Rebecca Moniz
When Rebecca Moniz was laid off this past December, she knew exactly where to turn to for help: New Directions Southcoast - The Greater New Bedford Career Center.

Greater New Bedford: Impact of Recovery Act on Workforce Training

  • 70 people benefited from the Energy Efficiency and Construction Certification Program.

  • 430 youth benefited from summer jobs.

  • 68 people benefited from Individual Training Accounts.

  • 60 people benefited from the Brownfields Training Program.

After all, her husband Christopher had been laid off nearly a year ago and thanks to the center's help in finding him a stimulus-funded training course, he now had his Commercial Driver's License and a full time job.

"We were lucky, somebody was always employed," Rebecca says with a laugh.

But with two kids, Rebecca Moniz knew she would need to find a job. The problem was she, like her husband, was in a bind: she had a lot of experience but she didn't have the educational background to match it. Maria Grace, manager of the Greater New Bedford Career Center -- part of the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board -- says this predicament is characteristic of this recession. "It used to be that we would see people with very few skills come into the career center," she says. "Now we see people come in with many skills. Where do we start? [With stimulus funding], we were able to offer these people programs to get the certifications they need."

That is what the career center did for Christopher Moniz. He had worked as a truck driver for Jordan's Furniture for over 10 years but the truck he drove was not big enough to require a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). When Jordan's decided to outsource its delivery department, Moniz was laid off. He came to the career center but as he was doing his job search it became clear to him and his job specialist that in order for him to find a job equivalent to what he was doing, he would need his CDL. He was able to get that thanks to a stimulus-funded CDL course and he now works as a driver for Cape Cod Express.

Maria Grace and Rebecca Moniz

Rebecca Moniz had started at her job as a part time cashier and worked her way up to become an operations manager. Recently, she switched jobs but once the economy soured, she was laid off. "I found myself at a layoff at Christmas and really at a loss as to where to go from here," she says.


New Bedford Career Center Roundtable
Working with her job specialist at the career center, Moniz, who had worked in the retail industry, found a computerized accounting training certification course at Computer Training Specialists in New Bedford. The course, which she is currently attending, is being paid for with stimulus funds and will enable her to get a job in her field.

"The career center helped me find a training program that would back the experience I have and that's where I am now," says Moniz. "Everyone in my course sees this as a great opportunity to get the edge we need to get a job."

Watch Rebecca Moniz discuss the impact stimulus has had on her and her family at a roundtable event at The Greater New Bedford Career Center with Jeffrey Simon: