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Paving the Way for Meaningful Careers in Healthcare, MassHire GNB Workforce Board Takes the Lead in Securing $2.7 Million Regional Job Training Grant

The MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board, serving as the lead applicant for the MassHire Southeast Region 6, has been awarded a $2,660,220 grant from the Commonwealth Corporation for regional healthcare workforce training initiatives.

This funding will expand healthcare training programs in Southeastern Massachusetts. Programming will be supported by the MassHire Southeast Region 6 Workforce Boards and Career Centers partners (MassHire Bristol, Greater Brockton, Greater New Bedford, and South Shore).

Over 16 regional employers, including hospitals, physicians’ groups, nursing and rehab facilities, home care providers, and behavioral health organizations have committed to recruit staff from grant programs, collaborate in the overall grant initiative, and provide hired grant graduates with professional growth within their organizations beyond the grant training.

Most of the funding will be for training programs to prepare up to 260 unemployed and underemployed individuals for careers in healthcare. Over the next three-years through December 2026, MassHire Southeast Region 6 Workforce Boards will implement training programs for Medical Assistant, Certified Nurse Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician, and Phlebotomy Technician at various State approved training providers within the region.

 Read the full press release >>>

“This project is funded by the Healthcare/Behavioral Health Hub Continuation Grant (Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund FY’21 Appropriation) and funds appropriated through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. This grant initiative is administered by Commonwealth Corporation on behalf of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Workforce Skills Cabinet.”

US Department of Labor Awards $768K to Support Disaster-Relief Jobs, Training in Massachusetts, Continue Supporting Commonwealth’s Opioid Crisis Response

Release Number


News Release

Incremental award to support Bristol, Plymouth counties

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced an incremental award of $768,337 to support continued efforts to provide disaster-relief jobs and employment and training 

“This grant can’t end, we are on a role and there are still so many more people to train and get jobs.” Her goal is to one day open a treatment center in the greatly needed Marion/Mattapoisett (suburban) area of our district. Christina

services for people in Massachusetts communities, helping to address the 

health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction and overdose.

In July 2021, the department’s Employment and Training Administration 
awarded an Opioid Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grant of up to $2,368,337 – with an initial award of $800,000 – to enable Massachusetts to combat the harmful effects of the opioid crisis on the local workforce. The department awarded a second incremental grant of $800,000 in July 2023. With today’s funding, the total awarded for the project is the full approved $2,368,337.

The funding supports employment of members of the local workforce as community health workers, peer navigators, recovery specialists and recovery coaches. The project also provides employment and training services to people affected by the opioid crisis, with a focus on training formerly incarcerated people for work in high demand occupations in the maritime trade industry. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017, thereby enabling Massachusetts to request this funding.

“I was able to get to my apartment due to the program and now I live in New Bedford, M.A. 02740. Before meeting the requirements, I lived at a residential House treatment program in Fall River. The program requires participants to remain drug and alcohol-free and subject to random testing. I have maintained full compliance with these terms; and I am now going on for two years at my job.”   “I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity given to me by this program, it has changed my life.”  —Thomas

Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the Opioid Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grants create temporary disaster-relief jobs and provide services to help reintegrate workers affected by the opioid crisis into the workforce.

“I appreciated the opportunity. I am now working as a Recovery Coach for High Point and getting people connected as much as possible.”  —Mark

Agency Employment and Training Administration
January 30, 2024
Release Number 
Media Contact Monica Vereen
Phone Number 202-693-4686


Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School Recognizes Youth Team

SkillsUSA students from GNB Vocational Technical High School

The MassHire GNB Workforce Board Youth team received a thank you letter and poster from the SkillsUSA students from Greater New Bedford Voc Tech. The Board helped fund SkillsUSA programming in local and national competitions. Collectively, over the past three years, the students who participated in the SkillsUSA competitions have won over 40 medals and accolades for their outstanding performances and innovative projects.

Thanks you Letter from students of GNBVT

SkillsUSA is an organization creating a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA impacts the lives of America’s future workforce through the development of personal, workplace, and technical skills grounded in academics.

SkillsUSA support provided by Masshire GNB Workforce Board Youth team included:

  • Motivational Speakers 
  • SkillsUSA End of Program Celebration and Recruitment Party
  • SkillsUSA Leadership/Team Building SEL Escape Room
  • Transportation to Career Expos, College and Job Fairs
  • Entrepreneurship Day (Hall) 
  • Entrepreneurship Day with Industry Expert Panels (Lunch) 
  • Resume/Cover Letter Seminar w/ JM Career Services 
  • Charging Power banks

MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board’s Youth team was proud to sponsor the Steam the "This Can Be You" assembly by Steam the Streets at New Bedford High School, which put on two performances for more than eight hundred students! STEAM the Streets aims to raise awareness and prepare students for careers in STEM and the arts.

This winter, our spotlight is aimed at our long-time healthcare training partner Coastal Career Academy.

Coastal Career Academy’s story begins with its CEO/Director, Debra Gomes, RN. In the late 1980s, Deb worked in the Emergency Room at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford where there was a persistent staffing need for entry-level direct care workers. Deb found that healthcare employers generally struggled with 

maintaining well-trained direct care 

staff. Deb began her journey to make

a difference by training Certified Nurse Assistants in the evenings at the former Island Terrace nursing home. Deb knew that the workforce filling these entry-level roles faced significant barriers–support and guidance were key to their success. Limited income, child care needs, and transportation were top of mind for her students and future direct care staff. Deb connected with the local Workforce Board and Career Center to assist her in overcoming these barriers. Deb attended every meeting she could, reaching out to workforce development professionals, healthcare administrators, and community leaders.


Coastal Career Academy was officially founded in a single classroom in the North End of New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1999. Demand for qualified healthcare staff and occupational training grew. Two classrooms turned into three before Coastal Career Academy moved to a larger space in Fall River, Massachusetts. Coastal Career Academy is licensed through the Massachusetts Division of Professional licensure, and it has expanded its offerings far beyond traditional CNA training, including courses in Medical Assistant, Phlebotomy Technician, Patient Care Technician, Basic Life Support, EKG Certification , Nurse Assistant/Home Health Aide ESOL in partnership with UMass neighborhood college. Coastal Career Academy also offers a Plumbing Apprentice Program and coming soon Electrical Apprentice Programs.

Partnership continues to be essential to Coastal Career Academy’s offerings. The school is registered as a state approved Eligible Training Provider and it partners with Workforce Boards to execute grants targeted at servicing limited income trainees. Deb has partnered with Career Centers and community organizations to assist with textbooks, scrubs, shoes, transportation and even child-care. Most importantly, Deb partners with healthcare employers to ensure that her students find a meaningful position upon completing their training. Coastal Career Academy’s goal is that each student graduate debt free with an employment opportunity that offers professional development and room for advancement.


Today, Deb Gomes, and Coastal Career Academy continue to explore options to better serve the staffing needs of healthcare employers and her students. She seeks partnerships to expand and tailor offerings to meet the diverse needs of her students. Deb first seeks to learn about her students–where do they want to work? What will this job mean to them personally? Then, Deb works to find or develop the right program to suit their needs.

Students who began seemingly insurmountable barriers have gone from Coastal Career Academy to nursing school, positions in healthcare administration, and even medical school. For Deb, there are no barriers that her students can’t overcome.

Individual student success continues to be Deb’s greatest joy and the driving force behind Coastal Career Academy’s efforts.

Career Center Corner

Business Services Unit

Finding a job can be stressful. Do you need guidance to determine what route you must take to reach your employment objective? At 

MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center, we want to make it easier for you. The Business Services  team provides job seeker 

with a variety of job assistance services. They are your connection to employers. To learn more about how the Business Services team can help you find a job and grow in your career, contact us at 774.762.5081.

Customer Comments:

Dear Sir/Madam: 

I just wanted to share my testimony on working with Karen on finding employment.

Photo of Karen Lazaro

Karen Lazaro

Business Services Consultant

Karen was always professional and guided each and every step with great care and assurance. She was very attentive to details and shared an incredible amount of information for new open employment opportunities. 

She went above and beyond to make sure all the needs and resources I needed were met. 

Karen kept great lines of communication to access her and was always extremely resourceful in  assisting with interview prep and following up. 

I would highly recommend her to help candidates with their job search. 

She was an absolute delight to work with and cares about making a difference and helping each candidate achieve their goals. 

I am extremely grateful to Karen and the amazing opportunity for the position I have now thanks to all her help and efforts in helping me achieve my dream position and not giving up. Always motivating me to keep going! 

Thank you, Karen, for believing in me and seeing the potential I have! 

To you I and forever grateful for the new opportunities my children and I will now be able to experience because of her great efforts in helping myself find an amazing employer. 

Thank you, Karen, you are extremely professional, attentive and an absolute ray of sunshine. 

I appreciate all the resources you shared with me and the great connection with the employer I now have because of your assistance. 

Best Regards,


New Veterans Services Web Page Launched

Photo of Matt Sutton, Veterans Employment Representative/DVOP Specialist

Matt Sutton, Veterans Employment Representative/DVOP Specialist

As part of our ongoing commitment to better serve our customers, we have launched a new Veterans Services page on our website. Visitors to the page are introduced to Matt Sutton, our highly experienced Veterans Employment Representative. 

Veterans’ Priority of Service is also highlighted, and the page is enhanced with an online inquiry form designed to speed up the enrollment process.

If you or someone you know is a veteran in need of employment or training, we invite you to visit our new page to learn more or inquire today!


Celebrating Women Veterans

5 meaningful ways to pay tribute

(Family Features) Veterans play an important role in U.S. history. Over time, the demographics of veterans have changed, but few realize the growing role of women in the armed 

forces. Today, women 

comprise 11% of the veteran population. According to the Pew Research Center, that number is expected to increase to 18% by 2048.

Fannie Griffin McClendon is one of those women. She enlisted during a tumultuous period of history that spanned World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Her more than two decades in the military included service in both the Army and Air Force.

In an oral history interview for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, she recalled her proudest memory was her time with the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion during World 

War II. As the only all-African 

American, all-female unit deployed

to Europe, it processed mountains of mail for U.S. servicemembers in Europe in 1945 and is credited with boosting the troops’ morale. McClendon also provided a unique perspective of life as a career military officer in an era when African American women faced bigotry and barriers.

Through the Veterans History Project, the Library of Congress collects and preserves the firsthand remembrances of U.S. military veterans like McClendon and makes them accessible for future generations to better understand veterans’ service and sacrifice. Stories are available to the public on the Library’s website and at the Washington, D.C. campus.


You can extend this work and honor women veterans in your community with simple acts of appreciation such as:


Support Women Veteran-Owned Businesses

Take your support for small businesses one step further and look for women veteran-owned businesses to support. These leaders are making waves in the business world and the nonprofit sector. If possible, provide mentorships for women veterans to help transition to civilian life.


Encourage Women Veterans to Share Their Stories

Interview the women veterans in your life and capture the details of their military experiences. Then share your documentation with the Veterans History Project, which helps preserve these stories for future generations.

Submit a 30-minute (or longer) unedited video or audio interview sharing service details and/or a collection of original photos or correspondence. Veterans, or families of deceased veterans, may also submit a minimum 20-page journal and/or unpublished memoir or 10 or more original photos or letters. Visit and click “How to Participate” for instructions.


Learn More About Women Veterans

Educate yourself, your children and those around you. Visit museums and memorials, many of which have specific displays to honor the sacrifices and triumphs of women veterans.

Advocate for and Empower Women Veterans

Support initiatives and programs that serve women veterans. Empower them to acknowledge their service and take advantage of the programs and resources available.

Say ‘Thank You’

This may be the easiest, yet most impactful, way you can support veterans, and there are many ways to do so. Shake her hand, buy her lunch or send her a card or letter. None of these take much time, but each can have a big impact.


Photos courtesy of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, Fannie Griffin McClendon Collection, AFC2001/001/119440 and Fannie Griffin McClendon.


Library of Congress Veterans History Project

MassHire GNB Workforce Board would like to give a hearty shout out to our own female veteran, Deven Robitaille. 

Deven served as a Sergeant in the United States Army from 2011 to 2015. Deven completed two overseas missions in Korea and Qatar during the Global War on Terror and was based in Texas and Oklahoma when stationed in the US. 

Thank you Deven, for your service!


Registered Apprenticeship

Name our Neighbor Contest!

As some of our readers know, we recently settled into our new office digs at 25 Elm street in New Bedford. To our delight, we discovered a fine feathered neighbor (depicted in the photo above) taking residence in the back lot. We want to give him a name and need your help! The winning entry will receive a $50.00 VISA gift card!


  • Email your entry (suggested name) to
  • Limit one entry per email address.

  • Please include your full name and a phone number when emailing your entry.

  • The winner will be selected by ballot of the MassHire GNB Workforce Board staff. The entry receiving the highest number of votes will win. (In case of a tie, we will conduct another ballot and continue until the tie is broken.)

  • Employees and board members of MassHire Workforce Boards and Career Centers, their family, or household members are not eligible to participate. 
  • Contest deadline March, 22, 2024. 
  • Winner will be announced the week of March 25th.


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

MWA’s Advocacy Academy Workforce Policy Briefing

Mass Workforce Association logo

(left to right) MA Senator Patricia D. Jehlen, MA Representative Kip A. Digs, and MA Representative Josh S. Cutler

On February 8, 2024, the first ever Workforce Advocacy Academy graduates presented their workforce policy briefings at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. Lawmakers and their staff, MWA members and supporters, and other invited guests were among those in attendance.

Created by the Massachusetts Workforce Association (MWA), the Advocacy Academy was made available thanks to a design grant from SkillWorks. In partnership with Black Lion Strategies, the MWA convened a cohort of 10 individuals from across Massachusetts for policy and advocacy training sessions held from October to December 2023. The Academy’s mission was to train a diverse network of professionals in workforce-related advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels. Academy participants gained communication and advocacy skills, were introduced to the federal and state workforce systems, and participated in experiential learning opportunities. 

See full story and more photos! >>>


Quick Links


New Bedford Homeless Service Providers Network Launches Online Street Sheet


To improve access to information for individuals experiencing homelessness and seeking resources, the City of New Bedford’s Homeless Service Provider’s Network (HSPN) recently launched an online version of their “Street Sheet” flyer. This online web page provides vital information for finding meals, shelter, and emergency assistance to support homeless individuals in need.

If someone you know is facing homelessness, please share this link with them.


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.


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)

Submit your news to



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 | 25 Elm Street, New Bedford MA
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