Lawrence Delegation Secures Funds for Youth Jobs in FY16 Budget

The Lawrence legislative delegation has secured $25,000 in both the House and Senate Fiscal Year 2016 Budgets toward Groundwork Lawrence, Inc. (GWL) for its Green Team youth jobs program.

GWL is a nonprofit that, since its launch in 1999, has been working to empower residents of Lawrence to improve their quality of life. Among the organization’s goals is, through education and employment initiatives, to prepare the community’s youth to be productive and positive leaders in their communities. GWL also works on environmental and open space improvements; community programming and events; and fresh food access programs.

Green Team is a year-round program that offers part-time, paid positions for 50 Lawrence High School-aged students to help learn about and lead local environmental and healthy community initiatives, grow food, conduct research, raise awareness, challenge their peers to do community service and participate in hands-on improvement projects throughout the City of Lawrence.

“The work Groundwork Lawrence does every day in our communities is immensely important and I was proud to sponsor this amendment in the House to support youth jobs,” said State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen). “The Green Team program was developed to prepare Lawrence youth for a lifetime of community leadership and I am strongly committed to supporting it and other Groundwork Lawrence initiatives over the years to come.”

“We greatly appreciate the Lawrence delegation’s commitment to supporting Groundwork Lawrence’s youth job,” said Heather McMann, executive director of Groundwork Lawrence. “These experiences are very important to our youth’s development and studies show that youth employment increases future earnings and career advancement. The Green Team program has more than doubled in the last few years in response to the increase in the city’s youth unemployment rate. This funding will ensure that we can continue to provide these jobs and support the city’s future leaders.”

“As a member of Green Team, I have been exposed to many things that I couldn’t be able to experience anywhere else,” said Green Team member Rosa Diaz. “Green Team has not only been my first job experience but also my first exposure to learn about harvesting, planting, business planning and gaining leadership skills.”

“I’ve learned that I like a lot of things environmental related, it’s probably a career I want to pursue,” said Green Team member Jairo Hernandez. “GWL has taught me about a lot of environmental issues throughout the world and how to deal with them. GWL also taught me how to work in a team. Because different people have different leadership styles, GWL taught me how to be adaptive with different people and different leadership styles.”

House Budget Includes Funding to Assist Disabled Merrimack Valley Veterans

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has included in its Fiscal Year 2016 Budget an amendment, sponsored by State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen), for $125,000 in funds to assist the Career Resources Corporation (CRC) in its initiative to help disabled veterans who are seeking employment opportunities.

CRC, which is based in Haverhill, is a non-profit that serves communities across the Merrimack Valley. For 40 years, it has worked to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to be successful and self-sufficient.

The organization’s partnership with Valley Works Career Center, the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center and the City of Haverhill Veterans’ Services has provided area veterans with comprehensive support to seek and maintain employment.

“CRC is committed to enhancing the quality of life for people throughout the Merrimack Valley who are living with a wide range of disabilities and other challenges,” said Brad Howell, Chief Executive Officer at CRC. “The Veterans with Disabilities Employment program has been extremely effective in assisting veterans obtain employment. Representative DiZoglio and Chairman Brian S. Dempsey (D-Haverhill) have been tireless supporters of this program by successfully advocating for funding and building support among the local delegation. Their commitment goes beyond funding as they also consistently attend CRC events advocates for people with disabilities. CRC wishes to thank Representative DiZoglio, Chairman Dempsey and the Merrimack Valley delegation for their support.”

“Unemployment remains high among veterans, comparative to the overall population,” said DiZoglio, who represents communities in North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill. “These are men and women who have put their lives on the line for us and we need to do everything we can to help them transition back into our community. This program will go a long way toward ensuring the continued success of our service men and women. CRC has estimated that with the inclusion of this funding, it will be able to serve an additional 27 veterans in the Merrimack Valley who are seeking jobs.”

“This program will go a long way in providing our local veterans with the critical support services they need and will ensure that our veterans are provided access to employment opportunities,” said State Representative Brian S. Dempsey (D-Haverhill). “I commend the leadership of Representative DiZoglio on this issue and the hard work of the entire Haverhill delegation in their commitment to our veterans.”