Workforce Development & Social Enterprise

The Workforce Development and Social Enterprise program provides youth most in need the opportunity to gain valuable job skills and real earnings to help them pursue positive life choices.  While in the program, participants develop healthy life skills, job readiness (soft) skills, industry specific (hard) skills and financial literacy skills that prepare them for professional and personal pursuits beyond UTEC.  Youth are required to enroll in UTEC's HiSET class, and the program incentivizes HiSET obtainment.  Knowing that the youth we work with have a number of life challenges to surmount, we offer them multiple chances to excel in the program. The ultimate goal of the program is to help youth develop a pathway to a long-term career and expose them to post-secondary educational opportunities that would otherwise be unattainable.

The Workforce Development program features industry-specific social enterprises in the culinary arts and mattress recycling & building trades. All begin with the acronym FRESH which stands for Focused on Real Employment Skills and Habits. The Workforce Development program provides financial sustainability for UTEC, as youth earn their income through contracts with business and individuals and work under the supervision of UTEC staff. Through the management of small, profit generating businesses, we are able to reduce the cost of our programming while simultaneously providing invaluable on-the-job training to our teens.  Additionally, youth leaders are engaged in the building and management of our businesses, further igniting their entrepreneurial spirit. 

Why choose UTEC's FRESH Crews?

  • Show your support of the community with crew members who wear UTEC uniforms.
  • Receive acknowledgement of your business on the UTEC website and print materials.
  • Employ Lowell youth who seek to make positive life change.
  • Support the planet and health of your employees by hiring businesses that focus on green practices in the culinary arts and building maintenance.