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NEW: MA Grants Worcester $240,500 to Help Employ Homeless

Thursday, December 12, 2013

 

Secretary Joanne F. Goldstein of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development has announced that $1.7 million in state funding, including $240,500 for Worcester, will go to place more than 320 homeless individuals in stable employment opportunities. The funding will be awarded in the form of grants to seven organizations working in all regions of the state to help individuals get back to work.

“Supporting employment programs for homeless individuals is one of the many resources the Patrick Administration is committed to providing so that homeless individuals and families can return to a path of stability and self-sufficiency,” said Goldstein. “There are countless programs throughout the Commonwealth focused on this cause, and we are pleased to partner with seven exemplary organizations to train and place hundreds in sustainable employment.”

The grant funding is targeted to support training for unemployed or underemployed residents, 18 years or older, who are homeless and in need of training and or job placements. Commonwealth Corporation will work with the seven awarded grant recipients over the next two years to prepare, support and place more than 320 homeless individuals in sustainable employment in all regions of the Commonwealth.

“Sometimes all it takes is a job for a homeless person to become a self-reliant tenant,” said Aaron Gornstein, Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development. “Sometimes it takes training and a bit of help for a person to find that job. These agencies have done extraordinary work over the years, and I am sure will provide the services and support that their program participants will need to find a job in our growing economy.”

Grantees were required to work collaboratively with local employers to further ensure successful placement of targets individuals. These employers are committed to the shared goal of meaningful and sustainable employment for this population.

“By including businesses in these partnerships that will train and place homeless individuals, we are ensuring that there are real jobs at the end of the training program,” said Nancy Snyder, President of Commonwealth Corporation.

The seven grant recipients, awarded amount, and proposals include:

South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc., $240,500

Municipalities: City of Worcester

South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. (SMOC) will fund a workforce development program to address the acute workforce development needs of the homeless population of the City of Worcester. The proposed training program entitled Pathways to Employment offers two training tracks aimed at full-time employment placements including 1) Ready Willing and Able (RWA), a social enterprise alternative staffing agency that will provide 36 individuals with job readiness training through employment opportunities with support in day-labor jobs within SMOC and in contracted positions with local businesses and 2) The Green Jobs Academy (GJA) that will provide 36 individuals with job readiness and skills training education, on-the-job training, and job placements for in-demand living-wage jobs in the weatherization industry. In total, SMOC will serve 72 homeless individuals.

“The South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) is delighted and excited about the grant of $240,000 we have received from Commonwealth Corporation to establish a workforce development program in the Worcester region,” Jim Cuddy, SMOC’s Executive Director stated: “We are tremendously grateful for the opportunity this grant gives us to help formerly homeless individuals in the Worcester region to develop new workplace and adult education skills and to obtain and sustain stable and successful employment with good wages. Pathways to Employment, as this program is called, will enhance and expand two employment models that we have used successfully that have shown great promise in helping people to get and keep good jobs. The program will also work closely with employers and prospective employers to provide incentives for participating in this exciting new program through employer outreach and education, including opportunities for employers to take advantage of various workforce tax credits. We are looking forward to the many positive outcomes this program will produce both for the individuals in the program and for the Commonwealth as a whole.”

Career Center of Lowell, $250,000

Municipalities: Lowell, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Tewskbury, Tyngsborough, and Westford

The Career Center of Lowell (CCL) 1st S.T.E.P (Sustainable and Transitional Employment Program) initiative will focus on assisting individuals experiencing homelessness with building the skills necessary to becoming employable and self-sustaining. The CCL will partner with Community Teamwork Inc., Lowell Transitional Living Center, and the Lowell regional office of the Department of Transitional Assistance to deliver services to individuals residing in the Greater Lowell region. The goal of this program is to help stabilize participant’s lives with housing and employment in addition to providing appropriate support services. This program will aim to serve 50 homeless individuals.

“The Career Center of Lowell looks forward to implementing our 1st S.T.E.P (Sustainable and Transitional Employment Program) initiative,” said Barbara O’Neil, Director of the Career Center of Lowell. “This opportunity, provided through the Commonwealth Corporation, allows the CCL and its partners to make a meaningful impact for the participants. By focusing on comprehensive case managed employment support services, one-on-one and group classroom instruction, and job placement, we know the program will be very successful.”

COMPASS for Kids, Inc., $245,374

Municipalities: Lawrence, Haverhill, and other Merrimack Valley cities and towns

The COMPASS Community Collaborative Lawrence Program will build on the work the program has accomplished over the past two years, focusing on providing substantial education, support and paid on-the-job training for homeless and at-risk parents, while emphasizing: employment, employment retention and advancement, housing stability and debt reduction. The COMPASS Community Collaborative Program in Lawrence aims for similar outcomes going forward, providing assessment driven, employment-focused services for at least 50 homeless parents.

“We are delighted to be funded by Commonwealth Corporation to extend and improve our successful, specialized workforce training and job placement efforts for homeless parents,” said Executive Director Jodi Hill. “Commonwealth Corporation’s support will ensure that dozens of homeless parents become employed and, with long-term COMPASS for kids coaching and support, make gradual progress toward self-sufficiency.”

Corporation for Public Management, $230,000

Municipalities: Cities and towns in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire Counties

This project will support the Western Homeless Employment Network (WHEN) initiative, a new partnership between the Corporation for Public Management, the Franklin Hampshire Career Center, ServiceNet and Construct, four workforce development and social service agencies, which will address the acute shortage of employment and training programs for homeless individuals in Western Massachusetts. The four organizations will provide access to career exploration, education, skills training, job readiness training, job placement and ongoing support to overcome the challenges to achieving self-sufficiency. The program will serve 70 homeless individuals.

"This funding will increase access to workforce development services to homeless individuals and families, thereby ensuring housing stabilization through career exploration, education, skills training, job readiness training, job placement and ongoing support," said Vice President of Employment and Training, Ken Demers. "This grant will provide opportunities for personal and professional growth to those who have been unsuccessful in overcoming the myriad of challenges in achieving self-sufficiency resulting from limited access to individualized support and guidance."

Father Bill’s & MainSpring, Inc., $249,987

Municipalities: Cities and towns in Southeastern Massachusetts and the South Shore region with main program locations in Brockton, Plymouth, and Quincy

Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS), in partnership with the South Shore Career Centers in Quincy and Plymouth, CareerWorks Brockton, and Massasoit Community College, will create WorkReady-South Shore, a project to engage homeless job seekers in order to provide them with training and skills building to place them into employment. WorkReady-South Shore will build on a longstanding partnership between FBMS and the Quincy Career Center and expand the model to all three Career Centers in the region, add more job-readiness and training resources, and open these resources to all homeless individuals and families in need of short-term job-readiness assistance in order to obtain employment. WorkReady-South Shore will serve 70 homeless individuals.

“Over the past four years, Father Bill’s & MainSpring has helped more than 500 homeless people get jobs. Thanks to this generous grant from Commonwealth Corporation, we’ll be able to do even more,” said Paul Key, Director of Workforce Development. “We will expand our model, WorkReady-South Shore, to be region-wide and will open access to homeless individuals and families. Working with the Career Centers in Quincy, Brockton and Plymouth, as well as with Massasoit Community College and employers, we will help more than 140 homeless job seekers to gain skills and employment. This is a great opportunity to advance our mission of ending homelessness on the South Shore and to do this with a group of dedicated partners.”

Project Place, Inc., $250,000

Municipalities: Cities and towns in Greater Boston

Project Place is seeking to strengthen its Workforce Development program with a new, intensive component where clients receive enhanced in-depth skills-training. Project Place also runs three businesses as part of their Social Enterprises piece that provide paid employment for clients. A new On- the-Job Trainer (OJT) will work with Social Enterprise clients needing more in-depth training both pre-job placement in the enterprise and while on the job. This new component will improve the likelihood of the completion of Project Place’s transitional job program and ensure greater success in transitioning into mainstream employment. Through this initiative, Project Place will serve 200 homeless individuals.

“We are thrilled to partner with Commonwealth Corporation and honored to receive funding for career advancement programming at Project Place. Specifically the funds will support intensive on the job training and career counseling, including credentialing in in-demand industries, and preparing our folks to be more competitive in obtaining employment. Project Place strongly believes that work helps to stabilize the lives of the men and women who cross our threshold as evidenced by our job training graduate's successes- the partnership with Commonwealth Corporation will add the needed dimension of specific skill training, to increase job retention and wages, and ultimately break the cycle of homelessness” said Suzanne Kenney, Executive Director of Project Place.

St. Francis House, $250,000

Municipalities: Cities and towns in Greater Boston

St. Francis House, the largest day center in New England, is a nonsectarian, nonprofit daytime shelter which provides basic and rehabilitation services designed to help homeless adults establish lives independent of shelters and institutions. The Center accomplishes this goal through its Moving Ahead Program (MAP) which focuses on vocational rehabilitation by preparing individuals with histories of homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, and incarceration for employment. MAP assists participants in securing meaningful employment that will provide not only economic self-sufficiency, but also offer them a sense of satisfaction to ensure their continued employment over the long term. Through this program, St. Francis House will serve 90 homeless individuals.

“I’m deeply grateful to the Commonwealth Corporation for supporting the Sullivan Family Moving Ahead Program (MAP),” said Karen LaFrazia, Executive Director of St. Francis House. “MAP teaches the life and vocational skills necessary to obtain employment and create meaningful careers. For so many of our guests, a good job is the solution that will permanently end their experience of homelessness. This grant will enable MAP students to achieve a pathway to independence and discover the deep satisfaction that comes from the dignity of work.”

 

Related Slideshow: Central MA Unemployment Rates #72 - #1

Here are the unemployment statistics for each town in Central Mass, ranked from least to most-

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#72

Harvard

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 4.4%

Unemployed: 140

Employed: 3,059

Total workforce: 3,199

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#71

Hopkinton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 4.7%

Unemployed: 369

Employed: 7,523

Total workforce: 7,892

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#69 (Tie)

Berlin

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 4.9%

Unemployed: 79

Employed: 1,520

Total workforce: 1,599

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#69 (Tie)

Hopedale

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 4.9%

Unemployed: 159

Employed: 3,074

Total workforce: 3,233

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#67 (Tie)

Bolton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.1%

Unemployed: 147

Employed: 2,733

Total workforce: 2,880

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#67 (Tie)

Southborough

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.1%

Unemployed: 257

Employed: 4,813

Total workforce: 5,070

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#66

Marlborough

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.5%

Unemployed: 1,283

Employed: 21,909

Total workforce: 23,192

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#65

Northborough

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.6%

Unemployed: 432

Employed: 7,259

Total workforce: 7,691

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#62 (Tie)

Mendon

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.7%

Unemployed: 196

Employed: 3,218

Total workforce: 3,414

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#62 (Tie)

Princeton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.7%

Unemployed: 107

Employed: 1,764

Total workforce: 1,871

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#62 (Tie)

Topsfield

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.7%

Unemployed: 176

Employed: 2,910

Total workforce: 3,086

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#61

Boylston

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.8%

Unemployed: 134

Employed: 2,167

Total workforce: 2,301

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#58 (Tie)

Shrewsbury

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.9%

Unemployed: 1,084

Employed: 17,152

Total workforce: 18,236

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#58 (Tie)

Sterling

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.9%

Unemployed: 256

Employed: 4,112

Total workforce: 4,368

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#58 (Tie)

Westborough

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 5.9%

Unemployed: 525

Employed: 8,415

Total workforce: 8,940

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#56 (Tie)

Sturbridge

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.0%

Unemployed: 306

Employed: 4,763

Total workforce: 5,069

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#56 (Tie)

Upton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.0%

Unemployed: 241

Employed: 3,752

Total workforce: 3,993

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#53 (Tie)

Douglas

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.1%

Unemployed: 290

Employed: 4,469

Total workforce: 4,759

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#53 (Tie)

Hudson

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.1%

Unemployed: 696

Employed: 10,740

Total workforce: 11,436

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#53 (Tie)

Milford

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.1%

Unemployed: 954

Employed: 14,670

Total workforce: 15,624

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#51 (Tie)

Oakham

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.3%

Unemployed: 65

Employed: 973

Total workforce: 1,038

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#51 (Tie)

Sutton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.3%

Unemployed: 302

Employed: 4,500

Total workforce: 4,802

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#48 (Tie)

Holden

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.4%

Unemployed: 576

Employed: 8,430

Total workforce: 9,006

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#48 (Tie)

Paxton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.4%

Unemployed: 158

Employed: 2,327

Total workforce: 2,485

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#48 (Tie)

Shirley

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.4%

Unemployed: 223

Employed: 3,269

Total workforce: 3,492

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#46 (Tie)

Ayer

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.5%

Unemployed: 283

Employed: 4,100

Total workforce: 4,383

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#46 (Tie)

Hardwick

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.5%

Unemployed: 94

Employed: 1,359

Total workforce: 1,453

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#45

Grafton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.6%

Unemployed: 635

Employed: 9,043

Total workforce: 9,678

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#42 (Tie)

Hubbardston

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.7%

Unemployed: 163

Employed: 2,255

Total workforce: 2,418

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#42 (Tie)

Millbury

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.7%

Unemployed: 489

Employed: 6,787

Total workforce: 7,276

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#42 (Tie)

Petersham

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.7%

Unemployed: 43

Employed: 596

Total workforce: 639

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#40 (Tie)

Lancaster

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.8%

Unemployed: 240

Employed: 3,281

Total workforce: 3,521

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#40 (Tie)

Townsend

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 6.8%

Unemployed: 346

Employed: 4,738

Total workforce: 5,084

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#38 (Tie)

Charlton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.0%

Unemployed: 491

Employed: 6,483

Total workforce: 6,974

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#38 (Tie)

Dudley

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.0%

Unemployed: 431

Employed: 5,696

Total workforce: 6,127

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#33 (Tie)

Auburn

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.1%

Unemployed: 613

Employed: 8,024

Total workforce: 8,637

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#33 (Tie)

East Brookfield

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.1%

Unemployed: 86

Employed: 1,129

Total workforce: 1,215

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#33 (Tie)

Holland

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.1%

Unemployed: 99

Employed: 1,291

Total workforce: 1,390

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#33 (Tie)

New Braintree

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.1%

Unemployed: 40

Employed: 524

Total workforce: 564

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#33 (Tie)

Rutland

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.1%

Unemployed: 313

Employed: 4,081

Total workforce: 4,394

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#32

Oxford

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.2%

Unemployed: 548

Employed: 7,032

Total workforce: 7,580

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#31

Uxbridge

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.3%

Unemployed: 536

Employed: 6,784

Total workforce: 7,320

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#30

Leicester

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.5%

Unemployed: 450

Employed: 5,565

Total workforce: 6,015

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#27 (Tie)

Ashburnham

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.6%

Unemployed: 236

Employed: 2,865

Total workforce: 3,101

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#27 (Tie)

Lunenburg

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.6%

Unemployed: 398

Employed: 4,850

Total workforce: 5,248

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#27 (Tie)

Northbridge

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.6%

Unemployed: 608

Employed: 7,383

Total workforce: 7,991

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#26

Spencer

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.7%

Unemployed: 492

Employed: 5,935

Total workforce: 6,427

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#24 (Tie)

Ware

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.9%

Unemployed: 394

Employed: 4,611

Total workforce: 5,005

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#24 (Tie)

West Boylston

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 7.9%

Unemployed: 259

Employed: 3,035

Total workforce: 3,294

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#21 (Tie)

Brimfield

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.0%

Unemployed: 152

Employed: 1,745

Total workforce: 1,897

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#21 (Tie)

Templeton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.0%

Unemployed: 305

Employed: 3,520

Total workforce: 3,825

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#21 (Tie)

Westminster

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.0%

Unemployed: 297

Employed: 3,417

Total workforce: 3,714

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#19 (Tie)

North Brookfield

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.1%

Unemployed: 195

Employed: 2,224

Total workforce: 2,419

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#19 (Tie)

Palmer

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.1%

Unemployed: 508

Employed: 5,772

Total workforce: 6,280

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#18

Warren

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.4%

Unemployed: 209

Employed: 2,271

Total workforce: 2,480

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#17

West Brookfield

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.6%

Unemployed: 155

Employed: 1,652

Total workforce: 1,807

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#15 (Tie)

Royalston

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.7%

Unemployed: 52

Employed: 547

Total workforce: 599

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#15 (Tie)

Webster

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.7%

Unemployed: 723

Employed: 7,569

Total workforce: 8,292

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#13 (Tie)

Brookfield

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.8%

Unemployed: 163

Employed: 1,695

Total workforce: 1,858

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#13 (Tie)

Millville

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.8%

Unemployed: 158

Employed: 1,642

Total workforce: 1,800

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#11 (Tie)

Barre

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.9%

Unemployed: 244

Employed: 2,510

Total workforce: 2,754

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#11 (Tie)

Worcester

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 8.9%

Unemployed: 7,562

Employed: 77,653

Total workforce: 85,215

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#9 (Tie)

Ashby

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.0%

Unemployed: 149

Employed: 1,503

Total workforce: 1,652

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#9 (Tie)

Orange

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.0%

Unemployed: 332

Employed: 3,356

Total workforce: 3,688

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#7 (Tie)

Blackstone

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.2%

Unemployed: 488

Employed: 4,824

Total workforce: 5,312

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#7 (Tie)

Clinton

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.2%

Unemployed: 676

Employed: 6,652

Total workforce: 7,328

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#6

Winchendon

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.3%

Unemployed: 453

Employed: 4,407

Total workforce: 4,860

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#5

Leominster

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.6%

Unemployed: 1,937

Employed: 18,141

Total workforce: 20,078

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#3 (Tie)

Southbridge

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.9%

Unemployed: 787

Employed: 7,127

Total workforce: 7,914

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#3 (Tie)

Gardner

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 9.9%

Unemployed: 934

Employed: 8,514

Total workforce: 9,448

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#2

Fitchburg

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 10.0%

Unemployed: 1,829

Employed: 16,435

Total workforce: 7,914

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#1

Athol

Unemployment rate, August 2013: 10.5%

Unemployed: 543

Employed: 4,647

Total workforce: 5,190

 
 

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