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City spends $14 million on job training in 2018

Catherine McGloin

Mayor Martin Walsh’s Office of Workforce Development gave $14 million in funding for job training and career development to local organizations, according to the 2018 fiscal report released by the mayor’s office last week.

The annual report, titled “A Better Boston for Everyone,” shows that more than 100 local organizations providing job training, apprenticeships, youth programs and English language lessons were supported by funds from the OWD, an agency of the Boston Planning and Development Agency, during the 2018 tax year.

“All Boston residents deserve the opportunity to participate in our city’s growing economy,” said Walsh in a statement Dec. 20. “The Office of Workforce Development has carved pathways for workers to develop their talents, practice job-specific skills, and advance in the workforce. Through programs like these, we will continue to create opportunities for everyone in our city.”

Program details

Among the newest OWD initiatives highlighted in the report are the Boston Builds Credit program and the BostonHires campaign. The former provides residents with free lessons on how to build or repair their credit scores, while the latter assists the unemployed and those working below the living wage, which is currently $14.82 per hour, in finding good jobs.

The goal for BostonHires is to place 20,000 residents in good jobs by 2022.

Apprenticeship opportunities funded through the OWD in 2018 included a facilities maintenance apprenticeship arranged with property management firm WinnResidential and an apprenticeship for budding emergency medical technicians within Boston’s Emergency Medical Service agency.

Some programs will continue to run into the new year. MassHire Career Centers, of which the OWD oversees financially two locations in Boston, one in Downtown Crossing and the other in Roxbury, helped more than 15,000 job seekers attend workshops, job fairs and networking events last year. Those who found employment through the centers earn on average $21.61 per hour.

“Over the past year, we’ve worked with nonprofits, public sector institutions and private companies to create a variety of different career ladders for hard-working Bostonians,” said OWD Director Trinh Nguyen. “This year’s annual report shows how much we can accomplish through partnership and innovative thinking.”

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