BristolWORKS! director tours space for soon to be open training program, speaks about opportunities it will provide

Published on Wednesday, 23 November 2022 15:00
Written by BRIAN M. JOHNSON

@brianjohnsonBP

BRISTOL – BristolWORKS! Director Kim Ward Holley toured the space for the soon to open training program Tuesday along with board members and spoke further about the opportunities it will provide.

Ward Holley has been hired as the director of the BristolWORKS! program, which will begin early next year in the building at 430 N. Main St. She is the former executive director of the Ben Bronz Academy, a special education school in West Hartford and was superintendent of The Unified School District in Wethersfield.

“BristolWORKS! will be a great opportunity for Bristol residents,” she said. “I look forward to providing this program for the community.”

Cindy Bombard, chair of the Board of Directors for BristolWORKS!, said Ward Holley is a “treasure” and will be a great match for the program.

“She is very involved in the city and her father was a former mayor,” Bombard said.

Ward Holley is the daughter of the late former mayor Art Ward.

BristolWORKS! will provide individuals with skills, certifications and job-placement services. It is focused on the manufacturing, early childhood education, information technology and healthcare sectors.

Bombard said that there will be slots for about 60 program participants.

“The Early Childhood Education program will take about 9 to 10 months to complete, while the manufacturing, IT and healthcare programs are 6 to 8 weeks,” she said.

The BristolWORKS! building is the former location of Chalkboard and the Super Natural administrative office. It includes space for multiple classrooms and offices.

“ESPN donated the office furniture,” Bombard said. “The classroom furniture should be coming in the next couple months.”

Bombard said the location was chosen due to its proximity to Tunxis@Bristol, in the same plaza. Transportation was also a factor, as the plaza is along a major bus route.

“It was a good match to fit the needs of many people looking to participate in these programs,” Bombard said.

Ward Holley added that BristolWORKS! will also have an “employment specialist” that will work with clients to help get them set up for jobs.

“They will make sure that they have the soft skills, such as interview skills, and appropriate on the job conduct,” she said.

The BristolWORKS! program is funded by $2.4 million from the city’s allotment of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding. Bombard said the program received a lot of support from the city, especially Jaime Rechenber and Larry Covino, during the application process.

Whenever possible, Bombard added, local businesses were contracted for services for the program. The IT services and technical support for the program will be provided by local business Computer Development Systems, Inc.

Other Board of Directors members include Katie D'Agostino as vice chair, Jaime Rechenber as secretary, Larry Covino as treasurer. Other members include Cecilia Garay, Austin Hutchinson, Sandy Mackie, Justin Malley, Suzanne Passini, John P. Ryan, Donna Osuch, Susan Sadecki, and Kelli-Marie Vallieres, PhD

A ribbon cutting will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information call 860-634-5335 or visit bristolworksct.org.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or bjohnson@bristolpress.com.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Wednesday, 23 November 2022 15:00. Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2022 15:02.