Transitional Employment Program
EMERGE’S Transitional Employment Program is our flagship program that makes us unique among Connecticut nonprofits. Upon successful completion of our enrollment process, crew members can earn at least $15 per hour in construction, landscaping, and property management for up to 24 hours per week. In a supportive work environment with the guidance of a crew chief who has gone through EMERGE's programs and understand reentry firsthand, crew members can apply their existing and gain new, highly marketable job skills.
The remaining 16 hours of each week are reserved for crucial supportive programs that aid crew members in their reentry process such as individualized mentoring and coaching, “Real Talk," Circle of Security Parenting (COSP), Financial Empowerment, and more. These programs are designed to destigmatize mental health and support people as they begin to address the impacts of incarceration and the events that led to incarceration in the first place.
EMERGE provides wraparound support services that better position our crew members to attain stable employment and economic security. Our program encourages individual and collective empowerment, self-awareness, and personal development. EMERGE's culture is all about co-creating a safe space for healing and navigating the challenges of reentry. Through positive and supportive relationship-building, EMERGE seeks to end the cycle of recidivism by de-stigmatizing mental health, cultivating support systems, and offering crew members outlets to process trauma.
Real Talk is EMERGE's weekly peer-to-peer group meeting. Real Talk is a forum where work crew members openly discuss issues or concerns they face day-to-day throughout their re-entry that require support and guidance. Each week a different crew member selects a topic that is of particular importance to them, and they are asked to facilitate the discussion on that topic. Each person is given an opportunity to offer real-life experiences that may or may not relate to the topic. Group discussions help build a network of understanding and respect between each member and start a dialogue on personal issues that members can later address individually
EMERGE’s Skillset Training component provides in-house, job-specific training in a wide variety of competencies surrounding the field of carpentry. In addition to OSHA 10 safety certification training, EMERGE crewmembers take part in a comprehensive curriculum that covers areas such as tool recognition, proper hand and power tool use, critical path of residential deconstruction, sheet rock repair, roofing, painting and taping, tiling, framing, sheetrock installation, window installation, woodworking, and much more. This hands–on training makes for more productive and knowledgeable EMERGE work crews, and a labor force of alumni that are more qualified for livable-wage job opportunities long after their reentry experience.
Restorative Food Justice
In partnership with Greater New Haven-based BIPOC community leaders in agriculture, EMERGE’s Restorative Food Justice program aims to provide crew members the tools and insights to build a stronger understanding of the racial disparities that permeate U.S. food and farming systems and to pursue food or agriculture-related economic opportunities. This program consists of two multi-week courses: 1) An educational series on urban farming, addressing socioeconomic wealth, diversity in agriculture, environmental equity, culturally-appropriate food access, and community- and skill-building; and 2) A topical series building on crew members’ interests in areas like Food and Farming Entrepreneurship, Technical Agricultural Training, and Mentorship & Leadership for Youth.
Credit and banking issues are a common barrier for those who have been incarcerated. EMERGE has partnered with Winning Ways, a local nonprofit organization, and a credit union to bring in an in-house financial education curriculum. Tailored to the needs of our crewmembers, this four-week course focuses on banking, budgeting, credit repair, and changing the relationship with money.
Through a partnership with the Fair Haven Community Health Care and United Way of Greater New Haven, EMERGE offers the Circle of Security Parenting curriculum to crewmembers as they begin to strengthen their connection with their children upon returning home. The curriculum is based on decades of research on attachment theory, and has served as a gateway to ongoing mental health support for crewmembers who reflect on their relationships with their caregivers, partners, and children alike.
EMERGE’s academic tutoring uses an “open entry, open exit” approach. The program meets the member at whatever reading and math levels they are at when they enroll, and uses computer-based curricula and tools, supplemented by classroom tutors to assist them as needed. At EMERGE, the reading and math component empowers members to overcome barriers to high-paying skilled work in carpentry and related fields, as well continued education.