The Partnership for Connecticut

Focus and Decision-Making

What are the Partnership’s primary objectives?

The Partnership’s primary objectives are to: (1) support educational programming to help disengaged and disconnected high school-aged youth graduate high school and access career opportunities through job training and microfinance to start their own businesses; (2) measure the effectiveness of these efforts, taking into consideration the social and economic rewards and benefits of the programs versus the costs of not providing these programs; and (3) bring together diverse members of the Connecticut community in a cooperative effort to align resources and talents in support of disengaged and disconnected youth and young adults in order to enhance the cohesiveness of our common community.  

How will the Partnership decide which projects to select?

We will encourage, vet, and support specific projects and programs from diverse applicants and organizations.  Working in collaboration with staff, the Board will have responsibility for making funding decisions consistent with the mission and goals.  Broadly speaking, projects will be selected for their potential to advance positive youth outcomes, spark community-centered economic revitalization, and provide greater opportunity in under-resourced communities throughout Connecticut.  The Board will work with the President & CEO to establish additional transparent criteria for soliciting and evaluating proposals and project performance.

Will the Partnership support only pre-existing projects and programs?

No.  We will consider all projects and programs aligned to the Partnership’s mission and criteria, including new ones created to serve our target population and achieve our goals.

Who will benefit from the Partnership?

The Partnership will benefit Connecticut’s under-resourced communities, with a specific focus on communities where there is a high poverty rate and where youth and young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 are showing signs of disengagement or disconnection from high school, the workforce, or the community.

Why is the Partnership focusing on disengaged and disconnected youth (ages 14-24)?

All of the stakeholders involved in this collaboration are strong believers in the importance of public education.  We believe that all of Connecticut’s young people deserve equal opportunity to basic care, a strong education, and employment opportunities; equal access for young people is both fair and necessary for our collective well-being. If young people are disengaged or disconnected, then we limit the kinds of opportunities that lead to success as adults.

More than one out of every five high school students in Connecticut are either disengaged or disconnected from school.  Our collective failure to meet the needs of young people who are showing signs of disengagement or disconnection amounts to almost $1 billion in lost public revenue and additional expenses. Engaging our youth would spark a virtuous cycle for both these young people and the state as a whole: more educational opportunities, higher employment, fewer individuals struggling with incarceration or addiction, healthier and more prosperous communities, and more rapid and sustainable economic growth. In a period when public and private sector leaders in Connecticut are focused on solving the economic and societal challenges the state faces, it is impossible to ignore the potential represented by tens of thousands of young people in need of support and opportunity.