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Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts - MA - Greater Boston
|Last updated on July 10, 2012|
The mission of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (ULEM) is to be a champion of civil rights dedicated to helping people improve their lives. Our purpose is to build stronger communities by providing local residents with education, job training and placement at no cost. For 95 years, our programs and services have given hope to our members and made a lasting, positive impact in the community.
We offer an array of programs including the Mature Worker Program, Workforce Development/Professional Skills training programs, children summer camperships and summer youth leadership program, and our State of Black Boston advocacy efforts. Below is a brief description about each of them.
The Mature Worker Program, MWP, is an innovative community-based workforce development program that combines “soft” and “hard” skills training, job placement, career coaching, and retention support for 150 low-income and mainly minority adults, ages 55-85 in the greater Boston area. MWP's focus is to nurture a healthy, vibrant lifestyle and promote dignity and the independence of older workers through various assignments at specific community-based nonprofit host training agencies, which prepares them to enter the job market and establish a positive work/volunteer record to obtain living wage employment. Each person is enrolled from 24-48 months and works closely with a case manager with the goal of reducing barriers to become self-sufficient and to gain regular employment in order to live above the poverty level.
Our Workforce Development/Professional Skills training programs include: Volunteer 2 Work, Dollars & Sense Financial Literacy Training, Online Learning Readiness Training, Fund Administration Preparatory Program, Banking Excellence and Sales Training, and our drop-in Employment Resource Center. In order to enroll, each client begins the process by filling out intake forms which gather information on their family, education, and income levels. If they qualify, they go through an assessment process to determine a baseline. Then they are placed in a job training program that suits their needs, skill level, and interests, or they are referred to an agency that better suits their needs. During their training they receive case management and job placement support. ULEM works with each client to develop an Individual Employment Plan. We have an on-site Employment Resource Center with additional resources to ensure rapid and suitable job placement. Once the training is completed many of our clients are placed directly in jobs.
The ULEM focuses on youth leadership development and camperships for inner-city children and youth every summer. Our youth leadership program trains 16-20 inner-city youth on how to be leaders in one's community and builds a pathway to being college and career ready. The goal is to build their leadership skills and design, develop, and submit a project at the National Youth Summit as part of the Project Ready Case Competition conjunction with other youth from other Urban League affiliate's across the country. Our campership program exposes 40-60 inner city children ages 8-16 to the camp lifestyle in Brookfield, MA. Camp Atwater is the nation's oldest African-American leadership development summer camp. The mission of Camp Atwater is to assist in the academic & social aspects of the youth’s growth/development by offering a high quality residential camp experience within a safe, nurturing and Afro-centric environment away from urban violence and distractions.
Our State of Black Boston, SOBB, is a call to action to understand the social/economic issues affecting Boston’s Black population and to collectively formulate strategies to address them at the grassroots level. It is a partnership that began in 2010 between ULEM, the NAACP, and the UMass Trotter Institute. In 2011, the SOBB report was published documenting the current state of Black Bostonians described in an extensive demographic and community profile focusing in on key areas including health, housing & economic development, criminal justice, k-12 education, higher education, civic engagement, arts & culture, and media. This document has become a benchmark for the Black community and other social activists in Boston containing 84 recommendations on how to reduce inequalities in those areas. In 2012, we have narrowed our focus to the four areas of employment, education, health, and economic development and are hosting four community forums culminating in a conference at the State House in November.
The Urban League has been marching through history for equality in employment, housing, and health in Massachusetts since its’ 1917 founding by Eugene Kinckle Jones, an organizer for the National Urban League (NUL). Jones was aided by a group of concerned citizens led by local activist Butler Wilson, who also helped found the Boston branch of the NAACP. Robert Treat Paine, the first Board Chairman for the Boston Urban League, was a well-known philanthropist and descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Early funding for ULEM was provided by John F. Moors, co-founder of Moors & Cabot, now a major investment firm in Boston. In 1919, the ULEM began its affiliation with the NUL, the nation’s largest community-based organization providing direct service, advocacy, and research on behalf of African Americans and other individuals of color. Throughout the good times and bad times of the 20th century - the Great Depression, the Civil Rights marches and protests, the riots in the ‘90s, the ULEM was tireless in its many efforts to gain jobs, healthcare and education for Boston’s people of color. The new millennium began as Greater Boston experienced growth in high-level positions held by African Americans and there was evidence of relaxed residential segregation with more black families in the suburbs. Despite impressive gains, grave challenges remain, especially in education, training, and employment. While many financial and professional services are expanding, factory jobs continue their decades-long decline. Guided by a new strategic plan adopted in 2009, the ULEM responds with a deepened commitment to education and job training for people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. ULEM’s leading edge technology, workforce development and education program continues to advocate for such issues as social justice and neighborhood development.
Emerging with new energy and leadership, ULEM hosted the NUL Conference in July 2011 and focused on employment with the theme of Jobs Rebuild America. This conference provided a powerful showcase of America's thought leaders working together with Fortune 500 companies to demonstrate the impact of the Urban League movement here and across the country. Bill Gates had one of the opening sessions and many other powerful leaders followed suit. During that week, the city of Boston reclaimed its position as a destination of choice for people of color – a position it has held and lost repeatedly over its long history. Furthermore, the conference
drove home the message that strategic and sustained investment in an educated minority workforce is critical to the economic future of the region. The State of Black Boston report was released during a one-day pre-conference workshop, led by the Trotter Institute, NAACP, ULEM and the State of Black Boston Advisory Committee. This effort focused on assessing both the progress and lack of progress that Black Bostonians have experienced in recent years in a variety of areas including health, education, housing and economic development, criminal justice, etc. In the 2012 year, this effort will continue to provide a public platform to engage the corporate and economic communities and grassroot leaders in a meaningful dialogue about these issues and develop clear actions steps on how to change the current statistics.
With the support of The Boston Foundation, Wellspring Consulting, and others, ULEM was able to create and adopt its new strategic plan in 2009. Over the years 2009-14, ULEM has committed to strengthen its position as a leader in Workforce Development in the Boston metro area, focusing on case management-supported, placement-based models for adult workers. The five year strategic goals are: 1) Establish a clear sense of ULEM’s identity and purpose among key stakeholders; 2) Become a leader in workforce development, focusing on placement-based models for transitional adult workers; 3) Align advocacy with programmatic efforts to increase its impact; 4) Continue to employ public education to promote economic self-reliance; 5) Longer term, enter new program areas (beyond workforce development) in which ULEM can develop a distinctive and leading position; and, 6) Achieve a stronger, more durable financial position. To achieve the goals of its Strategic Plan, ULEM is committed to work together with funders and corporate partners to ease barriers to employment and advocate for new opportunities for people of color in the neighborhoods and communities it serves.
The ULEM is committed to working together with funders and corporations to ease barriers to employment and advocate for new opportunities for people of color in the neighborhoods and communities it serves. As an affiliate partner of the National Urban League’s “I Am Empowered” initiative, ULEM provides local leadership in workforce development training and advocacy to ensure that the nation is empowered to achieve the following goals by 2025: 1) Every American child is ready for college, work and life; 2) Every American has access to jobs with a living wage and good benefits; 3) Every American lives in safe, decent, affordable and energy-efficient housing on fair terms; and 4) Every American has access to quality and affordable health care solutions.
Office fax number:
Web Site: http://www.ulem.org
|| Nearest Metro/Subway Stop: Dudley Station/Silver Line,
Walk distance (in minutes): 0
Nearest Bus Stop: Dudley Station/Roxbury, 0 minute walk
For maps or information, please see http://www.mbta.com
|Last updated on July 10, 2012|
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