MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board News
MassHire GNB Workforce Board
Staff Expansion Continues in FY'22

Deven Robitaille
Youth Industry Coordinator

Prior to joining the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board Deven Robitaille was the Director of Programs and Events at the One SouthCoast Chamber. During this time Deven built lasting relationships with business professionals, elected officials and decision makers as an advocate for the growth and economic development of our region.

Deven was raised in Acushnet and graduated from New Bedford High School. She attended Bristol Community College and later received a Bachelors Degree of Science in Business Marketing from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. 

She served as a Sergeant in the United States Army and completed two overseas missions in Korea and Qatar. Deven worked on assignments across the U.S. where she gained experience working in several leadership roles. While enlisted, Deven earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the American Military University.

Currently, Deven sits on Governor Baker’s Advisory Council for Veterans’ Services, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Greater New Bedford Youth Development Inc., the Veterans Transition House, Feed the First Responders and is the acting Commander at the VFW Post 7239.  

Deven is excited to join the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board team where she can use her skill sets and experience to generate opportunities for the local workforce, fulfill employer needs, and support community initiatives.

Jamilyn Gordon
One SouthCoast Chamber
Coordinator of Workforce Programs

Jamilyn Gordon joins the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board as their new Coordinator of Youth Workforce Programs.

Born and raised in New Bedford, Jamilyn graduated from New Bedford High School and attended Bristol Community College where she received an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts & Humanities. It was during this time that she became involved with several community organizations, most of whom catered to underserved youth and their families, and strengthened her passion for youth empowerment and human service programming.

Jamilyn eventually went on to become part of the New Directions Southcoast, Inc. team as a Case Manager and Workshop Facilitator in both their youth and adult sectors. During her combined 7 years of experience with the organization, Jamilyn was cross-trained in many aspects of their model, including the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) policies and procedures, team building techniques, strategic planning, curriculum building, and program development. After a 3 year hiatus from working with the population, Jamilyn is excited to join the Workforce Board and continue serving Greater New Bedford’s youth, educators, and employers with a fresh, innovative outlook and 20+ years of experience in Human Service.

93% Employee Retention
Rate with Apprenticeships
Nowadays, finding the right employees is what keeps Human Resource Managers up at night. The problem has reached near-crisis levels as companies of all kinds pull out all the stops to keep things moving forward. Job changing, childcare issues, and ongoing COVID concerns have all contributed to the 2021 workforce dilemma. Now there is a solution with a 93% employee retention rate.
What’s a company to do? Establish an Apprenticeship Program to not only attract new-hire candidates looking for long-term skilled-based career opportunities but also up UPSKILL incumbent workers who have the potential for personal growth. Such existing employees can develop into Key Company Performers with proper On-The-Job training available through a Registered Apprenticeship Program. Likewise, apprenticeships are also an HR Manager’s proactive planning tool when replacing invaluable workers who are “aging out” due to retirement or may be experiencing health issues.
With over 1,200 established “Earn as You Learn” occupation programs, apprenticeship training opportunities abound for companies with the foresight to develop newly-skilled workers that can maintain production levels and contribute toward ongoing financial security. With the built-in program advantages of apprenticeship, companies will ATTRACT career-minded committed workers, NOT just indifferent job seekers looking for a paycheck.
Why a Registered Apprenticeship Program? Because it works! Firms having completed apprenticeship training consider it the “Cadillac of Workforce Development” with 97% recommending the program to other companies. They recognize, through the implementation experience, how apprenticeships are the easiest and best way to build a skilled workforce from the ground up whereas developing training programs on their own is difficult without the tremendous proven value STRUCTURED apprenticeship solutions provide.
Confirmed Results… Savvy companies currently utilizing apprenticeships have come to realize they are out-producing and out-earning their competition who don’t use them yet. With the high growth of Registered Apprenticeship Programs nationally, it’s only a matter of time before ALL companies will be jumping aboard. Develop your funnel of highly skilled workers to sustain and grow your company!


Employers… explore the possibilities of how a Registered Apprenticeship Program can supplement your existing workforce planning strategy. Contact Rick Marshall, our Apprenticeship Integration Manager, at 774-425-4092 or by email

MassHire Programs & Services are funded in full by US Department of Labor (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration grants. (Additional details furnished upon request.)

On June 10th, The Baker-Polito administration launched the $4.6M Rapid Reemployment Grant Program, in partnership with Commonwealth Corporation, to connect people whose careers were impacted by COVID-19 with training opportunities that can lead to better jobs in high-demand industry sectors. Learn More:

Summer's Partner Spotlight:
Commonwealth Corporation (CommCorp)

Commonwealth Corporation (CommCorp) is a quasi-public agency that was established in 1996 and is committed to fostering workforce equity in Massachusetts by delivering innovative and collaborative professional development solutions that help diverse communities and employers succeed.

As a nationally recognized leader in building industry sector partnerships that address the skill needs of specific employers in an industry, we create new or expanded capacity in education and training programs for demand occupations. We work to ensure that Massachusetts businesses have access to a pipeline of highly skilled workers and that youth and adults in Massachusetts have pathways to good jobs in the knowledge economy
We are responsible for administering and delivering a wide range of publicly and privately funded programs, in the following areas: 
Workforce Development
Massachusetts has more than 1.2 million working-age adults who only have a high school education or have not even completed high school. We work with businesses, educational institutions, and community-based organizations to design and implement programs to prepare low-skilled adults for success in skilled employment.
CommCorp is responsible for successfully administering the Workforce Training Fund Program’s (WTFP’s) Express and General Program Training Grants through an annual contract with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. 
We also have a history of proven success with health care workforce development strategies. We design initiatives and provide technical assistance to grantees to ensure that programs meet the workforce needs of Massachusetts’ health care providers. In addition to our strategic grant making, we explore innovative solutions to workforce challenges using research and data to support partners in this work.
Youth Pathways
YouthWorks is a state-funded youth employment program that helps teens and young adults get the skills and experience needed to find and keep jobs. Participants take part in paid short-term work placements during the summer and/or school year at public, private, and nonprofit worksites. 
To prepare young adults unemployed and without college educations for successful careers, we continue building and creating pathways to post-secondary educations and work experiences.
Justice Based Initiatives
The Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI) is a youth and young adult violence prevention and intervention initiative that operates in cities with the highest juvenile crime rates. 
SSYI reaches out to these individuals and offers a chance to redirect their lives through educational, employment, and behavioral health services. Over 1,800 youth and young adults are involved with the program each year.
And so much more!
Comments in Healthcare

Mike Metzler, Project Consultant for
MassHire Grater New Bedford Workforce Board
Healthcare Workforce Hubs Grant Initiative

It has been a privilege and a joy to consult with the MassHire Southeast Region 6 staff in the planning process for the acquisition of the recent $381K healthcare training grant. This has been my third planning engagement over the last 9 years through the Greater New Bedford Workforce Board. My role was advisory this time with Jacquie Sylvia doing all the coordinating, organizing, and writing. What a pleasure to work with Jacquie and observe her incredible leadership skills, hard work, and creative mind.
This engagement was particularly gratifying. Our survey of employers was unique compared with past grant processes.  Besides learning the positions most needed during the challenges driven by the pandemic, we heard a strong desire for training incumbent workers in skills around leadership and cultural competency. We requested, and received, funding for this need.  Our training modules will include attendance by incumbent workers at sessions alongside our trainees. This is now possible with virtual classrooms being an accepted mode of training by the State. It certainly alleviates the past requirement of arranging for employees of multiple employers to meet together in a common physical space.

There is one particular finding I am hoping will be long-lasting. Employers commented in our survey how, for example, CNA’s and Medical Assistants were required during the pandemic to face situations where supervision and guidance were not available. They found it necessary to show leadership skills and use independent judgment more often than usual, and in new circumstances. Employers have recognized the importance of these skills and are now expressing a desire to build these skills into the job requirements for CNA, Medical Assistant, and Home Health Aide. This could lead to more effectiveness in the workplace, perhaps establish new career pathways, and a willingness to pay a higher hourly rate. I know I will be monitoring this closely.

As part of my experience in the past, there has been the formation of healthcare “workforce training collaborative” groups of employers, training providers, educational institutions and Workforce Board staff. The purpose has been to be always ready for new grant opportunities as they become available through a continuous evaluation of needs, and for all to work together in applying for grants and successfully executing training modules. I would encourage the Workforce Boards to again organize such groups.
I am so grateful to be part of a team of Workforce Board members and their staffs whose goal is to meet the workforce needs of employers and offer life-changing skills to people who are unemployed, under-employed and who have a desire to advance their careers. Thank you for the opportunity!
―Mike Metzler
Principal, Michael Metzler Consulting, LLC
Past President, Saint Anne’s Hospital
Author, Health Assurance for All: Inside American Health Care [Available from Amazon]
Career Center

Perry Got a Job!

One of the most essential things Perry has learned in our program is how to ask for help. Perry learned that having the courage and letting his pride down to ask for help is okay. In the past, Perry would not have admitted that he needed help. But with support from the Access to Recovery (ATR) program, Perry was ready to move forward, and he asked for help. 

In the program, we emphasize that the worst thing someone can say to you is no. For many of our participants, this happens all too often. However, we encourage them not to stop trying because eventually, someone will say yes. 

Perry worked with Celeste and me at the MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center. We assisted him in not feeling so alone in life and not fearing the “no” response. We supported him in moving forward as he re-entered the world. While attending our Access to Recover/Paths to Empowerment (ATR/P2E) program, we got Perry career-ready and life-ready. The first step was getting a job. That is when Perry’s life changed. He asked for help, and he got a job.

Since May 2021, Perry’s employment success at AHEAD, LLC as a machine operator reflects his positive experience from the ATR program, and with the Career Center. Perry attained knowledge and developed life skills while he attended class.  

In class, Perry worked hard, participated, learned the career readiness material, practiced life skills, and adopted and embraced our “Alive and Free, Trust the Process” motto. Still, further, he accepted help from Paul, a Business Service Representative (BSR) who assisted him in his job search and found AHEAD, LLC as a possible employer, who said “Yes.” Now his hard work in the program and the ability to learn new skills have allowed him an opportunity to advance within the company in a very short time.  

We support all our ATR students, no matter what stage of their journey they are at in life. We met Perry and others in substance recovery and assisted them physically, mentally, and emotionally, all while providing job readiness and life skills to them. We let them all know their journey is not over, but rather just beginning. Perry is one of many success stories that happen monthly in our three-week ATR program. Perry’s journey to economic independence and life is just beginning. He remains in prayers always.

The MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center changes lives every day. 

By Nelson Hughes, MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center


Academic Partnership Leads to Gainful Employment

Enroll today. Become a photonics/optics technician in a year. Join the exciting workforce in the Advanced Manufacturing & Integrated Photonics (AMIP) Technician Certificate program.

AMIP starts Tuesday, September 7th. Enroll by Friday, August 20th. It is a one-year evening certificate program in modern classrooms and labs at both Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University (BSU). Current AMIP students are in high demand—100% securing wonderful internships and jobs at top manufacturing and photonics companies. Develop basic skills and acquire knowledge applicable to manufacturing and a wide range of trades, including electronics, robotics, optics, and photonics.

Target students include recent high school graduates from traditional and vo-tech programs, returning veterans, working adults wishing to change fields, those already in industry who would like training in photonics, and community college transfers. No math or science background is assumed. Receive college credit. Attend a two-day boot-camp at MIT. Scholarships and financial aid are available.

Fill out this form to receive more information about the AMIP Technician Certificate program:

Funding for AMIP Technician Certificate Program includes:

• U.S. Office of Naval Research

• MassTech Collaborative


Program website:

Contact Information:

Name: Melissa Ratliff
Telephone: (508) 565-1600

Dean of Graduate Admission
Stonehill College
320 Washington Street
Easton, MA 02357

Contributed by Cheryl Schnitzer, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry, Stonehill College


AMIP Students
Roshan and Claudia

Meet Roshan, AMIP Student, 20-21:​

  • Born in Nepal, Roshan came to Boston in 2012​
  • Left Kathmandu just short of completing a master’s degree due to U.S. visa restrictions​
  • Completed Liberal Arts Transfer Program in computer science from Massasoit in 2019​
  • Roshan believes in the “transformational power of technology” and enjoys being part of the AMIP program
  • He is gainfully employed at a prestigious optics company, with the job offer months before he completed the AMIP internship

Meet Claudia, AMIP Student, 20-21​:

  • Always wanted to pursue an education​
  • Her dream was challenged due to family and financial commitments​
  • Received HiSET from Lare Institute​
  • Claudia stated: “This program to me is one of the most revitalizing opportunities I’ve ever been presented.” She has secured a photonics internship at a first-rate photonics company, only twenty minutes from her home—a short commute is a must for this single mother of preschoolers
Read More
Free, Self-Paced Virtual Manufacturing Training
Determination that Spanned 3,084 Miles: The Journey of Juan Curay
Juan’s story begins in Ecuador where he received a Mechanical Engineering Degree and an MBA. While in Ecuador, he read “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell, which influenced him considerably. Juan worked for fifteen years in Ecuador and then entered and won a lottery to immigrate to the US. Juan shared that he felt “the opportunity in Ecuador is limited; the opportunities in the US are larger.”
Upon arriving in the USA with limited English-speaking skills, the only positions Juan could secure were that of a Dishwasher at Mahoney’s in Buzzard’s Bay and then as a Cleaner at the Lobster Trap.
Juan explored multiple ways to learn English and settled on RAIO an intense web-based program that enabled him to learn English within three months.
He discovered the MassHire Cape Cod Career Center and participated in multiple programs like resume writing, job search, and interviewing. With the Career Center’s assistance, Juan also registered for the SMART Manufacturing Program at Cape Cod Community College, funded by the EOHED Advanced Manufacturing grant. Towards the end of the SMART program Juan was hired for his current position as a Junior Quality Engineer at Whirlpool in Fall River MA. Juan has nothing but glowing recommendations for the individuals that worked with him in the SMART Manufacturing Program. They were particularly helpful through his hiring process at Onset Computers and Whirlpool. 

Today, in addition to his new career, Juan also is a certified Coach, Teacher, Trainer and Speaker for multiple John C. Maxwell programs by the author of the book mentioned previously. Additionally, Juan is a transformation table’s facilitator for the Change Your World Movement (CYW). He facilitates tables in Spanish and English and has worked with people from around the world including the USA, El Salvador, Honduras, Chile, Panama, and Columbia.

--Contribution by Deborah Meggison, Director of Operations, MassHire GNB Workforce Board  


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.

Visit today.

You Are Invited!
SAMC Members Speak About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Manufacturing at SE MA STEM Virtual Program

Join SAMC Partners Mike Tamasi, Paula Martel and Diane Ferrera

SAMC members will be speaking about diversity, equity and inclusion in the manufacturing industry at the SE MA STEM Virtual Program on August 4th and 11th, 2021.

As panelists and workshop facilitators, Mike, Paula, and Diane will reinforce that manufacturing is a safe, vibrant, dynamic, and growing industry that provides a variety of quality and sustainable employment opportunities for all skill levels. They will participate in discussions about how to create a pipeline of skilled workers for new technology-driven positions and the various entry points for an individual whether a recent high school graduate, a participant in a specialized certification program, in possession of a 2-4 year college degree, or seeking a career change using transferable skill. Along with noting that manufacturing employees take home an average of $20,000 more than the average non-manufacturing employee in Massachusetts, they will highlight that attitude and the ability to collaborate are as important as a degree or certificate.

“Creating a pipeline of skilled workers and recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce is key to the growth of manufacturing in Southeastern Massachusetts. Participation in the STEM/DEI Program provides an opportunity for SAMC to provide a consistent message about job opportunities in manufacturing and to highlight that it is a safe and vibrant industry.  We hope you will join us and make connections with other attendees who are committed to preparing students for the 21st Century manufacturing workplace.”
–Michael Tamasi, AccuRounds, President & CEO, and SAMC Chair 

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! >>>

Jump Start Your Career Recovery with Training from MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center

2021 Annual Board Meeting

MassHire GNB Workforce Board's Annual Board meeting was held on 6/23 at New Bedford Country Club. Paul Correia and Donna Ramos were honored for their retirements and recognized for their years of service. Along with official business, Jim Oliveira provided a review of the the Board’s grant efforts.


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
  • Photo, JPG file (if available)
  • Contact name, email address, and phone number

Submit your news to
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New Bedford Homeless Service Providers Street Sheet
This issue's featured resource comes to you from New Bedford Homeless Service Providers' website.

Here you can find the annual “StreetSheet” that is both a resource guide and referral tool for individuals and families in need of support services and housing assistance in New Bedford.

You'll also find links to federal, state, and local resources along with information to assist veterans, and more!
Thanks to Taylor Nichols-Xavier, MassHire GNB Workforce Board Administrative Assistant and Program Monitor for suggesting this great community resource!
Visit New Bedford Homeless Service Providers Resource Page!
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 operated jointly by The WorkPlace and the MassHire Division of Career Serves (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 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.
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MassHire Program & 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.)
Copyright © 2021 MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board, All rights reserved.

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