MassCOSH & Labor Council Unite Teens with Good Jobs

February 12, 2016

“I can’t afford to go to college.” “I need to work to support my family.” “My grades aren’t good enough.” 

Those are all too common responses when MassCOSH’s Teens Lead @ Work peer leaders ask their fellow teens about their plans after high school. With almost 30% of Boston Public high school students not graduating every year for various reasons, many see their only career options as minimum wage jobs at a retail stores, supermarkets, or factories. 

While MassCOSH’s Teens Lead @ Work includes an academic support and college scholarship assistance program to increase the opportunities for its peer leaders to attend college, not all Boston youth are able to choose that path. Determined to ensure that their fellow students have the best opportunity to land decent, safe, and well-paying union jobs, TL@W’s peer leaders have paired up with the Greater Boston Labor Council (GBLC) Futures Committee to host Pathways to Good Jobs, a jobs fair for high school students to be held on March 5.

“We thought if you needed a good job, why not do an event where you could maybe find one,” said 17-year-old peer leader Hana Do.

But Do and her fellow peer leaders didn’t want to make Pathways to Good Jobs just any career fair, they wanted something that could really change lives.

“What’s really special about this fair is the idea of Futures Committee mentors,” said TL@W youth coordinator Jenny Fernandez. “We want to hook these young people up with a mentor from the Futures Committee who could really guide them through the fair and even help them apply for a position if they want. It’s our hope that they will even stay in contact after the event and really serve as an amazing resource for the young person.”

TL@W will also hold a health and safety training for those in attendance, ensuring that even if a young person doesn't find a promising lead at the fair, they will have an understanding of their rights no matter what future they pursue.

Pathways to Good Jobs is just the latest effort of MassCOSH and the GBLC to introduce young people to the labor movement and educate them on how organized labor has made good, safe jobs available to them.

“It’s no secret, organized labor is under attack by vested interests who would like to workers stripped of their ability to fight collectively for better wages and benefits,” said Fernandez. “We hope that this fair along with all the other trainings TL@W offers young people will show the newest generation just how important organized labor is to everyone’s livelihood.”

Pathways to Good Jobs
March 5
Boston Teachers Union
180 Mount Vernon Street Dorchester
Near JFK Umass Stop on Red Line
Lunch included. Childcare available upon request. Prizes will be raffled off!

More details about Pathways to Good Jobs can be found by visiting As an added bonus, free lunch will be provided to all those who attend!