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The Youth Council

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Youth Council upcoming events

Meeting Dates 2016 - 2017

September 27, 2016
Hosted by Department of Developmental Services and Seven Hills Family Support Center
1460 John Fitch Highway, Fitchburg, MA 01420
11:30 - 1:00 (pasta lunch will be provided)

All other meetings will be brown bag lunch starting at 11:30 - 1:00. Locations to be determined. Watch for emails with locations for the following Youth Council meetings:

December 13, 2016
March 14, 2017
May 16, 2017

Executive Committee Meeting
September 8, 2016
November 15, 2016
February 14, 2017
May 9, 2017

Local Employers Recognized for Their Investment in Youth Workforce Development

On February 26, 2015 four local employers received Growing & Readying Our Workforce (GROW) awards from the Job1 Youth Employment Coalition. The 3rd Annual GROW Awards Ceremony took place at Asa Waters Mansion in Millbury, MA and honored UMass Medical School - Worcester, MA; American Independent Contractor - Worcester, MA; Leominster Credit Union - Leominster, MA; and Grinnell Enterprises, Inc. - Fitchburg, MA.

The GROW Awards were created in 2012 through the Job1 Youth Employment Coalition to highlight employers going above and beyond to provide workplace experience for local youth.

The Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board (CMWIB) and the North Central Workforce Investment Board (NCMWIB) helped to establish the Job1 Youth Employment Coalition, a partnership of area schools, higher education, and youth employment programs to create and promote a connection between employers and youth.

"We are seeing record high unemployment rates for youth. However, it is encouraging to see a number of local businesses recognizing the opportunity to shape their future applicant pool by investing in youth," said Jeff Turgeon, Executive Director of the CMWIB.

"There are many ways to get involved, including offering internships, job shadowing opportunities, facility tours, and of course jobs," added Tim Sappington, Executive Director of the NCMWIB.

Outgoing Senator Richard Moore was also honored at the event for his long-term commitment to youth employment. As a former Senator, Mr. Moore supported many of the state-funded programs such as Connecting Activities and YouthWorks which provide internships and subsidized work opportunities for local youth.

GROW Awards nominations were also received for: YouthBuild - Worcester, MA; YMCA of Central MA - Worcester, MA; A&D Pizza and Pub - Millbury, MA; Milford Regional Medical Center - Milford, MA; and Holy Trinity Nursing and Rehabilitation Center - Worcester, MA.

For more information, including how to get involved, visit the Job1 website at

GROW Awards

It gives me great pleasure to be part of GROW Awards event mostly because it is about the advancement of purpose and people.

I think it's important to talk just a little about the experience the Fitchburg Police Department provides to our interns and paid workforce men and women.

Being a huge fan of acronyms to memorialize purpose, I’d like to use H.E.L.P. [the word HELP]. And it will take us on the journey that our workforce people travel through.

H is for Helping. The task of representing the department at our information kiosk on Main Street downtown. They familiarize themselves with the services and businesses in and around this busy neighborhood. It is the very essence of what a modern progressive police agency does. Diosmar understood this from day one, and it's natural for him.

We have seen a direct relationship of those who do well at this task and those who have now become employed in this rewarding field.

E is for empowerment. Diosmar was given a police radio, an intern ID card, and the objective to be as helpful as possible to the customers who came to the kiosk or spoke to him on the street. Diosmar already understood community policing because I witnessed him doing exactly this.

L is learning, if we are never convinced we have learned enough, the foundation is set for continued progress. What we learn today is implemented tomorrow.

P is the careful planning and preparation required for every prospective police employee. I remember the first day I met Diosmar, and what really stood out was that when Leona Shaw called him to tell him that the Police Department was there at Green Acres and wanted to talk to him about the Workforce opportunity - he came to the place running.

What came next is what we see today, a young man who is ready to help, empowered to learn, and planning to give to the next person in need.

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a meeting at the offices of Microsoft in Cambridge, Mass and as I turned in the lobby, a massive art wall featured a quote from the undeniably successful Bill Gates.

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.

Diosmar we believe this experience has empowered you to be the help that others can depend in the century ahead.

New Reports Released on Dramatic Decline in Teen Employment

Commonwealth Corporation and Drexel University Center for Labor Markets and Policy released two reports yesterday. The reports are the products of a study that we undertook to improve our understanding of the underlying causes of the dramatic decline in teen employment rates from 54.3 percent in 1999 to 26.8 percent in 2012.

The first report is called Signaling Success: Boosting Teen Employment Prospects. This report presents findings from nearly 200 businesses about their perceptions of teens’ hard skills, work behaviors, employment laws, factors affecting their hiring decisions and other hiring preferences. The study also reports on the rigorous screening process for entry-level employees and the signals that teens present when seeking employment.

The second report is called Building Blocks of Labor Market Success: Evidence from O*NET Job Analysis Surveys. This report analyzes the O*NET database at the United States Department of Labor to identify the key features of occupations in which teens work and how those features compare to higher level jobs. Teen labor market jobs place a high value on a set of work behaviors. The importance of those work behaviors remains steady at all levels of occupations over the course of a teen’s working life.

Both reports show that early work experience is a key predictor to future employment and earnings. Teens who worked when they were in high school earned 22 percent more than those teens who did not work while they were in high school.