Happy Fall! In this edition of our newsletter, we welcome new staff and congratulate a long-term member of our team on retirement. We are back to in-person job fairs and events and it has been wonderful to be in person once again. For the fourth year in a row, we have won a MassHire Award. It was extra special to have the award ceremony in Worcester in front of our colleagues across the state.

Lastly, here at MassHire Lowell we salute all veterans who have proudly served our country. Veterans receive priority service at MassHire. We have much to be thankful for this season so please keep up with us on social media and check out our YouTube channel for our customer success stories!

Shannon Norton Calles

Executive Director

MassHire Lowell Career Center

MassHire Lowell Career Center News

Assistant Director Mike Durkin Retires

An icon of the Career Center has retired. Assistant Director Mike Durkin retired this September. Mike started at the career center way back in 1982 in the Supported Work program. He was later promoted to Budget Analyst in 1987 and in 2016 become the Assistant Director. 

Mike's long history and knowledge of career center operations have been invaluable to us over the years.  Among staff, Mike is known as the first responder when something breaks down. When not in his office budgeting, Mike is always seen moving quickly through the center fixing computers or moving office furniture. 

Mike’s nickname was “Jack” as in Jack of all trades. He has worked tirelessly behind the scenes for decades and our Center would not be where we are today without his hard work and dedication. He will be greatly missed.

New England Regional Job Fair

Massachusetts will be joining all other New England states for the first-ever regional job fair. This online event will offer job opportunities from entry-level positions to experienced ones for job seekers from all six New England states. The two-day event will be divided by employer industry. All are welcome to join this event. 

November 15: Healthcare, Education, Hospitality

November 16: Manufacturing, Engineering, Transportation, Warehousing, Construction.

New England Regional Job Fair

November 15 & 16

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Learn More about the Job Fair

Madeline Colon-Rivera Wins MassHire Award

In September, our Career Advisor Madeline Colon-Rivera won the MassHire Award for respect and commitment to providing intensive services to a diverse group of career center customers through the JobsPLUS program. 

Madeline represents the MassHire Lowell Career Center in the innovative JobsPLUS program at the Lowell Housing Authority. This program, which is funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, aims to deliver employment and training services to residents living at the North Common Village low-income housing site. These residents have an unemployment rate of over 50%, speak limited English, and many are dealing with the impacts of generational poverty.

The goal of the JobsPLUS program is to build self-sufficiency through living wage employment while covering the cost of the residents’ rent as wages increase. In the year since joining the JobsPLUS program, Madeline has enrolled 134 residents and connected 37 residents to new jobs for an average salary of $16.43 per hour. Part of what makes Madeline so successful is that she respects her customers while always being truthful. She lets them know exactly where they stand, and what they need to do to achieve success and she is their biggest advocate every step of the way.

The MassHire award ceremony was held on day two of the MassForward event. Governor Baker spoke to the crowd at the DCU center followed by Secretary Roslin Acosta, who along with State Workforce Board Chair Joanne Pokaski from Beth Israel Lahey Health, presented the award to Madeline. Check out our YouTube channel for videos from the event.

See a video of Madeline receiving her MassHire award.

Veteran Services

MassHire Lowell Career Center is proud to recognize and honor those who served in the Armed Forces of the United States by offering Priority of Service to our Veterans.

  • First Chance at Job Openings
  • Job Search Assistance
  • Access to a Career Coach
  • Labor Market Information
  • Assistance with Job Placement
  • Training Opportunities

To speak to our Veteran's Representative, please call Dan Boland at 978-805-4724

Fall Job Fair

On Tuesday, November 1, we conducted the Fall Job Fair at Middlesex Community College. Over 30 Lowell-based employers attended the event, including the City of Lowell, Lowell Public Schools, several local banks, and numerous other employers from around Lowell.

Attending job fairs is essential for all job seekers. It allows the job seeker to meet and speak directly to hiring managers. The event also gives employers an opportunity to meet candidates and recruit for their open positions. 

Halloween Party

Our annual Halloween party returned this year with dozens of children and their parents trick-or-treating through the cubicles of the career center. This annual tradition has been on hold for a couple of years but came back in grand fashion on Tuesday, October 25th. 

The event is part of the Retention grant and is meant as a fun activity to keep customers engaged and interacting with career center staff after they are employed. This year's event was hosted by staff members Kathy Dupont and Brenda Teles. 

Customer Success Story

One of our customers used MassHire Lowell Career Center services to make the switch to a new career. Despite many obstacles, Jay ended up in a job that he loves. Watch Jay's story below and see some of our other success stories on our Youtube channel

New Career Center Staff

We have welcomed five new staff members to the career center in the past month. Joining us are:

  • Angelica Perez (Career Advisor)
  • Cassidy Peirnet (Youg Adult Career Advisor)
  • Jay Caplan (Young Adult Career Advisor)
  • Pauline Choy (Young Adult Career Advisor)
  • Shannon Macalingay (Young Adult Workshop Facilitator)

Staff Profile: Bob McIntosh

For new members coming to MassHire Lowell Career Center, staff member Bob McIntosh offers them our first welcome.

Bob has been a Workshop Facilitator for 15 years and each week he conducts our welcome seminar for new members. It’s fitting that Bob delivers this seminar as he driven to help job seekers get the skills necessary to land that new job.

“My passion is getting that email from a customer that says ‘I landed the job,’” said Bob.

Originally starting out as the Disability Navigator at the center, Bob now conducts workshops, webinars, and seminars. He delivers about 30 events each month, with about 20 unique topic areas.

In addition to performing events, Bob also works as a Career Advisor and assists customers in finding new employment. He runs the job club and conducts mock interviews. The job club – an event where job seekers meet and discuss their job search experiences – is a great opportunity to get customers out of their homes and to start networking with others.

“I think the main challenge for customers is their reluctance to networking,” said Bob. “Communication in the job search is essential.”

Battling “ageism” is another obstacle Bob sees customers needing to defeat. 

“Job seekers can overcome ageism with their attitude,” said Bob. “By coming into an interview appearing young, displaying vitality, and with a positive attitude.”

As well as being Workshop Facilitator and a Career Advisor, Bob is also a nationally known expert on LinkedIn. Networking and developing exceptional interview skills are an essential component of any job search, he said.

Bob is a native of Amherst, Massachusetts and is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. When not helping job seekers, Bob is an avid walker and claims to walk three miles a day. 

A father of three, Bob says he enjoys seeing his children mature and grow into adulthood. He proudly boasts that his two daughters are both teachers.

In the Career Center, Bob is also noted – sometimes to the dismay of his colleagues – for his large collection of bobbleheads.  

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram