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Youth Opportunities

Youth Opportunities

 

 
25 Meade Street, Worcester, MA 01610
Room 208
Phone: (508) 799-1328, Fax: (508) 799-8572
Email: youth@worcesterma.gov

Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

 

 

The City's Youth Opportunities Division was created to provide leadership, support and advocacy for youth through the introduction of coordinated programs focused on positive youth development and youth employment. The YOO is largely guided by the Agenda for Youth, which is written with a clear focus on job creation and workforce development, especially for at-risk youth between the ages of 14 and 21 that reside in the City of Worcester.

Since its inception in 2008, the YOO has been involved in numerous strategies to support various youth employment and youth development initiatives, thus ensuring that young people have access to meaningful employment, recreation, and educational opportunities in the city. Highlights for the office include the securing of funding and oversight of summer youth employment initiatives, the coordination of the Wheels to Water program, launching of the city’s first ever Youth Council in 2012, and participation on various boards and planning committees, such as the Health Care Career Expo, Worcester Police Youth Summit, Worcester Violence Prevention Coalition, and Common Pathways Leadership Council. Over the course of five years, the YOO has acquired over $9 million of funding to directly and indirectly subsidize over 10,000 youth employment positions.

Timeline

2015

  • In March, the third City of Worcester Youth Council recruitment process launched. Fifteen (15) youth between the ages of 14 - 19 will be recruited to partake in leadership roles in their communities and learn about local government, civic engagement, leadership development and planning.

2014

  • Youth Opportunities Office moved from the Executive Office of Economic Development to the Executive Office of the City Manager's Public Health Division.
  • The Youth Opportunities Office (YOO) took on a holistic approach to youth development. Under the Public Health Division, the Youth Opportunities Office will assist with employment and job creation, creating an environment that promotes health equity and social justice. The YOO will also support youth-related strategies promoted by CHIP (Community Health Improvement Plan). Initiatives including healthy eating, active living, behavioral health, substance abuse prevention, mental health access to primary care and injury and violence prevention will have the YOO as another means to bring valuable information to our youth.
  • The City Manager appointed fifteen (15) City residents to serve on the Committee on Youth to create, adopt and periodically update a five-year plan to be known as the Agenda for Youth, which shall contain recommendations for jobs programs, services and initiatives to benefit youth.

2012

  • The first ever City of Worcester Youth Council was inducted in May of 2012. Members of the Youth Council represented each of the five districts of Worcester.
  • The Youth Opportunities Office helped launch the Job1 Youth Employment Coalition. Job1 is a partnership formed with area schools, higher education and youth employment programs to establish and promote a connection between employers and youth. In conjunction with this initiative the first Youth and Young Adult Job Fair was held.

2011

  • Youth Opportunities Office is awarded $20K grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to support the Youth Opportunities Office/Agenda for Youth, Youth Council and the Park Steward Program.

2010

  • Youth Opportunities Office received $100K grant support from UMass Memorial to support the Youth Opportunities Office/Agenda for Youth, Youth Council, Youth Opportunities Office Website.

2009

  • The Central Massachusetts Regional Employment Board received over $1.9 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to support summer youth employment programs in Worcester County.
  • The Wheels to Water program begins with generous support from: the George I. Alden Trust, the Fletcher Foundation, the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation, the Stoddard Charitable Trust and UMass Memorial Health Care. Together these funds helped to create 127 jobs, facilitate 745 swim lessons and serve over 1,564 youth and families.

2008

  • The Youth Opportunities Office awards 7 new contracts to city departments and youth serving organizations supporting 348 opportunities for youth including pre-employment training and employment programs, city internships and mentoring opportunities.
  • The City of Worcester Youth Opportunities Office opened its doors with the generous support of St. Vincent’s Hospital. The City’s first Youth Director was hired to provide leadership, support, and advocacy for youth.
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