Young Adult Employment Initiative (YAEI)

In today’s job market, only 1 out of 4 youth are finding jobs. Compare that to 1999 when 1 out of 2 could find jobs!

This staggering statistic was the consequence of youth employment hitting and all-time low of 26%.
This is the problem YAEI is specifically dedicated to solving by providing the information and real world work experience necessary to succeed in a dynamic 21st century workplace.



The Young Adult Employment Initiative works to empower disadvantaged and disengaged youth through education and work experiences that lead to careers with growth potential. YAEI gives young adults the tools to overcome barriers and move into self-sustaining employment in sectors of the economy where there is a need.

Access and exposure are the guiding elements of YAEI as inexperienced young workers traverse the path to career success. Career exploration and hands-on learning are key to gaining an understanding of the job market and finding the best fit in terms of employment.


It takes a collaborative effort among industry, education, organized labor, and community organizations to build and implement strategies to achieve its mission. These partnerships create a support network for young job seekers and develop a pipeline of skilled workers for Massachusetts employers.

YAEI focuses on:

  • Jobs for young people where they gain the skills needed to succeed in the current economy
  • Technical and social skills necessary to maneuver successfully in today’s workplace
  • Career pathways through post-secondary education and apprenticeships
  • A social and professional network that provides opportunities to gain exposure to and experience in a variety of work environments prior to deciding on a career
  • Support services to help those facing specific barriers address and overcome obstacles.

YAEI Success Story

Participants in YAEI are much more than statistics. The results of this program are real and young job seekers make life changing achievements every day.

Client Testimonial portrait
My name is Alejandro, and I’m a 19-year-old high school student. My parents split up when I was a kid, and my mother and I lived with my grandparents. My mother helped my grandparents with the rent and other expenses until she remarried and moved out. I stayed with my grandparents, but I didn’t make enough money at my entry-level job to cover any of the bills. The stress led me to drugs, and I’ve been in and out of rehabilitation programs more than once.I missed so many days of school, that in my senior year I was told I would not graduate due to absences. Now that I was clean, I began an online curriculum program, and I approached the high school career specialist. I told her I was, “in dire need of a job.” She helped me write a resume, cover letter, and reference sheet; and she spent time with me practicing answers to interviews questions.I interviewed and was offered a position at AXLE Brand Promotions, a marketing and events organization. With this job I can finally help my grandparents. Last winter I purchased pellet fuel to heat the house, and I paid for groceries and other things.
For the first time in my life I am feeling successful.

Programs and Services

July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014

ProgramSummaryLocationYouth Served
Connecting ActivitiesCareer Specialists work in high schools, providing career exploration, pre-employment skills, jobs and internshipsBellingham, Framingham, Natick and Waltham3,721
Employment & Training Resources Community GrantProvides core career services and employer development to youth 16–21Framingham, Marlborough, Waltham491
Future Skills Institute/TempoProvides career readiness and job placement for youth 17–24Framingham193
ETR WIA Intensive Youth ServicesWorks with youth 14–21 to attain educational, occupational and career goals as well as job placement and community resourcesFramingham, Marlborough and Waltham253
Marlboro Summer Jobs ProgramYouth in summer jobs/training for the City of MarlboroughMarlborough7
YouthWorks Youth in jobs/training in the non-profit sectors Framingham101
Employment Options/Workforce Investment Act Intensive Youth ServicesCooking Up a Career, an intensive WIA career trackMarlborough19
Total: 4,785

Youth Demographics and Outcomes

July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014


Young Adult Initiative Board

The Young Adult Initiative Board designs programs and approves funding for youth programs in the region.

Robert Bower, Chair
Special Advisor to the President for Workforce Development Massachusetts AFL/CIO

Russell Ashton

Sue Baldauf
Director, Bedford Youth and Family Services

Scott Coleman
New England Regional Apprentice Coordinator, New England Laborers’ Training Trust Fund Apprenticeship Program

Chris Duane
Senior Vice President, Operations Boys and Girls Club of Metro West

Donald Giancioppo
General Manager, G4S Secure Solutions (USA)

Cathy Glover
Grants Management Director, MetroWest Health Foundation

Martin Levins
Managing Director, Global Access Partners

Louise Meyer
Representative Town of Norwood

Della Newell
Peer Mentor Wayside Youth & Family Support Network

Yolanda Ortiz
Director of Tempo, Wayside Youth & Family Network

Diane Krentzman Porter
District Sales Coordinator, Aflac, DKP Benefits, LLC

Beth Toolan
Executive Director, Waltham Partnership for Youth

Kim Votruba-Matook
Marketing and Development Coordinator, Marlborough Hospital

Jane Willshire
Recruitment Account Manager, Philips North America

YAEI – Contact Information

Kelley French
Program Director
508-281-6910 x4

Jan Iacovelli
Program Assistant
508-281-6910 x5

Connecting Activities

Bellingham High School
Career Specialist Lynn Myatt

Framingham High School
Career Specialist Linda Curtis

Marlborough High School
Career Specialist Diana Boudreau
508-460-3500 x7263

Norwood High School
Career Specialist Richard Mobley

Waltham High School
Career Specialist Jeff Childs

Youth Works

Future Skills Institute, Framingham
Career Specialist Patty Gorman

Career Connections

Employment and Training Administration
Framingham, Marlborough, and Waltham
Patricia Lucier, Program Manager

Massachusetts Advanced Pathways Program (MAPP)
Marlborough High School
MAPP Pathways Specialist,
Laura Bilazarian Purutyan
508-460-3500 x7737