SkillWorks is a multiyear initiative to improve workforce development in Boston and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. SkillWorks brings together philanthropy, government, community organizations and employers to address the twin goals of helping low income individuals attain family supporting jobs and businesses find skilled workers. Phase I (2003-2008) invested $15 million to help more than 3,000 workers receive skills training with hundreds entering the workforce or receiving raises and promotions.
Phase II (2009-2013) continued this important work with an added emphasis on better connecting Massachusetts’ community colleges and other post-secondary institutions to the workforce development system. SkillWorks raised $10 million for Phase II for investments in Workforce Partnerships, Public Policy Advocacy and Capacity Building.
Phase III (2014-2018) investments will aim to improve the workforce system's effectiveness and efficiency, resulting in significantly improved economic outcomes for job and skill seekers, with a priority focus on those in Greater Boston who are low-income and low-skilled. SkillWorks will achieve this goal by leveraging its leadership position and collaborative model to convene business, labor, education, and civic leaders and catalyze change through innovative investments, adoption of best practices and advocacy. SkillWorks is projecting a $5.6 million, five-year budget for Phase III. For more information, read SkillWorks' Phase III Strategic Plan and check out our latest 1-page snapshot of our strategy, Phase II Outcomes, and Phase III Goals.
SkillWorks has become a model for cities across the country and for the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.
Download a one-page fact sheet about SkillWorks.
What’s New at SkillWorks
NEW FUNDING AVAILABLE! SkillWorks is inviting proposals from proven or promising programs, partnerships or initiatives led by nonprofit, public or for-profit entities including community based non-profits, career technical education programs and community colleges. Funds will be awarded through a competitive process to occur over the course of this Summer/Fall. Successful applicants will be closely aligned with SkillWorks’ Vision and Value System; will address the key focus of work and priority investment areas detailed in the guidelines; will demonstrate impact as defined within the guidelines under SkillWorks’ Four ‘A’s of Impact: Access, Attainment, Achievement and Assets; and must demonstrate their potential to achieve measurable results. Proposals are due September 15 – click here for the full RFP and other materials!
With support from SkillWorks, Commonwealth Corporation will be expanding their Signal Success curriculum into two high schools in Boston - Boston Urban Science Academy and Dorchester Youth academy. Signal Success is a 180-hour comprehensive career development curriculum that provides a sequenced approach to soft skill acquisition and promotes behaviors that employers want and that young people need to be successful.
Partnering for Opportunity Youth: This past year, SkillWorks partnered with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and the Boston Opportunity Agenda as part of the National Fund's Youth/Industry Partnership Initiative to improve pathways to post-secondary education and careers for Opportunity Youth. SkillWorks is also an active participant in the Boston Opportunity Youth Collaborative, which
is convened by the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) and the Boston Opportunity Agenda (BOA) with funding support from the Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund for Community Solutions. The collaborative is a partnership of stakeholders dedicated to serving Opportunity Youth.
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