WOU began services in Lowell, Massachusetts in the fall of 1995. We have since grown our coverage area to the South Shore, Merrimack Valley, Greater Boston, Worcester, Attleboro, Plymouth, Leominster and Springfield. We work with multiple referral sources (see below) throughout the state. We also have grown to over 30 team members so if you are interested in a career with us please check out our "Join Our Team" page as their are many exciting opportunities in the Massachusetts area. Thank you for visiting our Massachusetts page and please don't hesitate to call us if you have any questions.
Erica Feldman, a Career Resource Specialist with Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU), helps adults and youths find, secure and keep meaningful employment. She helps with job placement and preparation, including writing resumes, practicing interviews, writing appropriate cover letters and more.
Previously working in WOU's Maryland office, she recently transferred to the company's Woburn, MA location, where she serves clients in Woburn, Burlington, Cambridge, Somerville and Lynn.
In her new role, Erica works with youth at Somerville High School's Special Education program and with students at Fecteau Leary, an alternative school in Lynn. At Fecteau Leary, Erica works with students who had been removed from mainstream schools because of personal challenges. Now, they have to "earn" the privilege of working with WOU by having good attendance, grades and behavior. Erica and her coworkers place the students in appropriate jobs and work assessments, mentor them and encourage them to make good life choices.
She has placed some students in stores, like Off Broadway Shoes, where they've been responsible for working on the sales floor, organizing product, and keeping the store tidy. These positions allow the students to learn what it's like to work in a retail environment.
"The program has been very successful. Everyone is very happy with the boys' work," Erica explained.
WOU will soon place students at the Lynn YMCA, where they'll work as youth program assistants, helping with after-school, drop-in and summer camp programs.
"Working at the YMCA will give these students with tough backgrounds the opportunity to work in a supportive environment. The YMCA jobs will not only give them a pay check, but will also give them a place to go after school, allowing them to be role models for at-risk youths," Erica explained. "It gives them something to put on their resume, and also allows them to give back to their community."
At Somerville High, Erica teaches Special Ed students how to write a resume, search for a job, and conduct themselves in an interview. She offers weekly one-on-one support, mentoring and job placement opportunities.
"Our program helps these students achieve a lot. They get the experience of working, clocking in and out, reporting to a boss, taking on responsibility, learning the importance of a good work ethic - and the excitement of earning a paycheck," Erica continued.
Erica also supports adults and youths at the Department of Child and Family Services, and the Department of Developmental Services. She helps with job placement, and also supports these clients on the job. For instance, she recently placed a man in a "porter" job at K-Mart, where he's responsible for collecting carts, cleaning restrooms, carrying out purchases and stocking products. She coaches and supports him, and takes pride that he's become the "go to guy" at that store.
"One of the core values at WOU is that it's our responsibility to change the world of work," Erica explained.
"I assisted a man with emotional challenges in obtaining a position at a car dealership, and his manager sat me down to tell me what a difference she has noticed in her own staff since he had joined the team. She reported that the entire team is much more pleasant at work. They see him show up every day with a positive attitude - despite his challenges - so they can surely do the same." Erica continued. "We have many success stories like this."
When Erica wanted to move closer to her family and friends in the Boston area, WOU was able to transfer her from Maryland to her current position in Massachusetts earlier this fall. She raves about how helpful and accommodating the WOU team is, and looks forward to contributing to more workplace triumphs in the future.
Emilio Rosa has had some personal challenges over the past year and came to Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU) in February 2010 for help finding employment. WOU placed him at a department store in Wilmington, MA, where he worked as a merchandise processing associate. As it turned out, this retail store wasn't an ideal fit for Emilio.
"Emilio is a great example of an employee overcoming challenges in the workplace. He overcame some personal issues, and then was in a position that wasn't the right fit. He was discouraged in his previous position, but was motivated enough to come to WOU to improve his situation," said Dan Greensmith, Career Resource Specialist, at Work Opportunities Unlimited.
WOU assisted him in securing employment at Marshalls in Tewksbury, MA, where he's now one of the most successful employees at that store. He's working as a store associate, helping with sales and working at the cash register. He's proven himself to be flexible, offering to work any hours needed. He's able to work at his own pace, and has shown that he's self-motivated and responsible. Emilio has a great attitude, getting along well with his managers and peers at Marshall's. He's within walking distance of his Lowell home, and is thrilled to have a significantly shorter, less expensive commute. He's become a valued employee, and his bosses praise him for his strengths, including excellent customer service skills, great interpersonal skills and reliability. In fact, Emilio’s being considered for a promotion to service coordinator, an entry-level management position.
"Now, he's much more successful - and thriving in his workplace. He's proven to be dependable, friendly and a true team player. He's even being considered for a promotion," Greensmith continued. "The WOU team is so proud that Emilio could triumph over his difficulties and achieve great things - in work and in life."