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News & Updates

Over 2,300 Boston residents benefit from job training and education through Neighborhood Jobs Trust

Jan 29, 2018

The Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development today announced that between 2016 and 2017 the City’s of Boston’s Neighborhood Jobs Trust (NJT) helped more than 2,300 low- and moderate-income Boston residents access job training and education programs crucial to economic mobility. After job placement, graduates of 17 training programs funded through NJT’s request for proposals (RFP) earned an average wage of $15.23 per hour with 72% earning benefits as well.

“The Neighborhood Jobs Trust changes lives,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “By investing in workers’ potential, the trust helps Boston families achieve new realities, including greater economic stability, more attainable financial goals, and a clearer path to a brighter future.”

The Neighborhood Jobs Trust is a public charitable trust replenished by linkage fees from developers of large-scale commercial projects in the City of Boston. The trust offsets impacts of development by funding jobs, job training, and related services for Boston residents. The Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD), which released the impact report, stewards NJT funds.

“For many residents, a gap in education or job skills can pose a formidable barrier to a good job,” said Trinh Nguyen, NJT trustee and director of OWD. “NJT helps to remove those barriers. It gives Boston residents the opportunity to hone their talents and strengthens the city’s overall workforce.”

The 2016-2017 Neighborhood Jobs Trust Impact Report details the trust’s $2.2 million investment in programs ranging from industry-specific job training to English language instruction to tuition support for community college. 

In many cases, NJT-funded programs targeted their services to the needs of specific populations throughout the City of Boston. For example, Boston Housing Authority (BHA) Charlestown’s Adult Education program focused instruction on the neighborhood’s BHA residents, while English for New Bostonians provided specialized language instruction for such groups as small business owners and professionals re-entering fields they had trained for in their native countries.

NJT-funded job training programs also prepared participants for specific industry sectors, such as banking/finance, hospitality, healthcare administration, and human services. North Bennet Street School, one of several grantees highlighted in the impact report, used its NJT funds to train urban youth in carpentry and locksmithing – trades known for their high demand and good pay. 

Thanks to the program, graduate Krsna Clark, 20, discovered he had a natural talent for locksmithing. Clark, who had formerly dropped out of high school, landed a job in a locksmith’s shop even before completing the 9-month program.

“I get in my zone,” Clark said. “Someone said to me once, 'When you're working on the bench, I can see the fire coming out of you.’ This program changed my life.”

Many of the residents served by NJT came from economically disadvantaged populations documented in the recent Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) report, “Boston’s Workforce: An Assessment of Labor Market Outcomes and Opportunities.” Among participants in NJT grantee programs, 88% were people of color, 77% had less than a college or vocational degree, and 38% were non-native English speakers.

The OWD is an affiliate of the Boston Planning & Development Agency.

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