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A Message from Our Executive Director


Welcome to our Spring 2023 MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board newsletter. Within these pages, you will read stories of accomplishment, pride, and determination, as one of our team members at the MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center successfully enrolled in Opioid NDWG program and went from a temporary placement as a "Recovery Specialist" to a permanent full-time employment as our new "Opioid Support" team member. As you keep reading the newsletter you will

Joseph P. Lopes, MBA

Executive Director/CEO

hear more about our Registered Apprenticeship program, our Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) training programs, and learn about our newest team member at the Career Center, Khalid Omar, both his story and Christina Cote's story highlight the strength and determination of our team at the Career Center.

This newsletter only touches on some of the work that we do collectively as a team, as we strive to establish new training programs or to simply expand on those time-tested programs like our Summer Youth program, where we will work with countless employers across our region to place over 300 young adults with summer jobs.

Your local workforce team, including the MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center team, is here for you. We have the knowhow, the team members, and the tools to work with you, and we are expanding the scope of these resources. Over the past several months, we at the Board researched what the future of training might look like in an ever-changing environment. We recently purchased virtual reality goggles, that will let you explore countless industries and job offerings from welding to HVAC to even offshore wind. Letting your mind explore the many opportunities in front of you without having to leave the Career Center. We are always evaluating new technology to assist our customers in their employment search, and we are always looking at new initiatives and programming opportunities that will also help us help employers find the right team member.

It is with great pride that we are providing you with our Spring newsletter, it will expand on what we are doing across our region to partner with employers and work with our job seekers, but at the core of it all is our community and our team members, who are dedicated to you and have a true passion for workforce development.


Joseph P. Lopes, Executive Director/CEO

MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board

MassHire Success Story

From MassHire GNB Career Center - 4/25/23


Christina Cote was an Opioid National Dislocated Worker Grant (NDWG) participant in New Bedford and is one of the biggest success stories I’ve seen in my 14 years working in Workforce Development in the Career Center system.

Initially Christina was referred to MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center by the in Fall of 2021 and was interested in exploring options to build on her educational and occupational goals. At that time, she wasn’t sure which direction she wanted to take. When she heard of the opportunity through the Opioid NDWG, she immediately was eager to participate since she was actively in recovery and wanted to give back to the community. At that time, she was a single mom who wanted to get off public assistance and set a better example for her daughters by working hard to pursue her goals. She had such a passion to work in the field to help others in recovery, so the timing of the grant and her referral couldn’t have been more perfect.


Christina successfully enrolled in Opioid NDWG and WIOA Title I Adult. She immediately took initiative and registered for the Recovery Coach courses offered through the grant and was placed at a Temporary Worksite as a “Recovery Specialist.” While at her temporary placement, we immediately noticed her strong skill set to work with customers in recovery, her eagerness to learn and take on new tasks, and her overall passion for working in the field of helping other MassHire grant referral participants go through the process for the grant. It was apparent she was a superb candidate for a permanent position. Fortunately, for our MassHire Team, one came up! We had enough funding through the NDWG to bring on a permanent full-time employee to assist with intake, eligibility, outreach, and case management and officially be part of our MassHire Team. Christina was a perfect referral for the position and successfully applied, interviewed, and was offered the job as our new “Opioid Support Staff” team member on October 3, 2022.

Photo of Christina Cote

Since being onboarded, Christina has shined and couldn’t be a more exemplary staff member to work with individuals facing barriers and seeking opportunities in the recovery field. I cannot speak highly enough to her work ethic, quick adaptability, team player style, and her passion and patience for working with customers. She recently celebrated 5 years of sobriety and is now in the process of becoming a permanent staff member with MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center, since the current position is temporarily through the NDWG grant funds.

Christina has been not only a major asset to our MassHire Team but also our Opioid NDWG customers. Her growth over the past two years has not only been an honor to watch, but a true definition of INSPIRATION. Your past doesn’t define you, but the choices you decide to make now and moving forward do—which Christina has proven. I have no doubt she will continue to inspire and motivate many other customers not only during the duration of the grant, but for the duration of her future.

—Thanks to Stephanie Smith, Job Specialist IV, MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center for this contribuition.

MassHire GNB Workforce Board is Lead in Expanding Certified Nursing Assistant Training in Southeastern Massachusetts

Serving as the lead applicant for MassHire Southeast Region 6, MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board was recently awarded $469,000 from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) to expand grant funded Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) training programs in Southeastern Massachusetts. This EOHHS initiative will provide CNA training for up to 150 Massachusetts residents through March 1, 2025 and will be supported by MassHire Southeast Region 6 Workforce Boards and Career Centers (MassHire Bristol, Greater Brockton, Greater New Bedford, and South Shore).

MassHire Southeast Region 6 Workforce Boards
MassHire Southeast Region 6 Workforce Boards individual logos.

In 2021, MassHire Region 6 Workforce Boards established CNA training programs as part of the CommCorp Healthcare Workforce Hubs (HWHubs), partly in response to the global pandemic that had compounded long-standing direct care staff shortages and availability of training providers in the region. Through this experience, MassHire Southeast Region 6 Workforce Boards identified that an open-entry model based on training providers’ existing program schedules will provide participants with a variety of flexible training options best suited to serve their needs. Participants will have access to CNA training programs in New Bedford, Fall River, Brockton, Quincy and Plymouth, MA. Program formats include in-person classes or blended/hybrid online study with daytime, evening and weekend schedules available. State approved training providers have established relationships with long-term care facilities for the clinical placement portion of the programs. Each training provider also offers testing guidance and additional services to assist participants in obtaining their CNA licenses. Program participants will also have access to job placement and other support services available through our MassHire Southeast Region 6 Career Centers.

Dave Slutz, MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Development Board Chair, stated, “Working closely as a team with our other MassHire Southeast Region 6 partners has allowed us to leverage our area training resources and deliver programming that makes sense for the populations we serve.”

MassHire Southeast Region 6 Career Centers is actively recruiting to place eligible participants in these free training programs. Under-employed/unemployed persons or healthcare employers interested in participating should contact Jacqueline Sylvia at (508) 979-1504 extension 116 or email or visit for information.


Healthcare Employers
Free Cultural Responsive Care Workshop
for SE Massachusetts
Healthcare Employers and Staff
Students in Healthcare Are Also Welcome

The CommCorp HWH Grant Is Ending
Last Chance to Attend

You Asked for it... We listened and Now it's here
MassHire Southeast Region 6 Workforce Boards
MassHire Southeast Region 6 Workforce Boards individual logos.

MassHire Southeast Region 6 is pleased to announce the seventh and final Culturally Responsive Care for Health & Human Service Professionals workshop from the Center for Health Impact through the HWHubs grant.


Free Culturally Responsive Care for Health & Human Service Professionals workshop for Southeast Massachusetts Healthcare Employers’ staff and students attending medical training programs.


Monday, June 5, 2023

10:00 am to 3:00 pm


Quincy College Plymouth Campus

36 Cordage Park Circle

Plymouth, MA 02360

This project is funded by a Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant (Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund FY’20 Appropriation) through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and is administered by the Commonwealth

Registered Apprenticeship


For more information regarding our other Registered Apprenticeship Programs, please contact or or call (508) 979-1504 ext. 121.

Career Center

Meet Khalid Omar, Business Services Consultant


Khalid Omar arrived in New Bedford in February 2022, accompanied by a group of Afghan families seeking resettlement. After establishing his new life, Khalid assumed the role of Grants Manager, overseeing the implementation of the Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) Art is Everywhere Grant. This initiative aimed to provide a platform for Afghan women to showcase their artistic talents. Subsequently, in November 2022, Khalid Omar joined the MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center as Business Services Consultant.

Photo of Khalid Omar, Business Service Consultant

With a notable professional background, Khalid Omar possesses extensive experience in program management, having successfully led and executed complex projects and programs for over a decade. Notably, he served as the Senior Workforce Development Director for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Afghanistan. During his tenure, Khalid successfully executed USAID's largest women's empowerment project in its entire history. This initiative facilitated the employment of over 22,000 women through internships, apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and demand-driven skill-building programs with over 8,000 employers countrywide. The project enjoyed widespread acclaim as one of USAID's most triumphed endeavors. Furthermore, Khalid adeptly managed 57 grants and subcontracts simultaneously, highlighting his exceptional organizational skills.

Khalid Omar has garnered recognition for his exceptional achievements. The Department of Homeland Security acknowledged his outstanding performance as an interpreter during the U.S. rescue operation, evacuating allies from Afghanistan. He received a certificate of recognition for his contribution.

A driven and highly skilled professional, Khalid Omar is eager to apply his expertise and effect substantial change through proficient program management. With his extensive experience, versatile skill set, and demonstrated history of accomplishments, Khalid Omar is well-equipped to excel in any challenging project or program he undertakes. Additionally, he possesses fluency in four languages, further enhancing his ability to engage with diverse stakeholders effectively.

To learn more about how Khalid Omar and the Business Services Team at MassHire GNB Career Center can help your business visit

From Our Youth Team


The Youth Opportunity Expo is intended to engage hundreds of South Coast high school students and inform them of the unique array of employment opportunities, programs and community resources dedicated to assisting them on their career path this summer.

The Expo will open up with an interactive conversation with community leader, entrepreneur and youth advocate, Peter “Lonelle” Walker. Peter will share the importance of remaining optimistic while seeking opportunities and how students can continue to build their futures through meaningful mentorship and resources in the community.

Vendor tables will be set up both inside the Fort Taber Community Center and on the outdoor grounds of the facility, where students will navigate resources, interactive displays, music courtesy of DJ Fresco and lunch provided by the MassHire GNB Workforce Board.

We would love to have your organization and all the great opportunities it offers at this event!

For more information on the event or how to register as a resource table, please contact Jamilyn Soares at


Partner Spotlight

Spring's Partn er Spotlight One SouthCoast Chamber

One SouthCoast Chamber, a long-standing organizational partner of MassHire GNB, is the focus of our Partner Spotlight. We chatted with Rick Kidder, Chief Operating Officer, to discover more about the Chamber, its impact on the

community, and how it leverages partnerships to achieve its goals. 

In 2020, the Fall River Chamber of Commerce and the New Bedford Chamber of Commerce merged to establish today's One SouthCoast Chamber. This merger formed the second largest chamber in the State, serving 22 communities on the south coast of Massachusetts, and in eastern Rhode Island. This merger took place just three months before the worldwide pandemic was declared.

Small businesses, particularly start-ups, were severely impacted by the pandemic, with many forced to close permanently. The Chamber's principal source of revenue is from membership dues and events, with small and micro enterprises accounting for 90% of its membership. This forced the Chamber to make considerable adjustments to their operations, including staff and pay cuts and reducing some positions to half-time. Fortunately, having to shift to virtual events helped offset some of the costs associated

Rick Kidder, Chief Operating Officer

Rick Kidder
Chief Operating Officer

Clifford Athouriste
 Director of Membership and Retention

with in-person events, making virtual events marginally more profitable. All these factors made organizational growth more difficult.

Coming out of the pandemic, the Chamber has addressed challenges by concentrating on memberships, member retention, and staffing. They recently brought on Clifford Athouriste in the role of Director of Membership and Retention and tasked him with creating a diversity of members to further build a robust and vibrant chamber.

For more information on becoming a member of One SouthCoast Chamber, call Clifford Athouriste at (508) 999-5231 or email

Connecting Learning Growth Advocacy

Rick Kidder also emphasized the importance of One SouthCoast Chamber as a conduit to the business community for expansion and networking. To achieve its objectives, the Chamber focuses on four essential pillars: "connecting, learning, growth, and advocacy."

Rick noted that the "connecting" component of the Chamber's mission was a cornerstone of its principles. Member businesses of all nature can participate in a variety of networking events to foster connections and relationships. Rick believes that regardless

of how many contacts a person has on file, they will ultimately do business with people they know and trust. Chamber events offer the means to build these bonds.

The “learning” component includes workshops, seminars and lectures covering a broad range of business-related topics. These include everything from improving sales, staff development, marketing, social media building, to business planning, and legal challenges. One very successful recent event focused on marijuana in the workplace to help employers in coping with this issue brought about by changes in the laws.

The “growth” component helps businesses expand by connecting them with resources to help them succeed and prosper.

The “advocacy” component provides representation at the local, state, and federal level for SouthCoast businesses of all sizes. The Chamber’s ability to advocate with a larger base of constituents was a factor in the decision to merge the New Bedford and Fall River Chambers into one larger entity.

The Chamber also operates the Southeastern Mass Visitors Bureau to support regional tourism and import money into the local economy.

Another core foundation of the Chamber is the ability to participate in partnerships that reflect business and economic development priorities. As a partner with the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, the Chamber promotes initiatives in early childhood education, which will help improve long-term prosperity. Other collaborations focus on community building, market rate and workforce housing, and working with utility companies to lower prices and increase discretionary income and financial stability for area families. The Chamber also works with partners in emerging industries, such as the offshore wind industry, to develop strategies to ensure sustainable job creation and to funnel business through local suppliers. Rick felt that the Chamber’s partnership with the MassHire GNB and Bristol Workforce Boards was extremely important for area industry and the community as a whole. He encourages businesses to reach out to their local Workforce Boards for support with their staffing and planning needs. 

One Southcoast Chamber encourages organizations interested in developing partnerships to contact Mike O’Sullivan, CEO or Rick Kidder, Chief Operating Officer at 508-999-5231 for more information. 

Thanks to Rick Kidder for his contribuitions.





Mark your calendars for the 3rd annual Manufacturing Mash-Up, a dynamic celebration of the Commonwealth’s manufacturing industry. By bringing together the brightest minds from different specialties, backgrounds, and perspectives, the Manufacturing Mash-Up aims to inspire collaboration and provide a platform for exploring new paths towards a promising tomorrow.


Interested in attending?

Submit your info to stay in the know on speakers, agenda, and registration! We’ll see you at the Mash-Up! 

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please email



SAMC focuses on connecting manufacturers with the resources for developing a sustainable, talented pipeline of employees. We achieve this by providing input on educating and training for your current and future workforce, and by identifying best practices in advanced manufacturing workforce activities.

Manufacturing Training Program Graduates
Visit SAMC's Calendar page for a complete list of training, workshops, seminars, meetings and industry events for the advanced manufacturing industry.
View Calendar now! >>>
In Case You Missed It... Earlier This Year

New Flyer Available Highlighting Apprenticeship for Worker

MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board has released a new flyer highlighting apprenticeship training information for workers. Learn more. >>>


Submit your news or event!

MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board accepts workforce and economic development related press releases and upcoming events for consideration.

All submissions are subject to approval by MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board.

Submitted items may appear in our next newsletter and/or be added to our website's news section or event calendar at any time. All press releases must be submitted in digital format and should contain the following information:

  • Organization name and contact information
  • Date of release
  • Press release headline
  • Press release copy
  • Logo and photos in JPG, PNG or PDF format (if available)


Quick Links



Our Featured Resource:

Leadership SouthCoast (LSC) engages, educates, and empowers diverse individuals to become active community leaders and a vigorous network determined to improve and strengthen the south coast region. Follow this link to explore leadership programs.

LCS is currently accepting applications for its 2024 LEAD SouthCoast Annual Program. Get more imformation!


We hope that you found our newsletter to be useful and informative. Your views and feedback are very important to us. Please feel free to send an email to with any comments, suggestions or questions you may have.



The MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board is a business-led, policy-setting board that oversees workforce development initiatives in the ten-community region stretching from Dartmouth to Wareham, MA. Appointed by New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, the Board is composed of business, civic, education, labor, and community leaders.

The workforce board oversees workforce development efforts in Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Lakeville, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester, and Wareham. The board oversees the MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center staff operated jointly by Equus Workforce Solutions® and the MassHire Division of Career Services (MDCS).

The Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board is one of 16 similar Boards in Massachusetts. Workforce Investment Boards direct federal, state, and private funding for educational and occupational skills programs.
In addition to responsibilities mandated under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA), Boards have been called upon to play a major role in a variety of workforce initiatives, and to define the board’s goals based on local community needs.

The MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center serves as a hub of activity focused on connecting job seekers and employers, to meet the employment and career advancement needs of 

 individuals and the workforce needs of businesses. The Career Center is dedicated to providing high quality services in a professional and welcoming environment, including counseling, education, and technology to support job search, and labor market information and recruitment opportunities for businesses.

MassHire creates and sustains powerful connections between businesses and job seekers through a statewide network of employment professionals.

MassHire envisions a better future for people and businesses of Massachusetts through meaningful work and sustainable growth.

MassHire promises to champion prosperity, connecting employers with talent and job seekers with tools, services, and connections to achieve meaningful and sustained employment.



MassHire believes in the power of partnership and streamlined integration of services to achieve effective and timely results for those we serve.

MassHire is committed to understanding and valuing the diverse, unique requirements and professional goals of the businesses and people we serve.

MassHire creates trust and reliability by consistently delivering high quality professional services at each location and in every interaction.

MassHire leverages flexibility, expertise, and knowledge to successfully meet our mission, regardless of new challenges and circumstances.

“I am your trusted partner in achieving your personal and business goals. I embrace your needs as my mission and offer a welcoming, professional experience at every point in our journey together. I believe in you as I do in myself. Things change quickly… I GET IT. You can always depend on me to offer guidance, resources, and support. If you want a job, seek, to fortify your business for the long-term, or need a quick response to a pressing need, I can help. “Let’s get to work!”


MassHire Programs & Services are funded in part by US Department of Labor (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration grants as well as non-federal funded grants. (Additional details furnished upon request.)

MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board | 1213 Purchase Street, New Bedford MA
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