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By DTA Commissioner Dan Curley

Recently, the Department was privileged to host distinguished members of Congress and the state Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, for events at three of our local Transitional Assistance Offices (TAOs).  The purpose was to highlight how DTA programs help clients move toward self-sufficiency. The events were ideal opportunities to illustrate how DTA collaborates with clients to assist them to gain new skills, find meaningful employment, and move their families forward.


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Congressman Richard Neal, EOHHS Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, M.D., and DTA Commissioner Daniel Curley heard from six current and former DTA clients in Holyoke.

 

On Monday, July 16, Congressman Richard Neal and Secretary Bigby joined us at the Holyoke TAO to hear from six current and former clients who participated in Employment Services Programs (ESP) through the DTA Works Internship Program or job training through Holyoke Community College.

This online press release details the event. The Springfield Republican joined us in Holyoke and wrote a great story about the event.

Similarly, on June 12th, we hosted an event in the Lowell TAO; Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Secretary Bigby, and seven current and former clients who participated in ESP programs through DTA Works and the Lowell Career Center participated in the discussion.  Clients shared their stories, reflecting on how support from DTA programs has helped them transition towards self-sufficiency, and many no longer need assistance.


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Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, EOHHS Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, and DTA Commissioner Dan Curley met with seven current and former DTA clients at the Lowell TAO.

 

On May 23rd, Congressman Jim McGovern and Secretary Bigby joined us at the Worcester TAO to hear the stories of seven current and former participants in ESP through DTA Works, Workforce Central, and New England Business Associates.

Jahaira Labonte, a married mother of two children, whose husband is living with a disability, shared her story. Cash and food assistance programs stabilized her family’s living conditions and gave her the support to participate in a nursing assistance program, from which she graduated in March. With a nursing assistance license, Ms. Labonte recently landed a job and has begun what she hopes will be a promising career in the health field.

“I cannot tell you how much more confident I am in myself and in my ability to achieve the goals in my life,” Ms. Labonte said.

I am grateful to everyone who participated in the success of these events; I’d especially like to commend our current and former clients for their courage and their remarkable achievements.  Stories like theirs demonstrate the realities of how most people use transitional benefits as a bridge out of hardship to find employment for themselves and stability for their families.


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Congressman James McGovern, EOHHS Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, and DTA Commissioner Dan Curley heard the success stories of seven current and former DTA clients at the Worcester TAO.

 

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