MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board

Winter 2023 Newsletter

On March 31, 2023, our long time former Executive Director and current CEO, Jim Oliveira, will be retiring. Our staff and members of the GNB Workforce Board have expressed mixed emotions about Jim's momentous life event. On one hand, we all truly wish Jim the best in his long-overdue retirement. On the other, we all know that filling the void in wisdom and knowhow that Jim leaves behind will be daunting.

Jim joined the Board the summer of 2011 as Senior Director of Operations and was tasked with writing workforce development grants, planning and allocating training funds associated with the New Bedford Career Center and maintaining key components of the GNB Workforce Board's strategic plan for the region. 

In short order, Jim was appointed Executive Director/CEO and continued to expand annual goals and work plans in the areas of business development, marketing, oversight and performance and youth training initiatives. During this time, Jim also served the staff as mentor, advisor and leader, providing guidance with a door that was always open.

A graduate of Southeastern Massachusetts University, Jim attained a Bachelor's Degree in Management Science after serving in the United States Navy. Jim's naval service included active duty during Vietnam in a P-3 Orion Sub Hunter Squadron (VP-8). It was there that he first became engaged in workforce development as an education petty officer, helping his shipmates complete training requirements for advancement.

During the 1980s, Jim continued to serve the Greater New Bedford area as the Executive Director for the North End Business Association, Branch Officer for Shawmut Bank, Community Relation Advisor to Mayor John Bullard, and subsequently served as the City's Economic Development Director. During this period, Jim gained valuable experience and knowledge of how the workforce development system operates by participating as an associate of the Private Industry Council and serving as the Mayor's liaison to the Office for Job Partnerships/JTEC. While with the City of New Bedford, Jim was intimately involved with the intermunicipal agreement that led to attracting Titleist Ball Plant II to the New Bedford Business Park. He also worked with the Dukakis administration that led to locating the UMass Dartmouth SMAST facility in New Bedford's South End.

Upon leaving the city, Jim spent 20 years in the development of workforce systems to assist Department of Transitional Assistance clients find meaningful employment. Jim has worked in several cities from Boston to Cape Cod, guiding a team of employment counselors to coordinate job placements on behalf of Cognosco and LifeStream, Inc. He has visited over 150 Long Term Care Facilities and Health Care Agencies throughout his career. He also developed many great relationships in manufacturing, distribution and retail.

Jim has also served on the Board of the Massachusetts Workforce Association as a member and Treasurer, past representative of Ward 1 on the New Bedford City Council, Chairman of the Employment Opportunities Committee, Chair of the Airport Committee and Vice Chairman of Public Safety.

Currently, Jim is as an active member of several organizations, including One Southcoast Chamber, Port Authority of New Bedford Commission Member and Finance Committee, Rotary Club past President and member for 10 plus years, and formerly on the Board of the Southeast Economic Development Council, and Board of the New Bedford Boys and Girls Club.

In the dictionary, one of the definitions for a legacy is "the long-lasting impact of particular events, actions, etc. that took place in the past, or of a person's life."

Jim's exemplary career, and even more so, Jim's willingness to mentor and provide guidance, is a lasting legacy to our Workforce Board and to Greater New Bedford as a whole.

Now we must ask…

Didn't you only just start yesterday? Happy retirement, Jim!

The Greater New Bedford Workforce Board is proud to announce that Aaron Martins and Cornelio Ventura Garcia were presented with a Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship from the Division of Apprentice Standards from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Registered Apprenticeship Program at the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board acknowledges the two apprenticeship completions and all the hard work and dedication that they have shown to their craft and their local employer.

Aaron Martins and Cornelio Ventura Garcia received their yearlong on-the-job training at Cotter Machine in Wareham, where they are both employed as Computerized Numerical Control Machine Operators.

Both of the apprentices completed their Related Technical Instruction at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, in New Bedford. They both attended class at night, completing a 200-hours in person program, where they received a certificate in Advanced Manufacturing.

Congratulations to both Aaron and Cornelio. We wish them great success in their careers.

Aaron & Cornelio!

Certificate of Completion for CNC Machine Operator Apprenticeship

Certificate of Completion for CNC Machine Operator Apprenticeship



MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center logo
Career Center Corner

Business Services Team

January Success Story

A recruitment/job fair is an opportunity for prospective employers to find capable workforce by talking face-to-face with candidates.  The MassHire Greater New Bedford Business Services Team is here to help.  The month of January the Team coordinated several jobs fairs focusing on the labor market and employment needs.

On January 5th, a Welding Recruitment was held to assist those jobseekers who graduated from the Welding Program. Three employers participated and eight graduates attended. They are still in the application process and are awaiting interviews.

On January 11th, Massachusetts Department of Corrections came in and spoke to jobseekers participating at the Career Center Seminar. After the Seminar the employer met with those jobseekers interested and walk-ins. This employer will be coming in one day monthly until April to speak with those jobseekers in the CCS.

On January 11th, a Behavioral Health Job Fair was organized by the Business Services Team and held at the Waypoint Event Center in New Bedford. Eleven employers participated and around twenty-five jobseekers participated. We are awaiting feedback from employers about their hiring. Several jobseekers have expressed they have submitted applications and are awaiting feedback from employers.

Employer Testimonial:

Working with the MassHire Career Center in New Bedford has been a great experience. The staff had been warm and welcoming. They are all extremely knowledgeable of how the Career Center operates and they’ve provided with information to better understand how the team works together cohesively. I was able to speak and present information pertaining to career pathways available in our organization to over 30 job seekers in my 2 visits there. MassHire Career Center in New Bedford has done an amazing job providing us with a platform to promote our agency.

– Jevon Brown-Simpson, Recruitment Specialist

Massachusetts Department of Correction, Division of Human Resources (DHR), Recruitment Department  

On January 12th, the Business Services Team attended the Offshore Wind Job Fair held off site. The team recruited jobseekers and marketed the Job Fair. At the event, they captured several new jobseekers and registered them with the Career Center. The Team visited employers who attended to discuss with them and follow up on the Priority of Services offered to employers.

During the month of January, the BSR Team focused on attracting new employers via telephone calls and emails. Fifty-five new employers have joined the Career Center. 

To learn more about how MassHire Greater New Bedford Business Services Team can assist your company call the Career Center at 508.990.4000, email, or visit their website at

Winter's Partner Spotlight Bristol Community College Business Solution & Partnerships

Partner Spotlight

Our partner spotlight for this newsletter showcases the Bristol Community College (Bristol) Business Solutions and Partnerships (BSP) team.

Highlighting the valuable role that community colleges play in workforce development, Bristol shines as one of MassHire Greater New Bedford’s Workforce Board’s go-to partners for consultation and program development for our grant funded training initiatives.

The BSP team functions under Bristol’s Economic & Business Development. This team is charged with working with area employers on their workforce development needs, along with designing training programs to provide skills for those seeking employment.

The BSP team specializes in assisting companies to assess training needs and then design and deliver a high-quality training program. This work also includes partnering with companies to access funding through the Massachusett Workforce Training Fund Program (WTFP) to help cover the cost of this customized training.

Below are just a few examples of the services Bristol’s BSP team can provide.

One organization that the Bristol team is currently working with is Little People’s College (LPC). LPC provides year-round early care and education for children ages 4 weeks through 13 years. The agency has 6 centers in Greater New Bedford with a capacity to serve 980 children.

As well as offering high quality early education, they provide transportation to and from school and home, and supply breakfast, lunch and snacks daily. This is all accomplished with a staff of over 200 people.  

In collaboration with Bristol’s BSP team, LPC received a training grant award of $58,100. This approved training touches staff at all levels on topics such as leadership, effective communication, dealing with conflict, team building, customer service and cultural competency. The early childhood education industry, both locally and nationally, is at a major crossroads as working parents are desperate for high-quality slots during a time when our labor shortage is critical due to many contributing factors. LPC has worked hard to buck this trend. An important focus of the company’s new strategic business plan includes staff development. This training partnership with Bristol is 100% paid for by the WTFP and will help prepare employees to move into higher roles and take on more responsibilities.

In Fall River, BSP has a consortium project with four companies in the Airport Industrial Park–Blount Fine Foods, Matouk Textiles, Cold Chain Technologies (formerly Packaging Technology Group) and Raw Seafoods. This WTFP training grant was awarded in the amount of $249,900 and is being managed by Matouk as the lead applicant. BSP designed all the training, which is delivered at the different company locations with each employer partner sending a number of employees to make up a class. The primary focus is on Workplace English (ESOL), as well as effective supervisor, project management and lean/business process improvement training. The Workplace ESOL instructors use contextualized material from employee job tasks as language lessons. This approach helps front-line employees to advance more quickly and gives them greater confidence to interact with co-workers and supervisors and take initiative in improving operations, which improves job performance and morale.

The Bristol Business Solutions and Partnership group also works closely with MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board and Career Center. For the past several years, BSP has partnered to deliver training for incumbent workers and dislocated unemployed or underemployed individuals with funding from the Center for Advanced Manufacturing at MassTech Collaborative.

This has included lean/business process improvement, effective communication, Workplace ESOL, Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerances and effective supervisor training. This year Bristol is designing and delivering an in-depth 150 hours Advanced Manufacturing CNC Machining training at their Fall River campus location. This class is currently accepting participants, who can register through the MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center.

In healthcare, Bristol has partnered with MassHire Workforce Boards in past healthcare training for both grant programs and with MassHire Career Centers for Individual Training Programs also known as an ITA. Bristol will also be one of our partners in an upcoming grant funded CNA training initiative that is slated to roll out in the spring 2023. Meanwhile, as we wait for the final green light on this new grant, Bristol is offering Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training that is free to eligible Massachusetts residents. This hybrid training is 100 hours and includes clinical placement hours to prepare individuals for the Massachusetts CNA license exam. Bristol's first free training class had 10 students with 100% success in passing the test! This grant funded training is also a great example of how workforce development partnerships can be a win-win for all. Knowing that Bristol also had their own grant funded program, we were able to structure the recruitment plan of our grant so that the bulk of our enrollments at Bristol will be made after their grant period ends. This will allow for an ongoing stream of trained direct care workers over the next few years and help to fill the pipeline for this critically needed occupation. Follow this link for more information about Bristol's grant program. ( Please feel free to spread the word about this chance to get started in an industry with high needs for certified individuals that also offers opportunities for professional development.

The BPS team also connected the MassHire Southeast Region 6 Workforce Boards with Bristol’s Behavioral & Social Sciences and Education department for our current behavioral health grant. 

In this effort, the Bristol worked closely with the workforce boards and employer partners to develop a custom Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate program to assist employer staff in obtaining their CADC-II (Certified Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counselor) course requirements toward licensure. This program is intended to serve as a model for future initiatives. It includes customized programming to condense the training to fit the grant’s stringent timeline and classes scheduled to assist working participants in managing the workload.

Bristol is offering professional development classes in the emerging offshore wind industry. Their Orientation to Offshore Wind class is a 4-hour class bringing awareness and high-level details about the industry. 

Bristol is offering professional development classes in the emerging offshore wind industry. Their Orientation to Offshore Wind class is a 4-hour class bringing awareness and high-level details about the industry. Individuals from Vineyard Wind, New Bedford Public Schools, Department of Education, banks and health safety organizations have participated in learning more about the industry and how they can potentially participate. 

Bristol offered the classes in parallel with developing the National Offshore Wind Institute which is a one-stop location for required health and safety trainings. The institute is a 35,000 square foot state-of the-art training facility located on New Bedford's waterfront. It will be a Global Wind Organization certified facility with curriculum specifically designed to keep workers safe while operating offshore.

Follow this link to register for the professional development classes. (

For more information on the National Offshore Wind Institute, check out

Bristol also offers a wide range of corporate services and trainings. If you are a regional business interested in training your workforce, check out Bristol’s corporate services and trainings here.  (

For more information on how your organization can connect and form a partnership with Bristol, visit their Business Solutions and Partnerships web page. (

Jamilyn Soares, Justin Grota and Deven Robitaille of the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board Youth team have taken a systems-based approach this year with all of its programs, partnering schools and community organizations, which is demonstrating promising results.

Through a braided funding method, the Youth Team leverages all of its funding sources to implement more opportunities for career development and exploration for youth throughout the Southcoast.

Connecting Activities, YouthWorks, WIOA and our STEM programs have their own advantages and must achieve specific deliverables within the scope of each program. Through a blended model, a greater number of youths are made aware of all available program opportunities and are able to access key elements specific to their interests. As a result, recruitment and implementation of activities that include career fairs, internships, in-classroom instruction and additional supports for both in and out of school is provided to the youth and their families.

The Youth Team is utilizing a State grant and allocated funding for three virtual reality headsets that offer career exploration and readiness software in over ten trade areas. In partnership with SouthCoast Wind, the Workforce Board also received three additional virtual reality headsets for youth to gain exposure specifically to occupations in the Offshore Wind Industry. This will allow the Youth Team to engage youth in mass using innovative technology.

Since December 2023, our Youth Team has been actively visiting all partnering schools and community organizations and participated in over 20 career readiness events while introducing all MassHire programing to more than 5000 youth. As we enter Spring, the Youth Team is looking forward to engaging the youth, recruiting them into training programs and helping them start their professional journeys. 

Upcoming Youth Events

MassHire Mondays
MassHire Mondays will commence during the second semester at New Bedford High School. The MassHire GNB Career Center will facilitate professional development workshops to include four monthly classes and one financial literacy class. Classes will include Career Center intro to services, job search tips and tricks, resume writing and interview skills. The series will be available through New Bedford Public School’s Family Engagement department. Students, staff and families are welcome to join.

Career Exploration Expo, May 2023

The Youth Team is currently planning the second annual MassHire Youth Career Exploration Expo. Last year’s event was a success and this year’s will be no different. This Expo will feature local businesses and organizations who will engage students and help inform them of different career pathways. A variety of industries will be present at the Expo. This is a great opportunity for area youth. All twelve schools are invited to bring their students. The event will also include lunch, a DJ, hands on activities and a high-profile keynote speaker. The Youth Team is still in the early stages of planning, but it is intended to reach close to 500 to 1000 students.

Business and Educators Leadership Night, May 2023
A networking dinner event where business and education leaders have a conversation about ways that we can collaborate to ensure students are receiving the proper training to enter the workforce and help fill in the gaps in the employment chain. Our WIOA programs and other community partners are also invited to join the conversation and to listen to insights from both educators and business leaders.

For more information about any of these events, call the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board at 508.979.1504 and ask for a member of the Youth Team.

In case you missed it... earlier this year:

Mayflower Wind Changes Name to SouthCoast Wind Energy LLC

On February 1, 2023, SouthCoast Wind Energy LLC, a joint venture of Shell New Energies US LLC and Ocean Winds North America, became the new name for Mayflower Wind. This change better reflects the company’s commitment to the people, businesses and communities of the SouthCoast, all of whom will benefit from the growing offshore wind industry. Read more. >>>

Southeastern Advanced Manufacturing Consortium


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! >>>

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Quick Links

Featured Resource

On February 11 to 18, we celebrated National Entrepreneurship Week and we also support entrepreneurship throughout the year. For this reason, our featured resource is the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network (MSBDC). 

The MSBDC provides free and confidential business advice to existing and prospective small business people, along with free or low-cost educational training programs for prospective and existing small businesses throughout the Commonwealth. Visit

Statewide & Regional Resources
Labor Market Informatin

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.

MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board


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.

MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center


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!”


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Copyright ©2023 MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board. All rights reserved.

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.)


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