Career Resources, Inc. Board of Directors Meeting Minutes via Zoom March 11, 2022 Board Members Present Jill Brennan Kam Cheung Crystal Engram Victor Fuda Mickey Stayman Mark Soycher Craig Donovan Betsy Dupont Rich Dupont Mayor Toni Harp Christopher Kunhardt Rev. D. Stanley Lord Ilsa Moreno Mark Thorsheim Staff Present Dr. William Clark Mary Murano Daniele Turner Markus Cherry Rob Hebert Angela Pellegrino-Grant Krystyna Ramano Scott Wilderman, CEO Wanda Lary Crystal Engram called the meeting to order at 8:31 am. Rich Dupont motioned for minutes approval and seconded by Chris Kunhardt. Mission Moment – Scott Wilderman Markus Cherry provided an overview of the Waveny Healthcare Project. Supporting Outreach and support for recruitment as well as taking them through a STRIVE cycle for 5 women with all expenses paid. We are monitoring how much the STRIVE training supports retention. Chris asked about the difficulty in recruiting. Markus said there was a lot of interest in training and healthcare. Reliable transportation was the major barrier due to the location in New Canaan off the main transport routes. Victor asked about growth potential now that they are hired as CNS. Yes, they have several paths within the Waveny system. Crystal expressed interest in CDL drivers, but no they are not CDL certified. Also a tuition reimbursement program available. Strategic Issues – Scott Wilderman Many grants in play right now for a total for $30M. AJC been run by CRI for over 14 years, it’s been our bread & butter and very successful. We have to rebid every few years. We think we are the only bidder. Challenge is around the $2.3M cap which is below our run rate by $400-500K. We put in our bid at $2.5M. Rich asked the rationale for why they changed the funding. Answer: less carryover dollars and WIOA reductions expected. The proposal is a guideline and Workplace is reimagining their vision for AJC which will require more funding. Career Connect Been the “talk of the town” – $62M available from Federal ARPA funds. OWS is the administrator for these dollars and is seeking innovation for high-skill, high-paying jobs across various sectors & regions. CRI submitted regional partnership with Waveny for a 3 year project along with Open Door Shelter in Norwalk. They will help us recruit and case manage clients. Norwalk is expected to be a source of recruitment. Goal is to train 100 CNA’s annually. Everyone is hired upfront once selected. $2.9M over 3 years. CRI gets $1.2M, making it a large project for us. There are $257M in proposals submitted by all agencies against the $62M. Initial responses due in mid-March. We Rise Really excited about this one. Focus on returning citizens with a sustainable and non-duplicative program. State-wide proposal through a partner network framework. Starting with Welcome Centers. Working with CPA Waterbury & Hartford and the Hartford Reentry welcome center, Project Moore in New Haven. OIC of New London, established for over 30 years. We have created a state-wide system where CRI will manage the people throughout the network, from soft skills to training referrals. NAACP 1 million jobs campaign: a 4 year program, goal to have 475 trained over 4 years. Approximately $15M across 4 years, CRI will receive funding of about $3M, administrative costs are about $1.5M, thus, allowing us to cover our costs. Big research opportunity here to issue a report on re-entry. Rob: Returning citizens don’t always have control on where they go, but CRI’s rigor will ensure consistency in better outcomes across all regions. State of Re-entry Report CRI should be the “go-to” expert and embarked on creating the State of Re-entry Report last year. It’s been challenging, but we’ve learned a lot. Result is a 137 page report. A big thank you was mentioned to John Santa, Matthew Kosbob foundation, Tow foundation, and others in SVP. David Garvey instrumental in pulling the data together. Dr. Sara Diamond in re-entry research formatted data in an easy to present format. Can be used by practitioners and lawmakers alike. David Garvey: June 1, 2021 point in time providing the landscape of individuals re-entering community. This breaks into individual councils. African Americans are over represented in the incarceration system. Of those coming back into the system, over 55% don’t have a HS diploma. 89% have a substance issue. Close to 80% had less than 5 years of work experience. They need support in order to redirect their life. The plan is to do this report annually. There is a lot of excitement and buzz and a press conference event is planned for March 22 at 10 am in Legislative office building room 1A. Will release the report with the press conference. Scott invited board members to attend. There is a fear from pending legislation that we could be going backwards in CT. On the same day and in the same room, at 10:30 we will host a dialogue “Beyond Second Chances” invited several panelists to participate. Will stream on Facebook Live too. Board Nomination Committee Scott would like to establish a board nominating committee to ensure we’re covered on key skill sets. Nominate in June 30 meeting for upcoming fiscal year tenure. Scott asked for volunteers. Crystal volunteered. Inflation effects Hitting everyone everywhere. We have been reviewing our staff wages. 144 employees. Avg salary is $44,629. 60 are earning under $40K (avg: $29,179) – majority are per diem hires and through halfway houses. 106 are earning less than $50K (avg: $36,540). We would like to explore ways to support our staff in these inflationary times. Exploring suggestions such as providing monthly gift cards. Opened to discussion. Crystal – how did we determine it should be short term? Angela – we are reviewing salaries as a matter of our ongoing process, ensuring our contracts can support. Scott – we increased our bid for Isiah House and are doing so also as we submit other bids. Beth reported that in her day role they are focusing on gaps in competitiveness and to retain top talent, looking at providing merit increases across all roles and accelerate those earlier from Aug to April. Considering “Stay bonuses” and conducting “Stay interviews” as well as providing professional development opportunities. Scott – Disproportionate hit is being taken by those who do not have a telecommute option due to gas prices and overall inflation pressures. Discussing providing potential monthly stipend or debit card for fuel for employees to help offset. Chris K. suggested to consider separate approach for per diem vs. salaried employees. Asked about wording in our contracts are there inflation clauses, and salary caps, etc. Angela replied that the DOC has approved 4% COLA across all contracts effective April 2. Toni asked if we reimburse mileage and if there is a targeted approach for the appropriate population. Scott – yes we do, but not to & from work. We increased mileage rate. Toni challenged that maybe we should consider reimbursements to cover to & from work. Mark Soycher – debit cards and mileage reimbursement above IRS as well as to & from work are all reportable and taxable income. After the robust conversation, we acknowledged that this will be an ongoing dialogue. Scott looking for volunteers to be a part of the dialogue – reach out to Wanda. Rich Dupont, Chris K, Toni indicated interest in helping on this topic. Chris – we really need to be careful on budget implications. Finance report – Mickey Financial statements – no major changes. Receivables are down slightly. Workplace was current with their payment. Cash up due to line of credit renewal. Entry point gap being carefully monitored. Cash is still tight especially at the end of the quarter. Kam asked about next payment for Halfway houses – April 5-11 and will include COLA increase. Audit report – two per year. One required by the state to ensure State compliance by our auditors. We also have a standard auditor report. Continued clean report and approved our internal controls processes. Next year’s audit – changed auditors and they guaranteed no rise in fees for first two years. This is the first year they are eligible for an increase and they requested a 5% increase. Finance committee reviewed and determined this was a reasonable increase given CRI’s growth, expansion in programs as well as inflationary pressures. Finance committee recommends Clifton, Lawson Allen as auditors. Board approved unanimously. Management discussion included in our packets – Scott Operations report – Angela We reviewed our organizational structure. Wanda Lary’s promotion was announced and congratulations by the Board. By July 1, we’d like to move the legacy AJC from Rob’s area and will bring Business Services under Angela. Then Rob can strictly focus on Re-entry. Re-entry – Rob Hebert Received memo of understanding for Bridgeport Welcome Center – signatures expected Mon/Tues. DOC agreed to transport released directly to our doorstep. Plans well underway. Fatherhood program funding by Department of Social Services with additional support by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Servics (DMHAS) They want us to screen and track our dads for needs on mental health/addiction services. It’s a pilot program now, but we are partnering with RIASAP and seeking additional funding support, as well. Entry Point Staffing – we are reviewing and changing budgeting to allow viability. About 12 people placed per day. 1 person manages 15 contracts and 12 associates, but it’s a lot for one person to manage. Residential programs doing well. DOC did an inspection of the Baney Center. They were there 2 hours and found nothing. Kim Harris received fist bump from DOC official and Rob said Kim’s the best in the business. Grants – Mary Scott has covered the large grants already. Last month about $23M in grants written and thanked the team. Workforce Alliance – AJC for New Haven. That bid went in for end of Jan $2.7M. New venture for us. Expecting two discussions: Credible messenger and Transitional Housing. $25K received for Hartford STRIVE from The Hartford and $5K received from Farmington Bank Community Foundation also to support SRIVE in Hartford. Marketing – Scott reported on behalf of Chris L. Bobbi has left CRI to go to the New Haven WIB, a great opportunity for her and she will be missed. New hire coming in April – revamping effort. Chris is working with 6 interns from the University of New Haven with a social media focus. HR – Krystna 144 employees, 2 new hires and 1 rehire. We are creating a new hire orientation program Copier companies – consolidated service with Xerox across all locations to gain efficiencies. Special visit from Lucy Baney in Feb to the Baney Center. We wanted the Center to represent Lucy’s heart and very appropriate that she visited on Valentine’s Day (see screenshot from online meeting below) Chris K expressed appreciation on how caring the entire staff is. On the topic of the inspection: keep doing what doing, and Partnering will take CRI places. Congratulations! Meeting adjourned at 9:52 am