JCRT Ranked Investment Priorities for 2022-2023
(drafted September 2022)
1. Coordination and Data Collection Staff Position – FY24: The JCRT has distributed funding to cover 50% of the Coordination and Data Collection Staff Position through June 2023. This idea is to proactively obligate funding to cover 50% of the position for fiscal year 2024 (July 2023-June 2024).
2. Somerville High School Post-Secondary Supports Programming: This idea includes the creation of a “13th year” program that provides mentorship and guidance to a group of 20 recent Somerville Public Schools graduates who live in families with low-incomes and who may need additional support as they pursue a) a degree at a community college or state college, b) an industry recognized or academic certification, or c) a “quality job” as defined by Somerville’s Office of Workforce and Talent Development. Additionally, a comprehensive post-secondary success program would be provided for 50 graduates who live in families with low incomes, are pursuing post-secondary education, training, and/or employment, and may need less intensive supports after year 13.
3. Somerville Good Municipal Jobs Training Program: Fund a program(s) that integrate adult education/English Language Learning with job training in a specific industry or occupation and connect Somerville residents to Somervile municipal jobs. Priority industries and occupations include entry-level office and Department of Public Works entry-level positions; however, proposers can make a case for other in-demand occupations and industries in Somerville.
4. Mental Health, Resilience, and Trauma Training for Adult Education and Workforce Development Organizations: Fund staff training and organizational coaching for adult education and workforce development programs in Somerville on trauma, trauma-informed approaches, resilience and mental health for staff, students, and participants.
5. Digital Literacy and Training Resource: Fund digital literacy and training resources for Somerville residents. The lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed and accelerated the need for digital literacy. Such training will enable practitioners to more effectively teach and train residents in hybrid and virtual learning environments. It will also equip residents with the skills they need to access academic, job training, and employment opportunities. Funding will prioritize continued and expanded investments in current NorthStar digital literacy programs and licenses.
6. Industry Specific Job Training Programs: Fund providers or partnerships to deliver training and related services for Somerville residents with lower education levels to help them develop skills and earn credentials needed to obtain gainful employment and careers in growing or high-demand industries in Somerville and the greater Boston region. Program(s) should target residents who are training-ready; additional JCRT funds will be available for residents who need to improve basic academic and English skills prior to entering training.
NOTE: The JCRT has distributed funding to Just-A-Start IT and Biomedical Careers training programs through March 2023, Per Scholas IT trainings through September 2023, and Asian American Civic Association’s Careers in Banking and Finance, Building Maintenance, and Green Automotives and Maintenance Skills training through June 2023.
7. Curriculum Development and Updated Training Materials: Fund community-based organizations and non-profit educational providers to conduct curriculum development and redevelopment and to purchase updated training materials to continue preparing Somerville residents for the careers of tomorrow.
8. Career Exploration and Readiness Pre-Training Program: Fund a provider or partnership of providers to deliver a career exploration and readiness pre-training program(s) geared for individuals with low educational and/or English language attainment. The program(s) may deliver service such as career exploration and coaching, development of professional workplace skills, digital literacy, employer presentations and tours, assistance with obtaining employment-required documentation (i.e. Driver’s License) etc.
TIE-9. Tied One Year post-placement services for Students in recent and current JCRT-funded training and education programs: Provide additional funding to current or recent JCRT-funded programs that have assisted participants in securing employment to continue providing career assistance and support services to participants for up to one year. For example, career coaches would continue to schedule regular check-ins with clients and provide ongoing support and access to necessary resources for success in employment.
TIE-9. Wage Theft and Worker’s Rights Training: Continue funding programs to educate Somerville workers on their employment and wage theft rights.
NOTE: The JCRT has funded the Welcome Project and its partners since 2021 to implement a worker’s rights and wage theft curriculum through August 2022.
11. Contextualized Education for Adults and English Language Learners: Fund providers or a partnership to provide contextualized adult education and/or English language education that is taught within the context of specific growing or in-demand industries in Somerville or greater Boston. The contextualized adult education/English Language Learning should prepare individuals with lower education and/or English levels for employment in a specific industry(s) and/or for further education and training in that industry(s).
NOTE: The JCRT has voted to obligate $500,000 to fund contextualized English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) programming for 150 Somerville residents through June 2023.
12. Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Expungement and Job Placement Services: Fund services to assist individuals with misdemeanor offenses in qualifying for and accessing employment opportunities through barrier removal including expungement, or “permanent destruction” of criminal records, and job placement services.
13. Paid Internship Program: Fund a program(s) that provides paid internship opportunities for Somerville residents living in low-income households who are enrolled in high school, college, and/or students in workforce development and job training programs.
14. Municipal Apprenticeship Feasibility Study: Fund a study on the feasibility of creating a municipal apprenticeship in Somerville. This study would research existing models of municipal apprenticeships across the country, consider which specific occupations such an apprenticeship could target, and provide guidance on how Somerville could implement a municipal apprenticeship program.