Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 18, 2017                                                                                             Contact:  Ellen M. Ganley, Director of Development  508 762-9807
EGanley@WCAC.net 
WCAC receives $25K to support CNA pipeline program 
Workforce Competitive Trust  & Health Care Workforce Transformation Funds will help train certified nursing assistants 
Worcester, Massachusetts - Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. was among eight partnerships funded through the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund and the Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund as announced recently by the Baker-Polito Administration. WCAC was awarded $25,000 to design training programs to prepare individuals for positions as Certified Nursing Assistants. 

For this initiative WCAC has partnered with the Central MA Workforce Investment Board, WorkForce Central, Ascentria Care Alliance, Quinsigamond Community College (QCC), Worcester Community Connections Coalition/YOU, Inc., Christopher House, Veteran's Inc., Salmon Health Care, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance. Over a three-month period, the partnership will develop occupationally-specific training and placement programs designed to support individuals with limited attachment to the labor force in making a successful transition to employment in occupations in demand by local employers. These grants will be followed by Program Implementation grants of up to two years.

According to WCAC Executive Director Jill Dagilis, "We are most appreciative of this workforce grant and see it as a continuation of the efforts and partnerships initiated under the Urban Agenda economic development grant program and QCC's Project and Training & Internship Networks Community College Workforce Development Grant (TRAIN) through which home health aide and nursing assistant certifications have been provided to forty individuals over the past year. Once they've completed the certification, an individual is then eligible to take the American Red Cross Certified Nursing Assistant exam and can be placed in employment by local nursing facilities, earning more than minimum wage and helping to fill the many vacant positions being reported by industry leaders." She estimated that an additional sixty individuals will be served through these latest workforce grant funds.

The Program Design Grants are designed to support the recommendations of Governor Baker's Economic Opportunity Task Force to provide support services, training, and job placement programs that meet the needs of members of populations facing chronic unemployment, including African Americans/Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, persons with disabilities, and Gulf War Era II Veterans. 

"We are committed to ensuring citizens across the Commonwealth have access to greater economic opportunity," said Governor Charlie Baker. "These grants will support efforts helping those facing chronic unemployment get the training and support they need to join or re-enter the workforce." 

"We look forward to partnering with the grantees to fully implement the goals of the Economic Opportunity Task Force. As the economy in Massachusetts grows, helping more individuals develop the training and skills needed to succeed and find gainful employment remains a top priority for our administration," added Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. 

These Program Design grants are being awarded to community partnerships of businesses, community-based organizations and training organizations. Over a three-month period, the partnerships will develop occupationally-specific training and placement programs designed to support individuals with limited attachment to the labor force in making a successful transition to employment in occupations in demand by local employers. These grants will be followed by Program Implementation grants of up to 2 years for a total of $1,637,334. 

According to Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Ronald L. Walker, II, "For the chronically unemployed, the prospect of a good paying job can seem far off. By utilizing these grants we will be able to provide the training necessary for many of these people to start a career. That is good for the person who gets the job and good for our state's employers who are in need of workers trained in these skills."

The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) supports regional partnerships between businesses, community based organizations, labor organizations, educational institutions and workforce development organizations to prepare Massachusetts residents for occupations that are in demand by businesses in the region. The Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund supports training and education activities that help health care employers address workforce challenges related to their efforts to meet the cost containment and quality improvement goals of Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012. Commonwealth Corporation administers both funds under the leadership of Secretary Walker.

A complete list of the grant recipients awarded by the WCTF and the HCWTF grants can be found  here.
About WCAC

For more than fifty years, the Worcester Community Action Council has served as the federally designated anti-poverty agency for central and southern Worcester County, with a mission of helping people move to economic self-sufficiency through programs, partnerships and advocacy.

Serving the City of Worcester and 45 neighboring communities of Auburn, Blackstone, Boylston, Brimfield, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Hardwick, Holden, Holland, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Grafton, Leicester, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Monson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Palmer, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, Wales, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield and Westborough.  
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