Community Newsletter – March 2021
Letter from the Executive Director
In this edition of our newsletter, we will say goodbye to one long-term staff member, welcome some new staff members, including someone we worked with in the past that has joined our team in a new capacity. Although we are working remotely, we continue to work diligently connecting customers with training opportunities, and with the employers that are hiring. We have several exciting free training opportunities (eligibility applies in most cases) that are coming up this spring. As always, we welcome your feedback on our services or a chance to collaborate.
Monica Nou Retirement
After 27 years of service to job seekers in Greater Lowell Monica Nou is retiring in March. Monica works primarily with our Khmer-speaking customers. Over the course of her career here, she has helped thousands of people become re-employed. She conducted seminars in Khmer, enrolled hundreds of customers in advanced manufacturing training, and engaged in special projects such as working with the Career Academy in Lowell’s Highlands, and connecting the local Cambodian community to job and training opportunities. By our count, Monica has served over 5,000 customers in her time at the career center.
“Monica has been a great asset to the career center over many years,” said Career Center Manager Nancy Gagnon. “She assisted countless customers in finding a job. She was especially important in assisting the Cambodian community of Lowell where she guided so many individuals through training for a new occupation and a better life. Her charm, wit, and serenity will be missed in our office.”
Although we will miss Monica and all her valuable work we wish her well in her well-deserved retirement.
New Staff – Kylee Simao
Kylee Simao has started in February working in our Department of Labor Opioid grant. Kylee will be working with the existing participants connecting them with training and job opportunities. We are still recruiting for this grant and Kylee will be working on enrolling new participants and assisting them in finding training or employment.
Kylee comes to the career center uniquely prepared for this opportunity as she has completed the Addiction Councilor Program at Middlesex College and has been previously involved in the substance abuse field. Additionally, Kylee worked as a teacher Abisi Adult Education in Lowell working with at-risk youth at CTI sites within Lowell. Through her past experiences and training, Kylee hopes to bring a compassionate understanding to the population being served in the opioid program.
New Staff – Shaun McCarthy
Shaun McCarthy started in January as our new Business Services Manager. Shaun worked for the Greater Lowell Workforce Board for several years, before leaving to become the Working Cities Lowell Director. After four years at Working Cities, Shaun has joined our team, this time working for the Career Center.
“I’m excited to be back with the MassHire Lowell family in a leadership role. I learned a lot while I was away and I’m looking forward to applying that at the Career Center,” said Shaun.
Shaun will be working with local employers, connecting them with our job seekers. We have expanded our capacity to do virtual recruitments and job fairs. We will also be adding two more staff to the Business Services team so we can expand our services to local employers.
Sen. Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants for Expanded Training Capacity – Electronics
MassHireLowell Career Center is currently running a training program to provide hands-on experience and certification in electronics assembly. Between November 2020 and December 2021, the center is seeking to enroll 20 unemployed job seekers from the Greater Lowell region. The goal of the program is to place job seekers in a career in electronic assembly and soldering.
This electronics program is overseen by the MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Board and led by the MassHire Lowell Career Center. Career Center staff will recruit, assess and place job seekers in the training program. In addition to the electronics component, the ESOL instruction will be offered if needed by job seekers. Individuals completing the program will earn three important manufacturing industry certifications including IPC-A-610 Assemblies, IPS J-STD-001 Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies, and IPC-7711 – Rework, Repair, and Modification. These certifications are critical for use during manufacturing, assembly, and soldering.
During training, customers will receive supportive services from MassHire Lowell Career Center staff. Once training is completed, customers will receive job placement assistance
Staff Profile – Amy Veillette
If you are interested in a specialty training program funded by MassHire Lowell Career Center, Amy Veillette is the staff member to find. One of Amy’s many roles at the career center is recruiting for specialized training programs such as electronics, plumbing, or welding.
It is a frustrating process for Amy as she believes many people are unaware of the great opportunities available in these fields.
“It’s difficult to find customers interested in special training programs,” She said. “Right now, nobody wants to do dirty jobs. But these jobs do not require a college education, and you can make really good money and have a great career path.”
Amy Veillette has been a fixture at the MassHire Lowell Career Center for 18 years. Starting in the Youth Department, Amy assisted older youths obtain their GED and increase their occupational skills.
After her experience with Youth, Amy advanced to become a Career Advisor in the challenging DTA unit. She assisted customers on public assistance to find jobs and become more self-sufficient.
More recently, Amy has been promoted to a Career Advisor Supervisor. In this role, she continues to assist customers but has acquired many other roles. Amy oversees career advisors, training and eligibility documentation, performs quality assurance of customer records, and oversees recruiting for specialty grants.
Her excellence in recruiting for these programs earned Amy a nomination for the MassHire Awards in 2020. Amy was a finalist in the “Reliability” segment.
Amy is a Lowell native and a graduate of both Lowell High School and UMass-Lowell. Although she is a Lowell native, her family is not. Amy’s mother is from Vermont and her father is from New Bedford. Her parents met at a party at UMass Lowell’s Fox Hall and later decided to make Lowell their home.
Outside of work, Amy enjoys being with her husband Bill and their family. She likes bird watching and also considers herself an entry-level gardener. Fellow staff members can attest to Amy’s love of her red Jeep Wrangler.
Amy is driven to assist job seekers. Her top advice is to try to avoid frustration.
“If you are feeling frustrated by the job search, then take a break. Frustration negatively affects your job search,” she said.
During the MassHire Awards, Amy reflected on an old journal entry made 22 years ago as a college student.
“Before I die, I want to know I made a difference in someone’s life. I want to be a role model.”
Being part of MassHire has allowed Amy to make a difference in many of our customers’ lives and to be a role model. Not only for our customers, but also for co-workers.
Shannon Norton Appears on LTC News
New Young Adult Career Center
Our lease has been approved by the City Council and our landlord is busy renovating the space at 115 Merrimack Street for our Young Adult Career Center. We hope to move in by April. This dedicated space will allow us to expand our Young Adult career services. Our Young Adult Department works with customers in the age range of 14-24. We will have on-site Hi-Set/GED instruction, in partnership with Abisi Adult Education Center. We will also have representatives from Shiver Job Corps on-site.
Other career services will include a resource room for job search, a workshop room, a clothing closet for young adults to choose appropriate clothing for work, and snacks for young adults. These services are only the beginning of what we plan to offer.
Young Adult Department Manager Heather Donovan explained that staff convened a leadership group of 17-21-year-olds to work on the new center’s aesthetics, ensuring that the space opened will be a welcoming and comfortable location. A site designed for young people by the young people who will use it.
“The Young Adult Career Center staff couldn’t be more excited to have a permanent location to set up shop and provide quality service while integrating more into the community and offering additional services that were not possible before, said Heather. “#WhoWillYouBe, not just a hashtag but a way of life coming soon.”
Stay tuned for more updates and a ribbon-cutting
Career Center staff have been recruiting for specialized training opportunities in several occupational areas including Pharmacy Technician, Google IT support, Automotive Repair, and Hands-on Plumbing. Some of these opportunities will be coming back for additional recruitment rounds in the future and we are expecting to be recruiting for Electrics Assembly and Medical Assistant occupations soon.
These training opportunities do come with some eligibility requirements. However, we ask interested individuals to reach out to our staff to determine their eligibility.
All of our available training opportunies are posted on the front page of our website at masshirelowellcc.com and on our social media platforms.
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