SevenHills ASPiRE Brings Workforce Readiness to Worcester, MA

By Deborah Drew

ASPIRATION: A hope or ambition of achieving something

At SevenHills, ASPiRE is their “middle name” and what this non-profit organization achieves is nothing short of ambitious.  The mission of Seven Hills Family ASPiRE!, an Affiliate of Seven Hills Foundation, is to promote and encourage the empowerment of people with significant challenges so that each may pursue their highest possible degree of personal well-being and independence.  Services include adult day programming and job skills development and employment opportunities that are provided throughout Central Massachusetts, North Central and South Valley. Its new Workforce Readiness and Employment program provides a pathway to employment for individuals with disabilities, and it now also has a new historical site at which program participants can experience real time employment.

“We are grateful to The National Grid Foundation for its generous $25,000 grant to Seven Hills ASPiRE! towards our Workforce Readiness and Employment program. These much-appreciated funds were instrumental in helping us launch a new community-based workforce readiness and job-training site, Seven Hills Café, located in the former Stearns Tavern at Coe’s Park in Worcester” commented Kathleen Jordan, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Seven Hills Foundation.  “This job training site is particularly meaningful as it provides real-time training experiences in a community setting for the individuals we support and helps prepare them for competitive employment in their own community.”

ASPiRE Participant, Anne Chandler, outside of the new Seven Hills Café along with Jay Hayston, Vice President of Seven Hills ASPiRE! And Tim Johnson, Assistance Vice President of Seven Hills ASPiRE!


The new Seven Hills Café at Coe’s Park – opened in collaboration with the City of Worcester and Preservation Worcester, is the fourth Café that is operated by Seven Hills and participants of the Seven Hills’ Workforce Readiness and Employment program.  In addition to internship tracks in Café management, food service, landscaping, and facilities maintenance, paid interns help to coordinate and provide catering for the on-site community meeting space.

Seven Hills Workforce Readiness and Employment program provides over 300 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism and brain injury with functional vocational assessments, career planning, soft skills training, job-specific training, job placement, on-site job coaching, and more on an annual basis.

About National Grid Foundation:

National Grid Foundation was created to enhance the quality of life across its grant making territory. The Foundation’s ongoing challenge is to create opportunities for solutions to educational and environmental issues. Its objective is based on the principle that giving people the tools to build hope is an essential ingredient in the development of individuals, families and communities. Since its inception in December of 1998, the Foundation now in its 21st year has granted nearly $27 million to local community organizations.

To find out more about the National Grid Foundation visit:

To view the latest issue of Destiny: Destiny Q4 2019

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