SEPTEMBER 2016 - In This Issue:
It is hard to believe that another summer has come and gone. It was, as always, a busy but enjoyable time at WCAC as we welcomed over 350 area youth to the agency for placement in jobs throughout the City. Our greatest appreciation to more than 70 local businesses who stepped up and opened their doors, and provided these youth with an opportunity to learn real world skills while gaining the independence and responsibility of, for many, a first paycheck. We will continue to grow employment opportunities for local youth through Job1, a partnership supporting the life altering impact such an opportunity can make for a young person.

As we prepare for the inevitable arrival of colder temperatures and the wrath of winter weather, WCAC stands at the ready to provide support and resources to households throughout Central Massachusetts struggling to meet home heating costs. We are likewise kicking off our annual Coat Drive for Kids - collecting new winter jackets for all of the children enrolled in our Head Start, Early Head Start and Healthy Families programs. A basic need for all, yet an unaffordable expense for too many.

Whatever the weather, whatever the season, WCAC is committed to helping individuals and families reach economic self-sufficiency. People helping people. Join us, won't you?






Jill C. Dagilis

Executive Director


The Hanover Theatre 
for the Performing Arts
on Wednesday, 
December 21, 2016
7 p.m.

A portion of all tickets purchased for this evening's performance of 
A Christmas Carol will benefit WCAC programs and services.

Tickets for special pre-show reception including meet & greet with cast, hors d'oeuvres and cash bar just $75 per person.

Making a difference in the lives of those we serve
"If you are having a hard time finding your place, WCAC's doors are open. It is a welcome, friendly environment. They do everything in their power - even after hours - to make sure you have a better and brighter future." - Christian, WCAC HiSET graduate

"I want to take this time to thank you so much for installing a new furnace for me, and also a new tank for fuel. There would be no way for me to afford a new furnace, you came to my rescue. Also, for allotting me so much for my fuel assistance. You are a big blessing to me. Again I thank you!" - Connie from Sturbridge

"The WINGS program was such a different, life changing story. I feel like I honestly owe everything to them. It is a fact, that I would not be where I am right now, without them. At the moment, I am an eighteen year old with a paid externship in the UMass Hospital Emergency Department. Each person I meet there is a reference, and every moment a learning opportunity. Once the WINGS program prepared me for my HiSET I was able to begin a two month certificate program at Quinsigamond Community College. All of the things I have accomplished already, and all of the things left for me to accmoplish were honestly made possible for me starting with the WINGS program; I thank them all so much for everything they have done for me."
 -  Laurie, recent WCAC JEC graduate
Click image for details
Benefitting Dress for Success Worcester
Click image for details
Benefitting the United Way of SSC

Job1 is a new year-round youth (16 - 21) workforce development initiative that provides a single point of contact for local businesses seeking youth ready to work.

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 2016 Wrap Up
As the summer of 2016 draws to a close, so too does the YouthWorks Summer Jobs Program, administered by the Worcester Community Action Council. The program provided 380 area youth a meaningful, paid employment experience in a variety of settings throughout the city. YouthWorks was funded by Commonwealth Corporation, the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, the City of Worcester, Mass Housing, and Unum as well as Community Service Block Grant funds. 

Much more than a paycheck, however, YouthWorks provides income eligible youth 18 hours of work readiness training, 6-7 weeks of meaningful paid work experience as well as daily supervision and case management support.  Youth assisted with neighborhood improvement projects, served as counselors for local youth camps, worked at area farms through the Regional Environmental Council, performed administrative office duties and so much more.

WCAC is responsible for all phases of the YouthWorks program: job development and placement, recruitment and eligibility determination, work readiness training, site monitoring and safety adherence, distribution of weekly payroll, case management, and constant communication with all partners. Additionally, WCAC works closely with our state and local representatives to secure additional youth employment funds, as well as with many public and private sector employers to increase job availability for youth. We extend our gratitude to the many employers throughout the city who opened their doors and provided work experiences for area youth this summer!
Weatherization programs making big impact
On August 14th, 1976 President Gerald Ford signed the  Energy Conservation and Production Act which established a weatherization program in order to "increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce their total residential energy expenditures, and improve their health and safety, especially low-income persons who are particularly vulnerable such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, families with children, high residential energy users, and households with high energy burden."

Forty years later, the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has provided critical weatherization services to over seven million low-income families in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, five U.S. Territories, and three Native American Tribes. Last year alone, WCAC's Weatherization Programs provided 1,010 households with energy efficiency consultations, replacement lightbulbs and replacing 554 high energy consumption refrigerators and freezers through the Appliance Management Program (AMP), funded by National Grid. An additional 979 households received heating system repairs, replacements or seasonal maintenance through the agency's Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Program (HEARTWAP). Another 205 households received other weatherization services including attic and wall insulation, air sealing, or door sweeps. 

WCAC is committed to the year-round weatherization programs, designed to help low-income homeowners and renters improve the energy efficiency of their homes, thereby maximizing the effect of fuel assistance funds. Here's to another forty years of providing cost-effective energy savings to American families, leading to important health and safety benefits, positively impacting the environment, and supporting jobs and new technology!  Click here for additional info and eligibility requirements.
All the world's a stage...
WCAC's own Christopher Maloney as Jaques in As You Like It on Worcester Common earlier this summer.  (Photo credit Amy Mae Photography)
As Shakespeare himself once wrote, one man in his time plays many parts. For Christopher Maloney those parts include moonlighting on stage for the Worcester Shakespeare Company while working as a classroom teacher in one of WCAC's Head Start classrooms. A Worcester native, Mr. Chris, as he is affectionately known by his students, earned his Bachelor's degree from Lesley University. He began as a floating substitute two years ago at WCAC's Head Start program located in Southbridge, before accepting a full-year teaching position this past year. He enjoys exploring the youngsters amazing imaginations and working to serve as a positive male role model, presently the only male teacher in the program.

Mr. Chris with some of his budding Head Start thespians.
This summer he helped teachers and students stage a sch ool play for the first time. The biggest difference between working with the children versus professional actors? "The children never run out of energy," he said with a chuckle following the recent production of Rainbow Fish and Caps for Sale before an adoring crowd of the young students friends and family. "It was great to let the kids try something new, something they'd never had a chance to do before... and to allow them to be front and center on stage - everything else is just extra."

As one who's been performing since his earliest days doing holiday shows in his basement with cousins, Maloney is as comfortable on stage as he is in the classroom. In addition to serving as the Director of Marketing and Fundraising for the Worcester Shakespeare Company, Maloney performed in both of the company's summer productions - starring as Jaques in As You Like It, and Gloucester in the legendary  King Lear. We all look forward to what he's got in store next!

WCAC's Head Start program serves low income families from the communities of  East Brookfield, Leicester, Millbury,  Oxford, Spencer,  Southbridge and Webster. Classes resume for the fall on September 12th. Additional information and registration information available online.
Fuel Assistance program helps keep homes warm
While the calendar tells us there are still several months to go before winter officially arrives, anyone who's lived in New England for any length of time knows cold temps and even falling snow have a way of showing up far sooner than anyone would like. WCAC's fuel assistance staff is hard at work preparing for the opening of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) 2016-17 season. 

Established to provide financial assistance to low-income households struggling to meet home heating bill payments, applications for assistance for the 2016-17 season will be available starting November 1st.  Eligibility is based on the number of individuals who live in a household, their combined income, housing status and fuel type, with all first-time applicants needing to complete a face-to-face interview. Recertifications for past fuel assistance recipients have begun via U.S. mail. Additional details about eligibility requirements and frequently asked questions available online.
Annual Coat Drive for Kids
As the long, hot, lazy days of summer draw to a close WCAC will be kicking off its annual Coat Drive for Kids. Each year the agency provides a new winter coat to all of the youngsters enrolled in our Early Head Start, Head Start and Healthy Families programs, as well as children of the many teen parents enrolled in our Job & Education Center. If you or your company are interested in adopting a classroom by making donations of new coats or providing a financial donation to support the purchase of coats, please contact Ellen Ganley at 508.762.9807. On behalf of the many families who will be helped by this effort, we thank you in advance for your support!

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.