Nurturing Families

familyNurturing Families is a fun, activity based parenting education group, held once a week for twelve weeks in the Fall and in the Spring.  The curriculum is designed to provide parents and children with experiences that support the development of healthy, meaningful relationships.

Parents are brought together in a supportive environment to share experiences, gain confidence in their parenting abilities and learn about the various techniques used in developing family bonds, managing stress and much more.

Dinner is provided to all that participate.  Transportation and child care are available to those families in need.

When:   Fall/Spring
Where:   Houlares Early Learning Center
Cost:   Free
For more info contact:   Tracy Young, 978-726-2623,

RSVP to:   Kristen Tremblay, 978-654-7153,

Learn more about solutions for Family & Children


FFS program
FFS program

Financial Literacy Academy, A program of the Financial Education Center


Community Teamwork’s Financial Education Center is a Division of Energy & Community Resources

Financial Education

Asset Development

 Secure Jobs

We are getting ready for VITA which will also be completely virtual this year. Information for scheduling appointments will be available by the end of January 2021.

Give us a call to learn more about our free programs!

Listen to Chris Santos-Gordon, Director Financial Education Center, disucss the Top 6 things to do to manage finances during the pandemic – WCAP Radio 8/4/2020: 1.Rework your budget   2. What can you live without?   3. Divert those “things I can live without” into savings   4. Take Care of Your Credit   5. Increase Income             6. Schedule a financial coaching appointment with us! 978.654.5673;  FEC Facebook Page 

All programs are being offered virtually.This September AND October we’ll be holding our Financial Literacy Academy via ZOOM. All who complete the FLA will receive a gift card for participating in the 6 week, once per week program! Give us a call to learn more 978-654-5673


Listen to Chris Santos-Gordon, Director of the Financial Education Center discuss how the Center is responding to the needs of the community re: employment services, skills training, VITA, financial education and more – WCAP Radio 6/2/2020

Community Teamwork’s Coordinated Family and Community Engagement, funded by the MA Dept of Early Education and Care bring you: Teaching Your  Preschooler about Money

The Financial Education Center has enrolled in a four part webinar series focusing on building your money confidence. Below is the link to Part 2- Managing Debt. We hope you find it helpful. You can click on the link and register to view the WEBINAR:
If after you view the webinar, you have further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to help
WEBINAR – CONTROLLING SPENDING ~The Financial Education Center has enrolled in a four part webinar series focusing on personal finance management. Below is the link to part 1- Controlling Spending. We hope you find it helpful. You can click on the link and register to view the webinar.



Programing at CTI’s Financial Education Center

165 Merrimack Street – Lowell, MA  01852

Billy J. Hensley, Ph.D, President and CEO of National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE)
•A new survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education finds that nearly 9 in 10 (88%) Americans say the COVID-19 crisis is causing stress on their personal finances.
•Financial literacy cannot predict or remedy a crisis, but financial education will play a pivotal role in the economic recovery of our country.

We encourage you to call or take advantage of Social Security Administration’s secure and convenient online services to:

•Apply for Retirement, Disability, and Medicare benefits,
•Check the status of an application or appeal,
•Request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas),
•Print a benefit verification letter, and
•Much more.

Most business with SSA can be done online but we know that many people still rely on phone or in-person help. That’s why we want people to know they can still count on SSA by phone.

Lastly, we know that getting medical and other documentation can be difficult due to the pandemic. SSA continues to extend deadlines wherever possible.




Financial Literacy Academy – FLA

The Financial Education Center at Community Teamwork will be holding its’ Financial Literacy Academy (FLA) starting in February. The FLA delivers a powerful introduction to personal finance management. Our hands-on approach offers an interesting and fun learning environment.
The FLA is free, offered once per week in the evening for six weeks. We provide dinner and *some childcare at no cost! Attendees will also receive a Certificate of Attendance.

Please call to register–Contact Gladys – call 978-654-5673 or email

Financial Literacy Academy
Tuesday evenings—
Time: 6:00-8:00 PM

Location: Community Teamwork’s Financial Education Center
165 Merrimack Street-Lowell, MA 01852

*call for more information on childcare
…Helping families achieve financial goals

The FLA offers a powerful introduction to personal Finance management. It is offered for 6 weeks, once per week for 2 hours.

We provide dinner and SOME childcare on a limited basis – (please call to learn more about childcare).

Attendees also receive a certificate of attendance.

Things to Know about the FLA

  • It is FREE
  • It is offered on Tuesday nights from 6pm-8pm
  • It is taught by CTI staff who are certified in Financial Social Work, Credit Repair and / or Tax Preparation
  • It is a fun way to learn about a sometimes, boring subject!

For more info contact: Gladys Santiago or call 978.654.5673 to register

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Why pay to have someone do your taxes when CTI will do them for free? VITA is offered to low-income individuals, and families who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Appointments are scheduled on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings during tax season. Please call to learn more: 978.654.5676

One-on-One Financial Coaching

Do you have a financial goal you’d like to reach, need help repairing your credit, want some one-on-one assistance in creating a budget or with ways to decrease debt? Financial coaching is a smart way to get you started! Please call our office to schedule an appointment: 978.654.5725 / 978.654.5673

Certified financial coaches will work with you on ways to: Increase your monthly income; Eliminate and manage debt; Repair and improve credit; Understand and take advantage of tax credits; Create a savings plan


CTI’s Financial Education Center…Helping Families Achieve Financial Goals

Learn more about solutions for Finances

Learn more about our NEW Center for Financial Self-Sufficiency which opened January 2017!

 Listen to Chris-Santos Gordon, Director of the Center for Financial Self-Sufficiency, on WCAP Radio, discussing the new Center and the wonderful opportunities it provides.

Listen to Chris Santos-Gordon, Director of the Financial Education Center, discuss on WCAP980 radio the opportunities available at the Financial Education Center at Community Teamwork 2/6/18



Farmer’s Market

iconFresh from the local farm to you!

Since 1979, Community Teamwork has sponsored the Lowell Farmers’ Market which offers fresh, locally grown produce from area farmers. Open every Friday from early July through late October, the Farmers’ Market provides the residents and visitors of Lowell an opportunity to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, homemade preserves, other prepared foods, and crafts from local farmers, small businesses and artisans. It is located in downtown Lowell, at City Hall Plaza and offers a satellite market in the Lowell Highlands.

Please see the schedule for additional times and locations of Lowell Farmers’ Market events. All customers are welcome. Vendors must come from New England.

  • We accept Mastercard/Visa, American Express, Discover
  • We accept WIC coupons, SNAP/EBT, and Senior Coupons
  • We are always seeking new vendors and opportunities
  • We are an authorized Farmers’ Market of the Department of Agriculture

Learn more about solutions for Food & Nutrition

Ismeal Rosado Signing Loan
Ismeal Rosado Signing Loan

Bookkeeping Services

Ismeal Rosado Signing Loan scaledCommunity Teamwork’s Merrimack Valley Small Business Center recently expanded its scope of business development services to include bookkeeping to assist small business owners in the Merrimack Valley. This expansion was made possible by a capacity grant provided by the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.

MVSBC now provides a fee-for-service expertise to help local businesses keep track of income and expenses. For many years now the MVSBC has heard from small business owners that keeping their own books is a time consuming process that keeps them from engaging in activities to run their business and generate profits.

Meet with our Bookkeeper and have a FREE assessment TODAY!
Charles Nagbe, MVSBC Bookkeeper or call 978-606-8171

We are here to help UPGRADE the management of your business finances.

Learn more about solutions for Finances & Business or go to the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center website.


Get a Business Loan

Signing loan Agreement scaledWhen lenders say no, we say YES.

The Merrimack Valley Small Business Center offers low-interest loans up to $25,000 to entrepreneurs in the Merrimack Valley who lack access to conventional credit. Capacity to repay the loan is determined through submission of an application and supporting documentation and is strengthened and monitored through continued technical assistance.

For more information, call 978-322-8403.

We serve businesses in the following Massachusetts cities and towns:

Amesbury, Andover, Billerica, Boxford, Chelmsford, Dracut, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Merrimac, Methuen, Newburyport, North Andover, Salisbury, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, West Newbury, and Westford.

This is a U.S. Small Business Administration Microloan Intermediary Lender.

Learn more about solutions for Finances & Business or go to the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center website.

grand opening
grand opening

Grow Your Business

grand opening scaledHere at the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center (MVSBC), we offer a variety of business development services to help you GROW YOUR BUSINESS. We can help you develop a marketing plan, improve your financial situation, prepare to apply for a business loan, and more!

Step 1

Complete make an appointment to meet one-on-one with an MVSBC counselor. At this meeting, you will talk with your counselor about your business, challenges and goals, learn more about MVSBC membership and develop an Action Plan to help you achieve your goals.

Step 2

Become a member of the MVSBC and work with a counselor to take advantage of our business development services and develop an Action Plan to help you achieve your goals.

Your counselor may recommend that you enroll in our 6-week training program Financial Tune UP Boot Camp (FTUBC). FTUBC helps you build your financial literacy skills and improve your financial situation. Features of this 6-week program are:

  • 6 classes will teach you how to budget, track cash, pay down debt, build credit and save for the future.
  • Financial coaching to help you prepare a budget, review your credit report and develop a plan to improve your financial situation.

Step 3

Use your Action Plan as a guide to help you take steps to improve your business. Continue to network with other MVSBC members through monthly networking events and peer networking groups to share best practices and troubleshoot. Your MVSBC counselor will also be checking-in with you to see how things are going and help you achieve your goals!

Learn more about solutions for Finances & Business or go to the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center website.

mvsbc logo
mvsbc logo

Start a Business


Unique You ribbon cutting scaledHave you dreamed of starting your own business?

Do you have an idea but aren’t sure where to start?

We can help!

Here at the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center (MVSBC), we can help you evaluate your readiness to start a business, determine the feasibility of your business idea, and help you develop a plan to START YOUR BUSINESS!

Step 1

First, attend our orientation seminar Are You READY… to Start a Business? In this seminar, you will learn more about MVSBC services and about what is involved in starting and running a business.

Step 2

Think you’re ready? If so, make an appointment to meet one-on-one with an MVSBC counselor. At this meeting, you will talk with your counselor about your business idea, your readiness to start a business and learn more about MVSBC membership.

Step 3

Become a member of the MVSBC and work with a counselor to take advantage of our business development services and develop an Action Plan to help you achieve your goals.

home depot
home depot

CTI YouthBuild of Greater Lowell

Listen to Tim Caldwell, Clinical Case Manager at YouthBuild, discuss the program and the upcoming new cohort about to begin.

CTI YouthBuild is a program for young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who have dropped out of school and are ready to embrace a second chance to receive educational and vocational training to achieve success

Serving young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who have dropped out of high school and   who reside in Lowell and its surrounding towns.

Services include: G.E.D. preparation, vocational training, one on one case management, leadership development, life skills training, and career and academic coaching

YouthBuild provides education and employment training to  prepare youth for careers in construction and healthcare.  We help students identify their career and educational interests, develop an Individualized Employment Plan (IEP), and support them to achieve their goals. All participants have access to the core program components as well as participation in specialized occupational skills training according to their individual interests and capacities.  The primary components of our training for out-of-school youth include:

Education – GED preparation, computer literacy, financial literacy, life-skills and post-secondary school transition program.

Career Development– On-going employment readiness classes, specialized workshops, job shadowing and on-the-job training through employer partner internships.

Case management and counseling – Comprehensive, goal-oriented case management focused on placement in higher-education, advanced technical training or employment.  Support services to address personal challenges such as substance abuse, mental health issues, housing, childcare, and relationship needs.

Graduate Services – Placement assistance, job retention services, and tracking one year after program completion. Continued opportunities for community service, leadership development, and career development services.

Construction- YouthBuild students may choose to learn carpentry and construction skills while they work together to create affordable housing in their community. In addition to hands-on training, YouthBuild students have the opportunity to complete a comprehensive vocational curriculum leading to a certificate valuable to graduates entering the construction trades.

NEW – Culinary Program – Our culinary arts instruction will begin with the food handlers program. The source of our food handler’s curriculum is the Serv Safe food handler program. Our supervising chef is a certified instructor and will be instructing the course to our young adults. further, once students attain their food handler’s certification (serv safe), we will begin our culinary arts instruction using ACFEF’s Culinary Fundamentals program. Through this program, our students will learn basic culinary knowledge and gain practical experience. Through our culinary arts employer and community partners, students are provided internships and job shadowing opportunities throughout the course of the program. Thus far, we have secured internship placements with UMass Conference Inn Center and continue to outreach to other local restaurants. All students will be supported and supervised by our supervising chef.

Leadership Development- One of the most important parts of the YouthBuild program is Leadership Development. By building affordable housing, participating in community service projects, building awareness of issues that affect their community and achieving goals, students graduate with skills and experience that build their self-confidence, enabling them to become leaders within their community. Leadership development opportunities are built into each program component. Students may also participate on the YouthBuild Policy Committee where issues regarding program decisions are made.

Find out more. 

Listen to David Tierney from WUML’s “Thinking Out Loud” interview Rafael Santana, YouthBuild Construction Trainer, as Rafael discusses his wonderful story and journey with YouthBuild. What a role model!  (August 7, 2017)

Watch the interview by Thinking Out Loud TV host, Gloria Polites. Guests are Rafael Santana, YouthBuild Trainer and Jasmine Delgado, YouthBuild Trainee.  (August 2017)


YouthBuild students and staff during the annual Massachusetts Coalition Carpentry challenge