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Hartford Foundation Testimony Regarding S.B. 873, An Act Concerning A Two-Generational Initiative

The Hartford Foundation submitted testimony to the state's Human Services Committee on Friday, March 3, in support of S.B. 873, An Act Concerning A Two-Generational Initiative. The testimony cites our work as an active member of the statewide Two-Generational Policy Workgroup, and an early supporter of the initiative to pilot six statewide two-generational school readiness and workforce development projects. The testimony highlighted the Foundation’s current support for the Hartford Two Generation project to develop two generation hub sites in Hartford and East Hartford. Under the leadership of Move Up! A Partnership of Adult Learning, multiple regional organizations are working in partnership to develop a comprehensive and coordinated system to support parents with young children. Through the Foundation’s previous and current work, it has learned that there is a need to increase shared planning, coordination and funding within and across the systems responsible for learning, health, family support and workforce readiness.

Two-generation models recognize that the well-being and life success of parents and children are interdependent. With 80,000 low-income families with children under age 8, and approximately 80% of those families without a parent holding at least an Associate’s Degree, two-generational models are critical to moving families out of poverty, increasing school success for low-income children, and giving more parents the opportunity to learn the skills they need to qualify for jobs that earn sustainable wages.

The testimony also discussed the Foundation’s work  on building career pathways to help hard-to-employ residents overcome barriers to earning a stable living wage. This population includes single parents who need education and training and additional supports to successfully find a job and support their families. One of the biggest impediments for single parents is access to services for their children to allow them to focus on getting the education and training they need to be successful in the workplace. By supporting parents in achieving a stable, family-sustaining wage, two generation programs advance thriving children, employees and employers – essential ingredients for a thriving Connecticut economy.

Read our full testimony below.

 

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Testimony Regarding S.B. 873, An Act Concerning A Two-Generational Initiative

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
Human Services Committee
March 2, 2017

Good afternoon Senator Moore, Senator Markley, Representative Abercrombie, Representative Case and distinguished members of the Human Services Committee.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for the 29-town Greater Hartford region. We are the largest community foundation in Connecticut, and among the largest 20 community foundations in the country. With a mission to put philanthropy into action to promote equitable opportunity for all residents in our region, the Foundation invests significantly in programs that promote a whole family approach. Our experience confirms that that the two generation model is a holistic, systems-oriented approach that can have an enduring impact on Connecticut's families today — as well as the generations that follow.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving supports S.B. 873, An Act Concerning A Two-Generational Initiative. As an active member of the statewide Two-Generational Policy Workgroup, and an early supporter of the initiative to pilot six statewide two-generational school readiness and workforce development projects, we thank the legislature for its support of a two-generation policy that can strengthen families, and in turn, improve Connecticut's economy, safety and overall quality of life. This proposal would allow Connecticut to continue its role as a national leader in the effort to develop two-generation models to address challenges faced by low income adults with young children.

The Hartford Foundation is currently providing financial support for the Hartford Two Generation project to develop two generation hub sites in Hartford and East Hartford. Under the leadership of Move Up! A Partnership of Adult Learning, multiple regional organizations including the City of Hartford, Catholic Charities, East Hartford Public Schools, East Hartford Head Start, Birth to Three, Family Resource Centers, CREC, Integrated Health Services and First Choice Health are working in partnership to develop a comprehensive and coordinated system to support parents with young children.

Through our previous and current work, we have learned that there is a need to increase shared planning, coordination and funding within and across the systems responsible for learning, health, family support and workforce readiness.

  • Two-generational models co-enroll child and parent together, meeting the educational needs of children and the training needs of parents through holistic approach in which parents and children engage in their education together, resulting in economic advancement for the family.
  • Policies that support two generational strategies encourage co-location of services, incentivized participation, program components designed to address barriers to successful participation, and connections to the employers and jobs that are available here in Connecticut.
  • Two-generation models recognize that the well-being and life success of parents and children are interdependent. With 80,000 low-income families with children under age 8, and approximately 80% of those families without a parent holding at least an Associate's Degree, two-generational models are critical to moving families out of poverty, increasing school success for low-income children, and giving more parents the opportunity to learn the skills they need to qualify for jobs that earn sustainable wages.

The Hartford Foundation also has a strategic focus on building career pathways to help hard-to­employ residents overcome barriers to earning a stable living wage. Single parents are one of the populations with the greatest need for education and training and additional supports to successfully find a job and support their families. One of the biggest impediments for single parents is access to services for their children to allow them to focus on getting the education and training they need to be successful in the workplace. By supporting parents in achieving a stable, family-sustaining wage, two generation programs advance thriving children, employees and employers — essential ingredients for a thriving Connecticut economy.

Thank you for the opportunity to offer testimony. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Elysa Gordon at 860-548-1888 or EGordon@hfpg.org.

 


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