WORCESTER, MASS. – Today, U.S. Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-02), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, and Mark Bilotta, CEO of Worcester-based Massachusetts Education and Career Opportunities, Inc. (MassEdCO) announced that the U. S. Department of Education has awarded MassEdCO $11.3 million over the next five years to provide education and career readiness services to some 8,000 low-income, underrepresented students and adults looking to access some type of postsecondary education.
More than $9 million will support its Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) located throughout the Commonwealth and which serve some 7,000 adults (19 years of age and older).
“Our EOC program is one of the original 13 projects from the 1970’s which, over the years, has grown to become the nation’s largest provider of EOC services,” said Mark Bilotta.
In addition, MassEdCO was also awarded $2.1 million over the next 5 years to support its Educational Talent Search (ETS) project, designed to provide similar services to some 800 low-income, underrepresented middle and high school students in Worcester, Southbridge and New Bedford public schools. MassEdCO has operated an ETS project since 1991.
“These Department of Education grants represent transformative investments in our young people, and I’m thrilled that MassEdCO has been recognized for their long-standing and incredible work,” said Congressman McGovern. “Across the country, decades of systematic underinvestment in low-income communities has created tremendous barriers to accessing higher education. I will continue to strongly support federal programs that help our most disadvantaged youth get the tools necessary to achieve their academic dreams. I applaud MassEdCO for their sustained commitment to preparing all students for their future careers in the 21st century economy.”
Bilotta noted that “All our programs are designed to provide low-income, underrepresented students and adults with free postsecondary education advising services which assist them in making sound academic/career and financial choices. Those services range from career exploration to college application assistance, financial literacy and financial aid counseling. In the end, we see our work as providing equity to those who have historically been disenfranchised and disproportionately impacted by turbulent economic times, including the current pandemic.”