Workforce Development

MassHire Has Been Awarded a $2 Million Grant for YouthWorks Program

Article from

Lowell — MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Board announced today they received a $2 million grant for the YouthWorks Employment and Training Program. This is the highest grant award for the program in the Greater Lowell Workforce Board’s history!

Awarded by the Commonwealth Corporation, YouthWorks is a state-funded youth employment program offering teens and young adults the experience needed to find and keep jobs. The YouthWorks program is administered by the Young Adult Career Center in Lowell, MA.

With this additional funding, the program will hire 446 young adults (ages 14-25) across the Workforce Board’s service area (8 communities). Training includes soft skills, hands on work experience, and a framework for accumulating knowledge that leads to skill certifications. As part of the program, 25 young adults will gain their driver’s license. The jobs and training workshops will focus on three High Priority areas in the Greater Lowell Region: construction, early education, and health/medical.

“These funds come at a pivotal time for our region’s youth,” said Kevin Coughlin, Workforce Board Executive Director. “These jobs will be vital in this post-COVID environment.”

Shannon Norton, Career Center Executive Director, said, “We are grateful to Commonwealth Corporation for the increase in funding which enables us to double our enrollments. This will increase access for our area’s low-income youth, providing them with valuable work experience and soft skills.”

“Young adults are the future of the workforce,” said Heather Donovan, Young Adult Career Center Manager. “Being able to provide high quality experiences and training to so many young people in our area allows us to make an outstanding difference in the future of not only the young people we serve, but the companies we work with and the greater communities at large.”

MassHire is located in Lowell, MA, and serves the communities of Lowell, Dracut, Billerica, Tewksbury, Chelmsford, Dunstable, Tyngsborough, and Westford. Its mission is to provide the public and private sectors with job training and placement into jobs within the Greater Lowell region.

UMass Lowell to Host Community University Partnerships for Research, Scholarship, Service, Internships

UMass Lowell’s Center for Community Research & Engagement invites you to a two-part meeting on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Coburn 255 on their South Campus.

The two meetings will consist of:

  1. Community organizations and faculty/staff who are interested in collaborations will meet, network, and discuss possibilities.
  2. Facilitated discussion with faculty and staff (but all welcome) about ways to further support your community engaged research and scholarship on campus.

Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

Lowell High 2023 Career Speaker Week – recruiting local career professionals


Lowell High & Project LEARN are teaming up for Lowell High’s 4th Annual Career Speaker Week to bring local professionals from all industries to share their stories and inspire the next generation of Lowell students.

More details below 👇


WHEN: Week of March 6th – 10th 

WHERE: Lowell High School @ 50 Father Morissette Blvd, Lowell, MA

PARKING: There is street parking available on Kirk St. (one-way street) and Central Street. We are also a short walk from the public parking at the John Street Garage and Leo A. Roy Garage.


We’re seeking volunteers to speak with students about their career and educational path. Our goal is to help students gain more knowledge and insight on what their future can look like!

Career speaker time slots are for 50 minute class periods (speaking time is about ~30 to 40 minutes). By completing this form, you are committing to attending at least 1 time slot.

No speaking experience required. Zoom Volunteer Orientation will be provided 1st week of March 2023.QUESTIONS?

Contact Program Director, Mira Bookman ([email protected])

Middlesex 3 and Project LEARN ‘Flip the Script’ on STEM Education

Lowell High School senior Adedayo Sanusi has her sights set on becoming a web developer and is already well on her way. This year, she re-sparked interest in an after-school Girls Who Code club at LHS with support from local nonprofit Project LEARN.

On Nov. 17, Adedayo was among six LHS student leaders passionate about IT and computer science who were invited to network with local industry professionals, and serve as student panelists.

“Flip the Script: An IT Roundtable Discussion,” held at Project LEARN’s Youth Innovation Space, was a collaboration between Project LEARN, Middlesex 3 Coalition, UMass Lowell, Middlesex Community College and MassHire. As an intern for Project LEARN, Adedayo gained firsthand experience in the behind-the-scenes planning of the event.

“Students like Adedayo are so driven to get involved and give back to the community,” said Mira Bookman, Project LEARN’s program director. “For my team and I, ‘Flip the Script’ means uplifting the voices of student leaders, and creating a forum for open dialogue between students, industry professionals, and workforce resources. 

The roundtable was moderated by Lowell High School 2022 Distinguished Alum and Project LEARN board member Siddhi Shah Chhoeng, the head of strategy development for MilliporeSigma.

Kenneth Chap, a LHS senior and co-founder of The Programming Initiative (TPI), asked how representation of Lowell students can be increased in hiring.

Michael Bogdan, president of Avail Project Management, said he hires employees based on experience.

“Internships are key to gaining experience early on,” Bogdan advised. “Companies should do more to strengthen the talent pipeline in a way that serves the needs of their company.”

Sanusi asked the group what challenges they face with diverse hiring.

Sam Francois, a senior advanced research engineer for CommScope in Lowell, said he studied at Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he was among the 2% of the student body who was Black. He said he is also “the only person at work who looks like me.”

“The pools that are being recruited from don’t always reflect the community they’re in,” he said.

Francois added that although an employer should do more, to work through existing affinity groups or diverse professional societies in an effort to make people in those groups more aware of career opportunities.

The Director of Internal Communications at NetScout in Westford, Karen McCloskey, said it can be difficult to attract young diverse candidates to work in the suburbs when they would rather be in Boston or Cambridge. However, NetScout is actively working to get young people interested in their company by hosting hack-a-thons in different locations as a “fun way for us to get to know the students and for them to get to know us.”

When TPI co-founder and LHS junior Ibraheem Amin asked what steps high school students should take to break into the IT field, Chhoeng was quick to respond.

“Having IT knowledge is great,” said Chhoeng, “but it is more about having a desire to continue learning, having creative problem-solving skills, and good time management skills.”

Looking to the future, Victoria Prak, a LHS senior who is a member of both TPI and Girls Who Code, asked about the challenges facing the IT sector in the next five years and how we can work together to address these issues.

Tom O’Donnell, director of UMass Lowell’s iHub, said security, privacy and closing the equity gap on issues like broadband access will continue to be big challenges in IT. Today, more and more discoveries in life sciences are being made through the use of IT tools rather than time working in the research lab, which is why it’s critical to build community connections that strengthen IT education.

Lowell High senior Elyjah Delius, vice president of the school’s chapter of the Business Professionals of America, asked the attendees about pitfalls they faced in their journeys, professionally or personally, from which they learned.

“All of these experiences you have are opportunities to practice the skills that will take you far,” said Stephen Oliver, a professor at Salem State University and Project LEARN board member. “Say one thing every day in class and develop the habit of showing up.”

One of Lowell’s strengths is that it is a tight-knit community. “All of the resources are there,” said LZ Nunn, Project LEARN’s executive director. “Our job is to connect students with them.”

Funds for HS STEM Internship Program Awarded to the GLWFB

The Greater Lowell Workforce Board has been awarded a STEM- Focused Internship grant in the amount of $150,000.

“The purpose of these grants is to provide stipend support to increase high school students’ (9-12th grade) access to highly engaging STEM internships, particularly in schools enrolled in schools with high concentrations of low-income and historically disadvantaged student populations, to explore and prepare for a STEM Career in the Commonwealth.

Through this grant, the Commonwealth hopes to expose students to exciting career opportunities in STEM while also
building the pipeline of talent in potential employees in the Commonwealth.”

The Greater Lowell Workforce Board (MassHire) will administer the funds to businesses that hire an intern to work on STEM projects in 2023 (approximately 100 hours/student). 

For more information on eligibility and how to apply for the Internship funds, please contact, Katy Gentile at the Greater Lowell Workforce Board, [email protected].

DIA’s New Workplace Safety Grant Applications Open

You might be eligible to receive a Workplace Safety Grant!

Administered by the Office of Safety within the Division of Industrial Accidents (DIA), Massachusetts-based and operating businesses in good standing can submit a Workplace Safety Training Grant application of up to $25k per grant.

Applications are due August 31st, 2022. 

workplace safety grant