For Immediate Release - November 17, 2008

Governor Patrick Announces Plymouth Growth District at Cordage Park

Innitiative Will Expedite Commercial and Residential Development

LOWELL—Tuesday, July 22, 2008 — Highlighting the Patrick-Murray Administration’s efforts to strengthen the partnership between communities and state government, Governor Deval Patrick today announced $823,608 in funding for two Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) projects in Lowell that will provide apprenticeship training to increase the number of skilled construction workers and to prepare employees for careers in healthcare occupations.

“I am pleased to announce this funding which will help as many as 300 citizens in the Lowell area access vital training that will lift their employment prospects and hopes for a brighter future for themselves and their families,” Governor Patrick said at a public meeting of his Cabinet Secretaries in Lowell.

The Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Lowell will receive a

$323,609 grant for a three-year initiative to assist the City of Lowell’s Asian community, which has a lower rate of college graduates and holders of associate’s degrees.

The project is a collaborative effort between labor unions and employers to increase the number of bricklayers, carpenters, masons, painters and others in the construction industry to meet rising demand.  The grant will connect existing opportunities, such as Lowell’s GED program and the union’s apprenticeship program, while integrating a system for recruiting, case management, referrals and supplemental training to help recruits pass required pre-admission tests.   The goal is to get 60 people on the path from unemployment to well-paying, skilled construction jobs.

Other project partners include Trinity Financial, Inc., CWC Builders, Architectural Heritage Foundation and labor including Laborers International Union of North America Local 429, International Union of Bricklayers and Related Crafts, Local 1, New England Regional Council of Carpenters, District 35 and Painters & Allied Trades Union as well the Mass AFL-FIO and Lowell Adult Education

Governor Patrick also announced Community Teamwork, Inc. will receive a $499,999 grant to offer a two-level readiness course and a variety of technical training to help 240 people gain career pathways to jobs in the healthcare sector. Targeted jobs include Certified Nurse's Aide, Transporter/Attendant, Medical Assistant/Phlebotomist, Clerk, Administrative Medical Assistant, Unit/Administrative Secretary and LPN.  Community Teamwork’s project will increase the quality and stability of the region's healthcare workforce.

Additional project partners include Lowell General Hospital, Saints Memorial Medical Center, Lowell Community Health Center as well as Shawsheen Valley Regional Technical High School, Greater Lowell Workforce Investment Board and the Lowell Career Center.

“We are committed to building strong partnerships at the regional level in order to develop a pipeline of workers who are skilled and trained to perform jobs in fast growing sectors,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Suzanne M. Bump.  “The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund is an important tool to help us accomplish this as we work to prepare our citizens today for these jobs.”

The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) is a three-year initiative focused on several critical industry sectors and is designed to enable a broad range of residents—including older workers, low-wage workers, low-income individuals, disabled citizens, vulnerable youth, incumbent workers and the unemployed—to gain access to employment, education and the skills necessary to move forward along a career path leading to economic self-sufficiency.

For further information on the WCTF, visit www.commcorp.org.

 

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