For Immediate Release - March 01, 2010

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $160,000 IN ARRA FUNDING FOR JUST-A-START CORPORATION

Stimulus Funds Help Prepare Unemployed for Construction Trade Jobs; Boston, Lowell and Springfield Organizations Receive Grants

CAMBRIDGE - Monday, March 1, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, Governor Deval Patrick and Congressman Michael Capuano today announced that the Just-A-Start Corporation will receive $160,000 in stimulus funding to help connect youth to green jobs training at the organization's YouthBuild program.

This award is part of $1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding the Governor has directed to help prepare youth for jobs or apprenticeships in construction trades and related occupations.

"No resident will be left behind when it comes to preparing people for jobs," said Governor Patrick. "This stimulus funding will help workers to prepare for state-of-the-art trade jobs in weatherization, renewable energy and more. Our future electricians, carpenters, painters and other apprentices and trade workers now have a chance to become prepared for and step into jobs that require the latest skills."

Today's announcement, made at the Cambridge YouthBuild's current project site, is part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's initiative to assist unemployed or underemployed individuals -- with special emphasis on women, people of color, youth aged 17 to 24 who are out of school and ex-offenders.

"Creating jobs has been and will continue to be a critical component of our economic recovery plan," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "By investing in education and training programs in partnership with facilities like the Just-A-Start Corporation and other community organizations, we will support our workforce today and also contribute to future long-term growth in Massachusetts."

Graduates of the Cambridge YouthBuild program will be placed in entry-level construction-related jobs, such as carpenter helpers, electricians, painters, paperhangers, plasterers, stucco masons, maintenance and repair workers, construction laborers, carpet, floor and tile installers, and insulation workers.

"These stimulus funds will help get people back to work by establishing a training program in the construction trades, such as carpentry or weatherization work. People who have lost their jobs during this challenging economy can learn a new skill and then have access to employment after completing the training program," said Congressman Michael Capuano.

As part of their training, program participants will use a portion of the awarded funds to completely rehabilitate a home in Cambridge, stripping it down to the frame and rebuilding it using recycled materials from the demolition of the home. Students will also incorporate energy efficiency features into the home, building it to meet Energy Star certification. Upon completion, the newly renovated home will add to the Cambridge affordable housing stock.

"We are committed to helping people begin a career in a trade or move forward in their career path to meet the demands of the Commonwealth's changing industries," said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne Goldstein. "Today's workers have to adapt their skills to new technologies in residential home-building, commercial/residential rehabilitation, lead abatement, weatherization or sustainable and renewable energy system installation. These programs offer workers an innovative and comprehensive curriculum."

Governor Patrick recently announced that the following organizations have also been awarded funds under this program: Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship & Training Fund received $167,500; YouthBuild Boston received $160,000; the University of Massachusetts Labor/Management received $180,000; Community Teamwork Inc. (Lowell) received $167,500; and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Business Empowerment Center (Springfield) received $165,000.

The recovery dollars slated for these organizations around the state will assist residents with obtaining pre-employment training and basic knowledge of trades and construction skills required for employment in construction and/or to gain entry into an Apprenticeship Program.

"I am overjoyed that the Governor has elected to give Just-A-Start's YouthBuild program discretionary stimulus dollars. This money ensures that this one-of-a-kind program will continue to serve the youth of metro-Cambridge and Boston," said Senator Steven A. Tolman. "Support for a program such as YouthBuild is one of the best ways stimulus dollars could be spent."

"I am thrilled that Just-A-Start is receiving this funding," said Representative Marty Walz who represents Cambridge and Boston. "YouthBuild is an outstanding program. This stimulus funding will enhance job training for young people who will help our economy recover."

"YouthBuild does a great job training young people and giving them a shot at a bright future. This grant will really help do that," said Representative Alice K. Wolf.

"This investment will help people who are currently unemployed train for jobs that are being created through stimulus programs in public works and clean energy," said Commonwealth Corporation President and CEO Nancy Snyder, who will administer the grant on behalf of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

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