This month, the Somerville First Source Jobs Initiative (SFSJI) celebrates one year of connecting local job seekers with local jobs here in Somerville. Launched in spring 2014, the Somerville Community Corporation (SCC) has been working with the City of Somerville and The Career Place (TCP) to build career services for local residents, and establish partnerships with Somerville employers to commit to hiring locally.
Stemming from SCC’s Jobs for Somerville organizing work, and adopting successful first source models from across the country, SCC launched and managed SFSJI through a $50,000 workforce development contract with the City of Somerville. Beginning with soft-skills workshops and individual case management, SFSJI quickly expanded its vision, participation and impact throughout the year. TCP has a central role in workshop facilitation and job development, leading us to offer more diverse and specialized trainings, hard skill clinics and tools to better assist job seekers. Throughout it all there has been an emphasis on supporting residents, like Monica Sepúlveda, facing barriers to employment.
“Joining the Somerville First Source Jobs Program impacted my life in a positive way. I decided to join
the program because I was looking for other job opportunities. I also needed to be more prepared when
applying for jobs, creating a targeted résumé and feeling more confident during the interviews. SCC
always sends me great job opportunities based on my professional background, informs me about job
fairs, and offers workshops led by experts. First Source is an excellent option that prepares people to be
successful in their job search.”
By the close of its first year, SFSJI has already made a tremendous impact. This illustrates the value of this program design in response to a clear need and demand for this type of program in Somerville. The City sees this value and is developing a contract to extend its agreement with SCC for a second year. This contract, combined with other funding sources, will enable SCC and its partners to continue to sustain and build the Somerville First Source Jobs Initiative program.
SFSJI on its own has accomplished so much in a small amount of time, but the broader impact throughout Somerville and the region is greater still. Here are some the ways that SFSJI is building a more sustainable and equitable Somerville:

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