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Economy report on Boston jobs

Posted on December 1, 2015

A report on Boston jobs is shedding light on some successful programs in the area.

Building an Inclusive Economy¬†reviews Office of Work Development’s successes from July 2014 through June 2015. The office operates and funds a variety of initiatives to support upward financial mobility for individuals and families in Boston. Some of its signature offerings include the Office of Financial Empowerment, Boston’s one-stop career centers, employment programs for hard-to-reach youth, children’s literacy programs, and the Boston Tax Help Coalition. OWD also helps manage the Neighborhood Jobs Trust, which is funded by fees associated with private development projects and provides grants to nonprofit collaboratives such as SkillWorks and English for New Bostonians.

“This past fiscal year we were able to provide over $19.2 million in funding to more than 120 training programs, English for employment programs, bridge programs, youth employment programs and other educational services to help people find stable career paths,” said OWD¬†Director Trinh Nguyen.

Highlights from the annual report include:

  • SkillWorks, which received $350,000 in funding through the Neighborhood Jobs Trust, was able to leverage additional financial resources in order to serve over 1,000 limited English speakers to improve their language skills and employment opportunities.
  • Youth Options Unlimited, an education, and employment program that works with hard-to-reach youth provided case management services to 377 young people and placed 88 youth in private employment positions.
  • The children’s literacy program ReadBoston gave away 60,000 new books to young readers across the city, and WriteBoston served 535 high school students with its deep learning through writing model.
  • The Boston Tax Help Coalition was able to prove 12,291 residents with free tax preparation services that resulted in approximately $23 million in refunds for Boston families.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh restructured and rebranded the office earlier this year after a thorough assessment of community resources, best practices, and efforts of workforce development programs around the country.