Transitional Employment Program
Building the capacity of the individual to earn a living wage, and for a parent to earn a family-supporting wage, so they can begin to pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives.
EMERGE’S Transitional Employment Program (T.E.P.) is our flagship program that makes us unique among Connecticut nonprofits. Upon successful completion of the employment intervention process, crew members are eligible to work for six to nine months, where they earn between $12 to $16.50 per hour in construction, landscaping, and property management.
Under the “enhanced” model, crew members are eligible to work up to 24 hours a week in a work crew environment and apply their existing and newly acquired skill sets with the guidance of a crew chief. The remaining 16 hours are allotted for other activities such as academic tutoring, “Real Talk” group therapy, Circle of Security Parenting (COSP), mentoring and coaching, meetings with EMERGE staff, and making time to meet the conditions of state supervision such as court appearances and probation/parole officer appointments.
EMERGE provides skills training, paid work opportunities, and wrap around support services that better position our crew members to attain stable employment and economic stability.
Our programming emphasizes individual and collective empowerment, self-awareness, and personal development. Our culture and goal is to co-create a safe space for healing and navigating the challenges of reentry. Through positive and supportive relationship building, our multi-phase, wrap-around service approach supports ending the cycle of recidivism by working with our crew members to utilize outlets to process past, current, and future trauma, and de-stigmatize mental health and cultivating support systems.
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 as advanced training opportunities with the state Department of Labor.
Real Talk is EMERGE's weekly peer-to-peer group meeting. Real Talk provides a forum for work crew members to 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 individual crew member is then given an opportunity to offer real-life experience of how they may or may not relate to the topic. Group discussions help build a network of understanding and respect between each cohort of crew members 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, sheet rock 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.
Trauma Informed Mens Group
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.
With the help of the Connecticut Women's Consortium, EMERGE staff has been trained to facilitate a six-week trauma-informed men's group called "Exploring Trauma: A Brief Intervention for Men". The group focuses on exploring the unresolved childhood traumas that play into behavior and attitudes as adults. Traumatic stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) are high among many who have been impacted by the criminal justice system, and this group raises awareness and offers strategies to navigate the feelings and behaviors associated with many of these issues.
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, and credit repair, and changing your relationship with money.