BOSTON – Through the Neighborhood Jobs Trust (NJT), the Mayor’s Office for Workforce Development (OWD) has awarded Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) and the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) $98,528 for a new pre-vocational skills training program focused on the retail industry.
The intent of this program is to provide low-income, limited English proficient immigrants in the City of Boston the skills and English needed to secure entry-level employment in the retail sector, allowing them to earn family-sustaining wages and to participate in the mainstream U.S. economy. The training also serves as a first step towards building a stable career and attaining full economic self-sufficiency.
Support from the OWD will enable BCNC and CPA to offer four 10-week training cycles over the next year, with 7-8 trainees in each cycle. The program will use an English-for-employment format, integrating ESOL instruction with both general workplace and industry-specific skill-building. While the training is focused on developing soft skills and customer service skills, trainees will also learn relevant technical skills and how to navigate the job application process.
The final goal of the pre-vocational skills training is to place trainees in full-time retail industry positions with an average hourly pay rate of $11 or higher. BCNC and CPA have partnered with Whole Foods, Roche Bros., and the Hotel Training Center to connect trainees to gainful employment and will continue to seek out and build relationships with other local employers.