New Computer Lab Helping to Streamline Agencies: Collaboration between HRA, BCO, and TEAM

CAFCA | October 30, 2013 |

 A new state-of-the-art computer lab will launch technology sharing that will streamline three community action agencies.

Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Bristol Community Organization and Derby-based TEAM (Training, Education and Manpower) will leverage their IT and human resource functions using technology to overcome geographical borders. The new computer lab is only the first step, said HRA’s Executive Director Rocco Tricario.

According to Tricario and Deidra Ierardi, BCO’s director of planning and development, step one is developing the technology, step two is developing ongoing training programs and the third step is ongoing collaborations by executive directors from various agencies on such topics as goal-setting.

BCO is a federally designated anti-poverty agency which serves low-income, elderly and disabled residents in the Greater Bristol area. HRA is a multi-service non-profit organization dedicated to increasing economic self-sufficiency among individuals. TEAM’s mission is to connect individuals and families, living in the Connecticut Valley.

The web-based software will be used to integrate specific human resource functions of all three organizations such as employee “onboarding,” a human-resources term for getting new employees quickly acclimated, ROMA (Results Oriented Management Accountability) training, mandated training, such as harassment prevention and other professional topics.

Mayor Timothy O’Brien cut the ribbon on the new computer lab Monday on Arch Street. State Sen. Terry Gerratana, state Reps. Rick Lopes and Robert Sanchez and Aldermen Carlos Carlozzi and Mannie Sanchez also joined in the ceremony.

The state Office of Policy and Management collaboration funding for nonprofits is expected to help HRA, BCO and TEAM make their administrative functions more cost effective. Connecticut OPM grant funding of $200,735 for two years should result in a return on investment from more efficient administrative functions across the three community-action agencies.

Marlo Greponne, director of planning and programs, said the agency can now deliver staff development training simultaneously at multiple locations. 

“This increases the number of staff members we can train at the same time,” she said. “It saves on travel costs and meal reimbursement expenses. We can spend more time on training, less on travel. It used to be days were lost in terms of productivity in the office.”

Greponne guides trainees through Powerpoint presentations or conducts live training on specific web applications. Trainees can ask questions and she can answer immediately. If web cams are available in the offices both parties can view each other.

“People can be any where in the state and participate in the training simultaneously,” Greponne said.

Tricario said the news should be of particular interest to residents of New Britain, Bristol and surrounding towns since HRA & BCO serve these areas.

“This is the first of its kind and we hope the beginning of many collaborations,” he said.