LEAD Program

A Career Development Training Program for Youth


Leadership, Employment, and Advocacy Development (LEAD) supports positive youth development by providing work readiness and employment opportunities. DYS-involved youth are learning to LEAD as they transition back to their community and attain the skills required to find a job. LEAD provides grants to community-based and faith-based organizations, career centers, and vocational schools with expertise in youth workforce development to implement a tiered approach to career readiness training including a variety of field experiences to youth committed to DYS. Grantees receive intensive technical assistance for program implementation and utilize a database to record youth progress and outcomes.

LEAD youth participants move through career awareness, exploration, and immersion while building a career portfolio and exploring a variety of field experiences including job shadows, mini-internships/ apprenticeships that lead to a long-term internship/apprenticeship. Youth move into entry-level market employment and receive up to 6 months of post-employment support. Participants are paid Massachusetts minimum wage for all aspects of programming.

For more information, please contact Danielle at [email protected] or click below to get in touch.

Impact Numbers

Youth Participated in LEAD FY21
Of Them Received an Employment Experience


The Department of Youth Services is the juvenile justice agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The L.E.A.D grant program has supported innovative transition and re-entry programming for youth ever since 2006. Commonwealth Corporation, the state’s quasi-public workforce development agency, serves as the program administrator for these funds. CommCorp and the DYS are providing grant funding for workforce development and employment during 2019-2020. These grant awards are the result of competitive procurement. Selected grantees will deliver a range of career development, work readiness, subsidized employment, and related services for youth in the care of DYS.
As the juvenile justice agency for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Department of Youth Services promotes positive change in the youth in our care and custody. Our mission is to make communities safer by improving the life outcomes for youth in our care. We achieve our mission through investing in highly qualified staff and a service continuum that engages youth, families, and communities in strategies that support positive youth development. DYS serves youth between the ages of 12-21 who have been committed to its care and custody by the courts, referred by the police upon arrest, and youth previously committed to its custody who choose to engage in voluntary services with DYS (Youth Engaged in Services or YES).


It's been a busy year at Commonwealth Corporation! Here's a look back at some of our accomplishments in 2019.

Commonwealth Corporation is a quasi-public agency that was established in 1996 under the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. 

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