Thursday, July 6, 2017
The City of Springfield and Springfield Public Schools (SPS) will expand on career readiness pathways thanks to a $171,833 grant provided by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission aimed providing workforce training programs to help low-income adults secure employment with MGM Springfield.
The grant will support a pilot program dubbed “Ahead of the Game,” which will be run largely out of the City of Springfield’s SPS Adult Education Center. The program will serve as a bridge for adult students earning their GED or equivalent by preparing them for certification classes at Springfield Technical Community College. The classes would focus on certification in skills area relevant to employment opportunities at MGM Springfield. The funding also allows the preparation for certification program to be made available to eligible high school seniors.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “The old adage says –‘pay me now or pay me later’ – it always makes sense to invest in education and workforce development. I thank and commend the leadership efforts of Superintendent Dan Warwick and Assistant Superintendent Lydia Martinez and on our city side Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy. My hat’s off to MGM and the MGC for their continued belief and investment in our Springfield for putting our people to work.”
Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick said the initiative is an example of the community coming together to take full advantage of opportunities created by the addition of MGM Springfield.
“Early on, MGM illustrated their vested interest in education with their commitment to early childhood education. Now, we are looking at a program that will positively impact their pool of workplace ready job candidates,” said Warwick. Warwick recognized Mayor Sarno for his continued financial commitment to adult education and thanked the Gaming Commission for the grant. “This will absolutely make a difference in our community and I could not be more grateful for the leadership and support,” he said.
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Lydia Martinez, who initiated the opportunity, said the pilot program will begin this fall and is a collaboration between Working Cities, the City of Springfield, Springfield Public Schools and Springfield Technical Community College.
“We all come the table wanting the same results,” said Martinez. “This program will allow us to work together to meet that goal, which is increasing employability for Springfield residents and their families. Here in Springfield, we are fortunate to have strong partnerships and I am really excited about working together to get this program up and going.”