As Unemployment Spikes Due to COVID-19 Impact, ABCD Brings Expertise to Career Centers

July 13, 2020

Lee Phenner
339.368.1140 (mobile)

As Unemployment Spikes Due to COVID-19 Impact, ABCD Brings Operations and Workforce Development Expertise to MassHire Metro North Career Centers

Serves job seekers and employers in 20 cities and towns*
from hubs in Cambridge, Chelsea and Woburn

BOSTON – With fortuitous timing, ABCD (Action for Boston Community Development) has assumed operations of the MassHire Metro North Career Centers in Cambridge, Woburn, and Chelsea. With one million state residents unemployed, the result of record job losses since the COVID-19 pandemic began, ABCD meets this crisis with operational efficiency, workforce development experience, and a history of program innovation.

On June 2, 2020, the MassHire Metro North Workforce Board (MNWB) announced the selection of ABCD as the next operator of the MassHire Metro North Career Centers (MNCC). ABCD was selected for its extensive experience with developing and managing workforce development programs, its strong ties to the local community, and an expansive partner network.

ABCD offers unique capacity to deliver major public programs with a human touch. The agency’s current portfolio is characterized by complex, large-scale projects with stringent standards for accountability, a focus on customer service, and measurable outcomes. ABCD often collaborates with some of the largest businesses in Massachusetts. At the same time, the organization draws on decades of experience in working with individuals and families facing the most challenging social and economic barriers.

“We are looking forward to working with the MassHire Metro North Workforce Board and the exceptional team at the Metro North Career Centers to support and connect job seekers with their next position while meeting employers’ staffing needs,” said ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew. “Of course, we couldn’t have anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic and its disastrous fallout. Through this partnership, we’ll have the opportunity to leverage our strengths in providing wraparound services to further help folks who are struggling.”

Ronald Marlow, ABCD’s Director of Workforce Development and Alternative Education, emphasized the importance of employer partnerships and being a critical conduit to skilled individuals who can meet the increasingly sophisticated demands of 21 st  century workplaces.
“We’re exploring creative strategies to expand outreach to employers, as well as developing innovative program models to better serve job seekers. The new ideas we bring to the table will also be grounded in the impressive leadership of Systems Director Lee-Ann Johnson. She has done a remarkable job in her three years with Metro North Career Centers, and we look forward to her staying on and joining our team,” Marlow said.

Workforce development services have played an integral role in ABCD’s holistic approach since its inception in 1962. This partnership with the MassHire Metro North Workforce Board represents one of its largest areas of community investment.

The MassHire Metro North Career Centers in Cambridge, Woburn, and Chelsea are temporarily suspending face-to-face services and meetings to safeguard the well-being of our communities and to slow the contagion of covid-19.

However, staff are working remotely and are available by phone or email. For more information, visit masshiremncareers.com.

* The MassHire Metro North Career Centers serve the following cities and towns with locations in Cambridge, Woburn, and Chelsea:

Arlington, Belmont, Burlington, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Revere, Somerville, Stoneham, Wakefield, Watertown, Wilmington, Winchester, Winthrop, and Woburn.



The MassHire Department of Career Services oversees Massachusetts’s network of Career Centers that assist businesses in finding qualified workers and provide job seekers with career guidance as well as
referrals to jobs and training. Learn more.

The MassHire Metro North Workforce Board (MNWB) oversees the MassHire Metro North Career Centers that provide customer centered job search assistance to enable individuals to meet their training and employment goals. Supporting 20 cities and towns in the region from offices in Cambridge, Chelsea, and Woburn, the board’s connections to businesses provide valuable information to keep them informed of the in-demand occupations in the region and how best to prepare for those
opportunities. Learn more.

ABCD—Greater Boston’s anti-poverty agency—each year provides more than 100,000 under-resourced residents in the Boston, Metro North and Mystic Valley areas with the tools, support, and resources they need to transition from poverty to stability and from stability to success. Workforce development services are at the core of the ABCD mission. More at bostonabcd.org.