Nine of Hartford’s residents who are experiencing homelessness now have an opportunity to start a new career. Homelessness is a problem that impacts thousands of Hartford residents every year. The root of homelessness varies from person to person, but a common barrier to gaining housing is the inability to find and sustain long-term employment. Belcan Corporation and Journey Home have partnered, along with a number of local homeless service providers, to create and provide employment opportunities.

The Aerospace Employment Placement Program will end in career-track jobs for some of Hartford’s most disenfranchised residents. Belcan Corporation’s Windsor Locks location which primarily services companies in Connecticut provides a skilled workforce to their aerospace customers. “This program is in line with our mission statement to combine the resources of the company and the energy of our employees to be a positive force in the communities where we live and do business,” says Steve Houghtaling, Belcan General Manager. “We believe this program will help us meet our growing need for low to mid-level skilled employees.”

In July of 2014, Journey Home was awarded a Community Development Block Grant to execute the Aerospace Employment Placement Program (AEPP). The AEPP is a social enterprise program focused on creating and sustaining employment for Hartford’s underserved population. Journey Home has used this grant to select candidates from Community Renewal Team’s Hartford Veterans Reintegration Program, as well as programs at The Open Hearth Association, and at the Salvation Army Marshall House. All candidates are currently living in a homeless shelter, transitional housing program or a Rapid Re-housing Program and all candidates have experienced homelessness in Hartford. These candidates have all successfully completed classes at Goodwin College this past December, and will now have on-site training at Belcan, and begin their job positions within the next few months. Goodwin’s blossoming manufacturing program instructed the students in basic manufacturing as well as supply-chain logistics- two subject areas essential to the students’ success at Belcan. This program stands out because all program participants will be offered employment at Belcan Corporation upon successful completion of the program. More importantly it could be a springboard to a new career. “We are helping people who are homeless make the leap out of poverty that is necessary to truly prevent them from being at risk of experiencing homelessness again” says Matt Morgan, Executive Director at Journey Home.

A second class of students, this one with a majority of participants who are veterans of the United States military, and all of whom have experienced homelessness in Greater Hartford will be starting classes at Goodwin this January. For further information on Journey Home’s employment initiatives, contact Roy Mainelli, Economic Security Manager, at “This program/activity is funded in part with Community Development Block Grant funds allocated to Journey Home Inc, by the City of Hartford.” Belcan is a global supplier of engineering and technical services to a wide variety of industries. Our services include product design and analysis, embedded systems controls, and manufacturing & product support.

Thanks to the Hartford Business Journal for this great write-up !