Founded in 1917, the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (ULEM) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization which is one of the oldest affiliates within the National Urban League movement. From the time that our doors opened to the at-large Boston community and surrounding metropolitan area residents, ULEM has been employing a multi-point strategy to deliver services and programs which aim to increase self-reliance, specifically in the area of workforce development.
The mission of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts is to be a champion of civil rights dedicated to helping people improve their lives and to build stronger communities by providing local residents with education, job training, and placement at no cost. For nearly 100 years, ULEM’s programs and services have given hope to our participants and made a lasting, positive impact in the community.
Focusing on this overarching goal leads us to provide opportunities for every person that walks through our door to realize economic empowerment through basic- and mid-level skills trainings, certifications, internships, and job placements.
Offering programs and services at no cost to every participant, we facilitate an array of skills-training workshops which cover a variety of job skills and expertise; serve a wide age range; and engage both non-profit organizations and corporate partners. Currently, ULEM programs and services include three job placement-based programs: the Fund Administrative Preparatory Program; Volunteer 2 Work program; and the Mature Worker Program. Additionally, we offer 3 skills development programs: ACT National Career Readiness Certification; Dollars & Sense Financial Literacy Training; and Computer Literacy and Internet Knowledge program. All program participants receive Case Management Services and Placement Assistance. Finally, ULEM operates an Employment Resource Center, which is available to anyone who is in need of computer access for the purposes of attaining employment.
The programs and services offered at ULEM are supported by two annual projects: (1) Jobs Rebuild Boston Community Conference and Career Fair and (2) the State of Black Boston (SOBB) report. Released annually, SOBB is the primary advocacy initiative to promote economic empowerment and address the inequalities experienced by people of color. Specifically, the focus of SOBB is four interrelated core areas to have greater impact: employment, education, health, and economic/business empowerment; and is targeting its work on improving core indicators in those four areas concerning Boston where the needs are greatest.
In addition to the aforementioned programs, the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts offers two auxiliary groups: the Urban League of Eastern MA Guild (ULEM Guild) and the Young Professionals Network of the Urban League of Eastern MA (YPN-ULEM). Both groups have open membership, facilitate events and workshops and serve the community in alignment with ULEM’s mission and strategic goals.
Holistically, through the three channels – the ULEM, Guild and YPN – the ULEM impacts thousands of people annually.