MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board



Jacqueline Sylvia




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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.

“MassHire South Shore Workforce Board looks forward to collaborating with our workforce partners, and employers, to foster opportunities for growth and development. Now more than ever, South Shore healthcare employers need a credentialed, capable workforce. These grant funds will provide essential training for high demand occupations in the healthcare sector that will make a difference in people’s lives,” said Ron Iacobucci, Executive Director, MassHire South Shore.

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. Training will also include examinations for a license or certification in the occupation. Reserve funding has also been secured to explore additional programs in behavioral health and develop specific programs to address skill gaps such as programs for persons that speak English as a second language that will be implemented in year 2 or 3 of the grant period.

“This is a great opportunity for our Workforce Board to work on a regional level with our partners to deliver entry-evel training that provides a significant impact in the healthcare workforce for our region and includes an opportunity for our residents to start a career that offers professional growth,” said Dave Slutz, chair of the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Development Board.

A portion of this funding will also be used for an in-house Medical Assistant training program at the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center (GNBCHC) for up to 45 participants over the 3-year period. In this initiative, the Center will provide an opportunity for their current staff to take part in a Medical Assistant training program. The Center will also on-board qualified individuals and hire them as paid staff in entry-level clinical support associate roles for 90 days before entering the training program. During training, participants may use designated work hours to complete portions of the coursework onsite at the Center’s training facility. The Center will provide a nurse manager and management staff to provide guidance and monitor progress. Participants who successfully complete the training will also test for national certification. Those who successfully complete the program will receive a promotion to Medical Assistant and a wage increase.

Jennifer Patnaude, Chief Human Resources Officer, GNBCHC stated, “New Bedford Community Health is consistently looking for ways to help our staff with learning, development and career advancement. This grant will allow employees to make a career change and expand their skills in the medical field, and we’re very excited to be able to offer them this opportunity.”

The MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board award was part of the Healy-Driscoll Administrations $16.3 million Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) initiative to upskill residents for careers in high-demand occupations in healthcare and behavioral health sectors across Massachusetts. Other awards included Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Inc., Pittsfield $2,227,173; Boston Private Industry Council, Inc., Boston $972,673; City of Worcester/MassHire Central Region Workforce Board, Worcester $1,110,478; City of Salem/MassHire North Shore Workforce Board, Salem $2,413,205; City of Lowell/MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Board, Lowell $2,251,600; MassHire Cape & Islands Workforce Board, Hyannis: $1,921,783; MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board, Inc., Springfield $1,271,342; and MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board, Marlborough: $1,459,242.

MassHire Southeast Region 6 partners will be recruiting program participants as training rolls out. MassHire Southeast Region 6 Workforce Boards also continually seek to develop partnerships with area healthcare providers. For information, contact Jacqueline Sylvia at 774.762.5064 or email

“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.”