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April 23, 2019

Mobile Career Coach takes workforce development on the road

Magic bus: WorkPlace President and CEO Carbone with the new American Job Center Career Career Coach in Bridgeport Tuesday morning.

The WorkPlace Inc. has new wheels. And a sweet ride it is.

Unveiled Tuesday morning at a media event in Bridgeport, the shiny new 38-foot American Job Center Career Coach boasts state-of-the-art training technology equipment. It affords employment, career preparation and computer-training services to the WorkPlace’s client population — residents of 20 southwestern Connecticut municipalities who are seeking employment opportunities, education and career-enhancement services.

These are the same services offered by the WorkPlace and its partners at the American Job Centers in Bridgeport, Ansonia, Derby and Stamford.

The new $300,000 vehicle replaces one that has been on the road since 2004. It brims with technology — visitors who board the vehicle are greeted by a staff member and seated at one of 10 computer workstations. There they can register for occupational training or take a computer class right on the Career Coach.

The vehicle also features an interview room, an ADA-compliant lift and workstation, and lavatory.

The vehicle was paid for using a state of Connecticut Non-Profit Grant Program as well as grants from both the state and federal labor departments.

WorkPlace President and CEO Joe Carbone explained that, during its 15-year useful lifespan, the original American Job Center Career Coach had served 18,000 WorkPlace clients and logged 107,000 miles in a service area extending from Greenwich to Stratford and the Naugatuck River Valley.

The new coach, Carbone said, “is the most high-tech and best-designed American Job Center vehicle on wheels in the nation.”

State Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby said, “The ability to bring job and career services out to where they need to be is an absolute home run.”

Also present at the Tuesday morning unveiling were Jeff Hubbard, market president of sponsor KeyBank, and Anthony Marone, president and CEO of sponsor Avangrid, parent company of the United Illuminating Co. and the Southern Connecticut Gas Co.

The WorkPlace conducts comprehensive planning and coordinates regional workforce development policy and programs to prepare people for careers while enhancing the workforce for employers.

Contact Michael Bingham at

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