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STEM Initiatives
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Hector is a student at Worcester Technical High School and is in the Machine Technology program. The Cooperative Education Coordinator contacted him because she believed that he qualified for a unique summer opportunity. Hector was one of seven students, ages 18-24, that participated in the WIA Summer Jobs for Youth & Young Adults Program. As part of the program, he and the others successfully completed CORE Manufacturing Skills Training that was organized through STEMPower (Mid-Massachusetts STEM Pathways Initiative). The students also attended a week of training that included three days of Work Readiness Prep and OSHA 10 hour certification. Following these initial training programs, the students moved into six weeks of subsidized work opportunities at Worcester area companies. MassMEP conducted the CORE training and arranged for the summer job placements. Hector’s job placement has been at Saint Gobain.

Hector shares, "Saint Gobain is a great company! I did not have work experience before this and I am getting very good experience through this summer program. It is such a good opportunity that has been very beneficial. The training allows me to increase my income level and it has also increased my self-confidence and comfort in doing the job. I would encourage others to take advantage of this program if it is offered again. It is hard nowadays, and you have to stick with what you are doing. I am interested in doing a co-op when I go back to school this fall, if it is possible."

Loyd also completed the CORE, job readiness, and OSHA training and found job placement at Saint Gobain. He heard about this program when he saw a flyer posted at Everyday Miracles in downtown Worcester. He had been out of work for about a year, so  he went to Worcester Community Action Council right away to learn more about the WIA Summer Jobs for Youth & Young Adults Program. He enrolled into the program; because he likes to work on computers and is also open to learning new skills, he was identified as a candidate for the STEMPower Training opportunity.

Loyd says, "This is a great program. I wish I was a little younger so that I could do it again next year. I have gained another skill by going through the training, so I have a new trade and something I can fall back on. I really liked the CORE training and would have liked it if it lasted longer so I could get even more hands-on experience. Though I was familiar with some of the job readiness training, it was a good resource to have as well. I am also glad to have the OSHA certification and want to get the 30 hour certification as well. Saint Gobain is a good place to work, and I would like to continue working for them it is possible."

The WIA Summer Jobs for Youth & Young Adults program was possible because of American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funding. Over 500 young adults were served by this program in Worcester. Saint Gobain, and the other companies where the STEMPower youth were placed, has been equally supportive of this innovative program and of the young people placed at their company. STEMPower (Mid-Massachusetts STEM Pathways Initiative) is sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The program is an equal opportunity program.

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