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Providers’ Council testifies before state Task Force on Employment

The Providers' Council on Wednesday, October 14 testified before an Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Task Force that is exploring issues of unemployment and underemployment in the Commonwealth, particularly with those individuals who have barriers to employment.

Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II chaired the task force meeting. Council members Community Resources for Justice and South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) testified alongside Council President/CEO Michael Weekes before the panel on several issues related to the populations they serve and their efforts in helping clients secure and maintain employment in the state. CRJ President and CEO John Larivee and SMOC Division Director Shannon Teles represented their organizations.

The Council also sought support for Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES), the state's only welfare-to-work program. CIES, which has been funded at no less than $2 million in the past two budgets, has helped more than 800 TAFDC recipients find work and come off the state's welfare rolls. Those efforts, however, could be increased if additional funding was allocated to the program, Weekes said.

Visit the state website for more information about the task force and its charge.