Please click here for regular updates about Just-A-Start’s programs and services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

News

Posts Tagged news

Board Chair Peter Munkenbeck Receives Award

Mayor Marc McGovern, Peter Munkenbeck, Cambridge Volunteer Clearinghouse founder Robert Hurlbut

At the Volunteer Awards Ceremony on June 18th, hosted by the City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Volunteers Clearinghouse, Just-A-Start’s Board Chair Peter Munkenbeck was honored with the Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteer Service for his dedication to the organization. The annual ceremony recognizes the vital contributions of the city’s volunteers.

Peter has been a Cambridge resident for 45 years and is a relentless advocate for community development. A Just-A-Start Board member since 2010, he has dedicated both his career and his volunteer service to ensuring that each and every community member has equal access to housing and employment opportunities. In 2015, Peter became Chair of the Board and continues to serve the organization with his leadership, advice and counsel, expertise and experience, and extraordinary personal commitment to strengthening Cambridge’s diverse community. Especially in Just-A-Start’s 50th anniversary year, the organization celebrates Peter’s ongoing dedication to JAS’s mission and vision! JAS also thanks the City of Cambridge and Mayor Marc McGovern for their continued partnership – their support helps to make Just-A-Start’s work possible each and every day.

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Two New Members Join Just-A-Start’s Board of Directors

Two New Members Join Just-A-Start’s Board of Directors

CAMBRIDGE, MA, April 2, 2018—Just-A-Start Corporation, a community development corporation in Cambridge, MA, welcomes two new members to its Board of Directors: Richard Harding and Samuel Gebru.

Richard Harding is a lifelong Cambridge resident whose career has always been focused on public service and community engagement. He began as an intern at Joe Kennedy’s Citizen’s Energy, then served as Director of Constituent Services for Senator Seven Tolman and is the past Chair of the Ward 2 Democratic Committee. He has served on the board of the Young People’s Project and of the Community Arts Center. Richard is the President of the Port Life Foundation and a founder of the Port Action Group, a neighborhood group focused on violence prevention. Richard is the proud recipient of the NAACP Education Excellence Award and the Cambridge Peace and Justice Award. As a School Committee member, Richard has served as Vice-Chair and co-chair of the Budget Committee and Contract Negotiations, co-chaired the Kids Council, and served on the Neighborhood Safety Task Force’s Employment Sub-Committee. Richard currently runs the Men of Color Health Initiative and is a program consultant to the job training program CambridgeWorks. He attended the Kennedy Elementary School and graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School (CRLS) and Fitchburg State College. His daughter is a 2015 graduate of the Cambridge public schools.

Samuel Gebru is an Ethiopian American social entrepreneur, community organizer, consultant, and resident of Cambridge since the age of three. He began his career in public service at the age of 13, raising funds committed to maternal health issues in his native Ethiopia. While at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Samuel launched Youth View Cambridge and was the first youth appointed to the Executive Committee of the Cambridge Family Policy Council. He has worked on municipal and state election campaigns and served as a legislative intern to Massachusetts State Senator Steven A. Tolman. From 2006-2016, Samuel founded and led the Ethiopian Global Initiative, and is currently the founder and managing director of Black Lion Strategies, a consulting practice that works to strengthen U.S.-Ethiopia relations. He is also the executive producer to Boston Ethiopia Week. Samuel serves on the Board of Directors of the Cambridge Community Center and launched the annual Samuel M. Gebru Leadership Award at CRLS, recognizing a graduating senior for experience in, and passion for, public service. He was previously a board member of Africans in Boston, and served on the Artist Selection Committee for Cambridge’s Prince Hall, honoring Prince Hall, the noted African American scholar, abolitionist, and founder of Black Masonry.

“I am so grateful for Richard’s and Samuel’s interest in and commitment to Just-A-Start and I’m looking forward to their valuable participation as members of Just-A-Start’s Board of Directors, as the organization continues to strategically grow and expand.” said Deborah Ruhe, Executive Director of Just-A-Start.

###

About Just-A-Start Corporation

Just-A-Start is a community development corporation dedicated to building the housing security and economic stability of low- to moderate-income people in Cambridge and nearby communities. Through innovative, comprehensive, and integrated programs, JAS provides and preserves affordable housing, offers education and workforce training for youth and adults, and helps connect residents to the community. JAS’s vision is a better future for each community member through a secure home, a sustaining career, and connection to the community. For more information, visit www.justastart.org or contact Deborah Ruhe at 617-918-7503 or at deborahruhe@justastart.org. Additionally, Just-A-Start can be followed on Twitter @JustAStartCorp and Facebook at Facebook.com/JustAStartCorp.

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Just-A-Start Corporation Receives $500,000 Grant to Support New Workforce Development Program

Just-A-Start Corporation Receives $500,000 Grant to Support New Workforce Development Program

CAMBRIDGE, MA, March 14, 2018—Just-A-Start Corporation, a community development corporation in Cambridge, MA, has received a $500,000 grant from ECMC Foundation. The grant supports the first two years of Just-A-Start’s new Information Technology (IT) Careers Program, a tuition-free, nine month program that trains under-resourced adults for the skills necessary to begin a sustaining career in the IT industry.

Funding from ECMC Foundation will support the activities of the IT Careers Program, launched in January 2018, which blends classroom learning of technical skills with on-the-job training. While in the program, students will earn college credits, become certified in CompTIA+, and benefit from comprehensive career counseling that includes post-program support.  Modeled after Just-A-Start’s Biomedical Careers Program, now in its 26th year of success, the program features a dual-customer model that benefits both jobseekers and local employers by training a well-qualified, diverse, and mature workforce of program graduates.

“I am so grateful for ECMC Foundation’s outstanding commitment to the IT Careers Program, and I am extremely proud of this great achievement for Just-A-Start,” said Deborah Ruhe, Executive Director of Just-A-Start. “This is the largest private grant Just-A-Start has ever received, and it will allow us to serve an even larger number of under-resourced adults as they work toward their goals of economic stability and career growth.”

ECMC Foundation, funded by Minneapolis-based ECMC Group, facilitates improvements that affect educational outcomes, especially among underserved populations, through evidence-based innovation. “We are excited to partner with Just-A-Start to unlock economic opportunity for these students,” said Jennifer Zeisler, Senior Program Director of Career Readiness at ECMC Foundation. “The IT Careers Program is rigorous and relevant, and will help underserved adults gain access to skills-based careers with the necessary support to succeed.”

In January, 15 adult students began the first class of the IT Careers Program.  Classes are taught by a combination of JAS teachers and Bunker Hill Community College instructors.  After a semester of classes, students will be placed in internships and be coached for job searches and ongoing employment.

The development of the IT Careers Program was supported by other corporate funders, including JP Morgan Chase, Google, and Capital One.  “The development of new programs often requires philanthropic support before public sector funding can be secured,” Ruhe explained.  “The leadership of the private sector is essential to the development of pathways to sustainable careers for low income and immigrant communities.”

###

About Just-A-Start Corporation

Just-A-Start is a community development corporation dedicated to building the housing security and economic stability of low- to moderate-income people in Cambridge and nearby communities. Through innovative, comprehensive, and integrated programs, JAS provides and preserves affordable housing, offers education and workforce training for youth and adults, and builds community engagement. JAS’s vision is a better future for each community member through a secure home, a sustaining career, and engagement in the community. For more information, visit www.justastart.org or contact Deborah Ruhe at 617-918-7503 or at deborahruhe@justastart.org. Additionally, Just-A-Start can be followed on Twitter @JustAStartCorp and Facebook at Facebook.com/JustAStartCorp.

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) →