Lieutenant Governor Kimberley Driscoll and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Lauren Jones today joined participants, employers and supervisors, and state partners to announce that the Healey-Driscoll Administration is awarding $34.4 million in state funding grants to support the hiring of 7,655 youth in summer and year-round employment through the YouthWorks program for the 2023-2024 program year. The YouthWorks program provides teens and young adults with hands-on work experience and soft-skill development in regions across the Commonwealth.
Officials made the announcement at the BrickBox Theatre in Worcester during a YouthWorks kickoff event hosted by the Worcester Communication Action Council, an awardee of this round of YouthWorks funding.
“The YouthWorks program opens doors for young people to gain real-world work experience and the opportunity to explore potential career pathways. The funding announced today will help shape the futures of more than 7,000 youth and young adults across the state, while also providing them with a hard-earned paycheck,” said Governor Healey. “When we invest in Massachusetts’ next generation of talent, we all win.”
“YouthWorks is a great example of this Administration’s efforts to strengthen our competitiveness and support our growing workforce,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll. “For many participating in the program, this is their first job and will provide incredible first-hand experience and training. We are thrilled to have so many new members as part of team Massachusetts and look forward to their continued contributions to our local economy.”
“Investing in employment opportunities for youth and young adults is critically important as we build a strong pipeline of future talent in Massachusetts,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Lauren Jones. “Our administration appreciates the collaboration with each regional workforce board and the network of local hiring partners, opening their doors to provide young people with hands-on learning and work experience while also benefitting our local economies statewide.”
For 2023-2024, 16 regional Workforce Investment Boards across the state will receive over $34 million in grants through the YouthWorks program. The grants will fund paid, short-term, work placements throughout the year at public, private, and nonprofit work sites with the highest engagement during summer months. Participants will receive training in core soft skills, mentorship, and the opportunity to work side-by-side with professionals in areas of their interest. Additionally, participants will be guided on how to further their education and career pathways.
The grant recipients and year-round placement totals include:
Berkshire Training and Employment, Inc. — $645,414.44 to hire 123 youth.
Economic Development Industrial Corporation of Boston —$8,192,185.56 to hire 1,412 youth.
Bristol County Training Consortium — $2,000,803.30 to hire 388 youth.
Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board — $1,334,773.34 to hire 224 youth.
Cape & Islands
Job Training & Employment Corp. — $55,656.97 to hire 15 youth.
MassHire Central Region Workforce Board — $4,534,364.30 to hire 723 youth.
Franklin Hampshire Employment and Training Consortium — $241,697.00 to hire 32 youth.
City of Lowell — $2,000,500.56 to hire 446 youth.
Greater New Bedford
Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board — $1,251,395.46 to hire 640 youth.
MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board, Inc. — $4,000,240.00 to hire 1,023 youth.
MassHire Merrimack Valley, City of Lawrence — $2,003,756.17 to hire 460 youth.
Metro North Regional Employment Board — $3,520,355.64 to hire 923 youth.
Metro South/West Workforce Board — $1,158,480.42 to hire 248 youth.
MassHire North Central Workforce Board, Inc. — $405,207.00 to hire 97 youth.
MassHire North Shore City of Salem — $2,046,924.00 to hire 593 youth.
MassHire South Shore Workforce Board, City of Quincy — $975,710.63 to hire 308 youth.
The YouthWorks program is administered by Commonwealth Corporation in partnership with the 16 MassHire regional Workforce Boards to provide employment opportunities for young people ages 14 to 25 years old, from over 30 cities across Massachusetts, between July to August and September to June, annually. The program bridges the gap between youth and employment, creating a new wave of emerging workers ready to enter the labor force. Participants of these programs are young adults whose family income does not exceed the annual equivalent of 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. This is achieved by partnering with nonprofits, public sector, and private sector businesses, offering a variety of career experiences to our participants throughout the program cycle.
“The YouthWorks program provides young people with their first taste of professional life and also equips them with the necessary skills to thrive,” said Tasia Cerezo, Director of Youth Employment, Training and Curriculum at Commonwealth Corporation. “By partnering with various businesses and organizations, we’re able to create a diverse range of opportunities that cater to the varied interests and career aspirations of our participants. This initiative is about more than just employment; it’s about empowering our youth and setting them on the path to long-term success.”
“We’re thrilled that Lieutenant Governor Driscoll and Secretary Jones are able to join us in Worcester today to celebrate the kickoff our summer YouthWorks program and to meet many of the youth who will be working this summer. Providing young people with quality work experiences is good for their career exploration and growth, is good for our local community and is good for the Commonwealth’s economy,” said Marybeth Campbell, WCAC Executive Director. “We are looking forward to a productive summer with nearly 550 local youth placed in jobs through some 78 employment partners across the City.”
Employers interested in becoming a YouthWorks partner and hiring a participant are encouraged to contact their local MassHire Workforce Board. Youth and young adults interested in participating in the YouthWorks program can find more information at Commonwealth Corporation – YouthWorks Programs https://commcorp.org/youthworks-programs.
About Commonwealth Corporation
Commonwealth Corporation is a quasi-public agency within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development that is committed to ensuring that Massachusetts businesses have access to a pipeline of highly skilled workers and that youth and adults in Massachusetts have pathways to good jobs in the knowledge economy. As a nationally recognized leader in building industry sector partnerships that address the skill needs of specific employers in an industry, CommCorp creates new or expanded capacity in education and training programs for demand occupations. Learn more at www.commcorp.org.