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Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts Sponsors HiSET Classes for Way Finders Clients
Springfield, MA— The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts awarded Way Finders a grant to provide HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) preparation classes to 15 participants in their stabilization and shelter programs, free of charge. Instructors from Springfield Technical Community College’s Adult Learning Center will be facilitating these classes which begin in October.
“Unfortunately, many of our program participants come to us without a completed high school education. This is a huge barrier for individuals looking to obtain decent, stable employment opportunities they need in order to take their next step to more permanent housing,” said Maegan Pedemonti, Manager of Employment Support Services at Way Finders.
Studies have shown that the average annual salary for someone who has not completed a high school education is nearly ten thousand dollars less than those who have completed high school.
“Every person that we work with has an idea of what they are interested in and what they are capable of doing for work. Together we develop a plan that Way Finders supports. Our staff guides clients through every step along their employment journey,” said Pedemonti.
Last year, Way Finders placed over 100 individuals in jobs with an average wage of $13.47 per hour, $2.47 over the state of Massachusetts’ minimum wage.
Way Finders’ Employment Support Services department was created as an alternative to the ever growing wait list for Section 8 Housing Vouchers, which is currently over ten years long. By providing employment support services, Way Finders is able to get individuals into stable, well-paying jobs that allow participants to maintain stable housing and their families to thrive.