SEPTEMBER 2015 - In This Issue:
It's amazing how quickly the summer passed by! Time flies when you're having fun they say - and it sure was a fun, albeit busy, summer for WCAC! We were once again thrilled to host more than 300 youth through the YouthWorks Summer Jobs program - providing meaningful paid work experience, daily supervision and support. We are most grateful to our many partners - the public and private sector employers in particular - who helped make it such a successful summer. Not unlike the leaves which will soon begin to transform our landscape with bright, brilliant color, so too did many of these young people enjoy a true transformation presented with incredible opportunities for discovery and growth.
And now, as the temperature begins to drop (as we know it will eventually!), our focus shifts gears to our energy programs and our efforts to ensure our most vulnerable citizens are kept warm throughout the extreme winter cold. Keep reading for information about WCAC's weatherization and fuel assistance programs, as well as our annual coat drive for kids.
I thank you for your continued interest and support of WCAC and close with wishes for a fruitful fall with the words of noted author Denis Waitley, " The season for enjoying the fullness of life -- partaking of the harvest, sharing the harvest with others, and reinvesting and saving portions of the harvest for yet another season of growth."
Jill C. Dagilis
Executive Director

WCAC is honored to have been selected for a Breakfast Club Salute by the Worcester Regional
Chamber of Commerce,
recognizing the agency's 50th anniversary.
Salute will take place on
Thursday, September 10th,
7 -9 a.m. at the DCU Center,
50 Foster Street, Worcester.
Limited seating may still be available.
Click here for details if you would like to attend.



Women's Clothing, Shoes & Handbags!
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Denholm Building, 1st Floor
484 Main Street, Worcester
Open to the Public
12 noon - 4 p.m.
All proceeds to benefit
Dress For Success programs!
Click HERE for details



Congratulations to WCAC Board Member Brian Westerlind who has been named one of Worcester Business Journal's

40 Under Forty for 2015!

He and his fellow winners will be feted at Mechanics Hall on September 16th. Kudos Brian, on this well-deserved honor!


Sweet Appreciation 


 Special thanks to everyone who turned out for our Wooberry Frozen Yogurt outings this summer... we made some new friends, enjoyed some sweet treats and raised $100 which will be designated to kick off our annual Coat Drive.

Making a difference in the lives of those we serve


"I love working with people. Through the YouthWorks program you are not only making money but fostering skills, meeting mentors and making connections. I also learned a lot about the values of being on time and other professional courtesies." - Louis P., 18 year old YouthWorks Summer Jobs participant

"We love giving these kids a meaningful work experience. They are treated like any other employee. It's a great experience for them - they learn responsibility, being on time, they learn a lot. And by the end, they've had such a great experience they are recommending the program to others." - Maria C., YouthWorks Summer Jobs site supervisor

"I would definitely recommend this program to other kids. I've had a lot of different experiences and learned a lot about things I didn't know. This job helped me a lot career wise." - Daizy S., YouthWorks Summer Jobs participant

Be a Head Start Hero!

Help Turn Up the Heat for those struggling with home heating bills!

Make a difference in the life a young person today!

Support WCAC programs with a tax-deductible donation!

Support WCAC when you shop!

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Worcester Community Action Council, Inc whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.

YouthWorks Summer Jobs Program
Aaliyah Johnson and Daizy Santiago at YMCA Summer Recreation Program
As the summer of 2015 draws to a close, so too does the YouthWorks Summer Jobs program, which provided more than 300 youth a meaningful paid employment experience in a variety of settings throughout the City. Funded with $500,000 from the Commonwealth Corporation, a $10,000 grant from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and $11,000 from the City of Worcester, YouthWorks provided 349 youth jobs for the summer of 2015. The program is administered by the Worcester Community Action Council.

Much more than a paycheck, however, YouthWorks provides income eligible youth 18 hours of pre-employment training, 6-7 weeks of meaningful paid work experience, and daily supervision and support.

Joshua Roman and YouthWorks case manager Sarmad Maarij at Wellington Apartments

Special Projects Coordinator for WCAC's Job & Education Center Kelsey Lamoureux said, " You definitely see the transformation, no matter what the program they're in- it challenges them and they grow. Earning a check on a weekly basis gives them such a sense of achievement and independence. These are real-world skills that they might not ever see until they get their first job. This gets kids in the door where they can learn the skills they need." Click here to hear from some of the youth themselves as they share a bit of their summer experiences.

WCAC thanks the more than 75 local companies and partners for stepping up as mentors or "action heroes" as we like to call them. They are providing important, first-job opportunities that establish a strong foundation for life-long learning and earning for local youth.   With a "pay-it-forward" approach, we encourage all local businesses to join us. While the barrage of gang related violent news stories this summer can lead to a sense of bewilderment, the power to make a difference and effect a positive change is well within the community's grasp.
WYLI Coordinator Orfa Torres during a visit to the Worcester Historical Museum
Youthful Leaders
For the second consecutive summer, area high school students were given the opportunity to participate in the Worcester Youth Leadership Institute - offering a group of 20 young people from the YouthWorks Summer Jobs program a seven-week learning experience and exposure to a variety of area businesses, Worcester landmarks and mentors. WYLI is a partnership between WCAC, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, the United Way of Central Massachusetts, United Families for Change, Worcester Education Collaborative, and the City of Worcester, with support from program sponsors - Reliant Medical Group and GFI Partners. Click here to view photo album from WYLI 2015. WCAC congratulates these young people on a summer well spent!

Annual drive keeps children warm
It's hard to believe, but the time for WCAC's Annual Coat Drive for Kids is upon us! While summer temps may continue to linger, we all know the wrath of winter won't be far off. WCAC is seeking donations of new winter coats, hats and mittens for the children attending our Head Start and Healthy Families programs, as well as children of teen parents enrolled in our Job & Education Center. As the anti-poverty agency for Central Massachusetts, serving the City of Worcester and 45 neighboring communities, the need for winter coats for the young children in our various programs continues to grow each year. The Coat Drive will officially kick off once our year-round Head Start classrooms resume in mid-September. If you would be interested in donating a new coat to a child in need, please contact WCAC so we can provide you with sizes needed to ensure we meet the specific needs of the children we serve. Many thanks to the many area businesses and organizations which support this campaign year after year to make sure no child is left out in the cold! 
Holiday happening at Hanover Theatre to benefit WCAC
Enjoy one of the area's most beloved holiday traditions while supporting the programs and services provided by the Worcester Community Action Council. Join WCAC for a special performance of A Christmas Carol on stage at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge Street, Worcester, on Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at 7 p.m. In a true demonstration of the spirit of the season, a portion of every ticket purchased for that evening's show will benefit WCAC.

For $75, attend a VIP Pre-show Reception which will include a ticket to the show, meet & greet with members of the cast, hors d'oeuvres, cash bar and a commemorative WCAC 50th Anniversary holiday ornament. Tickets now available for purchase at the theatre, online, or by calling the box office at 877-571-SHOW. For the VIP Reception, choose  seats from P1 (orchestra), click on the VIP option within drop down box to purchase.

You know the story, you'll love the message of Christmas redemption and the love for mankind that the season brings!
Discover your career path with WCAC

With the arrival of September comes the buzz of all things back to school. But, did you know WCAC has classrooms in operation all year long? WCAC offers several education programs for youth ages 16-24 that benefit from alternative classroom settings and learning styles. Programs include High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) preparation, work readiness skills training, career pathway exploration, job and internship placement assistance, life skills workshops, and case management. Let WCAC help you make the first step to a new beginning! Classes are free (eligibility guidelines apply).


Additionally, also through our Job & Education Center, WCAC provides 5 weeks of work readiness training for participants ages 17-24. The individualized services for JEC participants will include job readiness skill training, job placement assistance, computer training, group mental health counseling, and case management. Additional information and applications available online

Readying for Winter's Arrival
Fuel Assistance program set to keep homes heated
While we all hope it's a while yet before winter temperatures set in, WCAC staff has been hard at work all summer long preparing for the reopening of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) most commonly referred to as 'fuel assistance.' Applications will be accepted beginning November 1st to assist eligible home owners and renters with home heating bills, past due balances on utility bills, while receiving forgiveness credit and making monthly payments, as well as emergency repair or replacement of heating systems.

If you or someone you know have had difficulty meeting home heating utility costs, WCAC may be able to help. For the coming season, a family of four would be eligible if making at or below $63,704. Additional information available online or by calling the LIHEAP Automated Information Line at 508 754-7281.

Those eligible for fuel assistance, are likely also eligible for a host of energy efficiency programs WCAC oversees. Is your refrigerator an energy guzzler? You may be able to get it replaced for free! Energy managers can visit your home to provide detailed reviews of electric usage and conservation information offering immediate energy savings. The program provides little to no-cost upgrades or repairs for refrigerators, as well as light bulbs, and light fixtures for both homeowners and renters.

The Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task (heating system repair program) is a federally funded emergency program to help eligible homeowners  repair or replace their heating systems. WCAC also currently has contracts with the Department of Energy and the major local utility companies to install energy conservation measures in low-income homes throughout Central and Southern Worcester County. Each home receives an in-depth inspection by a certified energy auditor to assess conservation needs and the safety and efficiency of the primary heating system. Additional information available online.

WCAC: The Antipoverty Agency for Central Massachusetts
Helping people move to economic self-sufficiency through programs, partnerships and advocacy.

Serving the City of Worcester and neighboring communities of Auburn, Blackstone, Boylston, Brimfield, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Hardwick, Holden, Holland, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Grafton, Leicester, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Monson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Palmer, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, Wales, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westborough.