June 2, 2016

Worcester receives $475K food industry jobs grant

Courtesy
Deahorse hill Executive Chef and Co-Owner Jared Forman stands in the new restaurant. The $475,000 grant will help provide training for those interested in advancing in the food industry to positions such as chef.

Worcester is one of five cities to receive a $475,000 grant from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and charitable partners to promote employment opportunities in the city's food-service economy.

The grant is part of the second round of the Working Cities Challenge in Massachusetts. The winning cities will receive three-year grants of $475,000 to carry out the initiatives they have developed through design grants awarded last fall. The other communities receiving grants were Haverhill, Lowell, Pittsfield and Springfield.

The grant to Worcester will be used by Working Cities Worcester (WCW) to provide workforce training and career paths for disadvantaged workers in cooperation with local employers, increase career opportunities and operational support for ethnic food vendors and retailers in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and push for workforce development being a strategic priority in the local food service economy.

"Food service is a critical and growing segment of our economy, and this funding will allow us to support it with skilled labor, while providing good job opportunities for our residents," City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr., said in a statement.

The WCW core team includes Worcester Community Action Council, Inc., Clark University, Regional Environmental Council, Sodexo, Chartwells, City of Worcester, Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, and the Latino Education Institute of Worcester State University.

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