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Whistle Post

Whistle Post

By Tom Long
Ensuring that nonprofits and their partners are well positioned to meet the needs of communities is a complex challenge. This is the Whistle Post, a podcast covering the world of workforce and community development with the people who are making it happen. Join us as we explore industry crossroads, milestones and the critical work of leaders and those on the front-lines of issues impacting our communities. If you seek to maximize the impact of a non-profit or community organization, or just want to hear some great advice, this podcast is for you.
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The American Job Center Network

Whistle Post

Cannabis Conversation With Grown In
Connecticut was the 19th state to legalize adult recreational cannabis in 2021.  As roots of this new industry take hold, a number of questions arise concerning the future workforce needed to support employers.  In this episode, Eric Davis, Chief Learning Officer of Grown In shares his thoughts regarding skills training and the cannabis industry. More information about Grown In can be found here. Information on Connecticut's Social Equity Council which was developed to make sure the adult-use cannabis program is grown equitably, and that funds generated from adult-use cannabis are brought back to the communities hit hardest by the war on drugs can be found here.
February 17, 2022
Point of Progress: Hampton Roads Workforce Council
The Hampton Roads Workforce Council oversees the workforce system in southeast Virginia. They provide strategic workforce development solutions designed to assist businesses in accessing qualified workers and jobseekers in search of suitable job openings and training opportunities to bolster their earning potential.  Over the past 2 years the Hampton Roads Workforce Council has expanded services for veterans, entered the offshore wind industry and completed a merger to enhance operations. In this conversation, Shawn Avery, President & CEO of the Hampton Roads Workforce Council provides perspective on recent achievements and talks about what is ahead for his organization. @HamptonRoadsWorkforceCouncil
December 08, 2021
Norwalk Acts: Working Together, Everything is Achievable
Norwalk Acts is transforming their community by building partnership infrastructure and capacity, convening qualified and committed cross-sector community teams, and collecting data so that the membership can deliver on its mission.  It is a catalyst for systems change, aligning collective work to ensure success for all in the community. This episode catches up with Jesse Buccolo and Denique Weidema-Lewis of Norwalk Acts to hear about what the organization has been up to and plans for the coming year. For more information about this organization visit
October 15, 2021
Housing During The Recovery
As the nation recovers from the pandemic, the housing market has been a great opportunity for some, while others struggle to keep a roof over their heads. In this episode, we hear from David Lavery, Staff Attorney with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center.  David joined the Center in 2016 and litigates fair lending, fair housing, and foreclosure cases. His focus is on identifying and investigating discriminatory lending and housing patterns using quantitative and qualitative data.  David helps sort through changes taking place in the housing market and highlights programs that are available to help families stay in their homes while they work with their lenders.  For more information about the Connecticut Fair Housing Center visit or to speak with a staff member call (860) 247-4400.
June 10, 2021
Supporting Small Businesses
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are a little-known asset available to entrepreneurs, start-ups, and established small businesses. They’re designed specifically to help small businesses with all kinds of business-related activities, including guiding with marketing and financing. This resource can be a huge help to people who are just starting, or too small business owners looking to expand. Valeria Bisceglia of Connecticut's SBDC is an advocate for efficiency, streamlining, and building positive cultures that enrich the business environment. With over 16 years of experience, she is a strategist and trusted advisor and go-to resource in the community, helping businesses build their capacity for sustainable growth by encouraging the creation and support of viable organizational practices. In this episode, Valeria provides an overview of the diverse services made available to entrepreneurs and small businesses.  For more information about the SBDC and how to reach a business advisor, visit
March 09, 2021
Confronting Re-Entry Challenges
Each year hundreds of thousands of individuals are released from prison across the country and according to the Department of Justice, 45% of former prisoners were arrested within one year of release and 68% within three years.  Frequently, men and women released from correctional facilities are inadequately prepared for the challenges before them.  Re-Entry is complex, as a criminal conviction limits employment prospects, public housing assistance, and social services.  They need to attach to supports and resources which will help assure their success in rejoining society.  This conversation covers topics that are essential to understanding the needs of people re-entering society. Listen to Earl Bloodworth, Director of the Mayor's Initiative for Re-Entry Affairs for the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Terri Williams, Vice President, Re-Entry Programs at The WorkPlace.  Their organizations are fostering support for returning citizens by providing access to valuable resources, and networks of holistic support. For more information visit: and 
January 13, 2021
Workforce Development Response to COVID-19 with CSS Workforce New York
CSS Workforce NY is a not-for-profit organization in upstate NY that is dedicated to assisting individuals with advancing their careers while providing businesses with the talent they need to succeed. All of their services are available to businesses and job seekers of all ages at no cost. Without much warning, COVID-19 dramatically altered the way CSS Workforce NY approached their work and supported their customers.  In many ways, the changes maybe for the better. In this episode, we sit down with Dan Porter, Executive Director, of CSS Workforce NY to hear about the transition and what lies ahead.  @CSSWorkforceNY
November 24, 2020
Long-term Unemployment, A Reality For Many
Most everyone knows someone who became unemployed at some point during their career. However, not everyone easily finds their way back to a work. When you are out of work, you can face many different types of barriers to landing a new job.  Some need to develop new skills, while others have to overcome bias regarding their time out of work. Job loss created by COVID-19 has steadily increased the number of people experiencing long-term unemployment. In this episode, we meet three people who share their experience with unemployment and job search. We also uncover Platform to Employment, a program that is helping put the long-term unemployed back to work.
September 30, 2020
MaturityWorks: Keeping Talent In The Workforce
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2024 — just few years from now — 13 million people age 65 and older will still be working. These older workers will constitute the fastest-growing segment of the workforce. Older workers are a valuable part of any organization and as many companies struggle to find experienced, qualified workers, older individuals are available and willing to fill those gaps. In this episode we hear from Gloria Hailey of MaturityWorks, a program that helps people, increase their job skills through paid community service in local non-profit organizations.  During the MaturityWorks experience, participants, build self-confidence, earn a modest income. and frequently find permanent employment. For more information on MaturityWorks visit,
July 31, 2020
Dress for Success Mid-Fairfield County
Today we are speaking with Sarah Lewis and exploring why Dress for Success is about so much more than a suit. Sarah is the Director of Dress for Success Mid-Fairfield County which helps disadvantaged women achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help them thrive in work and in life. To learn more about Dress for Success Mid-Fairfield County visit or on Facebook @DressForSuccessMidFairfieldCounty   
June 01, 2020
The American Job Center Network
American Job Centers (AJC) are designed to provide a full range of assistance to job seekers and employers under one roof. Established under the Workforce Investment Act and reauthorized in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act of 2014, the centers offer access to job training, career counseling, job listings, and can help employers with recruiting skilled talent and maintaining their workforce. Customers can visit one of over 2,000 centers across the country in person or connect online. Nestor Leon, VP of Operations for the WorkPlace provides insights into these services and innovations that can be found in an AJC.
April 09, 2020
Jim Oliviera MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board
Jim Oliviera heads up the workforce system in New Bedford, MA. In this conversation he discusses the partnership that have helped his system flourish, changing demographics of the region and emerging industries. 
March 18, 2020
Joe Carbone - Leading Non-Profit Growth
Join Tom Long as he sits down with Joe Carbone, President and CEO of The WorkPlace to explore his vision on growing a local non-profit into a nationally recognized leader in creating innovative workforce programs. They discuss the milestones that helped define the organization and look ahead to the challenges facing workers and employers in today’s economy.
March 01, 2020
February 25, 2020
February 25, 2020