For Immediate Release: 1/22/2020 3:42 pm
City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. has announced that Alex R. Arriaga has been named Director of Veterans’ Services within the Department of Health & Human Services. Arriaga began his new role on January 21.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Arriaga came to the United States when he was 14. He previously served as a Combat Engineer in the Army National Guard from 2001 to 2007, including a deployment to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005 to 2006.
Near the end of his deployment in Iraq, he suffered a head injury when hit with shrapnel from a nearby missile explosion while working at a detainee compound. He later received the Purple Heart, a U.S. military honor awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving.
Arriaga comes to the City after serving as Employment and Training Manager for Veterans Inc. of Worcester where he oversaw all employment and training programs across New England along with the outreach program in Massachusetts. He was named Employee of the Year in 2019. Arriaga has been with Veterans Inc. since 2014, working in various roles in Worcester, Shrewsbury and Devens. He also served as Veterans Service Officer for the towns of Leicester and Boylston. Arriaga holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Anna Maria College and an associate of science degree in criminal justice from Quinsigamond Community College.
“I am excited to begin this new opportunity which will allow me to continue pursuing my passion of helping fellow veterans and connecting them to the resources they need,” said Arriaga. “I look forward to collaborating with Commissioner of Health & Human Services Dr. Matilde Castiel as we continue to serve veterans in the City of Worcester.”
“Alex brings a wealth of personal and practical experience to this position through both his military service as well as his professional work in veterans services,” said City Manager Augustus. “His passion for his country, the veterans community and his city made Alex an ideal choice for this position.”