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WIN Partnership Featured on News 12

On Wednesday, News 12 broadcast a feature on one of the BCW’s Westchester Innovation Network (WIN) partnerships. ConConnect will begin its first partnership with the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers to encourage tenants to sign on to the justice-tech platform that connects formerly incarcerated men and women with services, education, and employment nationwide.

“I was in the shelter for formerly incarcerated one day on LinkedIn on my cell phone. I fell in love with the network and literally I said, ‘Oh, I’ve got to rebuild this for people like me,’” said ConConnect founder Andre Peart, a Yonkers native whose platform has already helped more than 900 people find jobs.

The partnership with ConConnect was facilitated by the WIN program that aims at driving economic development, innovation, and growth in Westchester County.

“We need to give people a second chance and we obviously need to tap into everyone’s skill set. Everyone has something to offer,” Wilson Kimball, President and CEO of the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers, told News 12.

According to a 2018 U.S. Department of Justice report, 45% of former prisoners are arrested within one year of release, 79% within six years, and 89% within nine years. On average, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%, according to research by the Prison Policy Institute.

“At the BCW, we know that to build and sustain strong and vibrant communities, we must convene thought leaders and futurists to design a county of the future. These building blocks include creating opportunities to showcase Westchester as a place to build, grow, test, and explore innovation in all forms,” said Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester.  “With our innovation efforts delivered through WIN, we are focused on embracing innovative new companies from Westchester, across the U.S. and internationally to learn from and co-create with them, and to advance key incentives necessary to get them to grow and stay here in Westchester.”

The BCW’s WIN program has identified 75 potential innovator partners looking to be paired locally to test a product or service. The process to match those innovators with businesses has begun. To view the News 12 broadcast, visit www.thebcw.org.

 

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