Trafigura Work & Learn

IMG_1567The Trafigura Work & Learn Business Center, a joint venture among the Trafigura Foundation, the Tow Family Foundation, and Domus, is a youth employment program comprised of several youth-run businesses. Working alongside professionals, youth are paid while they learn vital hard and soft skills which help them get and keep jobs. The program is located at the Domus Community Center on Stamford’ East Side, which opened in 2009, and is based on a successful model that’s been implemented around the state since 1996.

Work & Learn provides employment to the most needy youth aged 16 to 25, teaching soft employment skills about workplace conduct, employment search techniques, and keys to employment retention as well as specific skills in bicycle repair, woodworking, small engine repair, food preparation, and hair and nails. Four 12-week cycles run during the year, serving a maximum of 56 kids in each cycle. Approximately 25% of the students will return for more than one cycle. Each program runs two days a week for a total of four hours. To provide a daily attendance incentive, attendees receive a small daily stipend.

Work & Learn is staffed by skilled professionals who have vocational and teaching skills but are also trained to deal with behaviors of struggling youth; there is a significant focus on building trusting relationships with young people. Targets are set around gaining soft skills (being prompt, shaking hands, etc.) as well as vocational skills, improving employability skills, and securing and retaining jobs.

A Work & Learn Success Story: “Antony”

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Location:
83 Lockwood Ave
Stamford, CT 06902

Staff:
Mitch DePino, Program Director
Mario Sarro, Business Manager
Mary Kate Junget, Business Manager