December 19, 2017

Inbox [Dec. 20]: News and notes from Veterans Inc., Worcester Building Pathways and Wormtown Brewery

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Veterans Inc. adds Giving Tree Project to programs providing holiday aid

Veterans Inc. kicked off its annual Appeal Drive recently though a mailing and social media campaign. Along with the end-of-year campaign, the organization has added a Giving Tree Project to help provide presents for the children of veterans in need this holiday season.

Although Veterans Inc. receives some government funding for its programs, there remains a gap in what is needed to sufficiently meet the high volume of requests for help each year. “We have seen a significant increase in the number of veterans who are reaching out for our services,” said Veterans Inc. President and CEO Vincent J. Perrone, Lt. Col. USAF (Retired). “The success of our Annual Appeal is crucial so we can continue to maintain the highest level of supportive  services to the men and women who honorably served our country.”

Among the programs the organization offers to veterans in need are temporary housing, employment and training, food services, health and wellness, post-9/11 support and a female veteran housing facility. Some of the veterans using Veteran Inc. services are homeless or are near homelessness.

It’s not only veterans in need that the organization serves year round, but also their families, including children. For the holidays, Veterans Inc. has implemented a Giving Tree Project, which is being directed by Post-9/11, Outreach and Strategic Partnerships Manager Troy Brin.

Brin has seen a significant increase in the number of children registered to receive gifts since the organization offered a similar program last year. In fact, it has nearly quadrupled, leaving the organization scrambling to fill those needs. Idemia, an identity-related service provider based in Billerica, is helping with the Giving Tree Project by purchasing and wrapping a significant amount of presents. However, much help is still needed and currently not all of the requests have been fulfilled.

Thankfully, donors such as Renee Medeiros are helping to support the program. Medeiros, who is providing gifts for a child through the program, said her reason for helping is her way of giving back. “It’s been a tough year for several close friends. It’s time I realized how fortunate I am and pay it forward,” she said.

Veterans Inc. is also welcoming items for the veterans who are currently residing in the organization’s transitional housing programs. Items such as socks, underwear and toiletries are among those on the wish list found on the Veterans Inc. website.

For more information on the Annual Appeal, Giving Tree Project or other ways to help, please visit or contact Lisa Bousbouras at 508-791-1213, ext. 1162, or by email at

Worcester Building Pathways pre-apprentice info session set for Dec. 21

The Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board (CMWIB) has been awarded a $88,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation to continue the Worcester Building Pathways Pre-apprenticeship program. This eight-week, state-registered pre-apprenticeship program prepares individuals for entry-level employment in the building trades through classroom and hands-on learning.

Additionally, this effort focuses on outreach to populations underrepresented in construction, including women and minorities, to promote equal opportunity for local residents and assist local contractors in their efforts to diversify their workforce.

The Worcester Jobs Fund, administratively housed within CMWIB, will oversee the planning and implementation of the pre-apprenticeship program. The fund was established specifically to provide training and services to individuals with previous obstacles to employment, including women, veterans, single parents, people of color, those with a past felony conviction, people with disabilities and low-income residents.

Program partners of the Worcester Jobs Fund include the City of Worcester’s Office of Economic Development, Worcester Community Labor Coalition, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Central Career Centers and Worcester Public Schools.

This unique, collaborative approach to workforce development has allowed the Worcester Jobs Fund to leverage a variety of resources during program development, recruitment, implementation, and employer engagement through community partners. A state-registered pre-apprenticeship program, Worcester Building Pathways, is sponsored by several affiliates of the Worcester-Fitchburg Building Trades Council of Central Massachusetts.

Employer partners for this program include SPS New England, Consigli Construction Co., Daniel O’Connell’s Sons Inc., Coghlin Electrical Contractors, the City of Worcester Department of Public Works & Parks, and the Town of Oxford Department of Public Works.

Individuals interested in learning more about the training can attend the remaining information session being at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, at the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square.

Read the entire article on the City of Worcester website

Wormtown Brewery hosts Dec. 21 keg tapping for Dunkin’ brew debut

In honor of the darkest day of the year – Dec. 21 – Dunkin’ Donuts and Wormtown Brewery announced a partnership to launch DDark Roasted Brew, the first beer to be brewed with Dunkin’ Donuts Dark Roast beans. This decadent stout-style beer features full-roasted coffee flavor reminiscent of freshly-ground beans.

DDark Roasted Brew will be available exclusively for purchase on draught at the Wormtown Brewery Tap Room at 72 Shrewsbury St. beginning at the winter solstice, 11:28 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 21.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Wormtown to launch DDark Roasted Brew,” said Rob Branca, a local Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner. “Worcester is home to one of the first Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants, so we know how much residents love the brand and our coffee. This partnership with Wormtown continues to drive innovation in Worcester and we are excited to brew up something extra bold to help our loyal guests to celebrate the darkest day of the year.”

To celebrate this special release, Wormtown Brewery and Rob Branca will be joining forces to donate $11,500 to the Worcester Food Bank to help the local community make the most out of the holiday season. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Dunkin’ Donuts on our latest beer,” said Scott Drake, head brewer at Wormtown Brewery. “We’re confident this beer is going to be an instant favorite for New Englanders this holiday season, and the fact that we’re able to give back to Worcester-area families through this partnership just makes it that much better.”

Thursday’s guests will have the chance to enjoy special donut and beer pairings created by the Dunkin’ Donuts Culinary Team, such as the Double Chocolate Cake Donut with DDark Roasted Brew, where the smooth body of the beer complements the creaminess of the chocolate icing, finishing with notes of Dark Roast Coffee, malt and chocolate cake. The first hundred guests will receive a special gift bag to help celebrate the official start of the winter season.

For more details, visit the Daily Coffee News website

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