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News & Updates

Mayor Walsh, Office of Workforce Development award $2.2 million in grants to community organizations

Sep 11, 2019

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (OWD) today announced they have awarded $2.2 million to 51 community-based programs that will provide employment, education and economic services to more than 4,000 low-income Boston residents. The funds come to the City of Boston through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The awards were celebrated yesterday at Black Market in Roxbury, a first-time recipient of CDBG funding. 

"In Boston, we are fortunate to have organizations that are dedicated to creating economic opportunity for everyone," said Mayor Walsh. "Together, these grants are truly a partnership. By providing these organizations with the funding they need, we are investing in our residents, and taking another step forward in closing the equity gap, creating more opportunities for all."

For this grant cycle OWD prioritized organizations offering services that give residents access to economic opportunity, including employment training and career readiness, youth development programming, essential language access and economic benefits counseling. The organizations represent nearly every neighborhood in Boston and consist of various competitive program models. 

Two organizations are receiving funding for the first time this year. Mothers for Justice & Equality, an organization that empowers mothers and youth to challenge the normalization of violence by becoming catalysts for change in their communities, will leverage their CDBG funds to provide educational civic action programming for mothers and youth in Boston. Black Market, a micro-business accelerator program, will use their CDBG funding to employ local vendors at their pop-up market in Roxbury's Dudley Square.  

"Our community is full of dreamers and innovators that tend to get overlooked and overshadowed because of the zip code in which they reside," said Kai Grant, owner of Black Market. "This money is an investment for their future and the development of an entire ecosystem in Roxbury. We are grateful to assist in the socio-economic uplifting of our neighborhoods."

Funding was also made available to Adult Basic Education and English Language programs. These programs offer employment-specific language services that can create pathways to employment for lower-wage Boston residents. The Mujeres Unidas Avanzando (MUA), based in Dorchester, trains Latina women at an on-site phlebotomy lab while integrating language services, job readiness and job placement. Another recipient, Greater Boston Legal Services, will provide free legal representation for Boston residents who need to maintain critical benefits such as housing assistance and childcare vouchers.  

Recognizing that economic opportunity begins at an early age, Boston Builds Credit, a first-in-the-nation citywide movement to help Boston residents achieve good credit, received CDBG funds to deploy on-site financial coaches at Bunker Hill Community College and Roxbury Community College to help over 400 students with credit building and financial coaching. Of those, 240 students will continue to work one-on-one with qualified coaches to set and attain personal finance goals. 

Other selected programs, such as Beacon Communities Charitable Fund, provide residents with career readiness training. Beacon Communities Charitable Fund, in partnership with Economic Mobility Pathways (EmPath), will use their CDBG funds to offer a Technology Mobility Action Plan initiative (TMAP) at Boston Housing Authority's Tierney Learning Center in South Boston. TMAP is a career-development and family support program for low-income heads of households seeking employment in the technology field.

Grantees were selected through an open and competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) procurement process with input from both the public and private sectors. The full list of this year's grant recipients can be found below. 

The Office of Workforce Development is a division of the Boston Planning & Development Agency.

Organization Focus Amount
ABCD Offers language services and career counseling to adults  $70,000.00
 Artists for Humanity Supports  Youth Arts Enterprise program, that employs Boston teens and young adults, ages 14-20, to work with a variety of art media $55,000.00
Asian American Civic Association (AACA) Provide unemployed immigrants and native born Boston residents with career services $52,000.00
 Bay Cove Human Services Helps low-income Boston residents with disabilities overcome challenges in accessing, entering and maintaining their place in the workforce  $40,000.00
 BCYF Perkins (in partnership with Catholic Charities) Provides employment-specific language services and workforce readiness resources for Dorchester residents $70,000.00
Beacon Communities Charitable Fund Creates a Technology Mobility Action Plan initiative, a career development and family support program $55,000.00
 Black Market Empowers under-served entrepreneurs to work as vendors at the pop-up Black Market in Dudley Square $30,000.00
Boston Asian Youth Essential Service Provides academic and social support services to residents ages 16-26 $23,500.00
Boston Builds Credit Employs financial coaches at Bunker Hill Community College and Roxbury Community College $167,500.00
Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center Provides employment specific language services and English as a Second Language (ESL) job training programs $70,000.00
Boston Higher Education Resource Center, Inc. (HERC) Supports first generation Boston Public School high-school students and alumni $40,000.00
 Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester Provide resources for young adults ages 14-24 who reside within Dorchester  $40,000.00
 Casa Myrna Vazquez Provides economic stability services for domestic violence survivors ages 18-50 $35,000.00
Catholic Charities Supports Haitian Multi Service Center, Teen Center and Career Center for youth and adults in Dorchester $40,000.00
DEAF, INC. Provides participants, ages 65+, with economic benefits counseling $35,000.00
East Boston Social Centers Supports Boston Youth Network, a free after-school program serving East Boston's at-risk middle school and high school students $20,000.00
Supports Youth Opportunity Collaborative, a program that provides out of school youth with adult basic education and high school equivalency test preparation  $35,000.00
Fenway CDC Provides residents with benefits counseling, job readiness and training resources $35,000.00
 Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center Helps fund Asian elder drop-in services for Chinese speaking adults aged 60+ $35,000.00
Greater Boston Legal Services Provides free legal representation for Boston residents who need to maintain critical benefits $35,000.00
 Haitian American Public Health Initiative (HAPHI) Trains Haitian/Haitian American youth with job readiness services  $40,000.00
 Hyde Square Task Force Supports  Youth in Action program $28,500.00
International Institute of New England Provides language services and job skills training for refugees and immigrants $70,000.00
 Interseminarian Project Place Supports Project Place's Workforce Development Program to create career pathways for homeless and low-income residents $65,000.00
Irish International Immigrant Center Enrolls low income immigrant and refugee adults in career advancement courses and workshops $20,000.00
Jackson Mann Community and School Council Provides students with job readinesses resources $20,000.00
Jamaica Plain NDC Connects low-income working adults with good job networks  $60,000.00
Jewish Vocational Services Provides language services for low-income non-native English speaking adults  $60,000.00
JRI/STRIVE Supports STRIVE Boston, a program that provides low-income adults with job training and placement $40,000.00
La Alianza Hispana Provides funds to the programming at the Aliancianos Senior Center, including benefits counseling and life skills and/or work readiness training $35,000.00
Mass. Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS) Helps low-income residents with job training,  placement, and economic benefits counseling $40,000.00
Mass. Association for the Blind Provides elderly residents who are blind or visually impaired with peer support services $35,000.00
 Maverick Landing Community Services (MLCS) Provides adults 18+ with education, training and employment services $35,000.00
Mothers for Justice and Equality Provides educational civic action programming for mothers and youth victimized by violence $10,000.00
Mujeres Unidas Avanzando (MUA) Trains Latina women at an on-site phlebotomy lab by integrating language services, job readiness and job placement $80,000.00
 New England Center for Arts & Technology (NECAT) Support culinary arts job training program for unemployed or underemployed adults $20,000.00
 Notre Dame Education Center Provides resources to low-income youth and adults 18+ who wish to achieve financial security  $40,000.00
Operation ABLE Provides adults with training programs and employment services $50,000.00
Partners for Youth With Disabilities Supports career readiness programs for young people with disabilities $35,000.00
Project Hope Supports Project Hope's workforce development and employer partnership program that helps low-income mothers $60,000.00
ROCA Supports ROCA's Intervention Model, designed to help high-risk young men leave gangs and enter the workforce $62,000.00
SMCWC - Crossroads Family Shelter Provides economic and educational resources for homeless and formerly homeless families $40,000.00
Somali Development Center Provides job readiness workshops, language services for immigrants, refugees, and low-income individuals $30,000.00
Southwest Boston Senior Services dba Ethos Helps fund benefits counseling and financial support resources for seniors with disabilities  $35,000.00
St. Francis House Provides homeless adults with job readiness skills $40,000.00
 The Elizabeth Stone House Supports programming services at the Elizabeth Stone House in Roxbury  $35,000.00
Upham's Corner C.C. - Bird Street Community Center Enrolls low-income youth in job readiness courses $25,000.00
West End House Helps fund West End House's Leadership and Career Development program for Boston youth, ages 14-24 $50,000.00
X-Cel Education Supports X-Cel's post secondary transition program for residents 18+ $40,000.00
YMCA Training Inc. Provides professional skills training to unemployed adults $55,000.00
 Zumix Offers hands-on academic programming for low-income youth ages 12-18 in East Boston $30,000.00

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