Program is to prepare Revere residents for Revere jobs in growth industries
As the unemployment rate in the city of Revere nears 26 percent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Brian Arrigo on Tuesday announced Revere Works, a coalition-led approach to support Revere residents in need of immediate work and help position the city’s workforce to benefit from long-term growth. Workforce development efforts total over $1.5 million in combined funding and include the launch of the Revere Works coalition, the kick-off of the city’s workforce development planning, and renewed collaboration with partners and neighboring municipalities, all as Amazon resumes active hiring for its delivery station under construction on American Legion Highway.
“In a matter of two months, we saw our unemployment rate skyrocket from a steady 3 percent up to more than a quarter of our residents. With uncertainty regarding the future of Federal unemployment assistance, and a strong desire among residents to get back to work, there is a new sense of urgency in our efforts to help position them to take advantage of the immediate and longer-term employment opportunities here in our own city,” Mayor Arrigo said. “This work is a testament to the commitment of our nonprofit and employer partners to supporting our residents, in the immediacy of Covid-19 recovery and well into the future.”
Over the next 20 years, the city of Revere expects to add 22,000 new jobs — more than doubling the city’s current job base — as a result of a robust, private investment pipeline of more than $800 million in recently completed, in-progress or planned projects, and additional ongoing investment in the redevelopment of Suffolk Downs and prospective redevelopment of Wonderland. Today, 93 percent of Revere residents work outside of the city, and only 19 percent of jobs within the city are held by residents.
A Residents-First Approach to Meet Immediate and Long-Term Opportunities
Revere Works is a joint effort of the City of Revere, The Neighborhood Developers, MGH’s Center for Community Health Improvement, and a growing coalition of municipal, nonprofit and employer partners. The coalition will work to ensure local businesses, particularly women- and minority-owned, are in the best possible position to benefit from large scale economic development underway in the city and fill available jobs in a post-Covid world. It will initially target low-income, low-skilled and mostly first- or second- generation immigrant residents with job training, placement and retention services, as well as financial capability and adult education opportunities.
The coalition’s next skills training program is a free, four-week virtual professional development class facilitated by TND CONNECT in partnership with the International Institute of New England, beginning July 20. Residents should call 617-279-0545 to learn more and register.
The coalition’s efforts are being funded with a $95,000 Urban Agenda grant from the Baker-Polito Administration, $100,000 in matching funds from the City of Revere, and $106,000 of in-kind contributions from program partners.
As a priority next step identified through the City’s master planning process, completed in 2019, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council will lead the development of a comprehensive workforce development strategy for Revere that addresses short- and long-term opportunities, boom sectors and current and future employer partners. That work began with an initial steering committee of Revere Works members this week and will be completed in January 2021, with broader community engagement to come.
Concurrently, Massachusetts General Hospital, in partnership with The Neighborhood Developers, CONNECT, The Chelsea Collaborative, the City of Chelsea, the City of Revere, and MassHire Metro North Workforce Board will establish a cross-city coalition to coordinate municipal workforce development efforts in the cities of Chelsea and Revere to increase skilled, benefitted jobs for residents. The partnership was one of only three projects funded in the entire state by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, receiving $649,498 in MassUp funding.
Amazon Hiring Underway, City Working to Maximize Opportunities for Residents
Amazon has resumed active hiring for associates at its American Legion Highway facility under construction, with a target of hiring between 30 and 40 associates each week. Positions within the facility are full-time with pay ranging from $16/hour and up. A July opening of the facility is anticipated and virtual info sessions for interested applicants will take place in the coming weeks. Job postings are available and a virtual info session is scheduled for July 9.
The City of Revere’s Economic Development team is also collaborating closely with Amazon to support the selection and recruitment of delivery service partners among locally-owned businesses. Amazon will continue recruitment of driver associates throughout the summer.