AARP Connecticut | January 26, 2017 | By Michael Humes

Platform to Employment (P2E), a nationally recognized program that is putting the long-term unemployed back to work has additional openings in classes beginning this spring. Funded by the state of Connecticut, there is no cost to participate in the program that has an 80 percent success rate and has helped people from 148 of Connecticut’s 169 towns.

The long-term unemployed come from all walks of life and face the same hiring challenges: skills that have atrophied or are no longer relevant and declining marketability in a highly competitive job market. Conventional workforce development programs do not adequately address their unique needs. This program provides a support system of career development tools, career coaching and successful job search strategies combined with personal and family support services and financial counseling. The program is accepting applications from Connecticut residents who are unemployed and have exhausted unemployment benefits.

P2E begins with a five-week preparatory program that provides career readiness workshops, employee assistance programs and career coaching. It is a proven curriculum of self-assessment, change management, effective communication and successful job search strategies. Multimedia tools reinforce instructor led programs and cohort learning.

Upon completion, participants are assisted in finding work with local a business on a trial basis. Wages during the trial period are subsidized by P2E. This work experience becomes an extended interview where there is no risk to the employer and the long-term unemployed are given an opportunity to demonstrate they can do the job.

The results of P2E are incomparable. Nearly 80 percent of Connecticut’s participants that completed the preparatory program took the next step into a work experience at a local company. Of this population, nearly 90 percent moved to employer payrolls. P2E is operating statewide in Connecticut and has placed over 1,000 people in jobs since the program began. Platform to Employment helps people demonstrate their remarkable potential. Our graduates are skilled, motivated, experienced and ready to work.

If you live in Connecticut and have exhausted unemployment benefits, Platform to Employment can help you return to work at no cost to you. To begin, visit and complete the application. If you have questions

Platform to Employment is an equal opportunity program and auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. The WorkPlace is Southwestern Connecticut’s Regional Workforce Development Board.