Job & Education Center (JEC)

WCAC’S  Job & Education Center remains closed to the public. Staff will be available via phone and email but there will be no in-person classes, appointments or walk-ins.

Through its Job & Education Center (JEC), located on the second floor of the Denholm Building in downtown Worcester, WCAC offers educational and employment programs for youth ages 16-24 who, for a variety of reasons, have fallen off the traditional educational pathway and can benefit from alternative classroom settings and learning styles.

Programs include: WINGS, funded by a grant from the US Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act and provided locally through the Central MA Workforce Investment Board and Project Excel, funded by the United Way of Central Massachusetts,  both provide High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) preparation, along with pre-employment skills training, education and career counseling, job and internship placement assistance, life skills workshops, case management, and mentorships which assist students with college  or work readiness. Both programs feature open entry and exit – meaning that youth can enter the program at any time, and remain enrolled as long as it takes to successfully complete the program requirements.

Academic classes utilize an English curriculum which concentrates on grammar and essay writing skills, while the math curriculum includes word problems, basic math, decimals, proportions, algebra, and geometry. Participants will also review issues relating to the world of work through computer training, classroom readings, discussions, and writing. All students prepare a résumé, cover letters, and review techniques for job searching. Those interested in pursuing their HiSET certificate should fill out online application here.

The Youth Employment Seminar (YES) offers two to three weeks of work readiness training for ages 17-24. Topics include resume writing, mock interviews, online job searching, completing applications and workplace culture. Seminars are hands on, interactive and incorporate guest speakers.

Additionally, WCAC offers workshops on financial literacy, computer skills as well as weekly group counseling and life skills.

WCAC manages the YouthWorks Year-Round and Summer Employment Programs. Youth (16-21) participate in a one week professionally developed work readiness training followed by six weeks of paid, on the job work experience. Youth are supported by a case manager for the duration of the program and are place at one of WCAC’s trusted business partner worksites. Eligibility requirements apply and work experience duration bay changed based on funding received.

Learn more about all the programs and services available through WCAC’s Job & Education Center: JEC Brochure

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STATEMENT FROM WCAC

In the wake of the murder of Mr. George Floyd, we are still searching for words adequate to express our disgust and horror over the actions of those responsible for his death; our deep sadness for Mr. Floyd’s family, friends and community; and our anger over the repeated dehumanizing and fatal oppressive actions that threaten our nation. On behalf of the Worcester Community Action Council, we unequivocally condemn the police brutality that led to Mr. Floyd’s death. We join the call for justice, unity, peace and reform.

Worcester Community Action Council is directly and indirectly affected by the tragic events in our country that have reopened wounds that were never healed.  Our board of directors, staff and clients feel the impact of these events in deeply personal ways, and struggle with the feelings of fear, mistrust, separation, and anger.  We stand together in solidarity with the thousands of peaceful demonstrators across the country who are demanding justice for Mr. Floyd and an end to the systemic and intentional acts of oppression imposed upon communities of color.  George Floyd is now among countless, precious Black lives lost due to the imbalance of power in this country that has been perpetuated by racism.  Systemic racism must end.  We must hold ourselves accountable as allies to act as a relentless force for positive change.

Community Action was created in 1964 from the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement as part of the federal Economic Opportunity Act in the “War on Poverty”. In our role in the community, WCAC must renew and strengthen our calls for an end to the poverty and inequity that threaten our society.

We will be a strong voice against injustice, oppression and hate by advocating for policies that create equitable access to education, health, social and economic systems.

We will continue to work to stabilize individuals and households through our programs while deepening our resolve to create economic self-sufficiency through financial building blocks.

We will continue our leadership role in the City of Worcester’s Safe and Successful Youth Initiative in partnership with the Worcester Police Department and Worcester Public Schools, recognizing youth employment and education are pathways for success.

We will continue to invest resources in our youngest children across Southern Worcester County from ages zero to five as we help prepare them for long-term success in school and life.

We will use our agency’s purchasing power to support African American, Latinx and Immigrant- owned businesses by purchasing goods and services.

We will support a diverse staff at all levels to work within our own agency staff to examine, change and navigate ourselves and our community into a just and equitable era.

We will listen to the needs of our community and routinely shift our work to address these needs directly.

We will partner with you, and like-minded organizations, to support initiatives that help our community heal, unify, and become stronger.

Together, we can make meaningful reforms, and change the course of the future for our children.

Signed,

Marybeth Campbell, Executive Director                    Noreen Johnson Smith, WCAC Board Chair

Statement endorsed by WCAC Board of Directors 6/2/2020