UTEC Programming Returns On-Site
UTEC has slowly, carefully began to welcome young adults and staff back onsite for programming. We’ve adapted our days to allow safe social distancing and limited room capacities. The safety and stability of everyone in the UTEC family remains our biggest priority as we continue to navigate the various phases of reopening.
UTEC Food Services includes those most affected by COVID-19
As Massachusetts begins to re-open, UTEC is committed to safely bringing our young adults back into
onsite programming to keep working towards their goals. Now, they’re doing more than ever for our communities of Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill, and beyond by preparing meals for emergency food assistance.
Emergency Food Assistance
UTEC has pivoted our catering service to deliver 1,000+ free, nutritious, culturally-customized meals a week to families and seniors facing food insecurity during COVID-19.
Paid Job Training
Our two commercial kitchens provide paid work experience for low-income young adults (ages 17-25) with
proven risk factors. UTEC social enterprise jobs are essential to their safety and stability.
Sponsoring Madd Love Meals equips us to provide free meals to those most impacted by COVID-19. Spark sustainability for our communities and the UTEC Food Services Enterprises by covering a portion of our weekly kitchen operations costs, and help us reach our goal to finance 20 weeks (5 months) of meals.
UTEC Family Fund was established to offset the costs associated with COVID-19
Our social enterprise model, education program, free early childhood education, and wrap-around services uniquely positions UTEC to break down many barriers to the success of our young adults. This comprehensive model means, at a time like this, we must not just continue but intensify our services to ensure the cycle of poverty and violence is not repeated, despite lost revenue from our social enterprises.
LEARN MORE about UTEC’s plan and response to COVID-19
See below for how young people were able to stay engaged in UTEC programming during the stay-at-home order.
UTEC’s Plan for Programs and Services in Response to COVID-19
UTEC has suspended onsite programming. We continue to monitor the situation and follow all official requirements and guidance on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. In this time, we’re being creative and relentless in the delivery of programs and services for our young adults (YAs) in Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill, MA. The UTEC Family Fund has been established to help offset the costs associated with COVID-19.
Young Adult Wages: UTEC is committed to continuing to pay young adults’ stipends throughout the duration of suspended programming, along with adjusting and amplifying our supports.
Regular Food Delivery: Boxes of groceries, prepared meals, cleaning supplies, and materials for YA children (diapers, wipes and activity packets) are delivered multiple times a week.
Targeted Gang Outreach and Crisis Intervention: Streetworkers have been instrumental to gathering and distributing these materials and are using the opportunity to provide material goods during a time of need as an avenue to connecting with gang members in the communities we serve. Streetworkers are also still providing critical gang intervention services for any conflicts on the streets.
Transitional Coaching (TC) Support: TCs are continuing to contact and support all Young Adults (YAs) daily and have the goal of a virtual face-to-face contact no less than two times a week. They ensure YAs have the resources they need to work towards their personal and professional goals during this time, including parenting tools.
Pre-Release Services in Correctional Facilities: Because jails are not allowing visitors at this time, UTEC is working to enable Streetworkers and TCs to maintain regular contact with incarcerated YAs and their families via calls and letters. We are also supporting families of incarcerated YAs with material deliveries.
Mental Health Services: Our Mental Health Counselor is available daily to all YAs (and staff) for virtual sessions via video chat and has been on the streets helping to deliver boxes of material goods.
Educational and Workforce Development Training: UTEC’s Chromebooks have been taken from our HiSet classroom and distributed to YAs’s homes. Additional Chromebooks have been purchased and will be set up and are being distributed to YAs so that they can work on HiSet, online learning oppor- tunities and workforce certifications.
2Gen Child Care Program: Our center had to close due to the child care ban, however, our 2Gen staff have been calling all families enrolled in our early education center and are providing materials to include in packets to families. A daily online storytime for children with one of our teachers has also been set up.
Policy and Organizing: Young adults will participate in calls related to any campaigns moving forward. We are focused on developing ideas and proposals for the state to consider new legislation related to the impact of COVID-19 on our services.