Things have changed since the City of Springfield Massachusetts funded us to launch our on-the-job training program to employ neighborhood women while they learn the trade of restoring old windows. We now have the money to fully equip and insure a lead and asbestos-associated abatement facility that will bring good jobs for women in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country. Some of the women will be returning from incarceration to rebuild their lives and we have partnered with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department to help them.
Our Program Manager is a gift to the Old Window Workshop and to her city. Contina McCormick, a long-time Springfield homeowner, has a background in the trades and is an accomplished business woman who ran many components of her family’s construction company. She worked in child care agencies and employment advocacy doing outreach to low-income residents of Springfield. Contina joined in organizing for food justice through the farmer’s market and she is dedicated to getting a fully stocked grocery store in her community that will offer locally grown organic produce.
As Program Manager, Contina will conduct extensive outreach so that every woman in the South End and Six Corners neighborhoods can be introduced to a trade and entrepreneurship as a potential route out of poverty. She will facilitate the growth of the Old Window Workshop to become a successful woman-owned, worker-owned business.
Education is the second leg of a strong future for women. Every woman who applies for on-the-job training agree sto complete her high school equivalency and continue her education to the Associates Degree level in order to become a full employee. In this way, no woman will be shut out of opportunity for lack of higher educational attainment.
We will keep you posted!