American Training: Changing
Lives in Lawrence and Beyond
One of the greatest honors I
have as mayor of Lawrence is to witness the tremendous
efforts being made by Lawrence residents and business
owners to make this community a better place to live and
work in every day.
This month I would like to take the opportunity to tell
you about Tom Connors, one of the unsung heroes in our
city. Tom, a lifelong resident of Lawrence, is the CEO
and President of American Training, Inc. on Glenn Street,
right in the heart of our industrial park.
Along with his partner, Arthur Brady, Tom started
American Training in 1979 in a small office on Haverhill
Street. They started American Training to help people in
the community better prepare for the changing job market
and to provide life skills and education to people most
in need. [I had the pleasure or experiencing first
hand the tremendous success they have achieved at their
recent Business Awards Ceremony. I learned quickly
that when it comes to consistent performance they are the
go-to agency in our area!
American Training started with 28 employees and a budget
of approximately $700,000. Thanks to the Herculean
efforts of Tom, Arthur and their business partners,
American Training now employes over 300 Merrimack Valley
residents and has a budget of more than $15 million. From
that little office on Haverhill Street so many years ago,
American Training has grown to service more than 10
cities and towns from as far south as Cambridge
and Boston to communities in Southern New Hampshire.
The services provided
to people in this area by American Training runs the
gamut from helping those with disabilities, to retraining
and reemploying those who lost a job at Lucent
Technologies or Malden Mills, to helping those looking
for a career change and wanting to brush up on their
skills to better prepare themselves for newly emerging
American Training also manages 12 homes throughout the
valley, servicing at-risk youths who are coming out of
programs run by DYS (Department of Youth Services) and
DSS (Department of Social Services) as well as
individuals with physical and other disabilities who
often find it difficult to master lifes basic
skills or job-related skills that would encourage
employers to give them a chance.
In short, American Training is like a private community
college, serving the youth of the Merrimack Valley as
well as those well established in the world of work. From
senior citizens who need help getting to and from the
supermarket to young parents whove had children at
a very young age and did not finish their own education
or acquire work experience, American Training seems be
able to do something to help everyone who walks through
The help they give people with little or no public
recognition is truly amazing. But even more amazing is
the attitude and philosophy of Tom Connors, Arthur Brady
and the rest of the dedicated people at American Training
who are making such a huge difference in the lives of
Lawrence residents and the others they serve outside our
city limits. They truly believe and have proven with
their success that compassion, teamwork and high
expectations are paramount to building a better community
and making a difference in peoples lives.
Our philosophy is to provide needed services to
people, yes, Connors told me recently, but
performance is most important. We have to encourage
people to realize their true potential and help them
reach it in a fun and entertaining way. We know that our
guests as well as our colleagues learn better when
enjoying themselves. So, our goal is to have people leave
our facilities every single day saying wow!
and then taking that experience out into the real world.
Tom also told me of the tremendous generosity of private
business partners in Lawrence and surrounding cities and
towns. Our business partners donate a tremendous
amount of money, resources and time and we need to
produce results to show what we are doing with all the
funds and resources so generously given in the name of
helping needy people. And they certainly are doing
Community partners teaming up with American Training
include Gem Corporation in Lawrence, Boston Coffee Cake
in Haverhill, Life is Good in New Hampshire, Vicor,
[MINCO,] Market Basket, Papa Ginos, Burger King,
Tech Print, and so many others.
But if you are not one of the [hundreds] of individuals
who are in need of their services, chances are the only
thing you know about American Training is that they
provide transportation when you see their vans, with the
American Training logo on them, traveling the streets of
local communities. What you may not know however is that
these vans carry [hundreds] of individuals every month to
and from work, job training, recreation and education
sites, and they even bring people to appointments and to
their doctors office.
Yet, the good people at American Training, including Tom
and Arthur, never pat themselves on the back or go out
seeking public recognition for all the lives they touch
and change every single day. They really do such great
work and they deserve credit for single handedly
contributing to the economy of our area in ways that no
other private company can claim.
As mayor of Lawrence I am proud to see the success of
American Training and the dogged determination they have
exhibited on behalf of our residents. I am equally
as proud that they are located right here in Lawrence.
*Send your questions comments to ValleyPatriot@aol.com
The July 2007 Edition of
the Valley Patriot
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