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Media Contact for Youth Career Pathway and Employment Programs Funded by $740K in Awarded YouthWorks Grants
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Boston — More than $740,000 in grants will fund subsidized employment placements and development and implementation of career pathway programs for youth, helping young people explore in-demand industries and occupations, build professional skills, and gain the experience needed to find and keep jobs, the Baker-Polito Administration announced today.
At least 165 youth will participate in training and work-based learning for advanced manufacturing, early childhood education, financial services, health care and more in the programs awarded funding through the YouthWorks Year-Round Competitive Grant Program, the integrated work and learning youth program administered by Commonwealth Corporation on behalf of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
“Through YouthWorks, young people learn industry-specific skills for in-demand regional occupations, creating a pipeline of future workers for Massachusetts businesses, while empowering them to carve out pathways to rewarding careers,” said Governor Charlie Baker.
YouthWorks programs use Signal Success, Commonwealth Corporation’s comprehensive curriculum, designed and tested by education and workforce development partners, that delivers systematic instruction in core soft skills to help young people develop those skills and plan for future success.
“The hands-on, experiential learning offered through YouthWorks gives these kids and young adults a chance to practice what they learn, while also helping them develop the critical soft skills and professionalism that employers repeatedly say that they seek in new employees,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.
Grantees applied for one of three options in this round of funding: a career pathway planning and implementation grant, a traditional YouthWorks placements plus targeted career exploration grant, or a planning-only grant for a future career pathway program. Seventeen grants were awarded to applicants and their partners.
“By offering different options to our applicants, we are simultaneously addressing immediate needs in critical occupations while expanding capacity for the future by funding the development of new programs.” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta. “We are expanding our program model by offering a tiered and development approach to best meet the needs of young people in our expansive range of 14-21 year olds, based on what works best for their age and stage of development.”
For 19 years, YouthWorks has provided a path to sustained success for income-eligible young workers, ages 14 to 21, from 31 cities across Massachusetts. In the last decade, YouthWorks evolved from a summer jobs program into an integrated work and learning program that features career readiness training, paid short-term work placements and internships, and support from youth employment specialists. Over the past five years, more than 26,000 teens and young adults have taken part in YouthWorks.
“Summer unemployment among young people has reached its lowest point in a half-century after steadily declining over the past two decades. Massachusetts’ strong economy and resulting tight labor market has made future employment and career paths even more difficult for our young people to navigate,” said Commonwealth Corporation President and CEO Dr. J.D. LaRock. “YouthWorks is an effective approach to this problem — lifting up those youth who may be left out of the promise of a good economy, helping them get into the workforce, get good jobs, and lead productive lives.”
The grants awarded are:
Career Pathway Planning and Implementation Grants
- Boston Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, $68,799: Training and work-based learning in early childhood education for 20 youth (18-21) leading to CDA certification. Partners include: Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD).
- MassHire Bristol Workforce Board, $60,000: Training and work-based learning for 12, largely out-of-school youth in carpentry and cabinet-making. Partners include: The MassHire Fall River Career Center –Youth Connection Office, Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, Bristol County Training Consortium (BCTC), North Atlantic Corporation (NAC).
- MassHire Central Massachusetts Workforce Board, $62,000: Training and career exploration in advanced manufacturing for 15 high school students from the Worcester Public Schools innovation pathway program. Participants would take an Intro to Machine Operations course and pursue OSHA, MACWIC and NIMS certifications. Partners include: Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC), Worcester Public Schools (WPS).
- MassHire Greater Brockton Workforce Investment Board, $64,999: Training and work-based learning in financial services 13 youth (18-21) leading to the American Banking Association Bank Teller/Universal Banker Certificate. Partners include: Mutual Bank/North Easton Bank (merger), Eastern Bank, HarborOne Bank, Rockland Trust, Crescent Credit Union, Abington Bank, Envision Bank, Bank of Canton and South Shore Bank.
- MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Board, $67,483: Home Health Aide/Certified Nursing Assistant Training which includes CPR/First Aid/AED Training for 15, largely older youth. Partners include: MassHire Lowell Career Center and Greater Lowell Technical High School.
- MassHire Hampen Country Workforce Board, $55,777: Career exploration and training for 15 in-school youth resulting in obtainment of the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) credential. Partners include: Westfield Public Schools, Holyoke Community College.
- MassHire Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board, $75,000: Training and work-based learning in Automotive Technology Services for 15 opportunity youth. Partners include: MassHire Merrimack Valley Career Center (MMVCC), Lawrence Family Development / Prospera’s SISU Center, Greater Lawrence Technical School.
- MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board, $42,627: Certified Nursing Assistant Training for 10, largely older in-school youth plus 2 additional out-of-school youth co-supported by WIOA funding. Partners include: MassBay Community College, American Red Cross, Mary Ann Morse HealthCare Center, and Heritage Assisted Living.
- MassHire South Shore Workforce Board, $61,625: Training and work-based learning in customer service and entrepreneurship through the lens of cosmetology for 13 older youth. Program results in customer service certification from the National Retail Association and also seek to place participants in Cosmetology apprenticeships. Partners include: MassHire South Shore Career Center, South Shore Chamber of Commerce, Mansfield Beauty School.
Traditional Youth Works plus Targeted Career Exploration Grants
- MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board, $38,000: Subsidized placements plus targeted career exploration in Information Technology and Health Care for 11 in-school youth (15-18) with a priority on those with multiple barriers. Partners include: Community Action Pioneer Valley.
- MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Board, $42,000: YouthWorks placement plus career exploration in Health Care, Manufacturing, Construction and Education/Social Services for 12 participants. Partners include: MassHire Lowell Career Center.
- MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board, Inc., $45,000: YouthWorks placements plus career exploration in Health Care for 14 students in Holyoke and Westfield. Partners include: MassHire Holyoke Career Center.
- MassHire Metro North Employment Board, $52,467, YouthWorks placements plus career exploration in Information Technology, Education, Social Services, and Accounting for 15 Malden youth. Partners include: Malden Public Schools.
- MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Board, $15,129: Develop a registered pre-apprenticeship program in trades and construction for youth 17-21. Partners include: Greater Lowell Technical High School, AFL-CIO, the Merrimack Valley Building Trades Council, and CTI YouthBuild.
- MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board, $15,000: Develop a career pathway for out-of-school youth that provides training and career exposure to Maritime training. Partners include Greater New Bedford Technical HS, Port Authority of New Bedford.
- MassHire Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board, $15,000: Develop a career pathway program in information technology (IT) for 18-21 year old out-of-school (OSY) youth. Partners include Greater Lawrence Technical School, Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium.
- MassHire Metro North Employment Board, $15,000: Develop a health care pathway. Partners include Beth Israel Lahey Health, Partners Healthcare and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, and Cambridge Health Alliance.