When times were tough and the future seemed bleak, Crystal Carter never gave up hope for the sake of her six young children, "Even while I was looking for a safe place to sleep every night, I had to believe it would get better, or I would have lost hope and my mind."
After being jobless and homeless, Carter now sees light at the end of the tunnel. She was recently hired at TicketNetwork in South Windsor. "Life has certainly improved from those dark days; I have a safe place for my children, and car to get to work. With the security I feel with having this job, now I'm focused on buying a house. And on top of that, I'm able to eat for free and do my laundry at the job while I work."
Mershonda Hall feels the same. "I was working three minimum wage jobs, not getting enough hours to live. Then one Sunday my pastor suggested I attend a job fair at another local church. That Sunday sermon changed my life." In October, Hall attended a job fair at the Light of the Gospel Ministry in Manchester sponsored by TicketNetwork. Hall was ecstatic to hear that she was one of eight out of 54 applicants offered a job. "I couldn't believe that this company would take a chance with hiring me; I felt like I was given a second chance at life."
New Haven and Hartford, who is also president of the CT State Missionary Baptist Convention. "Don and I were talking one day and he mentioned that he was trying to find a way to recruit in the urban centers. My churches are full of parishioners praying for employment opportunities, so a partnership was born. That job fair in Manchester was more successful than either of us could have imagined."
Second chances are just what Vaccaro and TicketNetwork are striving to provide. "I consciously decided over 30 years ago that we should to reach out to the community, and where we could, provide second chances to people who are normally overlooked. We have discovered that folks who are given a second chance work really hard to prove they were worth the risk, and usually do well at the job", said Vaccaro.
President Barack Obama and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy have proposed raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
Vaccaro's TicketNetwork has already met that challenge. The company currently has a total workforce of 525, with more than 235 hired in 2013. With wages that start between $11.25 to $13 per hour plus incentives, his company is well above the state's $8.70 minimum wage.
Vaccaro has plans continue that hiring wave in 2014. On Saturday, Feb. 8, TicketNetwork will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., where they will take applications and interview for another fifteen order fulfillment, customer service, business, executive and support assistant positions. For more information, visit the company website at http://www.careers.TicketNetwork.com. Applicants are encouraged to pre-register.