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Joined in April 2021

About Us

The Working Cities Challenge Initiative, Middletown Works, is based on a collaborative leadership model, consisting of 20 partners led by The Connection, Inc., Middlesex United Way and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT). Middletown Works is different than other initiatives because we bring together residents and business owners to improve the lives of single parents and those living paycheck to paycheck in City of Middletown and surrounding towns.

Our Focus:

Middletown is home to 10,567 families. Of these, 43% are single parent families. 35% of these, or 1,590 families, are living at or below the Federal Poverty Level, which is an annual income of $24,600 for a family of four.

Our 10 year goal is to increase prosperity and reduce poverty for Middletown single parents and A.L.I.C.E. families.

Did You Know?

1) Single parents, particularly women of color, lack access to, and feel excluded from, vocational resources and opportunities that lead to living wage jobs.

2) Local employment services and municipal resources are fragmented and not necessarily geared toward single parent employees. 

3) A high level of turnover in entry-level positions is accepted as the norm by local employers.

We want to change this narrative. The City of Middletown was chosen as our target because despite Middletown's culture of collaboration and diversity, a high level of disparity and poverty exists in our City.

Our work is informed by research done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and is guided by the following values:

1. Collaborative Leadership - sharing responsibility for results among a core team of partners and community residents.

2. Collective Impact - working together across multiple sectors to solve complex problems.

3. Community Engagement - intentionally engaging and including community residents in decision-making and cultivating resident leadership.

4. Learning Orientation - reflecting on what is working and what is not, using data to inform our work, pivoting where necessary and sharing learning with partners and community residents.

5.Racial Equity - being aware of and addressing disparities in local organizations, talking about if and how systems are being transformed as a result of this knowledge and working towards creating a more equitable community.

6. Systems Change - understanding a system’s many stakeholders, how they interact, and what influences them. Systems thinking means understanding the web of interrelations that create complex problems and rethinking assumptions about how change happens.

The Working Cities Challenge Initiative, Middletown Works, is based on a collaborative leadership model, consisting of 20 partners led by The Connection, Inc., Middlesex United Way and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT…

Issue Areas Include

  • Community Development
  • Economic Development
  • Financial Literacy & Personal Finance
  • Job & Workplace
  • Poverty

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