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Riverside Employment Collaboratives Merge to Increase Employment Opportunities for those with Developmental Disabilities, Physical Disabilities, or Mental Illness

07.02.18

Riverside Employment Collaboratives Merge to Increase Employment Opportunities for those with Developmental Disabilities, Physical Disabilities, or Mental Illness

Two partnerships led by Riverside Community Care, the Greater Merrimack Valley Employment Collaborative and the North Suburban Employment Collaborative, will combine together to become the NorthEast Employment Collaborative as of July 1, 2018.  The NorthEast Employment Collaborative will continue to build upon the success of the previous collaboratives, helping those with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, or mental illness find gainful employment in Essex and Northern Middlesex Counties.

Regional employment collaboratives are Riverside-led partnerships of state agencies and human service providers, employers, workforce development organizations, and employment service providers. The Collaboratives work across these groups with the common goal of increasing employment opportunities for individuals with a developmental disability, a physical disability, or a mental illness.  Their efforts focus on broadening the types of employers providing opportunities for these individuals and enhancing access to career-oriented training and resources, with the goal of expanding employment opportunities for individuals who face barriers to entering (or re-entering) the workforce.

The two Collaboratives were finding that many of the agency partners and employers had overlapping coverage areas, so combining the programs will increase efficiency.

“Our Collaboratives work with hundreds of companies and over 130 human service providers across the state,” said Stephanie Marks, Director of the Riverside Employment Collaboratives. “We were finding that the areas covered by the two collaboratives in the northeast part of the state were duplicating efforts in some ways, so this merger will significantly streamline efforts, time, and costs for the agencies and companies we partner with.”

Riverside started the collaborative program in 2009 and currently has three other collaboratives in Central Massachusetts, Greater Boston, and Western Massachusetts. In 2017 alone, approximately 700 individuals found employment through the work of the collaboratives and their partner agencies.  The collaboratives have partnered with CVS Health and developed a training program for individuals in an effort to help develop their talent pipeline. They are also working with many other companies to create a statewide training program that will teach individuals specific skill sets in an effort to help companies reach their hiring goals.

For more information about joining the NorthEast Employment Collaborative as an employer, agency, or an individual, please visit www.NEECworks.net or call 781-245-1096.

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