Ribbon cutting for American Job Center at Tunxis

Tunxis Community College
271 Scott Swamp Road, Farmington, CT 06032
(860) 773-1300

TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

An official ribbon cutting was held on Tuesday, Dec. 4, to celebrate the partnership and opening of the American Job Center at Tunxis at Bristol, 430 North Main St., Bristol.

The Tunxis at Bristol location has been a part of the community for the past 18 years, said Jim Lombella, president of both Tunxis and Asnuntuck Community Colleges. Lombella said the partnership with Capital Workforce Partners and the American Job Center was initially rolled out at Asnuntuck six months ago.

“What a wonderful concept, to have all of the unemployed individuals in the region walking in the community college front door and discovering a world of opportunities,” said Lombella. “It’s a wonderful partnership [that] makes complete sense.”

Alex Johnson, president and CEO of Capital Workforce Partners, explained that CWP works in conjunction with the Department of Labor to offer the American Job Center, which provides supports to individuals, as well as the “over one thousand employers in our database.” Capital Workforce Partners is a regional organization that serves the greater Hartford area, including Bristol and New Britain

“We’re fortunate that we’re able to locate this center in partnership with Tunxis Community College, so we’ll be able to provide the assessment supports that we do,” said Johnson.

These supports include career planning, job placement supports, and supports for individuals who need training. Johnson also said they offer “specialized programs to subsidize individuals when they’re employed,” and “special screening for employers who are looking for people.”

“Being in close proximity and partnership with Tunxis enables us to deliver the training programs that they have so we can immediately connect individuals who need training, and ultimately to jobs,” said Johnson. “We do a variety of supports to make sure individuals who are looking for work get access to jobs, and employers who are looking for people have access to strong talent.”

Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said she had many conversations with Johnson about the high value Capital Workforce Partners has, as well as the need for a center such as this one in Bristol. Previously, the closest American Job Center was located in New Britain.

“This corner [of town] is the chamber of commerce; it’s Tunxis at Bristol; now, it’s going to be the American Job Center sponsored by Capital Workforce Partners – that is the synergy of what we need downtown, and what’s been missing for quite some time,” saisd Zoppo-Sassu. “If we can provide those tools to all of those people who are going to need those services, and breakdown the stereotypes of who needs services, then we are all going to win.”

Bettina Armour, vice chair of the CWP board, said she thinks centers such as the American Job Center at Tunxis at Bristol, would “be great to see in all educational institutions.”

“We’re hoping that as we move forward with this model – which is already successful up in Enfield, and we’re positive it’s going to be very successful here – then we can bring this on a statewide basis to all the community colleges,” said Tom Mongellow, chair of the Capital Workforce Partners Board.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.