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Employers Sign Diversity Pledge

Regional Compact First of its Kind

During a breakfast at Allen House, representatives signed the Merrimack Valley Commonwealth Compact, including, clockwise from left front: Peter Zarilla of Lowell General Hospital; Karen Fredericks and Maria Solarez of Community Teamwork Inc.; and Kumble Rajesh, M.D., of Lowell Community Health Center.

By Sarah McAdams

UMass Lowell hopes to make the Merrimack Valley a place where women and minorities want to live and work.

On Nov. 10, the University signed a pledge — along with 13 other area employers — to try to do just that.

The Merrimack Valley Commonwealth Compact is the first regional offshoot of the compact signed in Boston in 2008. UMass Lowell was one of the original signatories of the agreement.

Housed at the McCormack Center at UMass Boston, the compact asks employers to work with each other to make the state — and in the regional version, the Merrimack Valley — a location of choice for women and people of color.

In particular, signatories pledge to increase the representation of people of color and women throughout organizations, especially in senior management.

“It’s important that we all, as employers in this region, come together to address how specifically we can tap into the vast talent and cultural richness of the diverse groups that populate our region such as Latino and Cambodian-American communities,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan at the signing at Allen House. “Latinos are the largest growing cultural group in the country, and here in Lowell we have the second-highest number of Cambodians in the country.”

The breakfast event was hosted and organized by the University’s office of Equal Opportunity and Outreach. Joining UMass Lowell in signing the Merrimack Valley offshoot of the Commonwealth Compact were:

  • The City of Lowell
  • Community Teamwork Inc.
  • D’Youville Senior Care
  • Enterprise Bank
  • Lawrence General Hospital
  • Lowell Community Health Center
  • Lowell General Hospital
  • Middlesex Community College
  • North American Indian Center of Boston
  • Pharmaceutical Strategies
  • Saints Medical Center
  • The TJX Cos. Inc.
  • Trinity EMS
Chancellor Marty Meehan signs the Merrimack Valley Commonwealth Compact.