BOSTON (Mass.gov) – The Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of the $4.6 million Rapid Reemployment grant program, with the first round of grant funding totaling $360,000 being awarded today to six employer partner programs that will train 105 participants. The grants will support training residents who have experienced an employment interruption due to COVID-19 and help place them in high-demand job categories such as Information Technology and Health Care by scaling up training opportunities provided by organizations to employers.
“As Massachusetts focuses on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we think strategically about getting people back to work and increasing our investments in programs that are successfully serving local businesses and people most affected,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Rapid Reemployment Program can help thousands of people get access to high demand jobs in the Commonwealth through workforce training and building skills to get people hired quickly.”
“The pandemic has been particularly difficult for those who experienced job loss over the past year,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Our Administration is committed to prioritizing investments like these in addition to ones in the Workforce Skills Cabinet and Career Technical Institutes so that those looking for work have access to the skills-building programs they need to acquire a good, high-paying and sustainable job.”
The Rapid Reemployment Program is designed to help businesses develop a pipeline of workers to meet their skills needs as well as providing better lifetime earnings potential for those whose job prospects have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. These grants are funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES” Act). The application process is rolling through September 30, 2021, or until funds are expended.
“No economy can succeed without a high-quality workforce. This funding will help individuals and businesses accelerate a return to full employment that is more equitable and leads to more employment resiliency in Massachusetts,” said Labor and Workforce Secretary Rosalin Acosta.
“This grant program will play a key role in helping people get back to work, which is a central component of our strategy for economic recovery,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “As we continue taking steps to put this pandemic behind us, efforts that assist in matching workers with available jobs and that provide necessary training to address gaps in skills will further our goal of accelerating the Commonwealth’s recovery.”
“Community colleges play an important role in reemployment efforts, particularly in healthcare occupations like certified nursing assistants, home health aides, and pharmacy techs. These types of programs at community colleges provide individuals with opportunities to earn credentials while they work, and give them a pathway to continue their education and move toward a degree to further advance their careers,” said Education Secretary James Peyser.
To learn more about this initiative, find an existing pipeline in your region, or request a free consultation to get customized support, you can visit—A Partnerships for Recovery Talent Access Portal or download the Rapid Re-Employment One-Pager now. The Rapid Reemployment Program is administered by Commonwealth Corporation on behalf of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
“CommCorp is dedicated to getting people the training and jobs they need in these unique circumstances. New funding opportunities allow for just that,” said Christine Abrams, CEO, and President of CommCorp. “As the economy continues to expand, we will continue to push for strategies which lead to a more productive and diverse in the Commonwealth.”
A total of $360,000 has been awarded this round to train 105 program participants:
- JVS: $60,000 to train 15 Participants
- In partnership with MassHire Downtown Boston Career Center, JVS will provide training and placement to prepare individuals impacted by COVID-19 for jobs as Patient Care Technicians. Individuals trained will be placed at employer partners, including MassGeneral Brigham and Boston Children’s Hospital.
- Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School: $30,000 to train 10 Participants
- In partnership with MassHire North Central Career Center, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School will provide training and placement to prepare individuals impacted by COVID-19 for jobs as Certified Nursing Assistants. Individuals trained will be placed at employer partners, including Next Step Healthcare, Heywood Wakefield Commons, Sunrise Assisted Living, Care Central VNA & Hospice, Inc.
- Polus Center for Social & Economic Development, Inc.: $45,000 to train 15 Participants
- In partnership with MassHire North Central Career Center, Polus Center for Social & Economic Development, Inc. will provide training and placement to prepare individuals impacted by COVID-19 for jobs as Pharmacy Technicians. Individuals trained will be placed at CVS Pharmacy.
- Roxbury Community College: $45,000 to train 15 Participants
- In partnership with MassHire Boston Career Center, Roxbury Community College will provide training and placement to prepare individuals impacted by COVID-19 for jobs as Pharmacy Technicians. Individuals trained will be placed at CVS Pharmacy.
- Tech Foundry: $80,000 to train 20 Participants
- In partnership with MassHire Springfield Career Center, Tech Foundry will provide training and placement to prepare individuals impacted by COVID-19 for jobs as Computer Network Support Administrators. Individuals trained will be placed at Rediker Software, Paragus Strategic IT, Veritas Prep Charter School and Winslow Technology Group.
- Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School: $100,000 to train 30 Participants
- In partnership with MassHire Cape and Islands Career Center, Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School will provide training and placement to prepare individuals impacted by COVID-19 for jobs as Pharmacy Technicians, Medical Assistants and C.N.As. Individuals trained will be placed at Community Health Center of Cape Cod, Cape Cod Healthcare and Bourne Manor.
Additional Employer Resources:
If an employer had furloughed workers during the pandemic and wants to call them back, the employer may want to consider using the Commonwealth’s WorkShare program. Workshare helps employers bring employees back part-time while allowing them to maintain the additional $300 a week in federal UI benefits as well as continuing to subsidize a portion of their wages. For more information on WorkShare go to https://www.mass.gov/workshare-for-employers or call (617) 626-6877.
Virtual Career Fairs
Employers may also contact their local MassHire Career Center to set up a free virtual recruitment event to assist with reaching out to unemployed individuals in their area. Employers can contact their local MassHire center to discuss their options here.