- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for $280K Awarded to Help Young Adults with Disabilities Prepare for Employment
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Massachusetts — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced four grant awards for the Employment Program for Young Adults with Disabilities. These grants will support programming aimed at training young adults with disabilities for the workplace, placing them into jobs, and providing post-placement support to help them stay employed.
Each awardee will receive up to $75,000 toward their existing training programs. Today’s awardees include Community Work Services (CWS) in Boston, Employment Options in Marlborough, Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) in Boston, and the Polus Center for Social & Economic Development, Inc. in Petersham.
CWS will train and place participants in food arts, commercial production, and building and grounds maintenance jobs. Program partners include Star Market, Block by Block, and Finesse Hospitality. Trainees will also receive up to 12 months of professional career coaching in support of their career goals.
Employment Options will train and place participants in culinary and hospitality jobs. Program partners include Nothing Bundt Cakes, Marriott International, Quinsigamond Community College, and Work Without Limits/UMASS Medical School. Employment Options strives to continually meet the needs of their employer partners while cultivating a culture of inclusion that recognizes the ability and value of young adult with disabilities.
JVS will train and place participants in retail, customer service, and healthcare jobs. Program partners include CVS Health, NewBridge on the Charles/Hebrew Senior Life, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Services are designed to meet the needs of young adults with disabilities and their families by closing gaps in the current service system, particularly the lack of competitive employment opportunities and weak ties to an underutilized business community.
The Polus Center will train and place participants in retail and customer service jobs. Program partners include Whole Foods Market, Price Chopper Market, MassHire North Central Workforce Board, and Thryv Consulting. The short-term training incorporates virtual skills training as well as on-the-job training to set up participants for success.
The Employment Program for Young Adults with Disabilities Program is funded through the state budget and administered by Commonwealth Corporation on behalf of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
Applicants were required to be led by a community-based organization with demonstrated success and expertise in preparing young adults with disabilities for employment, placing them in unsubsidized positions, and providing post-placement support that leads to employment retention. Organizations also needed to show evidence of effective partnerships with employers that engage them in program design and delivery, resulting in placements and retained employment of young adults with disabilities in targeted occupations at the employers’ workplaces.