Walmart, Citi, AARP foundations’ $1.5M take’s Bridgeport senior job plan national

The WorkPlace Inc., the Bridgeport-based employment board, is getting $1.5 million in backing from the foundations of Walmart, Citi and AARP to take its Platform 2 Employment program national.

Platform 2 Employment provides paid internships for the long-term unemployed, those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, with a focus on older workers. The program was launched more than a year ago, raising money from the private sector to cover the costs of the internships. Participants were provided job training for several weeks before being placed in jobs where there was an opportunity to be hired permanently.

The WorkPlace is expanding the program to 10 cities across the country with the help of these foundations and others. It will also provide services to veterans.

Dallas, San Diego, Chicago and Cincinnati will be the first to replicate the program, with Boston, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, Denver and San Francisco to follow.

Rob Varnon