For the hundreds of individuals and families who will be relocating to Connecticut following the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, many will be challenged to find new jobs, bridge the gap to transfer existing skills to continue their careers, and acquire English as a second language or improve their proficiency in English.
NVCC hosted a “Campus Conversation” November 8 that brought together displaced individuals; community leaders; educational professionals; organizations like the Hispanic Federation and Ana Grace project, and NVCC faculty and staff to understand what resources are available at the College and in the Greater Waterbury community to address these challenges. The dialogue also provided a forum to receive input on existing gaps or needs.
“We’re here to answer in whatever way we can. We are here to do our part for our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. in her opening remarks.
Following the President’s remarks, Dr. Zulma Toro, President, of Central Connecticut State University and Adela Jorge from the Bilingual/ESOL Education Department at Waterbury Public Schools spoke about various channels of educational, emotional, and occupational support their institutions and their partnerships with other institutions are providing. Karlene Ball, NVCC ESL Program Coordinator and Laurie Hornbecker, NVCC Director of Community and Economic Development, discussed opportunities to advance skills through English Language Learning at the College through a variety of flexible ESL courses as well as job training programs.
For more information, individuals may contact Karlene Ball (Kball@nv.edu) regarding inquiries on credit program resources, Laurie Hornbecker (LHornbecker@nv.edu) regarding non-credit resources, and Beth Monchun (BMonchun@nv.edu) with general planning questions. A list of resources from the campus conversation is available here. In addition, a United Way webpage (http://uwc.211ct.org/maria/) listing available community resources in Connecticut is also being shared with those affected by the Hurricane.