A.B.L.E. in the NEWS

WBZ Cares

WBZ Cares: Operation A.B.L.E. Grads Give Back

May 31, 2017 | WBZ1030

Students who have gone through Operation A.B.L.E's program were able to land great jobs.

For Tim Conant, being able to score his dream job at Harvard’s Kennedy School Library after getting an internship through Operation A.B.L.E. felt like “a dream come true,” he said.

Listen to the entire piece here.

WBZ Cares

WBZ Cares: Operation A.B.L.E Grads Share Success Stories

May 24, 2017 | WBZ1030

Two graduates of the Operation A.B.L.E Program share how they were able to get back on their feet again.

Recently, Tibbs-Caldwell had an interview with a staffing agency. She says the staff at Operation A.B.L.E gave her confidence back.

“I don’t think that I would have been able to have the belief in myself as they had in me,” she said. “I get emotional because there is such warmness here. Such love here.”.

Listen to the entire piece here.

WBZ Cares

WBZ Cares: Operation A.B.L.E Graduates Help Fill Many Jobs In Boston

May 17, 2017 | WBZ1030

Graduates from the Operation A.B.L.E program have filled many jobs in Boston over the years.

Operation A.B.L.E.’s website, you will see a long list of “Able friendly employers”, organizations that include hospitals, healthcare providers, colleges.

Places like the MFA State Street Corporation, MIT, and Mass General Hospital, where it has hired hundreds of A.B.L.E. workers over the years, adding to their expansive workforce, of 27,000 people.

Listen to the entire piece here.

WBZ Cares

WBZ Cares: Students and Instructors Earn Second Chance Through Operation Able

May 10, 2017 | WBZ1030

Operation A.B.L.E has helped their students find work and their instructors too.

One of the instructors, William Nadler, went through the training nearly two decades ago, when he lost his job as an MIT engineer. He loved the training so much, he’s now teaching.

Listen to the entire piece here.

The Boston Globe

Job Training

May 8, 2017 | The Boston Globe, Letter to the Editor

We were very pleased to be featured in “Career Changing? Look for Helping Hands” (April 24), and proud of the accomplishments of Paul Benford-Bruce, one of our many trainees/graduates. Even as we applaud the new paths found by the others also profiled, we want to emphasize that training and finding employment for workers like Benford-Bruce remain among the great challenges and opportunities here in Massachusetts. For 34 years, Operation A.B.L.E. has done just that for more than 34,000 job seekers 45 and older from economically, racially, and occupationally diverse backgrounds. We are delighted that Governor Baker has earmarked $5 million for job training initiatives for Massachusetts residents, but, unfortunately, that amount barely scratches the surface. Good training and job search skills require a significant investment in the nonprofit training community, which has the best results vs. private training vendors or community colleges.

Joan Cirillo
President and CEO of Operation A.B.L.E. of Greater Boston Inc.

WBZ Cares

WBZ Cares: Operation ABLE helps mid-lifers get back to work

May 1, 2017 | WBZ1030

BOSTON (CBS) – Each month, WBZ Cares highlights a worthy non-profit organization, and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month’s organization, “Operation A.B.L.E.,” a Boston-based organization that that provides job training and employment services for workers 45 and older.
The organization has one mission, and one mission only according to it’s president Joan Cirillo,”Very simply, getting job seekers 45 and older back to work. That’s what we do. We’re laser focused on it,” she said.

Cirillo said job seekers mid-life and older often have a hard time getting back into the workforce after they’ve been out for a while, due to the changing pace of technology.

Listen/read to the entire piece here.

The Boston Globe

Boston Career Changers Can Find Plenty of Helping Hands

April 23, 2016 – BostonGlobe.com

Massachusetts offers many programs for the under- and unemployed, to get them working and sometimes even running their own business. 

Benford-Bruce, who is in his 60s, enrolled in the Skills2Work program, which focuses on customer service and computer skills. After he finished, Operation A.B.L.E. helped him get a job as an administrative assistant in a laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Continue reading, click here.

The Salem News

Patrice Ball named Program Manager

October 6, 2015 – The Salem News

Patrice Ball of Salem has joined Operation ABLE, Ability Based on Long Experience, as program manager of the agency’s new ABLE Job Resource Center. Operation ABLE of Greater Boston offers job seekers — ages 45 and up — job training, job search and interviewing skills to renew their careers. Ball has more than 20 years of experience in adult education. She has a masters degree in education from Cambridge College, a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Framingham State University, and a Certificate of Online Teaching from the Online Learning Consortium. Ball also has a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Training from the UMASS Center for Enterprise Creation.

Leominster Champion

Operation A.B.L. E. receives $100K for 100 grant

August 28, 2015 – The Leominster Champion

Operation A.B.L.E. of Greater Boston, which has a satellite office in Leominster, is the recipient of a Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 grant.

Operation A.B.L.E. of Greater Boston offers mature workers 45 and older focused job training, job search and interviewing skills to re-enter today’s workforce and renew their careers.

The Cummings Foundation annually awards grants of $100,000 each to 100 local nonprofit organizations through the program “$100K for 100.” This $10 million in funding supports a diverse range of nonprofits, including human services, education, healthcare and social justice.

Established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester, the Cummings Foundation, Inc. is a private operating foundation. Based in Woburn, it has been the beneficiary of substantial contributions from the Cummings family, often through their commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties, LLC. With assets exceeding $1 billion, it is one of the largest private foundations in New England.

Since 1982, Operation A.B.L.E. (Ability Based on Long Experience) has assisted more than 33,000 job seekers find work. The Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 grant will support three Operation A.B.L.E. skills training programs: ABLE Beginnings, Skills2Work, and Medical Office and Health Care Office Training.

ABLE Beginnings is a six-week computer skills program teaching how to apply for jobs online, how to create resumes and cover letters, and how to interview. Skills2Work is a 12-week customer service training program, with a follow up six-week internship, to prepare for jobs as receptionists, call center representatives and administrative assistants. Medical and Health Care Office Training, a 12-week course, teaches the essentials of working in a medical office as a patient coordinator, practice assistant and medical office receptionist, to name a few. There is an internship and job placement assistance.

For more information about Operation A.B.L.E.’s programs, contact Chief Program Officer Mark Gyurina at (617) 542-4180, ext. 128 or [email protected].

SOURCE: Story appeared in Leominster Champion


Fighting Age Discrimination in the Workplace

May 15, 2015 – Boston.com

Fighting age discrimination in the workplace. Some companies are making the case for the older worker. A report by AARP projects that 35 percent of the U.S. workforce will be 50 or older by 2022.

John Halloran, 67, said his last job search in 2013 was an “eye-opening” experience.
Halloran was a territory manager for digital research database LexisNexis before his position was eliminated as part of a company-wide reorganization.

Halloran began to search for a new job, something he had not done since the 1970s. At first, he said the momentum was moving in his favor. He interviewed with hiring managers over the phone and, after several conversations with one company, he got a sense the people on the other end of the line were excited to hire him.

But the excitement didn’t last. Halloran felt things change once he went for an in-person interview with the company’s chief executive.

“When he greeted me, he wasn’t expecting a person of my age to get off that elevator,” said Halloran. “It was pretty clear the enthusiasm on the phone was not there that day.”
“It’s the last of the big ‘isms’ ... First is sexism, then racism, and then ageism.”
Halloran believes his candidacy was doomed once the chief executive saw him in person and realized his age.

“It’s the last of the big ‘isms,’” he continued. “First is sexism, then racism, and then ageism. The first two have been legislated against effectively but the last one has not.”

Working for change

Eventually, the tide turned for Halloran. He connected with Operation A.B.L.E. of Greater Boston, a nonprofit organization that helps “mature job seekers” find employment and training. Through his connections at the organization, he was able to land a job as director of sales for Roxbury Technology Corporation in 2014.

Joan Cirillo, president and CEO of Operation A.B.L.E., says the non-profit works to counteract common misconceptions that can prevent older workers from landing jobs.
“There are many biases that employers hold about job-seekers that are 45 and older,” said Cirillo. “They think they’re not quick on a computer, or they can’t learn as quickly, or you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

In fact, Cirillo says older workers can bring a lot of strengths to the table, including dependability, experience, and a willingness to collaborate with younger employees.
“There’s just a tremendous strength of experience older workers bring,” said Cirillo. “[They’re] wonderful mentors to younger employees, wonderful trainers who take pride in showing people how to do something.”

A recent report by the AARP makes the same argument. The report, “A Business Case for Workers Age 50+,” found older employees bring several advantages to companies, including experience, professionalism, knowledge, a strong work ethic, and a low turnover. The report also projected that 35 percent of the U.S. workforce will be 50 or older by 2022.

Kim Castelda, vice president of human resources for Bullhorn, which makes consumer relationship management software, said her company benefits from recruiting older talent because of the stability these employees bring with them.

“Whatever business challenge is thrown at them, they say, ‘I can solve this problem,’” said Castelda. “They won’t be rattled.”

Castelda, 52, said recruiting older workers also helps younger employees learn the ropes.

“When you’re hiring someone young … my perspective is you’re getting what you pay for,” said Castelda. “[You’re getting] someone who needs to be mentored, needs to be helped and grow into a new environment. You need to have experienced people on staff to do that mentoring, to do that coaching, and to help those young people along.”

Misconceptions about technology

Cheryl Delaney, a 68-year-old caregiver, echoed the belief that young people can learn a lot from older generations. “One of my beefs is that I don’t think [employers] use elderly people as much as they should in terms of mentoring.

“[When] most young people come in and start off, they think they’ll climb the corporate ladder in two years,” said Delaney. “A lot get frustrated and leave. You need to have patience and understand different types of people.”

Delaney previously worked for Fidelity as a receptionist before finding a post-retirement job as a caregiver through RetirementJobs.com, a company that tries to connect older professionals with appropriate companies.

Another one of Delaney’s “beefs” is the misconception held by some employers that people in their 50s and 60s are not “up to par on” technology.

“I understand why, especially if you’ve been out of the job market for a few years,” said Delaney. “But I see people in their 90s who are wizzes on a laptop. People can learn these things.”

Delaney said she hopes more employers will reconsider what older workers can bring to the table.

“My hope is that a hiring manager can see the whole person, not just an old face that might not be able to pick up tech skills,” she said. “I wish more employers would look beyond the face and think of the experience and maturity we have and what we can offer.”

Source: Boston,com https://www.boston.com/jobs/jobs-news/2015/05/15/fighting-age-discrimination-in-the-workplace

The Boston Globe

Poverty persists in NE suburbs

August 13, 2014 –The Boston Globe

New England’s suburbs, often viewed as bastions of sprinkler-fed lawns and roomy SUVs, are also communities of hidden poverty, where one in four families relies on food stamps to stock cupboards with groceries and put food on the table, according to a report to be released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Wednesday.

Nearly 2 million people who live in communities surrounding the region’s major cities have low or barely moderate incomes, struggling with the same problems as the urban poor, but without the same services, support, and safety nets, Boston Fed researchers found. That number includes about 1 million — 80,000 of them children under age 5 — in Eastern Massachusetts.

Entire article can be found here.

US News and World Report

Support When Job Searching

June 3, 2014 –US News & World Report

During the Great Recession, Joan Cirillo, president and CEO of Operation A.B.L.E. of Greater Boston,found herself working with everyone from unskilled/low skilled laborers all the way up to unemployed C-Level executives. And today, the demand for services has not let up. Her agency “focuses like a laser on helping people over 45 get back to work.” In a typical year, Operation A.B.L.E. aids about 1,000 job seekers, and this year the number is likely to top-out closer to 1,200.

Likewise, New Jersey-based John Fugazzie sees no letup in those seeking employment. He travels the country as the founder and head of Neighbors-helping-Neighbors USA, talking about the fact that the overall crisis of long-term unemployment will not abate until the U.S. produces far more jobs. His organization sponsors community-based rather than age-based networking groups in many cities.

Entire article can be found here.