Holyoke Job Link: Job candidate assessment and placement was the first task undertaken by the Holyoke Employment Partnership in 1988. In 1996, that activity was transferred to CareerPoint. Holyoke Job Link is a vestige of the Holyoke Chamber’s original placement program and focuses on low-income Holyoke residents. The coordinator of the program is a shared employee, who works at CareerPoint.
During the past year–during a time of low hiring levels-Job Link provided counseling to 265 people; referred 177 for job interviews; assisted in the hiring of 161 individuals to full-time jobs; worked with 74 employers to fill their job openings; and taught computer skills to 112 Spanish-speaking people.
The workforce development efforts of the Chamber receive public funding through several federal, state, and local agencies. Our programs are held to the highest standards and receive many commendations.
The Holyoke Tutor/Mentor Program was established in 1991 by the Holyoke Employment Partnership, which identified a lack of basic education as a barrier to employment for many area residents. The program supplements existing programs in Holyoke by recruiting, training and supporting a pool of tutors to work with adult learners studying English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) or reading, writing and math in preparation for taking the GED. The program is a member of the Juntos Collaborative,
a group of seven Holyoke agencies funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to provide adult basic education. For more information on the Tutor/Mentor Program, including how to become a tutor, please visit www.juntoscollaborative.org .
Holyoke Works is regionally recognized as one of the area’s premier workforce development programs. Offering in-house and on-site job-training, Adult Basic Education, GED, and English speaking and literacy instruction, Holyoke Works has ample experience in helping employers prepare their workforce for the constantly changing challenges they face in today’s job market.
Holyoke Works also provides instruction and training to individuals in need of skills development and employment. These services are provided at no cost to those eligible for Workforce Investment Act services, and through City of Holyoke Community Development Block Grants, and Massachusetts Department of Education grants. Holyoke Works is a program of the Greater Holyoke Chamber Centennial Foundation, a Chamber affiliate.
New England Farm Workers' Council (NEFWC), an affiliate of Partners for Community, began its service to the community as an Employment and Training provider to New England's Agricultural workforce in 1975. NEFWC has since grown into a multi-service provider of community based programs providing a broad range of services such as, Pre-GED, GED, Native Language Literacy, English as a Second Language, Employment and Training, Fuel Assistance, Shelters, Community Re-entry, Young Parent Program, WIA
Youth programs and others. To learn more and see job postings, please visit www.partnersforcommunity.org .
The HALO Center provides Beginning Literacy, ABE, Pre-GED, and GED services in English. The Halo Center also provides Beginning and Intermediate ESOL classes. HALO is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Holyoke Public Schools. The Beginning Literacy-GED classes are located at the Center for Excellence, formerly known as the Lawrence School, 156 Cabot Street, in Holyoke. The main office and ESOL classes are located at 57 Suffolk Street
in Holyoke. To reach the HALO Center please call 413-534-2026.
The Care Center’s Education Program is attended by approximately 120 students each year on an open enrollment basis. There are four GED classrooms (two taught in English and two in Spanish), computer classes, parenting education, career exploration, and ESL. The Center also operates The Teen Resource Project, an after-school teen pregnancy prevention program. For more information about the CARE Center, please visit www.carecenterholyoke.org .
The Holyoke Community College Adult Learning Center (HCC/ALC) is an evening adult basic education GED preparation program committed to providing high quality instruction and services to community members in the greater Holyoke area. Classes include GED subject area knowledge as well as skill development in reasoning, decision making and test taking skills. An initial assessment, pre and post testing is also provided along with GED Practice Testing for qualified students. All services are free
of charge. Please visit www.hcc.edu/programs/adult for more information about these classes as well as other learning opportunities.
The Community Education Project provides a variety of adult and family educational opportunities in the diverse Holyoke community. The program was established in 1991 as an ESL program based in the Latino community. Today the educational programming includes: pre-GED in Spanish, two levels of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and An Adult Basic Education (ABE)-to-College Transition class at Holyoke Community College. For more information visit: www.cepholyoke.org