In his speech before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Mayor Martin Walsh honored an inspiring job training graduate of Project Hope, a nonprofit that helps low-income women and families rise out of poverty. Jasmine Vigo had come to Project Hope after escaping an abusive relationship. She was struggling to support her four children on a part-time job making $12 an hour. Through Project Hope’s 12-week training for the healthcare industry, she learned medical terminology and industry norms, conducted mock resumes, and got resume help. After completing the program, Vigo earned a full-time job handling insurance claims, making over $18 an hour and benefits, plus weekends off to spend with her kids.

L to R: Trinh Nguyen (Director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development), Sister Margaret Leonard (founder of Project Hope), Mayor Martin Walsh, Jasmine Vigo

Vigo’s success shows what is possible when it comes to economic mobility, Mayor Walsh said:

That’s a great story. It’s about a resilient, hardworking Boston mother, and the unsung heroes at our nonprofits.

It’s also about the role the city – and development – can play in making these opportunities possible. Vigo’s training was funded by the Neighborhood Jobs Trust, which directs linkage fees from large-scale commercial developments to job training programs for Boston residents.

Walsh invited the business community to join the effort as active employer partners:

We want to repeat Jasmine’s story many times over, because a strong economy depends on a secure workforce. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s the smart thing to do.

Read the Mayor’s complete remarks here. 

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