Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gala Night Raises $3,000 For Penelope's Place

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—In the battle against domestic violence, advocates, survivors, and their friends and families are focusing on stopping the problem where it most often begins—with men.
“You’re not a man if you hit a woman,” said Jamarhl Crawford, publisher and editor of The Blackstonian, who also served as the master of ceremonies for the Love Life Now Foundation’s White Ribbon Gala against domestic violence and to raise money for Brockton's Penelope's Place.
Surrounded by a crowd of more than 100 women and men, including Fox 25 News crime reporter Bob Ward, Channel 7 sports reporter Darren Haynes, members of Jane Doe Inc., and an all-male acappella group, the Unisons, from Northeastern University, Crawford spoke the words many in the room felt and were thinking.
“Cherish your woman,” Crawford said. “My Dad told me you’re a punk if you touch a woman,” he said, acknowledging when he received the Love Life Now Foundation’s inaugural White Ribbon Day Ambassador Award, as a young man he wasn't always the best boyfriend.
Now 41, Crawford said when he was in his late teens, early 20s, he intimidated women, threatened them, played mind games, controlled them, and treated them as if they were his property—an attitude that changed when he became conscious of his self and the history and culture of his African people.
Crawford said his violence as a young man wasn’t at the level of some abusers, although all of it is abuse. He said he never punched a woman or made her bleed, or caused severe physical harm.
Crawford said in general he was a violent young man who grew up in a tough environment surrounded by threats, guns, knives and intimidation.
Crawford said that it didn’t help that—like many male teens--his hormones were raging and fueled by alcohol and cocaine—substances he no longer uses.
“I work now to help women out of those situations and get the brothers off that path,” he said.
Crawford led the night of laughter, smiles, dancing and for some, like Love Life Now Foundation head Lovern Augustine—tears.
Augustine, a Brockton resident from Trinidad, won last year’s Mrs. Ethnic World competition and has used her title to advocate against domestic violence in Brockton, Boston and the world because of her mother’s gruesome abuse at the hands of her father, and her own experience with a now long-gone ex-boyfriend. After the event Augustine said the emphasis on men and women sharing in the battle against domestic violence was not lost on the crowd.
“There was a right dose of every aspect of male awareness for both men and women to take in and many have been stating that they now have information they can take back and share with their families, friends and colleagues as White Ribbon Day Ambassadors,” she said.
Augustine and a handful of others launched Love Life Now Foundation to raise awareness against domestic violence and money for New England shelters.
She is a volunteer for Penelope’s Place, a confidential emergency crisis shelter in Brockton and Friday’s event also raised money for the shelter that helps women escape abusive relationships in a hurry.
The White Ribbon Gala raised about $3,000 for Penelope’s Place.
Fox 25’s Ward, an award-winning crime reporter, who worked with Augustine at the news station, said until Augustine approached her to be a part of Friday’s gala held at the Phillips Old Colony House in Boston, he had no idea the pain and suffering Augustine and her mom went through—a silence that permeates the problem of domestic abuse.
Ward noted he has covered several local high profile cases of domestic abuse, including Hopkinton resident Neil Entwistle’s murder of wife Rachel and 9-month-old daughter Lillian, and the quadruple murder of his wife, two children and mother-in-law by seemingly well-to-do Winchester resident Thomas Mortimer IV.
Ward said when Mortimer was being led to court by police he had the chance to ask a quick question--why did you kill the kids—why did you have to kill the kids?
Ward said Mortimer did not answer, but in a lengthy written confession, Mortimer confessed his crimes and said he wished he’d written down his troubles—financial and marital—rather than keeping them bottled up until he lost all reason and killed his family because maybe they were the cause of all his problems.
Ward said male machismo and the failure to communicate problems are evidenced in many domestic murders, especially the phenomenon of family annihilation.
“He couldn’t cope with the responsibility…he was selfish and cowardly,” Ward said. “Men need to know women are not their property, children are not a burden—they are the greatest joy in life…strength is how you treat your loved ones and those you brought into the world,” he said.
During the evening’s program attendees viewed a theatrical skit by Northeastern’s, “Acting Out,” which illustrated a situation when others, such as fellow apartment dwellers, hear a verbal or physical battle in another apartment and debate whether or not it is their business to step in or call the police.
Also, every person in the room took a pledge to combat domestic violence, a pledge that will be repeated by hundreds Thursday, March 1 at the State House in Boston when the 5th annual White Ribbon Day will be held beginning at 1 p.m. followed by a week’s worth of domestic violence awareness initiatives.
Antonio Arrendel, executive director of Metanoia Community Change, and a nationally respected facilitator and conflict resolution coach who specializes in domestic violence and athletes, asked all of the men in the room to gather in front of him and answer a question.
“After a night of drinking alcohol with a woman, do you go home with her and have sex?”
The answers—ranging from “Hell, yeah,” and “No way” elicited many laughs from the crowd—and showed how difficult the problem of relationships can be—with or without violence or abuse.
The night wrapped up with roses for Penelope’s Place managers and volunteers, hugs, kisses and dancing. Crawford’s closing remarks inspired those to work in their communities toward the end of domestic violence.
“Any form of abuse is not acceptable. It’s not even on the menu,” Crawford said.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Catholic Charities Celebrates New Brockton Site

BROCKTON--Catholic Charities South will celebrates its relocation  with a special ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, March 1, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. which will be highlighted by a visit from Most Reverend John A. Dooher, South Region Bishop of Boston's Archdiocese.
The event is open to the public and attendees are asked to help restock Catholic Charities' food pantry shelves by bringing a bag of non-perishable groceries or a grocery store gift card to donate to the pantry.
Participants are asked to RSVP by contacting Nicki Meade Draves at 508-587-0815 x 264 or email norma_draves@ccab.org.
The ceremony will be held at Catholic Charities' new location at  169 Court St., Brockton.
Also in attendance will be members of the Metro South Chamber of Commerce, Deborah Kincade Rambo, President of Catholic Charities, Brockton Mayor Linda M. Balzotti, and the Catholic Charities South Advisory Board and Staff.
Catholic Charities South, one of the largest social service providers in the state, offers nearly 100 programs and services to the poor and the working poor throughout Eastern Massachusetts. 
The goal at Catholic Charities is to help people become self-sufficient, provided with the very basics of life – food, fuel and shelter. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cronin Highlights Mediation, Activism Skills In Run For 11th Plymouth

Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON--Days after State Rep. Geraldine Creedon announced she would not seek reelection to the 11th Plymouth seat, an Easton resident and Brockton native is ready to launch a campaign for the district.
Claire Cronin, 52, in an email announcing her candidacy, said she believes her skills as a lawyer and active member of the Easton and Brockton communities would bring effective leadership in the political arena.
“My mediation experience requires an ability to bring parties with different agendas together and I hope to apply this skill to make government the best it can be,” Cronin said. (Pictured, top)
Creedon, (Pictured, middle) who has had medical problems over the last few years, announced over the weekend she would not seek reelection to the seat she has filled since 1995.
The 11th Plymouth district
represents Precincts 1 through 5 in Easton and Wards 1, 3D, 7C and 7D in Brockton.
Cronin is believed to be the first candidate to announce she will seek election to Creedon’s seat.
Brockton Councilor-at-large Jass Stewart (Pictured, below) said Cronin’s announcement will not effect his decision to run for Creedon’s seat-- a run that has been speculated about in political circles for at least a year.
Stewart said in a phone call tonight he would not decide until after two meet-and-greets with residents Feb. 25 and 26 if he will make a run for Creedon’s seat.
“Whether (Creedon) was in the race or not was irrelevant to me,” Stewart said. 
Stewart said Cronin seeking the position has not prompted him to run or not run for the 11th Plymouth and repeated his Super Bowl Sunday statement that he will decide to run after taking into account the feedback he has received from constituents while out in the city and during the public meet-and-greets at the end of the month.
Cronin and any other candidate for Creedon’s seat must collect the necessary 150 signatures to be placed on the ballot for the Sept. 6 primary and, if successful in the party primary, the Nov. 6 election. 
Nomination papers are due at the city elections office May 1.
For those who may not know Cronin, here is a brief bio she provided with her email:
Cronin was born and raised in Brockton, the daughter of James and Phyllis (Lucey) McLaughlin. She is the niece of former Brockton Mayor C. Gerald Lucey.
 A 1978 graduate of Brockton High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stonehill College in 1982 and a law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1985. She is a former member of the Brockton Democratic City Committee.
Cronin lives in Easton with her husband, Ray Cronin, and their two daughters.  She has her own law practice in Brockton.  She is also a mediator at Commonwealth Mediation and Conciliation, Inc., in Brockton, where she mediates civil disputes including business, contractual, and personal injury matters.
Cronin serves on the board of Old Colony YMCA and has also been chair of the Frothingham Family YMCA’s Annual Strong Kids Campaign.
She also serves on the Foundation for Excellence in Education in Easton (FEEE), a non-profit organization that supports the students of the Easton Public Schools by raising funds for state-of-the art technology and innovative grants.  
Cronin is a member of the Easton Democratic Town Committee.

Wed. Last Day To Register For Presidential Primary

Below is a list of deadlines for voter registration from Secretary of State William Galvin's Office. 

If you are not already registered to vote, these are the deadlines for upcoming federal and state elections. 

As noted, Wednesday, TOMORROW, Feb. 15 is the last day to register for the Presidential Primary which will be held "Super Tuesday," March 6, when Republican hopefuls will get a sense of who Bay Stater's want to put up against President Barack Obama. 

Head to City Hall and register vote, otherwise...here are other ways to register, just remember...

* When registering by mail, your voter registration form must be postmarked by the deadline for you to be eligible.

To register to vote in person, you must appear and register at a registration location by 8 p.m. on the last day to register--Wednesday, Feb. 15 for the Presidential Primary.

Registration sessions will be held in cities and towns on the last day to register from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., except in towns having less than 1500 registered voters, registration sessions will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 8 p.m.
Mail-in registration forms are widely available.
The Secretary of State has a Voter Registration Form request feature to obtain a mail-in registration form or call 617-727-2828 or 1-800-462-VOTE and a form will be sent to you or you can visit the Secretary's website to download a National Voter Registration form.
Mail the completed form to your local city or town hall. You should receive a confirmation notice in 2 to 3 weeks. If you do not receive a confirmation notice, or wish to confirm your voter registration status, please contact your local City or Town Clerk to verify your voting status.
Who may register? Only a person who is:

2012 Voter Registration Deadlines

Election Type

Election Date

Voter Registration Deadline*

Presidential Primary
State Primary
State Election

Monday, February 13, 2012

Learnard's History Passion Crosses Country, Generations

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—When AmeriCorps volunteers come to Brockton to work in the community, one of their first stops before hitting the streets is to visit with John W. Learnard, a pillar of knowledge about Brockton’s history, and now the namesake of Brockton’s Shoe Museum.
“John’s passion for Brockton’s history is unparalleled,” said Matt Powers, a 20-something Pembroke native who joined AmeriCorps and met Learnard to learn a little bit about Brockton’s history.
Powers said the visit has stayed with him and dozens of AmeriCorps workers who come from all over the country to serve in Brockton.
“I’m here because of his passion for Brockton’s history,” Powers said, “and he’s spreading that passion for Brockton’s history around the country.”
Learnard, a longtime member of the historical society and past president, was honored Sunday with the dedication of the Brockton Shoe Museum in his honor.
More than 200 people attended a celebration of not only Learnard’s stewardship, but also the release of a new book, “Brockton Revisited,” by recently outgoing historical society president James E. Benson through Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series.
The foreword is written by Mayor Linda Balzotti.
Benson said the book is a trip through Brockton’s past during the 1950s and 1960s, when Rocky Marciano lived and rose to fame in the city’s Ward 2, and the book is filled with pictures of city life by photographer Stanley Bauman, whose collection has been at Stonehill College since Bauman died in 2007.
Over the last few years, Stonehill College has become a repository for Brockton-centric photographs, collections, and libraries beginning with the Bauman collection in 2007, and in June 2011 the college came to an agreement with Brockton’s Historical Society to transfer the society’s rare and unique shoe collection to Stonehill’s archive department for preservation and exhibition.
Stonehill has promised to continually display the historical society’s shoes and prevent further deterioration of the collection.
The society’s collection had been exhibited and stored at the society’s headquarters at 216 Pearl St.  where the Shoe Museum, Fire Museum, Marciano Museum and Edison Museum are located.
However, the museum building is not climate controlled and some of the shoes were being ruined by a major mold infestation, humidity and chewed by mice who found the leather tasty.
The buildings are small and many of the society’s artifacts were tucked away in the basement and attic, out-of view and rarely seen by the public.
A problem noted by Learnard Sunday when he thanked Lynn Brandenburg, daughter of Bill Rossi, who after years of balking, finally agreed to donate his extensive shoe collection to the historical society which has in turn donated to Stonehill for exhibit and research.
The Rossi collection and those donated by William Doyle were the core artifacts which launched the Shoe Museum in the 1970s and 1980s. 
“I asked him over and over again: Are you ever going to give us your collection? Absolutely not, he said, not if you’re just going to put it in that basement or an attic,” Learnard recalled.
Since the opening of a relationship with Stonehill, most notably through Archives and Historical Collections Director Nicole Tourangeau Casper, last fall negotiations began with Stonehill to receive as a loan the historical society's collections with the underlying goal to preserve them and open more of them to the public.
Many items have been moved to the Stonehill campus, but a standing exhibit will always be on view at the Pearl Street headquarters of Brockton's Historical Society. 
Learnard said with the addition of the new collections, Stonehill’s archive department is a premier facility to learn about the once thriving shoe industry.
“Now, perhaps we have the library of shoemaking in the country, maybe even the world,” Leanard said, noting the Stonehill collection maybe second to none, except possibly an archive in England.
For her part, Stonehill's Tourangeau Casper, said the college is looking forward to preserving Brockton's rich history and developing rotating exhibits for public view.
"Our goal is to help the historical society preserve and exhibits its collections," Tourangeau Casper said. "We're caretakers," she said.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Balzotti Appoints Gomes As Interim PD Chief

BROCKTON--On Friday, Feb. 10, Brockton Police Capt. Emanuel Gomes will be sworn-in as interim police chief in preparation for the retirement of current Chief William Conlon.
“The position of police chief is one of the most, if not the most important job in the city,” Mayor Linda M. Balzotti said in a prepared statement. 
“Captain Gomes has the experience and knowledge to continue the successful work being done by the Brockton Police Department,” she added.
Gomes is expected to take over for Conlon, who will be retiring after more than 6 years as chief, and 26 in the department.
The ceremony will be held at City Hall, Friday, Feb. 10 at 11 a.m. in City Council Chambers. 
The event is free and open to the public.
“A lot of very good things are going on in the Brockton Police Department, and we want to continue being a full service police department,” Gomes said in the prepared statement.  
“I intend to continue the good things Chief Conlon has put in place and maintain those standards,” he said.
A 25-year veteran of the Brockton Police Department, Gomes began his career as a patrolman in April of 1986. 
He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in April 1997.
Gomes became a Lieutenant in July 2000, and promoted to Captain in April 2002.  
Gomes has overseen operations of the department on several occasions in the chief’s absence.
 Gomes was born in Portugal and moved to Brockton’s Campello section at the age of 8.  
He attended the Huntington School and South Junior High.  He is a 1981 graduate of Brockton High School.
 Following his graduation from Brockton High School, Gomes earned an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Massasoit Community College.  
He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Roger Williams University.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Warren Visits Brockton's Cindy's Kitchen

By Lisa E. Crowley BrocktonPost BROCKTON--Democratic Party senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren spent more than an hour Monday afternoon visiting with owners and employees of Cindy's Kitchen in Brockton during campaign stops that included Brockton, Abington and New Bedford. "It was great," said Cindy's Kitchen co-owner Eddie Byers, who with his wife Cindy escorted Warren around the company's plant. Warren aide, Alethea Harney said Cindy's Kitchen was singled out because it is one of the manufacturing success stories in the state. "We want to make sure the conditions exist for these type of companies to succeed," Harney said. Warren, a Harvard professor and consumer advocate, is running against Republican Senator Scott Brown for the seat in Congress. While Warren has competition in the Democratic Party, most believe she will be the party's eventual nominee.
For his part, Byers said he was happy, but unsure how Warren and her campaign heard about Cindy's Kitchen, a producer of all natural salad dressings, marinades, dips and sauces that ship to restaurants and wholesalers across the country, including Whole Foods, Costco, and Roche Bros. Byers, a Brockton native, who began operating in 1996 and in 2008 expanded the facility to its headquarters at Minuteman Way, (correction: Industrial Way) said he is not involved in Warren's campaign and only knows he was contacted by her staff members for a visit yesterday. Harney said during Warren's travels across the state they heard great things about Cindy's Kitchen and wanted to highlight a successful manufacturer as a part of a program to continue positive conditions for small business and manufacturing growth. Harney noted Cindy's Kitchen has grown from less than 50 employees, to about 100 today, and the company hopes to double by the end of 2012. "They're a success story," Harney said. Earlier in the day, Warren visited Cafe Arpeggio and the downtown business district in New Bedford. Warren then headed to Brockton and Cindy's Kitchen, followed by a stop at Martin's Bakery in Abington. (Photo caption: Top photo: Co-owner Eddie Byers shows Warren one of the company's specialty dressings. Second photo: Warren, center, talks with Cindy Byers, left and Eddie Byers, right. Photos courtesy Cindy's Kitchen/by Justin Kane.)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Stewart State Rep Run Still Undecided

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—Councilor-at-large Jass Stewart’s decision to run against State Rep. Geraldine Creedon is still up in the air—at least until after two meet-and-greets with residents at the end of this month.
“I’ll know in March,” Stewart said during a telephone interview Sunday afternoon.
Stewart, who has said he is considering a run against Creedon, issued an email Saturday whose subject was titled “Serving as your State Representative,” which some took as a signal Stewart was all-in for a run at the state position.
Creedon has represented Brockton and Easton as the 11th Plymouth District Rep since 1995.
Stewart said in fact he received several emails congratulating him on his decision to run and wishing him good luck.
However, Stewart said his mind is not made up, and the two meet-and-greets scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26, will be the final information gathering sessions.
“I want to hear what the public has to say about where I can do the best for Brockton,” Stewart said.
The meet-and-greets are open to the public.
The first will be held Saturday, Feb. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the home of John and Holly Thomas, 221 Depot St., South Easton.
The second will be held Sunday, Feb. 26 from 1 to 3 p.m at the home of Gary Lyon and Joe Rucker, 117 Fairview Ave., Brockton.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Patrick Highlights Massasoit In Community College $ Appeal

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BrocktonPost<br />
BROCKTON--<span style="color: red;">FROM GOV. DEVAL PATRICK:</span><br />
<br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">We have 240,000 people looking for work and
nearly 120,000 open jobs today in Massachusetts.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">&nbsp;How can we have so much opportunity available
and so many people still looking for a chance?&nbsp;
<br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">Business leaders tell me over and over again
that it is because the people looking for jobs don’t have the skills
required.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">Many of these openings are for
“middle skills” jobs that require more than a high school diploma but not
necessarily a four-year degree: jobs in medical device manufacturing or lab
technicians or solar installers, for example.&nbsp;
And a lot of those forced by the economic downturn to make a change in
their careers, people in their thirties or forties or fifties, don’t have the proper
training for those jobs.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">We have a
“skills gap.”</span><span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">&nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">We
can do something about that.&nbsp; We can help
people get back to work.&nbsp; And our
community colleges should be at the center of it.</span>
<br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">For
the work they do, community colleges rarely receive proper recognition, let
alone adequate funding.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">I have visited many
of our community colleges and seen their good work.&nbsp; They are an important resource, and we must
ask more of them.</span>
<br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">At Massasoit Community College right now,
students in the one-year Medical Assistant program learn hands on skills
through an 8-week clinical internship at a local facility.&nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">This is good - - but
we need more of it and we need it everywhere.&nbsp;
<br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">We need that kind of sharper mission across
the Commonwealth, so that community colleges become a fully integrated part of
the state’s workforce development plan.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">Our
colleges must be aligned with employers, voc-tech schools and the Workforce
Investment Boards in the regions where they operate; aligned with each other in
core course offerings; and aligned with the Commonwealth’s job growth
strategy.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">We can’t do that if 15
different campuses have 15 different strategies.&nbsp; We need to do this together.&nbsp; We need a unified community college <u>system</u>
in Massachusetts.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">Our competitors –
states like Virginia, North Carolina and Washington – have instituted unified
systems and are using them to their competitive advantage.&nbsp; </span>
<br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">I have proposed a $10 million increase in
state funding for community colleges to help them meet this mission – and I
have challenged the business community to come up with a match to help make
this a reality. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">It is not unreasonable
for community colleges to ask for more resources to support their mission; and
it is not unreasonable to ask for them to be more accountable to our workforce
development strategy in exchange. </span>
<br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">Given how important community colleges are to
their local cities and towns, some are concerned that this proposal would mean
Beacon Hill is telling their campus what to do.&nbsp;
I don’t want that any more than you do.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">&nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">The goal of this proposal is to ensure that
community colleges have the tools they need to be as responsive as possible to
the job openings <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">in their region.</i>&nbsp; Creating a more unified system is not about
losing local control; it is about connecting every city and town to the full
range of economic possibilities in the Commonwealth.&nbsp; It’s about making sure a large employer in
Boston knows that there is a skilled workforce in Brockton and reason to expand
there.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">It’s about making sure the small
business in Canton has a convenient, locally focused, fully supported resource
to help its workers build careers in Norfolk County and grow the economy
there.&nbsp; </span>
<br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">The problem we are trying to fix is the
skills gap; the problem is not the community colleges.&nbsp; The community colleges are the solution.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">&nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">The
challenge facing people looking for work, people in doubt about the future of
their American Dream and their place in the workforce belongs to all of us. We
can meet that challenge if we work together.&nbsp;
&nbsp;</span><br />
<span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 200%;">For the good of the Commonwealth and the sake of our future, we must.</span>
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