Boston/ Politics & Govt
AI Assisted Icon
Published on April 30, 2024
Healey-Driscoll Administration Awards $900,000 for Job Training for Young Adults with Disabilities in MassachusettsSource: Google Street View

The Healey-Driscoll administration is allocating $900,000 in grants to support job training for 275 young adults with disabilities, a move that sets the stage for an inclusive workforce across Massachusetts, as announced earlier today. In an effort to dismantle the employment barriers that often sideline individuals with disabilities, nine community organizations are set to receive funding for various job readiness and placement programs, ensuring more inclusive opportunities and a stronger, diverse workforce.

According to a statement obtained by, this initiative comes alongside the unveiling of the People with Disabilities Workforce Data Dashboard, a tool providing extensive data, including unemployment and labor force participation rates, aimed at helping the state track progress in bridging employment gaps for disabled individuals. The grants were announced by Secretary Lauren Jones at an event at Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) in Boston, with JVS being one of the beneficiaries, receiving $175,000 to prepare young adults for jobs with various employer partners.

Jewish Vocational Service leads with a $175,000 grant to expand its Transitions to Work program, focusing specifically on competitive employment for youth with disabilities across the Greater Boston area. Other organizations, such as Employment Options and the Polus Center for Social & Economic Development, are also receiving similar amounts for their targeted vocational training and employment programs. Community Work Services, another grant beneficiary, will provide training in fields ranging from Food Arts and Environmental Services to Advanced Clean Energy. Additionally, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School District is creating a specialized training program for those diagnosed with Autism and Down's Syndrome to secure gainful employment.

Governor Healey told, "It's imperative that we recognize the diverse talents and contributions of individuals with disabilities," emphasizing the state's commitment to this initiative. Lieutenant Governor Driscoll also weighed in, underscoring the importance of inclusive workplaces for economic prosperity and social cohesion. The grants reflect the administration's strategic investment to cultivate diverse skills in the state's workforce. According to Molly Jacobson, President & CEO of Commonwealth Corporation, the organization responsible for administering the Employment Program for Young Adults with Disabilities, the funding encourages inclusive hiring practices that ideally challenge the foundations of preconceived workplace norms.

Moreover, the People with Disabilities dashboard came to life with inputs from a plethora of stakeholders, including the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and the Office of Disability. These initiatives are not a bow before rugged individualism but rather an acknowledgment of the collective scaffolding that holds up the commonwealth, where every citizen contributes to the architectural integrity of the whole. For more details on these new equity dashboards and grants, information can be found on the Department of Economic Research website.