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‘Second Chance’ helps job-seekers overcome barriers

  • The Franklin Hampshire Career Center's Spring Fling Job Fair Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo



Staff Writer
Sunday, August 12, 2018

GREENFIELD — Finding meaningful work — and overcoming barriers to employment — can be critical for people rebuilding their lives, recovering from alcohol or drug addiction or who are coming out of prison and back to their communities.

To help these and others find employment, Community Action Pioneer Valley has started a new program called Second Chance Employment Initiative, which is based out of Harmon Personnel Services.

“This is an exciting opportunity for those struggling with employment due to their work histories, job skills, recovery needs or CORI (criminal offender record information),” said Nafeeza Castro, Second Chance coordinator. “This program will support their needs with case management and job skills training in order to effectively maintain employment.”

In February, Greenfield received a $75,000 grant from the Massachusetts Urban Agenda Grant Program to make this expansion of services possible. This group will work with the city, the Opioid Task Force, Community Action, Franklin County Corrections, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and other organizations that help people to achieve a sustainable recovery. Also, individuals can directly apply to be part of this training, Castro said.

“We are grateful to the city of Greenfield for spearheading this application to the (grant) program making this expansion of services possible, said Lev Ben-Ezra, director of youth and workforce development in Community Action.

Harmon Personnel Services is an alternative staffing organization that combines high-quality commercial staffing services with the social mission of helping people with low incomes move out of poverty.

For more information, to access services, to refer someone else for services or to hire a worker, call Nafeeza Castro at 413-475-1563 or email her at: secondchance@communityaction.us Or visit the Second Chance office at Harmon Personnel, 326 Deerfield St.