JUNE 2019 - In This Issue:
WCAC Welcomes New Executive Director
I am incredibly honored to have been named Worcester Community Action Council's newest Executive Director. I've had the privilege of serving as a WCAC board member since 2017 and now am excited to take the helm as its next leader. What appealed most to me about the opportunity to lead WCAC is our role and history of impact as a responsive tool for the 45 communities and the thousands of people we serve annually. 

Our programs have a wide reach from our Early Head Start and Head Start offerings in Webster and Southbridge that ready young children for transition into Kindergarten, our Jobs and Education Center that prepares Worcester youth and young adults for education and employment opportunities, our Healthy Families Initiative that works with first time parents for the first 1000 days of their child's life, and our Energy programs that help our disabled, veteran, senior and low-income neighbors stay warm with fuel and energy efficiency assistance. 

Even more than any one single program is our ability to create greater access to economic and community resources across the varied needs of individuals and families.

We have an expert team and committed Board of Directors working to advance our mission, together, to help individuals and families move to economic self-sufficiency through programs, partnerships and advocacy. We also have a deep network of partners across city, state, federal, nonprofit, consumer and business sectors to help us meet the needs of everyone we serve.

If you don't know us yet, I encourage you to reach out and engage with us to learn more. I look forward to working with staff, our board, and our many partners and funders as I embark on my tenure here.

Marybeth Campbell
Executive Director

Read more about Marybeth's appointment to WCAC here.

We're Counting on You!
Making a difference in the lives of those we serve

"Thank you most sincerely for all your efforts in obtaining assistance for me in paying my gas bill. It was especially helpful having received the funds during the months of the highest bills. I am aware that your work is not easy, and for that I am most appreciative. God bless you all!" - Louise from Auburn

"I want to take this time to thank you so much for installing a new furnace for me, and also a new tank for fuel. There would be no way for me to afford a new furnace, you came to my rescue. Also, for allotting me so much for my fuel assistance. You are a big blessing to me. Again I thank you!" - Connie from Sturbridge

Be a Head Start Hero!

Help Turn Up the Heat for those struggling with home heating bills!

Make a difference in the life a young person today!

Support WCAC programs with a tax-deductible donation!

WCAC is hiring! 
Several positions open within 
our Head Start and Healthy Families of Southern Worcester County programs. Click here for details on how to apply.

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WCAC's JEC celebrates youth achievements
Surrounded by family and friends, WCAC's Job & Education Center (JEC) hosted graduation ceremonies for its class of 2019 achievers! Festivities recognized academic, career and professional achievements. Nearly 60 students, wearing gowns of black, white and green, were honored for having earned their High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), Academic Achievements, College & Training Accomplishments, and/or the completion of either the Worcester Culinary Program or Certified Nurse Assistant programs.

With a theme of 'Keys to Success', graduates enjoyed remarks from WCAC Executive Director Marybeth Campbell and Quinsigamond Community College Professor Eduardo Rivas. Several students also spoke, sharing their own personal struggles and challenges ultimately leading them to WCAC's JEC - determined to succeed.

We are so proud of each and every one of you! Check out our photo album from the day.
Head Start graduates, life-long learners
It's cap and gown season at WCAC's Head Start centers! Always a bittersweet time of year when we bid farewell to little ones 'graduating' from the program, heading off to Kindergarten.  Earlier this month 90 five-year-olds received their Head Start diplomas over the course of two days, with celebrations held at both WCAC's Southbridge and Webster centers. Special thanks to the Alpha Gamma Massachusetts State Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International which donated backpacks filled with school supplies - pencils, crayons, scissors, markers, folders and more - for all of WCAC's Head Start graduates.  Children who will be returning to the program in the fall, received certificates of accomplishment as well as special gifts - pencil boxes and bubbles- compliments of MAPFRE Insurance.

View additional images from Certificate Day festivities in Southbridge and Webster online. Take a look back at fun events and hands-on learning from throughout the past school year online.

YouthWorks to place 300+ local youth in jobs
For some the arrival of summer means lazy days spent by the pool or at the beach. At WCAC, however, summer means work - specifically youth work! As the coordinator of the YouthWorks Summer Jobs program, approximately 320 youth will be dispersed to some 60 employer work sites for six weeks of subsidized summer employment. YouthWorks was established to create summer jobs for low-income, inner city youth between the ages of 14 and 21. YouthWorks is funded through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, and administered statewide by the Commonwealth Corporation. 
New for this summer, WCAC will be piloting an IT cohort through YouthWorks in collaboration with Worcester Public Schools Innovation Pathways program. Eleven youth will be employed at five employers, gaining real work experience in the information technology field. The employers include Machado Consulting, Domitek, and the IT departments of Reliant Medical Group, Worcester Public School and Hanover Insurance Inc.  

As a kickoff to the YouthWorks program, WCAC is proud to be collaborating with the  City of Worcester, Worcester Public Schools, the State Treasurer's Office of Economic Empowerment, Mass Hire and the YouthConnect Coalition to present the Worcester Youth Development and Professional Leadership Symposium (WYDPLS). A week-long training for youth participating in YouthWorks as well as youth who'll be employed through the City's Recreation Worcester program, WYDPLS is intended to supplement trainings offered by local employers and help expand local free training opportunities. Utilizing an urban campus model, youth will participate in a variety of work-readiness workshops, focusing on things such as soft skills, communication, and learning strengths. WYDPLS will kickoff at the Hanover Theatre on Monday, June 24th with performances by the Arts, Music Police Partnership (AMPP) and the Southeast Asian Coalition's Worcester Youth Nian Dancers. The event will also include  panel discussion with City Manager Ed Augustus and Superintendent Maureen Binienda.

WCAC gratefully acknowledges Fallon Community Health who will generously be supporting the meals WYDPLS participants will receive throughout the week long training.
Appliance Management Program
WCAC's Appliance Management Program (AMP) helps eligible tenants and homeowners to save energy and money by upgrading light bulbs and inefficient appliances with brand-new, efficient ones-at NO COST!
See the savings on your bill right away with the following upgrades:
  • Light bulbs - incandescent bulbs will be replaced with long lasting LED bulbs
  • Refrigerator or freezer - must be replacing an inefficient model
  • Washing Machines - must be replacing a working top loader with an agitator and meet other criteria.
  • Dehumidifier - must be replacing an inefficient model
  • Air Conditioners (window) - must be replacing an inefficient model
Every participant is also given energy savings information, "smart" electrical strips, a refrigerator brush and a full training on how to continue saving money in their home.  AMP is just the beginning of energy savings opportunities!  Tenants and homeowners may be eligible to receive full-service weatherization (insulation and more) and heating system upgrades.  To schedule your AMP evaluation, contact us  at  energy@wcac.net  or 508.754.1176 x 157.

WCAC: The Antipoverty Agency for Central Massachusetts

Helping people move to economic self-sufficiency through programs, partnerships and advocacy.

Serving the City of Worcester and 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, Westborough.