News release from Mayor Joe Ganim:
Mayor Ganim and Housatonic Community College (HCC) President Dr. Paul Broadie came together on Monday, May 15, 2017 to sign a contract that would expand higher education opportunities to individuals with prior convictions. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) states that HCC will award scholarships to individuals from the Mayor’s Initiative for Reentry Affairs (MIRA) in the Advanced Manufacturing Certificate Program (AMCD). The program will offer students the opportunity to prepare themselves for a career in the high-tech manufacturing field. The AMCD being offered is the first of its kind in Connecticut and is scheduled to start in the Fall of 2017.
“This partnership with Housatonic Community College is a great step for our community,” said Mayor Ganim. “Bridgeport is moving towards serving the needs of reentry individuals while also serving the needs of today’s work force.”
The duration of this program will be over ten months and the students will have the ability to earn 34 credits. The hope for this collaboration is to decrease recidivism while increasing college enrollment in Bridgeport. The partnership will allow students greater access to more instructional support and services, such as academic advising, while developing more seamless pathways for degree completion. The MOU provides a framework for a long-term partnership between Bridgeport and HCC in the service region.
MIRA Program Director Louis Reed said, “This collaboration provides a portal to career building through the means of an education that second chance individuals need for first chance opportunities in the workforce. HCC has set a community bar that I believe the entire public, business, and private sector will follow, which is curating the resources that former offenders need to redeposit back into the communities that they once bankrupted.”
HCC Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Richard DuPont said, “Every one of us has asked for a second chance at some point in our life. Housatonic Community College is committed to helping those who want to help themselves. The certificates and degrees offered at the college do change lives. The opportunity to partner with the City of Bridgeport in the Second Chance Program is one that we believe reinforces our commitment to community, pathways to continuing education, gainful employment and careers in arts, business, engineering, manufacturing, medical, social services and more.”