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The Millennium project in Downtown Crossing generated nearly $400,000 in workforce development dollars for the Neighborhood Jobs Trust.

The Neighborhood Jobs Trust (NJT) was created in 1987 to ensure that Boston’s low- and moderate-income residents directly benefit from large-scale real estate development in their city. The NJT collects fees from developers to fund jobs, job training, and related services throughout the city of Boston.

How NJT Works

Developers of commercial projects in Boston in excess of 100,000 square feet are required to pay “linkage fees,” based on the square footage of their project, into the trust. Currently, the linkage fee rate is $1.67 per square foot. Developers have two options when they pay their linkage fees into the trust. They can designate the money toward 1) jobs creation or 2) job contribution. Jobs creation money funds job training for workers to be employed, on a permanent basis, at the developer’s project-site. Jobs contribution money is paid into the trust to be managed by the NJT trustees to residents’ benefit.

The three trustees of the Neighborhood Jobs Trust are responsible for setting the trust’s funding priorities according to residents’ needs and current labor market conditions. The trustees, who meet quarterly, include a member of the City Council appointed by the mayor, the Director of OWD, and the Collector-Treasurer of the City of Boston. Currently, these trustees are Mark Ciommo, Trinh Nguyen, and Richard DePiano, respectively. The dispersal of NJT funds, as well as program evaluation and support, is administered by the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development.

NJT-Funded Programs

The Neighborhood Jobs Trust most recently awarded funds through an RFP process in March 2016, disbursing $1.2 million to 17 community-based organizations to serve an estimated 340 residents. NJT-funded programs prepare workers for such diverse industries as hospitality, banking and finance, web coding, locksmithing, and certified nursing assistance. The complete list of grantees can be found on our Who We Fund page, under Neighborhood Jobs Trust. The specific allotment for each program can be found here.

The NJT has also made commitments to Boston Housing Authority’s Charlestown Adult Education, SkillWorks and English for New Bostonians, enabling them to leverage NJT dollars to expand their workforce development services. Through these organizations, NJT funds adult education, English language classes, and job training.

A trainee participates in mock interviews through an NJT-funded program at YMCA Training, Inc. that prepares individuals for administrative roles in banking, insurance, and other industries.

The Tuition-Free Community College Plan, which launched in June 2016, also draws on NJT funding. The plan pays for up to three years of community college tuition and mandatory fees for income-eligible Boston Public Schools graduates. Research shows that an associate’s degree holder is nearly twice as likely to earn at least $35,000 a year as someone with only a high school degree.


In July 2016, the NJT released its first impact report, covering 2014-2015. The report showed that NJT-funded programs made a profound economic impact on city residents. Upon job placement, graduates of these programs earned an average hourly wage of $14.90 per hour – a figure above the city’s living wage, representing an average annual wage increase of 123% for these residents. Of the 180 newly employed graduates, 83% had also gained benefits.

While NJT-funded programs served residents from every neighborhood in Boston, the report found a significant portion of participants hailed from areas in need of economic support. Over half (55%) lived in Dorchester, Roxbury, or Mattapan. Among participants, 92% were people of color and 56% were women.

Further Reading