In January 2012, the New Haven Board of Aldermen convened a working group to address unemployment and underemployment in the city, a critical national issue that affects New Haven more than any other town in the county. The working group met over the course of nine months to understand the causes and possible solutions to chronic joblessness in New Haven; in doing so they met with leaders from workforce development programs in Seattle, Newark, and Bridgeport, and they asked what works and what does not works in their cities. The answers to their questions were consistent: to end joblessness, a city needs ongoing support and case management for un- and underemployed individuals, and local employers need to commit to considering qualified local candidates. New Haven Works was conceived as an organization that could coordinate and deliver these two principles.
New Haven Works seeks to build a middle class in an urban center and improve economic stability in all communities by providing employers with a trained and qualified workforce and connecting New Haven residents to good jobs