Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley said she always gets a little emotional whenever she runs into La Colaborativa Executive Director Gladys Vega.
Last Thursday, March 24, there was plenty of reason for both the 7th District Congresswoman and Vega to get emotional. Pressley visited La Colaborativa to celebrate the $300,000 in federal community project funding she delivered for its COVID Employment Recovery Program (CERP) as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 funding bill.
“I was proud to celebrate the $300,000 in direct federal funds that we delivered for La Colaborativa and The Neighborhood Developers to support workforce development initiatives for Chelsea residents,” said Pressley. “These community organizations have been on the front lines of this pandemic, and we cannot expect them to continue this life-saving work on their own. They need and deserve robust investments, and they need that commitment by every level of government – city, state, and federal.
“I’m so grateful to my friend Gladys Vega, City Manager (Thomas) Ambrosino, and Senators Warren and Markey for their partnership and helping us deliver these critical resources.”
During a roundtable conference at the La Colaborativa offices, Pressley heard from Vega, city officials, representatives from The Neighborhood Developers, and a number of local residents who have been helped by La Colaborativa’s workforce initiatives.
“This is a celebration of dignity for immigrant workers and the funding of hope, the funding of need, and funding that will allow us to be seen,” said Vega. “This funding today helps us tremendously in making sure that every resident of Chelsea has an opportunity to break through generational poverty, to access critical jobs, and to receive the wraparound services they need and deserve. Thank you Congresswoman Pressley for these resources, for hearing our stories, and for always thinking of us as you go about legislating.”
Ambrosino also thanked Pressley for helping to deliver needed funds to La Colaborativa and the city.
“Rapidly re-employing our residents who were hit hardest by COVID is really critical to the city’s ability to recover itself, and I know that with La Colaborativa and The Neighborhood Developers involved in this effort, these funds will be well spent,” Ambrosino said.
Several of the speakers noted that the employment recovery program is about more than just bringing the city and residents back to a pre-Covid normal, but about attacking continuing inequities and hardships in the community.