Gateway to Employment celebrates second cohort

August 14, 2020

The Gateway to Employment Program, sponsored by Yale New Haven Hiring Initiative, in collaboration with Unite Here L34, Yale Staffing and New Haven Works, celebrated the graduation of the second cohort.

This program helped me sharpen some of my soft skills such as conflict resolution and presentation skills. Also, I honed my MS Office skills. Hope Vaughn, recent graduate

Six participants started the program in January 2020 and persevered through many challenges during the past few months. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program transitioned from in-person classes to fully online in April. The members quickly adapted to virtual learning and worked hard to achieve their goals.

“I have never had a class with such great attendance. This is a group that, I have no doubt, will persevere”, said Margaret DeMarino, a teacher at Gateway Community College.

The Gateway to Employment offers a variety of courses needed to succeed in a professional environment. “This program helped me sharpen some of my soft skills such as conflict resolution and presentation skills. Also, I honed my MS Office skills”, said recent graduate Hope Vaughn. “The generous support that we received makes it possible for us to flourish in our next employment ventures”, she added.

The graduates will be looking for jobs in administrative, finance, and clinical job families. “I am very excited and ready to utilize my new skills and become an Administrative Assistant at Yale University. I am very grateful for this opportunity”, said Aeysha Harris, a recent graduate.

With classes four times a week from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., it was challenging to make time for family and personal obligations. The program required discipline, hard work, and dedication. “We went through a lot, but we overcame a lot. I want to thank everybody at Yale University, New Haven Works, Gateway, and especially my kids because they gave their mom up to do this”, said Esther Cadet.

In addition to acquiring new skills, the participants developed lasting relationships. “Besides the certificate, I am so grateful for an opportunity to develop new friendships with my classmates and professional relationships with members of the Yale community”, said Hussam Stanekzai.

Some of the graduates managed to obtain full-time employment outside of Yale during the program. However, permanent employment at Yale remains the goal in the long-run.

Hope Vaughn and Aeysha Harris, COVID Testing Site Coordinator Training

Aeysha Harris and Hope Vaughn were recently offered a temporary job at Yale. They will be supporting the University’s efforts to safely welcome students this fall. They will serve as coordinators on the COVID-19 testing sites and will utilize their customer service and administrative skills to provide a positive experience for students.

The Gateway to Employment program is one of the pathways established to support New Haven residents. The New Haven Hiring Initiative’s goal is to make jobs at Yale more accessible by offering New Haven residents training and workshops to enhance their candidacy.