Public Policy Advocacy

SkillWorks’s Public Policy Advocacy works to achieve long-term, sustainable improvements in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ workforce development system. . As with all of our program components, our twin goals are to increase the Commonwealth’s capacity and resources to meet the needs of both low-income residents to access family-sustaining jobs and employers to have a skilled, productive workforce.

Our Public Policy Advocacy work has led to major advances in workforce development programs across the state. Because of our efforts, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts implemented the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund in 2006, designed to support workforce partnerships across the state in enabling a broad range of residents to gain access to employment, education and the skills necessary to move along a career path leading to economic self-sufficiency.

Led by the Workforce Solutions Group, SkillWorks public policy advocacy grantee, we have helped garner more than $50M in new workforce funding for the state of Massachusetts. SkillWorks’ advocacy also resulted in the formation of a Workforce Accountability Task Force to address performance, governance and coordination within the workforce system.

Some of our accomplishments include:

  • $6M to support sector partnerships in the 2004 Economic Stimulus Bill.
  • Creation and funding Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund in the 2006 Economic Stimulus Bill. WCTF has since distributed $18M in funding for sector partnerships statewide.
  • Creation of the $1.5M Educational Rewards Grants program for part-time college students.
  • Attainment of $8M in supplemental funding for ABE, School-to-Career, and One-Stop Career Centers.
  • Changes to the state’s Food Stamp Employment Training Program to allow community-based organizations to draw down more federal reimbursements for providing job training to food stamp recipients.

Read SkillWorks' policy recommendations for Massachusetts' next governor.

What’s New at SkillWorks

The Workforce Solutions Group, SkillWorks and partners hosted the 5th Annual Massachusetts Jobs and Workforce Summit on October 15. Attended by more than 300 business, labor and education leaders, the forum featured the latest information on workforce and job creation policies as well as addresses from gubernatorial candidates Martha Coakley and Charlie Baker. Read more about the event

 

SkillWorks' funders are excited to announce that Marybeth Campbell will be the initiative's new executive director. Marybeth comes to SkillWorks from the Patrick Administration as the Commonwealth's first cross-secretariat Director of Education across the Executive Offices of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development. Marybeth starts on October 20, 2014. Read the press release here.

 

SkillWorks is partnering with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and the Boston Opportunity Agenda to improve pathways to post-secondary education and careers for Opportunity Youth.

 

SkillWorks recently partnered with World Education and CAEL to produce a report on the implementation of Prior Learning Assessment at Boston area colleges and workforce organizations. Read the report and recommendations here.