YWCA Signs Community Benefit Agreement


For more than 130 years, YWCA Central Massachusetts has served as a life-long positive force for women and girls, their families and communities. Our mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. 

Our services have evolved to meet the current needs of women and are focused on removing barriers and reducing disparities for low-income women and women of color.  We provide comprehensive job support and development services to help local women transition from poverty to a livable wage.

Social action and advocacy are the cornerstones of the YWCA. Since our inception more than 130 years ago, “service” has been linked to “action.”  In communities across the United States, YWCAs continue to work to improve social and economic conditions for all people.

Historically, the YWCA has fought for issues such as the abolition of child labor, the eight-hour workday and desegregation. Today, YWCA carries on our long tradition in social action and advocacy to meet the twin goals of women and girls’ empowerment and racial justice. We cannot be pillars and purveyors of racial equity, women’s empowerment and justice if we ourselves do not lead by example. It is for all these reasons, with the weight of generations to follow, that YWCA Central Massachusetts proudly and publicly enters into this Community Benefits Agreement with our peers in the Worcester Community-Labor Coalition as a testament to our community of our lived beliefs.

Whereas,

YWCA Central Massachusetts’ Racial Equity program is dedicated to ensuring that our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women directs all systems, culture and programs at the YWCA. We are committed to dismantling racism in all forms by promoting awareness of racial and gender inequity, educating individuals and communities, and advocating for equity throughout Central Massachusetts.

Whereas,

YWCA Central Massachusetts responds to this urgent community need by providing safe, affordable housing with supportive services for adult women striving to improve the quality of their lives, while preparing them for stable housing in the community.

Whereas,

Through the Girls CHOICE program, YWCA Central Massachusetts offers support to middle-school girls with the assistance of community collaborations and provides them with support services throughout high school. Within this period, girls build confidence, a sense of personal and community responsibility, and education plans.

Whereas,

By providing education and opportunity, YWCA’s Young Parent Program empowers young parents to take positive control over their lives.

Whereas,

YWCA’s Healthy Youth Development program provides a positive impact on young people’s ability to improve their self-expectation and resilience. Middle and high school-age youth have opportunities to volunteer or participate in internships that help to prepare them for future employment.

And Whereas,

YWCA recognizes that women and people of color are significantly under-represented in the construction industry.

And Whereas,

Women comprise less than 3% of the construction industry workforce nationally and locally.

And Whereas,

The solution to change this injustice requires recruiting, training, and mentoring a diverse workforce, actively dismantling impediments, and defining hiring requirements on new construction projects.

And Whereas,

By instituting a diverse hiring policy and supporting responsible contractors, a community can ensure their construction dollars will be used to create employment opportunities for women, young people and people of color in the construction industry.


It is because YWCA Central Massachusetts holds these organizational beliefs, commitments to justice, and understandings of racial and gender impediments that we choose to enter into this community benefit agreement.

We pledge,

To hire only responsible contractors; businesses that maintain accredited apprenticeship programs and pay workers a living wage that includes benefits.

We pledge,

That we will place hiring guidelines on the contractors and subcontractors hired for the renovation of the Salem Square YWCA that create real and achievable goals for the hiring of women, people of color, apprentices and Worcester County residents on this project.

We pledge,

Based on the current guidelines used by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), we will set a hiring policy of 15.3% people of color and 6.9% women to cover all hours of construction on this project.

We pledge,

All contractors have a “bona fide apprenticeship program,” and that 10 percent of the total work hours are completed by apprentices.  

We pledge,

To work with our General Contractor, community partners, Worcester Building Pathways, Worcester Jobs Fund and others to find candidates to assist in meeting these diversity hiring goals.

22nd Day of February, 2019

Signed,                                                                                  

Joyce Augustus, President, YWCA 
Linda Cavaioli, Exec. Director, YWCA
Anthony Consigli, Consigli Construction Co.
Brian Brousseau, President, Worcester Fitchburg Building Trades Council
Jack Donahue, Co-Chair, Worcester Community-Labor Coalition
Frank Kartheiser, Co-Chair, Worcester Community-Labor Coalition
Mayor Joseph Petty, City of Worcester

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