around
the country. For more information, visit www.workplace.org or
http://www.platformtoemployment.com

About AARP Foundation

AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans
50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today:
housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these
issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal
advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50+ while working
with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, work more
efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is the charitable
affiliate of AARP. Learn more at www.aarpfoundation.org.

About Citi Community Development

Citi Community Development (CCD) is leading Citi’s commitment to achieve
economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and
communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and
building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus
areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial
products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access
to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities.
For more information, visit www.citicommunitydevelopment.com.

About Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are
helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its
Foundation made a historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger
in the U.S. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce
development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness
initiatives. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.

Contact:

The WorkPlace
Tom Long, 203-610-8528
tlong@workplace.org
or
AARP Foundation
Hillary John, 202-434-2560
hjohn@aarp.org
or
Citi
David Roskin, 212-559-4767
david.roskin@citi.com
or
Walmart Foundation
Tara Raddohl, 800-331-0085
http://walmartstores.com/reporter
 
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