Menu button
Home » Campus & Community, Mobile

Opportunity Works Honors Its Neighbor, NECC

Submitted by on April 17, 2019 – 7:49 pm

Left to right in photo: Megan Stone, program manager, Project SEARCH; Jamie Nadeau, director of employment, Opportunity Works; Mary Murphy, NECC; Mike McCarthy, NECC; and Jane Harris-Fale, executive director, Opportunity Works.

Northern Essex Community College (NECC) and Opportunity Works, an organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of people with disabilities, have been neighbors in Haverhill for the past four years.  In that time, partnerships between the two nonprofits have grown.

On March 22, Michael McCarthy, NECC vice president of administration and finance, and Mary Murphy, NECC manager of administrative services and analysis, were named the 2019 Advocates of the Year at Opportunity Work’s Annual Recognition Gala at the Atkinson Country Club.

The two received the award based on their involvement in Project SEARCH, a business-led internship program that prepares people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to secure integrated, competitive employment. Over the course of nine months (a school year), participants intern for three 12-week periods with three different departments.  In addition to the work experience, they begin and end each day with work readiness classes covering topics like job interviews, resume writing, teamwork, professionalism, and technology in the workplace.

Since Northern Essex became involved in the program five years ago, the number of college departments with Project SEARCH interns has grown from 10 to over 30.

Internships could include working for the college food service, facilities, administration offices or more.  Most notably, McCarthy and Murphy were able to connect an intern from the program with the Essex County Sheriff Department’s Academy on campus, where the intern built life-long relationships with the Commandant and cadets, and was featured in a story in the Eagle Tribune.

“The College loves having these interns, and this program on campus,” says McCarthy.  “This program does remarkable work for those they serve, their families and our campus community.

McCarthy and Murphy administer the program located on the Haverhill Campus.  For more information, contact Murphy at or 978 556-3918.