Youth Skill Building & Employment Training

Partnership with the Department of Youth Services


Comprehensive Education Partnership

Commonwealth Corporation partners with the state’s Department of Youth Services (DYS) and the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) to ensure that youth and teens committed to the Massachusetts’ juvenile justice system have access to high-quality education and employment opportunities.

With our partners we establish, communicate, and disseminate a set of core standards that define program quality in DYS residential programs. We support programs in meeting these standards through assessment and technical assistance strategies that are part of a continuous improvement process.


We’ve created Empower Your Future a series of curricula designed to help young people develop academic/technical, workplace readiness, and personal/social competencies needed to be proactive, resilient, and adaptive as they transition back to school or work in their communities.

Arts InFusion

Arts InFusion is working to expand and integrate the arts into the academic and extracurricular programs for all youth in DYS residential facilities, and build a network of arts-related placements available to DYS youth as they transition back into their home communities. Arts InFusion builds upon youths’ non-cognitive skills such as critical thinking, perseverance and optimism, and develops communication and social skills. The program provides youth the opportunity to ‘showcase’ their talents, creations and voice to an audience beyond their residential setting through a culminating performance and/or celebration. This celebration happens each year at an annual youth showcase, “Share Your Art, Share Your Voice.”

Workforce Development

We offer programs that support young people in their transition back to their community and help them attain the skills required to find a job.

The Bridging the Opportunity Gap (BOG) Initiative provides a variety of employment-related services to DYS youth with a special focus on those returning to their home communities following residential treatment.

BOG initiative programs offer comprehensive employability services including career readiness, vocational, and entrepreneurship training, workforce certifications, and subsidized work experience.

The BOG initiative also includes a Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), providing comprehensive employability services to DYS clients during the months of July and August.

The FY17 BOG Initiative Request for Proposals (RFP) is closed. For any questions contact Danielle Niedzwiecki, DYS Program Manager at

Social Enterprise

Exclusive Tees is our social enterprise that employs youth to work as a team to fulfill orders, allowing them to gain workplace skills, build self-confidence, and set goals for success in transitioning into mainstream employment. With technical expertise from a local silk screening company, youth in a juvenile justice facility have the opportunity to gain real world job experience by engaging in full operations of a silk screening business.