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Providers’ Council honors job creation champions

Providers’ Council members celebrated the statewide success of job training programs and honored legislative champions during a Champions for Job Creation Legislative Breakfast on March 16 at WORK Inc. in Dorchester.

The Council presented awards to state Sen. Michael Rodrigues of Westport and state Rep. Daniel Hunt of Dorchester for their consistent support and leadership with regard to Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES), the state’s only welfare-to-work program, and other successful  vocational training programs. Daniel Hunt’s mother, Jean, accepted the award on his behalf.

Additionally, Department of Transitional Assistance Commissioner Jeff McCue praised the success of the program participants and the programs for “valuing work as it relates to promoting self-sufficiency and bringing dignity back. These individuals came to Goodwill, Lifestream and WORK Inc. to make a difference in their lives, and they deserve our respect and applause.”

McCue announced that DTA would be initiating a pilot program for non-custodial parents who lose TAFDC benefits once they are working. The program will include a year of phased down cash benefits and transportation reimbursements that will allow recipients to gain a foothold in their new life and allow them to graduate from benefits into employment.

“We feel this will directly impact multigenerational economic stability,” McCue said.

“I have been fighting for years for CIES,” said Sen. Rodrigues, who noted that it was staff at Lifestream and other service providers that “taught me how important it is to make investments in job programs because they work.”

Three speakers – Chithanh “Be” Nguyen of WORK Inc., Stephania Chrispin from Morgan Memorial  Goodwill Industries and Sarah Freitas of Lifestream – shared with the more than 50 people in attendance their stories of successfully completing job training programs and finding rewarding employment.