WIOA Career Pathways & YouthWorks Successes2023-10-11T10:54:31-04:00
Advancing Youth Career Development & Exploration
By the Numbers…
$34 million: State funds invested in youth summer and year-round employment
7,655: Youth hired through state YouthWorks funding
611: Worcester area youth placed in jobs by WCAC (see below)
78+: Worcester area employers hosted YouthWorks participants
WCAC Partnership Sparks Youth Summer Employment
Collaboration between MassHire regional workforce boards and a robust statewide network of local hiring partners fuels youth employment in the Commonwealth. Discover how collaborations propelled the YouthWorks 2023 Summer program and ways Massachusetts employers are investing in youth employment. This summer, the Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC) placed more than 600 youth in jobs across multiple industries.
Six Months from Fast Food Server to Healthcare Hero
When Dakota Wright graduated high school in Spring 2022, “I was a kid with little ambition, working part time at McDonalds making minimum wage. I didn’t know what else I could do.” From personal experiences, Dakota recognized her innate ability and affinity to care for elderly people and decided to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)/Home Health Aide.
While researching training, she found out her elder siblings had participated in The Fieldstone School’s CNA program. “I applied and was accepted to Fieldstone’s Healthcare Career Development Program,” she said. After enrolling in September 2022, Dakota said personal case management was “a key factor that helped me finish the program, prepare for and pass the state exam, and earn my CNA license.”
Dakota now earns $26/hour working weekends as a CNA at a nursing home. The Fieldstone School unleashed her inner learner, she reflects: “I’m enrolled full-time at QCC pursuing an Associate Degree in Business/Real Estate and hope to become a successful realtor.”
While acknowledging the challenges of balancing school, work, and family, Dakota is proud of her progress. “I want to do better in life: I’m going to buy a car, pace myself, focus on my studies. The most important thing is not getting overwhelmed by things in my life I can’t control.”
Blackstone Valley Hub for Workforce Development YW Summer Students
A YouthWorks participant from Hopedale delivered a presentation to adults and peers about his summer work experience at Northbridge TV. The YouthWorks program helped him to grow his communication skills exponentially.
A Sutton YouthWorks participant created and shared this video capturing his summer work experience, which involved scripting and helping produce a VR experience showcasing a local company.
YouthWorksis a state-funded youth employment program operated by Commonwealth Corporation. Participants (teens and young adults up to age 25) are placed in paid short-term jobs (6-8 weeks) during the summer and/or year-round (September – May). All YouthWorks programs use the Signal Successcurriculum to help participants learn and practice skills they use at work, school, and in life.