SPRINGFIELD — A $100,000 Urban Agenda Grant was recently awarded to Springfield WORKS, the lead applicant in a team including Home City Development Inc. as the primary partner. The funds will be used to facilitate a community-wide collaboration, with the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council to manage, coordinate, and support the work of numerous participating program partner organizations, in efforts to help families in Springfield achieve economic stability.
The funds will go toward the 2Generation/Whole Family Approach to Pathways to Careers and Home Ownership Program, which is a holistic, creative, and collaborative approach that helps low-income families access career-development tools and training to successfully position individuals on a positive career trajectory. This program will focus on adults and children, addressing the gaps and barriers within multiple systems, including the ‘cliff effect,’ which makes transitioning out of state assistance programs challenging. This project also brings a gender- and racial-equity lens to workforce strategies.
“This is an important partnership that helps families achieve economic gains without fear of losing an important safety net like housing,” said Tom Kegelman, executive director of Home City Development Inc.
Home City Development is the main partner in this project, which means all program participants are Home City Development residents. The program will incorporate the Springfield WORKS’ 2Generation/Whole Family Approach with Home City Development’s HUD Family Self Sufficiency program. Other partners include Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts, HCS Head Start, EforAll, Families First, Springfield Partners for Community Action, and MassHire Springfield.
Springfield WORKS leverages employer partners including Baystate Health, MGM Springfield, United Personnel/Masis, Springfield Public Schools, and others for career pathway opportunities.
“Collaborative partnerships that include wraparound supports, employers, and training partners help remove barriers to ensure that pathways to quality jobs are open and accessible,” said Anne Kandilis, director of Springfield WORKS.