Hidden and Doing Good

 

CAFE UTEC, LowellThere is a café on a side street in Lowell where young adults with histories of incarceration or serious criminal activity are learning new job skills. With locally sourced lunch options, including banh mí sandwiches and quinoa salads, Café UTEC serves the public and is one of UTEC’s social enterprises for workforce development.UTEC, which stands for United Teen Equality Center, began working with Lowell’s youth in 1999 as a teen drop-in center. Now UTEC reaches out to youth to give them job skills, engage them in civic matters and provide intensive support services to help them succeed. With an overall mission and promise to “ignite and nurture the ambition of our most disengaged young people to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success,” UTEC’s workforce development and social enterprises include woodworking and mattress recycling programs, as well as a café and catering program, and now a community kitchen.UTEC gives young adults from Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill, ages 17–25, real experience in a supportive work environment. “We’re not just training young adults but those with a significant barrier to getting jobs,” says Dawn Grenier, director of grants & communications for the nonprofit.The café sources as much locally grown produce as possible from Lowell’s urban food production program, Mill City Grows, and will feature salads with local produce and house-made aguas frescas this summer. Cutting boards made by the woodworking division are for sale in the café.

 

CAFE UTEC, LowellThere is a café on a side street in Lowell where young adults with histories of incarceration or serious criminal activity are learning new job skills. With locally sourced lunch options, including banh mí sandwiches and quinoa salads, Café UTEC serves the public and is one of UTEC’s social enterprises for workforce development.

UTEC, which stands for United Teen Equality Center, began working with Lowell’s youth in 1999 as a teen drop-in center. Now UTEC reaches out to youth to give them job skills, engage them in civic matters and provide intensive support services to help them succeed. With an overall mission and promise to “ignite and nurture the ambition of our most disengaged young people to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success,” UTEC’s workforce development and social enterprises include woodworking and mattress recycling programs, as well as a café and catering program, and now a community kitchen.
UTEC gives young adults from Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill, ages 17–25, real experience in a supportive work environment. “We’re not just training young adults but those with a significant barrier to getting jobs,” says Dawn Grenier, director of grants & communications for the nonprofit.
The café sources as much locally grown produce as possible from Lowell’s urban food production program, Mill City Grows, and will feature salads with local produce and house-made aguas frescas this summer. Cutting boards made by the woodworking division are for sale in the café.