I am ranking the Y as far below expectations only insofar as it applies to the Board's actions in selling its historic Huntington real estate to Northeastern University. I have been a member of the Huntington YMCA since moving to Boston in 1994, and it has been a lifeline for me. The opportunity to participate in a community that embraces people from all walks of life, of all ages and abilities - physical, social, and economic - has been of enormous importance to me. Not only do I rely on the Y as a place where I can stay in shape, rehab from sports injuries, and develop close friendships with people of a multitude of backgrounds, but I also am proud to be a member of an organization that does so much to help disadvantaged youth, provide services to those in need, and, in general, puts the needs of the public before its own financial or political interests. It is only now, with the proposed sale of the Y to Northeastern, that I am dismayed to see the Board compromise the very principles on which it is founded, and which we, as a community, desperately need. Shame on the Y for caving to pressures from Northeastern and others, at the expense of its own membership and mission.
Review from CharityNavigator
The Boston YMCA is a long-term establishment, approaching landmark status. It has tremendous ties to the community with an active sports program. However, these services are in serious jeopardy after the YMCA Board agreed to the sale of the gym to Northeastern University. The Board's actions directly contradict the YMCA constitution -- and the decision has been made solely for profit... There has been no consideration of the community and the thousands of members that will be affected. Northeastern has numerous other building options available... why go after a hallmark in our community? MY NEGATIVE RATING IS SOLELY FOR THE YMCA BOARD'S AND NORTHEASTERN'S AGGRESSIVE SALES PROPOSITION THAT CONTRADICTS WHAT THE Y SYMBOLIZES...
The board of this organization is not representing the interests of members. The board is currently engaged in the sale of a substantial part of its assets to Northeastern University. This sale process has not involved members of the branch and in fact over 1000 active and concerned members have signed a petition to volunteer their efforts to find alternatives to the sale. The petition also calls for the board to cease and desist from selling assets. The board and staff have rebuffed all attempts by members who are willing to contribute funds, time, and effort to enhancing the physical and economic condition of the organization in order to ensure the organization can achieve its total balanced mission. The sale will substantially impair the long-term economic sustainability of the facility.
The board is self perpetuating and has no checks and balances as to governance. The members, whose funds are being spent unwisely, have no ability to effect changes in the board. The board has elements of self interest with respect to local politicians and real estate professionals who do business with the City of Boston. The sale process has been heavy handed with respect to political interests.
The use of proposed sale proceeds has not been disclosed. Our organization is composed of real estate professionals, architects, finance professionals, and many community members. Having participated fully in the process we are convinced the amount of sale proceeds announced to be used for a replacement facility will be impossible to build e.g. $10 million for a 100,000 square foot facility. The proposed plans and costs are not known yet building demolition and sale is proposed prior to the board knowing if the funds will accomplish the future plans of the organization. Members have unanimously voiced the opinion that the proposed facility will substantially degrade the available facilities and can not serve the needs of the entire community.
The board has committed to programs that are a substantial economic detriment to the financial and qualitative health of the organization.
We regret having to use this forum to express this frustration however as highly professional members and substantial donors ourselves we feel it is necessary to question this board. We would be please to share further details and we may be contacted via the above website.
Review from CharityNavigator
My partnership with YMCA Training Inc. continues to be challenging, interesting, and rewarding. It provides an opportunity to learn from others, share strengths and knowledge with many, as well as establish new friendships and business relationships. The best reward, an unforgettable experience, is to watch the life altering moments that YMCA Training Inc. graduates experience on their journey through the Training Inc. program.
As a volunteer of Training Inc., I was able to see the difference the program made to many unemployed individuals gain skills in not only computer programs such as Microsoft Word Suite but all experience in office simulations. The office simulation seemed to be the best and most effective way for trainees to gain office experience again but it also added a drive back into the trainee that it was missing since their unemployment. The entire staff worked closely with each trainee as much as they could and tried to help each and every one of them on succeeding in the program. All in all, Training Inc. was a great experience for not only my internship but a great experience for any trainee who needs a lift back into the job market.
I am proud of Boston Medical Center’s successful 10-year partnership with Training, Inc. Through this relationship, program participants are able to gain valuable workplace skills that are consistent with BMC’s hiring needs. Coupled with their strong work ethics and desire to continue their professional development, these diverse trainees are placed as interns in administrative settings where they contribute value to departments that often lead to employment opportunities. Our organization continues to hire a significant number of graduates each year. I enjoy working with such a passionate and professional staff that cares about helping to make a positive change in the lives of the program participants and their families. As a member of Training, Inc.’s Partners Council, I continue to share BMC’s stories of success and serve as an advocate for this program to others.
YMCA Training, Inc. is a powerful place. It inspires change and hope in every person that walks through its doors—from the trainees preparing for job search to the staff, volunteers, employers, and supporters. It’s a place where barriers are broken down—both within individuals themselves and within society. People learn that they can do more than they ever thought was possible and that they can work with people from different backgrounds—who just may not be that different after all. It’s about taking responsibility, failing, succeeding, overcoming fears, facing challenges and starting over—as many times as it takes. I worked for Training, Inc. for five years. My years there were by far the most rewarding years of my professional history. The opportunity to work with so many wonderful people from such diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds was truly an amazing and life-changing experience. At Training, Inc., trainees, volunteers, staff, employers and supporters come together to change one life at a time, one job at a time. And while the change starts with one individual, the benefits expand well beyond, impacting children and I would suspect children’s children. It may not always be easy, but it works. It truly does.
YMCA Training, Inc. is an outstanding provider of workforce services. Key elements are in place - occupational training for "real" jobs based on industry needs, client coaching, and employer relationships - that ensure success with employment placement and retention. Training Inc. has innovative workplace simulations that promote transfer of training to the job setting. Other workforce organizations may grab the headlines: Training Inc. deserves more recognition for its leadership and results.
YMCA Training, Inc. is a leader in the job training industry. Their students graduate not only with the technical abilities to do the job, but also with the soft skills needed to succeed in the financial services industry. YMCA Training, Inc. takes a vested interested in each and every one of their students and has demonstrated a true understanding of the many personal and professional supports necessary to become a independent member of society. YMCA Training, Inc.'s successful placements lift not only their graduates, but entire families, out of the cycle of public assistance, easing the tax burden on us all.
I have been involved with Training, Inc. since it was founded in Boston in 1984. Year after year the staff and volunteers create opportunity for unemployed adults by offering innovative job training in partnership with Boston's best employers. This organization has an amazing return on investment and makes lasting change for its graduates and their families. Training, Inc. can be your source for diverse,skilled, motivated administratve support staff.