WBZ Cares: Invested In Change

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling the GreenLight Fund, a non-profit organization that helps transform the lives of children, youth and families in high-poverty urban areas by creating local infrastructure and a consistent annual process to identify critical needs, import innovative, entrepreneurial programs that can have a significant, measurable impact, and galvanize local support to help programs reach and sustain impact in the new city.

The non-profit GreenLight Fund has now expanded to 8 cities, but Boston is home and where it all began 15 years ago.

“Our goals really are to take a critical look at what's missing here,” stated GreenLight Fund Boston Executive Director Melissa Luna.

To address what's missing, it brings in non-profits with proven solutions from across the country and provides seed money for their local launch.

“A lot of our investments have been in education and addressing youth and children, which I think are absolutely important and we also are thinking about how do you serve the whole family and families in poverty. So, thinking about other issues around health about more training programs for adults,” stated Luna.

The 12th and latest non-profit it's brought to the area is the completely free tech training program Per Scholas, serving low income adults of all ages.

“We needed to think about ways to bring in training programs for adults that were in the areas that Boston is booming in and so the tech sector is having great growth in jobs. We’re projecting at double-digits but recent studies have also shown that employers are really having difficulty filling those roles, so, from our perspective it was low income residents need access to good paying jobs, employer partners need really great talent, and GreenLight can be here to kinda meet those needs,” said Luna.

Per Scholas Boston Managing Director Robin Nadeau says with no prior training, just a passion for technology, most graduates of the program are getting jobs immediately after completing the short course.

“As we’re talking to businesses, they love this because they can get someone who is prepared and qualified and skilled and ready to work after a 4-month training. So it’s quick-entry for them and they’re getting someone that they can rely on, who will show up to work every day, but also they have the skills and the passion to do the work,” said Nadeau.

Classes start in October and December. 

For more information go online: www.perscholas.org/iheart

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Shari Small Reports

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