SkillWorks is a $25 million, multi-year public/private partnership between the Boston Foundation, the City of Boston, local and national philanthropic and corporate entities designed to meet worker and business needs while developing pathways out of poverty in the face of overwhelming evidence that: 1) our economy is shedding unskilled jobs and growing middle-to high-skill jobs; and 2) a large percentage of our workforce is unprepared for the available jobs in our economy. SkillWorks invests in employer-driven, sector-based training and placement strategies to help low-skill, low- and moderate-income residents move to family-sustaining jobs; and help employers find and retain skilled employees.
SkillWorks is a nationally recognized workforce development intermediary and is the model for the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and its commitment to workforce development over ten years has resulted in the initiative and its grantees helping more than 5,000 job seekers and incumbent workers progress on a path to self-sufficiency, increased the number and capacity of workforce partnerships, and advocated for key workforce priorities locally, statewide and federally.
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 its important work with an added emphasis on better connecting Massachusetts’s community colleges and other post-secondary institutions to and the workforce development system.SkillWorks raised $10 million for Phase II for investments in Workforce Partnerships, Public Policy Advocacy and Capacity Building, and served nearly 1700 entry-level jobs seekers and incumbent worker for jobs in healthcare, construction, hospitality and financial services. SkillWorks also successfully advocated for and aligned with $70M in state workforce resources for workforce training.
Phase III (2014-2018) Now in our third phase of the initiative, SkillWorks has already served nearly 600 individual jobs seekers and incumbent workers to date. SkillWorks' goal is to raise more than $5M dollars for Phase III and reach even more youth, young adults and under/unemployed workers. Additionally, SkillWorks will take a more employer-centric approach by continuing to support the Boston Healthcare Careers Consortium and adding new industry-specific consortia in IT/Technology and Hospitality with other partners in the city. SkillWorks is also expanding its reach into Greater Boston with new investments in Cambridge and Somerville and developing a burgeoning youth and young adult portfolio focused on work readiness and career navigation.
For more information, read SkillWorks' Phase III Strategic Plan.