Site logo
        • Cropped portrait of an attractive female construction worker standing on a building site with her colleagues in the background
          • How We Can Help
            See how SNAP Path to Work can help you achieve your career goals and support your family’s success.
          • Programs and Services
            SNAP Path to Work offers a variety of education and training programs and supports designed to help you prepare for, find, and succeed in your next job.
          • Eligibility Requirements
            Interested? Find out who can enroll in SNAP Path to Work and how to get started.
          • Find a Provider
            Find free SNAP Path to Work education and training opportunities near you. DTA partners with community colleges, MassHire Career Centers, and community-based organizations across the state.
        • Do you think this will help the company?
          • Recruitment Events
            Find and attend a recruitment webinar or other event in your area.
          • How it Works
            Learn about the qualifications to become a provider and associated benefits.
  • Provider Login
Roca, Inc.
  • 101 Park Street, Chelsea, MA 02150
  • 617-889-5210
  • Work Readiness Training
Workforce Readiness and Training
Program activities:

Overall Roca Programming Model
Many participants have dropped out of school, have criminal records, and have little work experience. Perhaps more importantly, these young people are not ready, willing or able to engage in traditional work or programming. For these reasons, Roca structured its programming to not only engage participants into educational activities that will promote employment over time, but to balance that with critical skills around emotional regulation and managing their barriers to employment and education. As a result, all Roca services are delivered as part of Roca’s larger Intervention Model. This Intervention Model has four key components: 1) relentless outreach; 2) transformational relationships – or intensive case management; 3) stage-based programming; and 4) engaged institutional partnerships. The programs below are all part of the stage-based programming.

Workforce Readiness
Roca has integrated formal Workforce Readiness Criteria (WRC) that must be met for all participants that complete our educational, pre-vocational, and employment programming. Roca has trained staff members dedicated specifically to ensuring that participants meet specific goals within the four major WRC headings: Basic Needs; Workforce Readiness Workshops; Workforce Behaviors & Demonstrated Skill Assessments; and, Concrete Benchmarks. WRC are clearly defined and ensure that participants are both prepared and competitive when they enter employment and educational opportunities outside of Roca. Together, these programs and the transformational relationship provided by the youth worker are a potent combination in bringing about positive behavior and outlook change with the skills necessary to re-engage in the workforce and be economically self-sufficient.

Onsite and off-site, one-on-one and small group Workforce Readiness Programming ensures that participants are fully equipped with the paperwork (ID, resume, childcare vouchers, etc.), knowledge of workplace behavior, and interview/communication skills necessary to find and retain employment. Eight workforce readiness workshops in Basic Financial Literacy, Conflict Management, What to Know About Your CORI, Customer Service, Job Applications, Mock Interviews, Sexual Harassment, and Workforce Communication must each be completed twice, along with a Workforce Readiness Skill Assessment, prior to job search activities or placement.

In addition, a key component of Roca’s workforce readiness work described above is the delivery of our life skills curriculum and cognitive behavioral theory. The delivery of these services provides young people with the concrete skills they need to be able to successfully engage in employment.
Finally, young people will work with Youth Workers and CORI counselors to better understand and manage the impact of their criminal history and other key barriers to employment.

Educational programming for young people who dropped out of traditional academic settings is designed to tolerate the considerable comings and goings of young people in and out of class and move them through stages of change until they are able to participate consistently. Roca has designed a flexible educational curriculum suited to the skill levels and needs of young people. For young people who can attend classes with some support, the curriculum is sequential and builds on the prior lessons. For young people who are challenged to participate, the curriculum is stage appropriate, level appropriate, and can be taught in non-sequential sessions. This model allows for everyone to have the ability to access education regardless of where they are in the stages of change or their educational level.

After trying a range of curriculums and teaching methods to support out of school youth, Roca created alternative education programming that is both consistent with Massachusetts State Frameworks for adult education and able to tolerate the considerable comings and goings of young people in and out of class.
Each of the participants arrive at varying literacy levels as well progress at their own pace, however, lesson plans are constructed to meet each of their Individual Learning Plans. Over time, weeks and months, they increase their literacy and math skills and become ready to commit towards doing what it takes to take the HiSet test.

Prevocational Training
Roca provides pre-vocational readiness programming targeted to each young person’s ability and readiness to learn including: Custodial Arts, Culinary Arts, Construction, Retail, Customer Service, Landscaping, Introduction to Metal Fabrication, and Carpentry.

Training sessions range from drop-in sessions to industry recognized certifications. All young people are afforded the opportunity to try out a variety of available career paths through engagement in short term informal training certifications. These informal sessions are often offered in single sessions or in a short series of sessions and will offer an introduction to more comprehensive training offerings. Each session includes hands-on, project-based problem solving activities, games and mini-lessons aimed at engaging young people who are in contemplation about work or who have difficulty showing up. For example, there are trainings in construction, custodial arts, painting, and basic cooking skills. Trainings continue to be developed and new trainings are targeted to the interests of the participating young people (encouraging more intensive levels of engagement) and the needs of our partner employers.

For those who achieve success and develop interest through these short term training sessions, Roca delivers industry-recognized content (both classroom and on-site construction training) through a comprehensive range of employer-advised curricula in: Property Maintenance/Construction; Custodial Services; Culinary/Hospitality; and Office Administration. Industry-recognized certificates include OSHA General Industry, OSHA Forklift, 8-hour Lead Safe Renovators License, Drivers License, ServeSafe, CPR, AED, and First Aid.

Job Search
Ultimately, Roca’s goal is to move people through each of these training components with the goal of moving them into long term, unsubsidized employment. To support this work, participants work with Roca’s Job Developer. Whenever possible, this employment will build on the skills developed during the training and subsidized employment experiences outlined above. Young people are encouraged to actively engage in the job development process, as Roca believes that this participation is essential to their success.

Roca’s Employment Specialists work one-on-one with enrolled participants to provide guided job search activities with the goal of unsubsidized, permanent job placement in the community. The Employment Specialist/Job Developer simultaneously works with specific employers in the community to teach them about Roca, the population we work with, and any specific information related to a candidate’s readiness or experience related to a specific position or employer.

Given that intensive case management and cognitive-behavioral support that is the foundation of our program model, Roca’s Employment Specialists work closely with both the participant and the participant’s Youth Worker (case manager) in providing job search activities.

Program is offered in: English, Spanish
Participant demographics:

Roca serves young adults aged 16-24 who are not ready, willing, or able to participate in any program and who are at a critical level of risk.

Anticipated number of SNAP participants per year: 441
Program duration: 104 weeks
Rolling Admission: Yes
Program start dates: ongoing
Sample schedule:
HoursActivity TypeMonTueWedThuFriSatSun
9am - 5pmWorkforce Readiness Training (30-60 min slots)
Other Schedule Information: Training is made available 40 hours per week. Young people are targeted for engagement in training for between 2 and 10 hours per week dependent on the level of readiness of the participant (this includes pre-vocational training, life skills training, job readiness and academic training). Hours of engagement vary on a weekly basis.
Is the program offered remotely? Yes
Is public transportation available? Yes

Location information:

Roca Chelsea (headquarters): 101 Park Street, Chelsea, MA 02150Accessible via public transportation.
Roca Boston: 60 Newmarket Square, Boston, MA 02119Accessible via public transportation.
Roca Lynn: 52 Andrew Street, Lynn, MA 01901Accessible via public transportation.
Roca Holyoke: 384 High Street, Holyoke, MA 01040Accessible via public transportation.
Roca Springfield: 29 School Street, Springfield, MA 01105Accessible via public transportation.
Additional information about location:

While all sites are accessible via public transportation, Roca also provides transportation to and from the sites.

Program requirements: CORI check
Program is CORI friendly? Yes
Anticipated outcomes: Possible certifications include: HiSet, Driver's License, Industry-recognized certificates such as OSHA General Industry, OSHA Forklift, 8-hour Lead Safe Renovators License, ServeSafe, CPR, AED, and First Aid.
Other outcomes: Employment/Promotion, Basic skills gain

Participant Supports:

Participant Support CategoryAll participantsAs needed
DTA SNAP Child Care Referral
Transportation (Roca)
Test/License Fees
Are there any out of pocket expenses for the participant? No
Do participants receive any pay? Not applicable

Contact Information

Program Liaison:
Telephone: 617-889-5210
Ext: 1249
ABAWD Qualifying? No