Boston Mayor Walsh to Visit Students in Wentworth Training Program

January 13, 2020

students holding up a sign

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Wentworth President Mark A. Thompson and others will tour the STRIVE Wentworth recycling base in the Annex Building on campus, 550 Parker Street, Boston; then the facilities maintenance operation at 610 Huntington Ave. The visit is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 16.

STRIVE stands for Supported Training to Reach Independence through Vocational Experiences.

Over the past 30 years, Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Physical Plant Department has supported more than 5,600 Boston Public School students in the STRIVE Wentworth Training Program. Since 1988, Wentworth has opened its campus to students with unique learning needs and provided opportunities for those individuals to practice, learn, earn and gain authentic work experiences. That partnership has provided students with valuable vocational skills and prepared them for competitive employment. The Wentworth Training Program provides vocational opportunities for Boston Public School students, ages 18-22, who receive special education services.

The vocational experience is a paid internship and students start with a recycling component. Many of the interns can be seen walking the Wentworth campus daily, collecting recyclable materials and emptying up to 689 blue bins from Wentworth offices, dorms and classrooms. Most STRIVE students at Wentworth move on to a facilities management component, where they provide custodial services. Interns can work up to 4-hour shifts on campus, earning the minimum wage of $12.75 an hour. After transitioning from the STRIVE program at age of 22, most of the students gain postsecondary employment opportunities in federal buildings, hotels, and various businesses across the city, according to Brenda Tañón-Jackson.

This program leads to internships, externships, employment and post graduate opportunities in the fields of Facilities Management, Hospitality, Customer Service, Business Management, and Public Works (recycling).   Ninety five percent of the students who have participated in STRIVE's vocational training program at Wentworth have gone on to find competitive employment—real jobs. That’s nearly 5,600 who have found work due to the success of the Wentworth –BPS partnership.

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