F1rst Jobs Fund

Essex County Community Foundation

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Apr 26, 2020 9:00am PDT

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Essex County, Massachusetts

Location of residency: Essex County, Massachusetts

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About this funder:



Established in 2005, the First Jobs program provides “first jobs” for teens ages 14-21 on the North Shore. The program benefits teens by providing valuable job training, experience and income, and nonprofit organizations by covering the salary of an additional employee for the summer months. 

The MassHire-North Shore Workforce Board recruits and trains teens for their first summer job. The WB conducts a series of workshops throughout the year at local high schools on how to interview for jobs, how to dress and act at a job site, etc. First Jobs connects both local businesses and nonprofit organizations needing summer help with teens looking for employment.

The First Jobs Fund raises money to support nonprofits who apply for summer teens. Nonprofits can apply for funding to support employment of teens at their agency for four to eight weeks. Potential employers then interview applicants and select the candidate best suited for the stated position. For-profit businesses can support the program by hiring teens or donating to the Fund.

First Jobs serves teens from the communities of: Beverly, Danvers, Essex, Ipswich, Gloucester, Hamilton, Lynn, Lynnfield, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Middleton, Nahant, Peabody, Rockport, Salem, Saugus, Swampscott, Topsfield, and Wenham.

In 2018 a total of 535 teens were placed in jobs at for profit and nonprofit organizations at 202 different worksites. Of those placed, the majority were in our Gateway Cities, with 66.9% from Lynn, 14.8% from Salem, and 8.2% from Peabody. 

The program is operated by the Mass Hire - North Shore Workforce Investment Board and the Fund is administered by ECCF. 

Funding Priorities and Objectives

Grant funded positions are for youth, 14 to 21 years of age. (Note that positions can be for a designated segment of the above age range with an appropriate explanation.) 

Organizations applying for F1rstJobs funding must pay all youth working under this grant the MA State minimum wage of $11 per hour. Although there are exemptions to this wage, youth working under this grant are not considered exempt and must be paid the MA minimum wage. Payroll registers must indicate that the correct wage is paid to all youth.  

These positions require youth to work 20 hours per week for four to eight weeks during the summer. The NSWIB will not authorize or reimburse for youth paid in stipends.  

Placements will be within organizations that have the capacity to provide a healthful environment for youth during the summer months. The following objectives established by the F1RSTJOBS Steering Committee describe the desired impact of funds. 

  • OBJECTIVE #1: 
    • To provide well-supervised first time employment opportunities for 14 to 21 year olds, paying minimum wage for approximately 20 hours per week, for four to eight weeks during the summer months, with a maximum of 160 hours.
  • OBJECTIVE #2: 
    • To provide employment opportunities which encourage youth to learn leadership and other related qualifications that will prepare them for successful adult work life.
  • OBJECTIVE #3: 
    • To allow youth to learn about careers and develop a sense of their future career development.
  • OBJECTIVE #4: 
    • To gain maximum impact of philanthropic dollars for summer jobs. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Public agencies of local or state government and non-profit organizations interested in providing quality summer employment opportunities for North Shore youth are eligible to apply.
  • Non-profit organizations must be recognized as tax exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    • Organizations with a pending application for 501 (c) (3) status, and new or informal groups with a qualified fiscal sponsor, are also considered.
    • In the case of an applying agency using a fiscal sponsor, the private non - profit agency serving as the fiscal agent must have been determined to be tax - exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    • Documentation of this determination should be attached to the proposal as well as a letter from the Executive Director/President of the sponsoring organization indicating their commitment to serve as fiscal sponsor.
  • F1RSTJOBS is intended for summer employment opportunities serving youth from the North Shore area. The North Shore area is defined as 19 cities and towns including:
    • Beverly, Danvers, Essex,  Ipswich, Gloucester, Hamilton, Lynn,  Lynnfield, Manchester By the Sea, Marblehead, Middleton, Nahant, Peabody,  Rockport, Salem, Saugus, Swampscott, Topsfield, Wenham.
  • F1rstJobs grant funding is limited to non-sectarian programs and positions.
    • Programs or positions sponsored by religious organizations are eligible, provided enrollment is open to individuals of all religious and ethnic backgrounds and the program or position responsibilities are free of mandatory religious instruction, worship, or other sectarian activities.