What is Opportunities Hartford?
Opportunities Hartford is a comprehensive city-wide effort to identify, enhance and expand Hartford's most promising education, jobs and income opportunities for City residents.
Hartford provides many opportunities for the people who live, learn, work, play, and worship in Connecticut's Capitol City. However, many of these opportunities with the greatest chance for yielding a measurable return on investment are limited in scope and scale and not coordinated. On their own, many promising opportunities are not backed by sufficient resources or capacity to make a community-wide impact.
The long-term goal is to bring these opportunities to a scale large enough to significantly, measurably and sustainably improve the quality of life in Hartford and increase the ability of low-income Hartford families to improve their economic status.
While successful models from many other cities were examined in the planning process, Opportunities Hartford is most closely based on the Providence, Rhode Island "Pathways to Opportunity" initiative. While Providence took on a broader range of community issues, Hartford chose to narrow the issues down to those where the most promising opportunities currently exist, where expansion and replication of those opportunities was most realistic, and where change would have the most impact. The three areas addressed by Opportunities Hartford include:
Opportunity: A current initiative, program, service, or practice in Hartford which has demonstrated success in helping move individuals or families from poverty to self-sufficiency, in the areas of education, jobs, and/or income.
Work Group: An Opportunities Work Group was created by Mayor Segarra in December 2010 to manage the development of Opportunities Hartford, and to build on the work started in 2009 by the previous administration's Poverty Task Force.
Steering Committee: City leaders from the Non-profit, Philanthropy, Business, and Education sectors selected to help plan a Community Summit, identify opportunities, and contribute their expertise to the Work Group in creating an Action Plan.
Sub-Committees: Steering Committee members self-select into three groups including Education, Jobs, and Income, to formulate recommendations, prior to the Community Summit, which will be incorporated into White Papers in the short-term, and the Action Plan in the longer-term. These groups will meet by phone once a month outside of the larger Steering Committee meetings, and will be staffed and supported by Work Group members.
Community Summit: Public event (tentatively scheduled for December) to engage those who live, work, play and/or worship in Hartford to help identify opportunities for which expansion or replication would benefit the community as a whole in the areas of education, jobs, and/or income, then contribute to an Action Plan for implementation.
Action Plan: A detailed document to include existing opportunities, how and/or where they could be expanded or replicated, how to do so, on what timeline, with what funding, and who is responsible for each goal.
Resource Guide: Document listing current Hartford opportunities, including program descriptions and contact information.