$1.35 million of Neighborhood Jobs Trust funding awarded to 23 community organizations
BOSTON - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development today announced the disbursement of $1.35 million to 23 community-based organizations as part of the 2019-2020 Neighborhood Jobs Trust (NJT) Grantees. The recipients were celebrated today at More Than Words bookstore in the South End, a first-time recipient of NJT funding. NJT funding supports community-based organizations that provide Boston residents with job training skills and support services, enabling them to enter career pathways and obtain higher paying jobs.
"We will only grow as a City if we leverage the strong development market and use every tool available to us to ensure that prosperity is within reach of all of our residents," said Mayor Walsh. "The Neighborhood Jobs Trust is a powerful tool funded through linkage fees that gives us the ability to invest in workforce development and job training, directly helping thousands of Boston residents reach their fullest potential."
The Neighborhood Jobs Trust is a public charitable trust replenished by linkage fees from developers of large-scale commercial projects in Boston. Since 2014, new development approved by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) is generating over $75 million in linkage fees, with $61.6 million to support affordable housing and $13.5 million to support job training.
In September, Mayor Walsh signed a home-rule petition he proposed to grant the City greater flexibility in adjusting linkage rates to keep pace with the development market. The proposal requires approval from the Massachusetts Legislature.
NJT recipients were selected through an open Request for Proposals (RFP) process administered by the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development. Anticipated results of this year's selected training programs include: 511 Boston residents will enroll in job training, English to Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL) or Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs, 404 (79%) will complete training programs and 283 (70%) will secure employment, 267 (94%) of which will retain employment for at least 30 days and up to one year.
"We're grateful to the Mayor for his support of the Neighborhood Jobs Trust," said Trinh Nguyen, Director of the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development, which stewards NJT funds. "A financially robust trust fund will help us continue to build on the successes captured in our latest NJT impact report."
According to the Neighborhood Jobs Trust Impact Report released today, NJT-funded organizations helped more than 2,000 Boston residents in need access job training and education programs crucial to economic mobility from 2017-2018. The $2.86 million investment, bolstered by another $2.9 million in leveraged funds, supported such services as contextualized English instruction, tuition-free college, employment coaching, paid internships, and bridge programs for post-secondary or career training that leads to quality jobs.
The report details the many ways in which NJT-funded programs targeted their services to meet demand in specific industries. The SkillWorks IT/Tech Initiative, for example, placed 140 Boston Public Schools students in paid summer internships in Boston's high-growth tech industry. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Boston used its funds to prepare job-seekers for the rigors of job training in the culinary, hospitality, and information technology fields. Ninety percent of the graduates were placed in jobs, earning $16.20 an hour on average.
Two graduates of NJT-funded job training programs, Alice Mei and Terry Li, picked up customer service and retail job skills from a program run by Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. An immigrant couple from China, Mei and Li honed their English and learned American customer service norms, such as smiling, shaking hands, and establishing eye contact. The couple used these skills every day working at APM Coffee, the coffee shop they opened on Kneeland Street.
Li is already looking forward to their next steps. "I hope my business is successful and we can have another branch and serve a lot of people," he said.
The full list of the FY2020 NJT recipients can be found below.
About the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development
The Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (OWD) is an innovative agency within the Boston Redevelopment Authority that seeks to ensure the full participation of all Boston residents in the City's economic vitality and future. OWD funds and oversees programs that promote workforce development through education, jobs training, apprenticeships, financial coaching, career pathways, literacy initiatives, and the like. Please visit OWD.Boston.Gov to learn more about OWD's work.