Grant will allow Greenfield to hire young adults for summer jobs

  • Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner at City Hall. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 3/26/2021 4:59:32 PM

GREENFIELD — The city has received a $75,000 grant that will allow it to hire 10 teens and young adults ages 16 to 24 for its Summer Jobs Program and provide them with skills training, career exploration workshops, a career/job fair and mentoring.

Mayor Roxann Wedegartner announced the receipt of the fiscal year 2021 Urban Agenda Grant from the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and said a “huge thank you” goes out to state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, for her help securing the funding.

“We will be putting these funds to good use and changing lives in the city,” Wedegartner said.

The timing of the grant is important to help Greenfield’s youth get ready for the job market and help their families recover from the pandemic, she continued.

“Young adults were hit hard by the pandemic,” Community Development Administrator Lindsay Rowe said. “This funding strives to offer students the skills and experience that lead to economic self-sufficiency and a positive community impact as the city’s employers work toward a successful and sustainable recovery.”

Rowe said the city is still deciding exactly what jobs the teens and young adults will be doing, but some will be working directly with the city while others will be with local nonprofits. The city will partner with the MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center on Arch Street.

Most jobs will be outdoors, some indoors, but all will follow COVID-19 safety protocols, she said.

“Mentors will be working with them on more than just what a typical supervisor would supply in terms of guidance,” Rowe said. “A mentor/supervisor will also train these younger employees on things like how to call out sick or how to deal with another employee. They’ll have conversations with them that supervisors don’t necessarily have with older more experienced employees.”

Launched in 2015, the Urban Agenda Grant Program awards competitive one-year grants that offer partnerships flexible funding to implement programming and projects based on creative, collaborative work models to support economic progress in urban communities. This year, the grants will address the unique challenges created by the far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about the Urban Agenda Grant Program in Greenfield, call 413-772-1548, ext. 5 or visit greenfield-ma.gov.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.

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