As part of Governor Deval Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Suzanne M. Bump announced yesterday more than $4.3 million in federal recovery funds to make immediate investments in job training and support services for dislocated workers, low-income youths, and adults in Central Massachusetts.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding will go to the Central Massachusetts Regional Employment Board for the Workforce Central Career Centers in Milford, Southbridge, and Worcester. The board and the centers serve both employers and job-seekers in Central Massachusetts. These resources, a portion of the $67 million announced last week, and statewide, will assist all of the 37 One-Stop Career Centers throughout Massachusetts.
"These funds will help put people back to work, and give unemployed citizens the support and services they need to rejoin the workforce," says Governor Patrick.
"During this difficult economic time, workforce training dollars will go a long way to help unemployed workers prepare for the jobs that Massachusetts has to offer," says Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray. "We are grateful for the stimulus funding and are committed to using it to help as many people as possible."
"It is easy to lose sight of the fact that some Massachusetts industries are still hiring," says Secretary Bump, who met with unemployed workers today during job training courses at the Workforce Central Career Center in Worcester, one of the state’s 37 One-Stop Career Centers. "These funds will help put people back to work, and give unemployed citizens the support and services they need to rejoin the workforce."
One Stop Career Centers are designed to ensure dislocated workers receive help assessing their skills and weighing new options. The funding is intended to help prepare workers for success with literacy training, assistance with GED completion, and help with improving English proficiency.
Cities and towns in the Central Massachusetts Regional Employment Board include Auburn, Blackstone, Boylston, Brookfield, Charlton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Grafton, Hardwick, Holden, Hopedale, Leicester, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southbridge, Spencer, Sturbridge, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westborough, and Worcester.
The ARRA funding provides $21.2 million to serve dislocated workers and more than $10 million to help low-income adults find work. The hope is with these new resources, more people will be able to enroll in training for high demand jobs in careers such as health-care.
The Governor also plans to combine $6.67 million from the state's YouthWorks summer jobs program with $3.1 million in public safety funds and $21.1 million for youth employment and educational programming provided under the federal recovery bill totaling $30 million statewide to support summer employment and additional support services. The purpose of the Governor’s approach, his administration says, is to maximize state and federal resources, helping to increase the number of jobs for low-income young people between the ages of 14 and 24 to an estimated 10,000.
These resources also are intended to help support youth, disconnected from school and employment, access education and employment opportunities beyond the summer. Central Massachusetts will receive $1,952,478 of these funds.