An Act to: Support the Commonwealth and its Residents

Poverty, for many, is inescapable. Education and training are essential for well being and job function. Low-income families would benefit most from education and training, but are least likely to receive it. In order for low-income families to access better paying jobs an effort needs to be made to help them attain the training necessary. Crittenton Women's Union (CWU) is a Boston based non-profit whose mission is to help low-income women and families attain economic independence. CWU has made an effort to help low-income families by filing legislation to address the need for educational aid. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education recently found that those with the lowest income are spending almost 40% of their income annually on education and training in MA. With all of these barriers present for low-income workers, CWU felt it was time to address this longstanding issue.

With the support of many partners, CWU crafted comprehensive legislation, filed in the Massachusetts Legislature in January, to address the pressing need for expanded investment in the education and training of low-income workers. Sen. James B. Eldridge (D-Acton), with the support of Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester), introduced The Workers Pathways to Self-Sufficiency Act of 2009 <

 The act recapitalizes the Educational Rewards Grant Program for working adults and provides funding for student success programs to help Educational Rewards students stay in school. Also, it requires the Department of Transitional Assistance to encourage low-income parents receiving assistance to pursue the training necessary to obtain family-supporting jobs.

The Pathways to Self-Sufficiency Act of 2009 provides millions of dollars in funding; allowing working adults to attend school part or full-time. Common struggles for low-income families include paying bills, finding childcare, holding a job and/or going to school. The act allows for these low income students to receive adequate support and assistance before, during and after completing their educational programs.  

The act not only brightens the student's futures, but also the future of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth would benefit from having skilled workers serving in its communities. For economic growth, The Workers Pathway to Self-Sufficiency Act is an investment in our state, its residents and our communities.    

Jessica Bavuso

Marketing and Communications Intern

Crittenton Women's Union