We are committed to helping those formerly incarcerated make a successful return to their families as responsible members, and to their communities as law-abiding, contributing citizens.

EMERGE Connecticut's strategic approach begins with its organizational structure as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation that operates as a social enterprise. As a social enterprise, there are three characteristics that distinguish EMERGE from other types of businesses, nonprofits or government agencies:

  • EMERGE operates with a "double bottom line" that places equal emphasis on services and revenue to sustain and expand services to clients.
  • EMERGE employs program participants on work crews where they earn an income and learn marketable skills.
  • EMERGE's commercial activity is both a distinctive feature and strong revenue driver that accounts for high levels of earned income in our operating budget (58%) that makes us unique among nonprofits.

At the program level, EMERGE's strategic approach implements a research-driven model that uses the best evidence to design a workforce program that addresses the most prevalent employment barriers for hard-to-employ individuals - particularly the formerly incarcerated. The EMERGE model uses transitional (time limited) employment to engage participants in a structured model with wrap-around services that include:

  • Extended transitional employment for up to 6 months of immediate paid work once they are home
  • Mandatory literacy and numeracy  classes to address very low basic educational skill levels
  • Public benefits screening (food stamps, health insurance, etc.) to stabilize the individual with food and shelter when they are released
  • Daily job readiness training in real workplace situations, with daily written evaluations to assess workplace skills like teamwork, punctuality, following direction, taking initiative.
  • Weekly anger management sessions facilitated by two program participants to allow participants to discuss issues in an open and honest environment. 
  • A trauma-informed approach to personal wellness that includes referrals to mental health services.
  • Weekly fatherhood and parenting classes that follow evidence-based curriculums and promote healthy relationships.​