UTEC’s young adults introduced the Speaker and his colleagues to our social enterprises: mattress recycling, food services, and woodworking. Our young adults shared the challenges they’ve faced in accessing jobs, housing, and educational support due to their criminal records – even after completing their sentences.
The House Delegation for Lowell joined the visit, representing their longstanding commitment to UTEC’s mission.
“The work of UTEC’s social enterprises program serves as an engine for community development,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. “I commend UTEC for their focus on collaboration with all of the major stakeholders in our community.”
“UTEC, since its inception, has focused on the importance of education,” said State Representative Rady Mom, “and today UTEC continues to play an important role in reconnecting young people with alternative education and a way to earn their HiSET [GED] while also getting work experience.”
“I was very pleased to join Speaker DeLeo, who has been very supportive of UTEC, at the headquarters,” said State Representative David Nangle. “UTEC has made great progress with their innovative programs and approaches to assist young individuals and their families learn crucial life skills, and we were both impressed by the passion and enthusiasm of the staff and students.”
Gregg Croteau, UTEC’s executive director, also updated the Speaker on our two-generation approach. Since almost half of our young people are also young parents, UTEC is opening an onsite early childhood education center this year. Building up 2Gen activities will make it possible for young parents and their kids to build communication and cooperation skills together.
“For us, a 2Gen approach is a way to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty,” Croteau said. “It starts with education, since we can build school readiness for young children who might not otherwise attend high-quality early childhood programs. But we also know that our young parents need extra support to succeed as really the primary teacher for their children, even once school begins.”
UTEC appreciates the Speaker’s leadership in early childhood education and his interest in our 2Gen interventions. We look forward to continuing the conversation around recidivism reduction for all young adults in our communities, too.
Source: Lowell Sun