MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board News
A Message from Our Executive Director

James D. Oliveira
Welcome to our Winter edition of the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board newsletter. It is with great pride that we are providing you with our newsletter that we are pretty darn proud of in its quest to serve employers and job seekers. Within you will find new training programs, a piece on our Apprenticeship Initiative, a partner spotlight, a coming attraction of a motivational speaker for youth and our regional involvement in manufacturing.

The road to our current presence has clearly been bumpy in the past couple of years. But as we are emerging from the pandemic, our economy is making a remarkable comeback. That is clearly due in part to the resilience of our employers who made changes, adopted new strategies and have become acutely aware that past business practices to attract workers require rethinking how we work and value them.

The local workforce team, including the MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center, has many tools we are utilizing that were funded by the American Recovery Act. We have accessed significant training dollars to meet priority industry sector demand, purchased new computers for the Career Center, updated its phone system, and are evaluating new technology to assist our customers. 

At the core of it all are our people, who are dedicated to and have a true passion for the craft of workforce development. We are currently at the apex of having a great Board and talented staff to deliver services described in this newsletter.

— James D. Oliveira, Executive Director/CEO
   MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board
MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board Awarded $2.9 Million in Local and Regional Healthcare Grants in the First Half of FY’22
This January MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce, as the lead partner for MassHire Southeast Region 6 Workforce Boards, received approval for $524,000 in funding from the Behavioral Health Partnership Expansion Grant issued by the Commonwealth Corporation (CommCorp). Working closely with organizations that offer community-based behavioral health and substance/opioid use disorder treatments, the Boards’ effort will improve the number of qualified mental health professionals throughout Southeast Massachusetts. Composed of a multifaceted approach, the initiative includes entry-level training for unemployed individuals, career track advancements for existing workers, and funding to assist those in need of supervision hours as they work toward licensure in the behavioral or substance abuse field. A portion of the funding will also be used for strategic planning to address longstanding employee recruitment and retention challenges in the behavioral and substance/opioid treatment sector within the workforce development areas of MassHire Greater New Bedford, Bristol, Greater Brockton and South Shore Boards.

This project is funded by a Behavioral Health Partnership Expansion Grant through the MassHealth Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Statewide Investment Program and RIZE Massachusetts Foundation, Inc. and is administered by the Commonwealth Corporation.

Dave Slutz, MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Development Board Chair, stated, “This award will enhance our efforts in the healthcare sector and is a great extension of the current healthcare training being done regionally through The CommCorp Healthcare Workforce Hubs Grant and locally with our recent award from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide training and employment services to people and their families affected by the opioid crisis.”

Following a 6-month planning grant initiative of $19K, MassHire GNB, as the regional Workforce Board lead, was awarded $381K earlier this summer for healthcare training initiatives throughout Southeastern Massachusetts. This funding is providing cohort-based training for the direct care occupations of Nursing Assistant, Home Health Aide, and Medical Assistant and includes a customized workshop in cultural competency. Training for incumbent workers will focus on cultural competency and leadership development based on substantive surveys conducted throughout the region. MassHire Southeast Region 6 Career Centers have begun recruitment for these free training programs. Unemployed persons or healthcare employers interested in participating should contact Jacqueline Sylvia at (508) 979-1504 extension 116 or email for information.

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 Corporation.

Mr. Slutz added, “This healthcare effort has positioned the Workforce Board to develop proven strategies to attract grant funding for other key training initiatives.”

In a local award, the U.S. Department of Labor earlier this year approved a two-year grant in the amount of two million dollars ($2,000,000) for MassHire GNB Workforce Board to provide training and employment services to victims of opioid abuse in the greater New Bedford area. This grant is one of three grants across the state to address the high incidence rate of opioid abuse, which is considered a national emergency. It is designed to assist former opioid users to access training, potentially attain “recovery coach” status and enable them to work in our community helping others address their addictions. The grant also provides training funds to others who may have been affected by addiction such as family members to pursue living wage career pathways as a means of offering alternative mainstream jobs.
While the grant is under the purview of the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board, the Board is working very closely with several community partners to provide outreach, counseling, and training services necessary for the road to recovery. The crucial partners are the MassHire Division of Career Services (MDCS), Positive Action Against Chemical Addiction (PAACA), Massachusetts Fishing Partnership Support Services (FPSS), Bristol County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) and the City of New Bedford Health Department (NBHD).

To continue to effectively address substance abuse challenges requires a dedicated team. We are honored that the decision by the U.S. Department of Labor to award these funds is a recognition of the strong collaboration that exists among our local agencies working together to assist those ready to change their lives.

If you have been affected by the opioid crisis and would like to get trained to work in the industry to help others or work in the private sector, please call 508.203.1822 NOW. Bi-lingual assistance is available.

Our local name is “Greater New Bedford Recovery Works”. Check us out on FB and our website

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.)
Partner Spotlight
This month the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board President and CEO, Jim Oliveira would like to shine the spotlight on Mr. Carl Alves, the amazing and dedicated man behind the Positive Action Against Chemical Addiction (PAACA) organization.
No doubt, most people know Carl because of his passion and dedication to the work he does for those in need. You could go to his website but that won’t give you the up close and personal side of Carl Alves. He is true to form and always seeking funds to create more programs and help more people thus giving more and more of his own time. He enjoys it. Might we add that Carl wanted this article to be more about the people that stand by his side day and night in his endeavor to help all. Carl surely has some soft spots especially during this time of year, and that is the homeless and youth who are his priorities although he gives equal time to all. 

Jim Oliveira remarked, “We have been working with Carl for over 20 years. He’s more of a friend than a community partner. The board works with Carl on many initiatives especially youth programs. More recently, we are partnering with Carl on a National Dislocated Worker grant focused on the opioid crisis situation right here in New Bedford with outreach to Fall River. Our aim is to help those and their families impacted by the crisis and provide them with training and a career with a sustainable wage. Carl and his organization are key players in this endeavor and we couldn’t do it without them.”

PAACA works to empower people struggling with addiction to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives. Their medically informed, holistic addiction recovery support works for those struggling with addiction and their loved ones who struggle with the ripple effects. These are just a few of the programs PAACA has built over the past 40+ years and those that Carl wants to expand upon.
  • Recovery Support Serviceswe support people on their recovery journey by helping with access to treatment, peer recovery supports such as meetings, one-on-one recovery coaching, service projects and social programs. Services are available 365 days per year.
  • Housingwe operate a step-up housing program which offers permanent housing to people with disabilities transitioning from homelessness. The program includes supportive case management services for financial, medical, mental health, and addiction support.
  • Community Partnershipswe work closely with numerous agencies and organizations to provide employment opportunities and better the community at large. Projects include Recovery Works collaborative with MassHire Greater New Bedford to provide employment and training resources for people impacted by the opioid crisis, Vaccination Connect a collaborative working to improve access to vaccination, testing and care for underserved populations and Southcoast Reentry Collaborative that works to create successful reentry for people returning to the community from incarceration.
  • Clothing and food insecuritywe have clothing drives and always stock a refrigerator with food that is open to anyone at any time to grab a snack or meal. Our kitchen at RISE Recovery Center provides food services for many people in need.
Donna J. Ramos, Director of the opioid crisis grant recalls being at a meeting where Carl was invited to talk about and educate a large group of Community Based Organizations, staff from the MassHire Career Center and Workforce Board and local colleges on homelessness. “As Carl spoke, I looked around the room, he had everyone’s undivided attention. Carl knew the numbers, where they were living on the streets, where they could get help and shared how we could help by spreading the message. Carl was captivating. He talked about homelessness diversion and prevention. He told us about the New Bedford Public Schools Homeless Liaison, that means homeless school age kids.”

Carl left us with a pamphlet called “Street Sheet 2021” a product of the City of New Bedford Homeless Service Providers’ Network packed with information to help those experiencing or threatened with homelessness and so much more. You can find it on Carl’s website as well as the City of New Bedford’s website at”
PAACA offers youth services that are welcoming and soothing. Programs like South Coast Youth Courts, a voluntary juvenile diversion program offering juvenile respondents the opportunity to accept responsibility for their actions and to resolve criminal charges through adjudication by their peers; Drive Smart Southcoast is a six-week diversion program serving juveniles between the ages of 16-18 within the South Coast towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth and Fairhaven; Brighter Futures a diversion program for grades 3-5 that is put in place to alleviate detentions or lengthy suspensions and after school programming. 

Helena DaSilva Hughes, Executive Director of the Immigrants’ Assistance Center (IAC), said she’s known Carl for over 20 years. “I have always admired Carl's positive attitude, kindness, willingness to help anyone in need and always ready to collaborate with other small community agencies many who do not have access to resources. During the pandemic, Carl created the daily "Community Partner Check" via Zoom, which allowed community organizations to check in and share information and resources with the community. It also gave all of us the opportunity to check in with each other during the pandemic and it made us feel less isolated.”

At PAACA, Carl believes in using their own unique programs and practice in a “safe and warm” environment of mutual understanding. Their aim is to give people back control of their life by helping them reconcile with their past and empower them to embrace the future. When a community resident needs any service, PAACA Adult Services will meet that need and if they can’t, they will help them find the right resources or point them in the right direction with a “warm hand-off”. That lets them know they are not alone and cared about.

Rev. David A. Lima Pastor, New Seasons Worship Center and Executive Minister, Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford said he has worked alongside Carl and PAACA for over 20 years.

“There are too many stories for me to share, some very funny, some not so much. The one thing I do know is that Carl is a man of integrity who cares at times beyond reason. He's the equivalent of a community first responder without the uniform. He's always willing to lead or lend a hand to overcome difficult issues in our community. At PAACA he helps get people back on their feet whom others would discard. Ironically, many of these same folks move on to other positions with other community groups that wouldn't have been hired in the beginning. Lives are changed, and a difference is made.”  

Early on in our collaborations I recognized that many of our Houses of Faith were actually the first people that persons or families of loved ones turned to because of alcohol or substance use disorder. Faith leaders however, were inadequately equipped to deal with the problem other than some supportive care or "fire and brimstone" confrontations. With Carl's leadership, PAACA's partnership with the Inter-Church Council developed a training program for Faith and Lay leaders called Inter-Church Outreach Network START Training (ION). START stands for Substance, Treatment and Referral Training giving people the training to have basic knowledge of what addiction is, does and how to get someone help. It was not only supported by the state's Bureau of Substance Abuse Services but they recommended the program to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Through them a "Service to Science" grant was awarded and an academic from Yale University was assigned to work with us to create a training manual to be used by others.

Rev. Lima said, “This is just one of the many stories that I and so many more have to share about a great leader in our community, but more importantly a great friend.”

Like any non-profit, PAACA relies on the support of everyone. His dedication to all these causes and the work of his staff many of which are volunteers relies on the generosity of caring people. Generosity goes a long way and would help all that Carl does and the help he needs to expand his programs. Every donation, big or small, enables Carl and his team to give hope to individuals and families in need. Help Carl light the way. Your donation, together with that of his other supporters, helps bring PAACA one step closer to a dream where everyone’s daily life is made better one day at a time. Please DONATE.

– Thanks to Donna J. Ramos for this contribution.
Donate to Support PAACA
Apprenticeship Program
Expands to Meet Employer Needs
Never has a Human Resource Manager’s hiring challenges been more difficult in these unusual employment conditions where a growing economy encounters a labor shortage. 
Gone are the days when companies could simply post jobs to meet hiring needs. Nowadays, employment opportunity signage is everywhere including “STILL HIRING” reminder updates while some desperate firms are turning to expensive television spots to attract candidates. Unfortunately, such tactics rarely work.

Growing Your Workforce with Apprenticeship Training
Developing highly-skilled workers through apprenticeships has been a proven, mainstay strategy in the trades for generations. Given current circumstances, investments in apprenticeship training are now being adopted by companies of every kind as they seek alternate solutions to cultivate their workforce. 

The Department of Labor lists over 1,200 established occupations within their Registered Apprenticeship Program so the possibilities are extensive whatever the industry sector. Most important to companies, the program also boasts an employee retention rate of 94% following completion. That’s why over 11,400 apprentices were registered in Massachusetts alone during 2020 and the number is growing exponentially!
GNB Workforce Board Sponsors Apprenticeships Regionally
To accommodate a growing interest across the Southeast MA Region, MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board recently expanded its Apprenticeship Team which now includes Sponsorship services. Under this arrangement, companies receive all-inclusive assistance… from customized training plans to a hassle-free state application processing and program monitoring which ensures skill attainment. Financial incentives may also be available for qualifying occupations and industry sectors.

Apprenticeships… Employment Competitive Advantage
Companies experienced in apprenticeships have smartly come to know the employment advantage of using the program to attract Career Seekers interested in long-term pathway opportunities-- not a job! 
Learning highly-skilled occupations that earn a nationally-recognized certification makes all the difference.
If your firm is ready to workforce innovate and foster loyalty by offering a Registered Apprenticeship Program, contact Rick Marshall, Apprenticeship Integration Manager at 774-425-4092  or by email:
The talent is out there… bring them in with Apprenticeship Training!
Become a Medical Assistant!
Professional healthcare workers are in demand! These positions offer great opportunities for individuals who want to start a career in the medical field. 
MassHire Southeast Region 6 is now enrolling for Medical Assistant training. This training is FREE for qualified income eligible or unemployed Massachusetts residents.
This program is designed to train students for the administrative and clinical duties routinely performed in health care facilities. Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice. Most Medical assistants work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare facilities.

This 600 hour program includes 240 hours of on-site training at a local healthcare facility.

If you live in Southeastern Massachusetts, contact your local MassHire Career Center for details!

Eligible candidates must demonstrate a commitment to full participation in all aspects of the course and in gaining employment upon completion.

COVID and flu vaccines are required. Additional requirements will be provided when you contact us.
MassHire Career Center
Medical Assistant Training Contacts:
Greater New Bedford
Paul Levesque
(508) 990-4131
(Fall River, Attleboro, Taunton)
Sally Pais
(508) 730-5000
Greater Brockton
Ray Yancey
(508) 584-9800 x27
South Shore
Sarah Kelly
(617) 745-4007
Job search and placement assistance provided.
HURRY! Seats are limited!
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 Corporation.

Motivational Speaker Jeremy Anderson


March 30 @ 8:00 - 9:00 am

The Youth Team at the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board is extremely excited to welcome International Motivational Speaker Jeremy Anderson to our schools!

Join us in March 30th from  8 to 9:00 am  to hear Jeremy’s powerful story as he motivates students to bring their lives to the next level and achieve their goals. Jeremy is a top motivational speaker who presents to hundreds of thousands of students and teachers around the world!   This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on!  The event will be held virtually over ZOOM and all students from grades 9 through 12 are invited to attend and hear Jeremy’s impactful message!

Follow this link for complete details and to register. >>>

Post-Secondary Marine Technology Program at GNBVT
The Marine Technology Program prepares students to work In both the commercial and recreational marine industries. Training includes boat handling instruction and safety, general shop and tool safety, internal combustion engines, marine electrical system design and Installation, outboard, inboard, sterndrive and diesel engine systems, propulsion system maintenance, boat trailer maintenance, electronics installation, vessel systems, marine cosmetics and building construction, marine welding/fabrication.

This training could be free if you qualify!

Register today!

Financial Assistance is available through MassHire.

Call Kinski Medeiros at 508-990-4137 to see if you are eligible.

Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School held their annual Non-Traditional Career Assembly for ninth-grade students on Friday, December 17, 2021. A non-traditional career, as defined by the US Department of Labor, is an occupation in which individuals from one gender comprise less than 25% of the individuals employed in such occupation.
[ Read more. >>> ]

Non Traditional Presentation


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.

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! >>>

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
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  • Photo, JPG file (if available)

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This newsletter edition's featured resource is's Labor Market Information section. Here you will find data about employment and wages, unemployment rates, projections, industry and occupational statistics and other workforce statistics by labor market areas.
Explore Workforce Resources on MassHire GNBWB Website!
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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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