Chelsea 500 Lands State Grant of $65,000 for Casino Workforce Training

 The Chelsea 500 movement has received a $65,000 grant from the state to help them secure jobs with the Encore Boston Harbor casino for 500 or more Chelsea residents.

The Chelsea 500 formed from several existing community groups last fall, and began holding open houses and informational meetings for residents to try to get into the pipeline for the 5,000 or more jobs that are to be filled at the casino by June.

Chelsea 500, which engages the city, businesses, and non-profits to create a workforce pipeline so that 500 or more residents can gain the skills necessary to apply for positions at Encore Boston Harbor, with a goal of at least 200 of them gaining employment. Although initial efforts are focused on the casino, the long term goal is to sustain workforce development that will extend to other businesses.

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced $500,000 to nine projects, including the Chelsea 500, through the Urban Agenda Grant Program last week. The program emphasizes community-driven responses to local obstacles, and promotes economic development through partnership-building, problem solving, and shared accountability in urban centers.

Launched by the Baker-Polito Administration in 2016, the Urban Agenda Grant Program offers competitive awards offer flexible funding for local efforts that bring together community stakeholders to pursue economic development initiatives. The awards announced today will fund projects supporting workforce development, small businesses, and entrepreneurship initiatives across eight communities: Barnstable, Boston, Chelsea, Fitchburg, Lawrence, Lowell, Springfield, and Worcester.

“When we empower local leaders and projects that thoughtfully address the unique issues facing our urban centers, we have an outsized impact on the lives of residents,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The Urban Agenda Grant Program relies on the strong partnerships between local government, non-profits and the business community that are critical to fostering economic success and building stronger neighborhoods in every region in Massachusetts.”

The Urban Agenda Grant Program provides grants to communities working to provide residents with economic opportunities and workforce training. The program prioritizes projects that are based on collaborative work models that feature a strong partnership between community organizations and municipalities. Awards prioritize collaboration, shared accountability and building leadership capacity at the local level.

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