About the Program
Employer Resource Network
The ERN program was conceived from the belief that a steady job is the most reliable step on the pathway to financial stability and with the understanding that barriers such as childcare, reliable transportation, and acute/sudden financial emergencies risk derailing good employees. The program is a public-private, multi-sector employer collaborative that creates business solutions to improve workplace productivity, retention, advancement – and financial stability for employees.
Using the workplace as a platform for social services, the ERN approach focuses on relationships, resources, and retention to build financial stability. Through shared resources, employers can minimize employment barriers for their low-to-moderate wage workers and maximize the supports employees utilize to be successful and improve their lives. At the same time, participating businesses benefit by an increase in employee productivity, retention, and advancement - and a decrease in absenteeism.
ERN is aligned directly with the Financial Stability priorities of its community impact agenda. Two local institutions signed on as founding Addison County collaborators: Middlebury College and Porter Medical Center. We thank them for their early interest and their ongoing commitment and participation.
Here are some short stories about what recepients of the Employer Resources Network program experience:
" An employee came to me because her roommate was moving out and she was going to be responsible for paying $750.00 a month for rent, and she only makes $1,200.00. She was concerned about making up the other half of the security deposit that the roommate was going to get back upon moving out. She was also concerned about how she was going to afford food. I was able to turn her to a few resources in our community that might help relieve some of these pressures for her. When I followed up with her a couple of weeks later, she happily reported that H.O.P.E was able to help her with the full amount of the security deposit; she signed up for 3Squares VT benefits (which she was not aware existed) to help offset the cost of groceries, and she enthusiastically expressed that things are looking up in her life and receiving this help has inspired her to make positive changes in other areas of her life."
"A gentleman came to WB, unable to pay his current month’s rent and was behind because of the fees being charged to him by the leasing company due to late payments. We contacted CVOEO/Housing Solutions, and told them his situation. They called us back and informed us that his leasing company was illegally charging the fees, and was able to call the company and significant amount of fees terminated for him and his wife."
"A woman called wanting to advance in her job, but was concerned that she didn’t have the skills needed to acquire the position. I encouraged her to contact VT Adult Learning, where she could get some of the training necessary to help her reach her goals for job advancement."
There are many more stories like these in our community!
To learn more about ERN in Addison County, click here. To discuss the possibility of your business joining the collaborative, contact Suzanne Waldren, Employee Resource Network Coordinator, at 802-388-7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.