To our great surprise and delight, we learned last Thursday that the Secure Jobs initiative was written into the House Ways and Means budget!  It is $500,000 funding statewide, which is a critical start to targeted state support of this initiative.  SJ partners statewide scrambled upon learning of this provision to make some corrections in an amendment, which was sponsored by Rep. Wagner and co-sponsored by our own Secure Jobs Advisory Committee members Rep. Kocot and Rep. Vega, as well as other Western Mass. legislators (Rep. Andrews, Rep. Farley-Bouvier, Rep. Mark, Rep. Scibak).  The Amendment language is below, FYI.
This provision with the amendment means that homeless families would receive job training, job search and housing stabilization services for 12 months as well as utilization of MRVP subsidies (details of how the subsidies would apply are unclear right now).  This is a big step forward for institutionalizing the Secure Jobs program as a state-sponsored initiative.
Congratulations to all for the excellent work over this last year that made this progress possible.    Special thanks to the Fireman Foundation for their initial innovation and investment that made this project happen.  A huge thanks to our legislators for their incredible support, and especially to House Ways and Means Vice Chair Stephen Kulik for his leadership on this proposal.  We are extremely fortunate to have such fantastic representation across our region!
Stay tuned for advocacy updates.
The Amendment:

Amendment #979 to H.4000

Secure Jobs Initiative

Representatives Wagner of Chicopee, Andrews of Orange, Ayers of Quincy, Beaton of Shrewsbury, Dykema of Holliston, Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield, Heroux of Attleboro, Honan of Boston, Kafka of Stoughton, Khan of Newton, Kocot of Northampton, Mark of Peru, Roy of Franklin, Scibak of South Hadley and Smola of Warren move to amend the bill in section 2 by striking out item 7004-9322 and inserting in place thereof the following: “7004-9322: For the Secure Jobs pilot program for job training, job search services and 12 months of housing stabilization services, if not otherwise available, to families receiving assistance under 7004-0101, 7004-0103, 7004-0108, 7004-9024 or 7004-9316; provided, that the program shall be administered by agencies that have demonstrated experience working in partnership with regional administering agencies, including, but not limited to: Community Teamwork, Inc., Father Bill’s & MainSpring, HAP, Inc., Jewish Vocational Services and SER-Jobs for Progress; provided further, that the department of housing and community development shall utilize rental assistance provided under 7004-9024 to ensure effective participation under this program……….$500,000.”

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