UMass, UMass Global, and Mass General Brigham to prepare 1,000 unemployed, underemployed, individuals to serve as MGB front-line healthcare workers

September 19, 2022

A healthcare worker wearing scrubs and making a heart shape with their hands.

Ready to Work initiative fueled by $5M from Boston’s Good Jobs Challenge grant award from U.S. Commerce Dept.’s Economic Development Administration

BOSTON (September 16, 2022) – More than 1,000 unemployed and underemployed individuals, including current Mass General Brigham workers, will be offered training and education opportunities provided by University of Massachusetts Global to help them transition into front-line health care jobs under an expanded collaboration between the Mass General Brigham hospital network, the University of Massachusetts Office of the President, and UMass Global.

This Ready to Work initiative is funded by a $5 million grant, which is part of the City of Boston’s Good Jobs Challenge initiative supported by a $23 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs grant spearheaded by the city’s Office of Workforce Development. The broader Good Jobs initiative aims to upskill workers in the health care, childcare, energy, and climate resilience sectors.

“This important funding will connect participating residents with more than 4,000 living wage jobs and crucial support services,” Mayor Wu said about the $23 million Good Jobs grant. “This grant will accelerate our work to make Boston a city for everyone and connect our residents with opportunities in healthcare, childcare and clean energy. I’m grateful to the Biden Administration for their partnership and our Office of Workforce Development team for their leadership in securing this critical grant.”

The newly created $5 million Ready Work initiative builds on successful pilot programs previously launched by UMass, UMass Global, and MGB, to develop certificate and degree completion pathways for MGB employees. MGB is the largest employer in Massachusetts.

"This initiative expands on a strong partnership that UMass enjoys with Mass General Brigham,” said Marty Meehan, President of the University of Massachusetts. “UMass-educated doctors, nurses, and many others are contributing to Mass General Brigham's world-class treatment of patients, and now, with UMass Global, we are collaborating to help grow and strengthen their workforce. I want to thank Mayor Wu and her Office of Workforce Development team for supporting this initiative and for the innovative work they are doing to accelerate economic mobility in the health care sector.”

With a focus on diversifying the health care workforce, over the 3-year grant period, Mass General Brigham will partner with UMass Global to train candidates to enter roles such as certified clinical medical assistants, practice/administrative assistant, phlebotomist, pharmacy technicians, and EKG technicians, with some program offerings being available immediately and others phasing-in over the grant’s term. The grant period has an anticipated start date of September 1, 2022, and all grant activities must conclude by September 30, 2027.

“At UMass Global, we take seriously the need to ensure that people of all backgrounds have access to programs that can prepare them to serve as health care workers within the Mass General Brigham network,” said UMass Global Chancellor David Andrews. “The mayor’s Good Jobs initiative will bolster our ability to help even more Boston area residents gain the skills they need to qualify for these important career opportunities We congratulate Mayor Wu and her Office of Workforce Development on their ability to make this collaboration possible on behalf of the residents they serve.”

The Ready to Work model removes financial barriers to entry by offering a no-cost, 3-month training and education program to unemployed and underemployed individuals and interested MGB workers. Current entry-level workers in housekeeping, food service and environment services throughout the MGB network, as well as unemployed individuals, will be targeted for this program. Recruitment strategies will focus on communities of color in the Roxbury and Dorchester neighborhoods of Boston and throughout the state.

“Employment is empowerment and has numerous benefits for both the individual and the broader community. At Mass General Brigham, each day we see the positive impact a career can have on health and wellness multiplied by recruiting talent from our diverse communities. By participating in this multi-sector grant award, made possible through the leadership of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD), we will be able to scale some of the many accomplishments we have realized to date through our longstanding partnership with the OWD and gain the funding to expand our work with UMass Global, a partnership we see as vital to our ongoing work to ensure that the people in our organization reflect the diverse communities we are so proud to serve,” said Rosemary Sheehan, Chief Human Resources Officer, Mass General Brigham.



About the City of Boston’s $23 million grant

The City of Boston has been awarded a $23 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. This grant will establish a Regional Workforce Training System (RWTS) that will focus on training and placement for 4,618 quality jobs within targeted industries including healthcare, clean energy, and child care. As the lead applicant, the Mayor of Boston’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD) brought together organizations that serve unemployed, underemployed, incumbent workers, community college students, and BIPOC individuals within the Greater Boston Region. More than 100 local employers will create opportunities and connect the region’s workers to training and career pathways within the childcare, healthcare, and clean energy industries, over a three-year grant period, beginning in October 2022.

About the Good Jobs Challenge

The Good Jobs Challenge is administered by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and will enable communities across the country to invest in new approaches to workforce development to secure job opportunities for about 50,000 Americans. The Good Jobs Challenge is designed to help get Americans back to work by developing holistic regional workforce systems with strong sectoral and employer partnerships that will lead to good-paying jobs.

UMass Global
University of Massachusetts Global is a private, nonprofit online institution affiliated with University of Massachusetts and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, credential, and certificate programs designed to be relevant to more than 90 career paths. UMass Global serves about 23,000 students, about 16,000 of whom are enrolled in academic credit programs. UMass Global offers fully online courses for students anywhere in the United States and for military personnel serving abroad. For more information, visit the university’s

About Mass General Brigham

Mass General Brigham is an integrated academic healthcare system, uniting great minds in medicine to make a life-changing impact on patients in our communities and people around the world. Mass General Brigham connects a full continuum of care across a system of academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, physician networks, community health centers, home care, and long-term care services. Mass General Brigham is a non-profit organization that is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Mass General Brigham is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts:

Terri M. Carbaugh, UMass Global Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs:

Andrew Edwards, UMass Global Senior Multimedia News Writer:

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