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 recent (FY16) accomplishments include:

  • Line item funding of $2.2 million for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) - the first ever line item for the WCTF. WSG's hope is that it will be level funded or increased the next budget cycle
  • $1.5 million for Precision Manufacturing training programs
  • $11.7 million for YouthWorks
  • $1 million + for the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network
  • $3 million for "Pathways to Self-Sufficiency"

Read SkillWorks' policy recommendations for Massachusetts' next governor.

What’s New at SkillWorks

Job Training: Works, Pays and Saves!

January 26, 2016: At an event at the State House, SkillWorks and the Job Training Alliance (JTA) released their impact report on quality job training programs: “Job Training: Works, Pays and Saves.” This report, supported by SkillWorks, contains extremely compelling data proving the significant return on investment on quality job training programs for the participants served, taxpayers, and the economy as a whole. 

Looking at graduates from the 12 non-profit, community based training programs included in the study, some notable outcomes include:

  • 76% Employment rate 
  • 675% Increase in total annual earnings
  • 80% Reduction in TANF (cash assistance)

The report analyzes the social and economic impacts gained from high-functioning training programs which prepare individuals for successful, long-term careers in growing industries. The full report can also be found on the JTA’s website: http://jobtrainingalliance.org/sites/default/files/JTA%20Impact%20Study.pdf

Speakers at report's launch event included: Senator Ken Donnelly, Representative John Scibak, Ron Walker, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Carmine Guarino, Senior VP of Citizens Bank, Jeff McCue, Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance, John Barros, Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston, and SkillWork's Trinh Nguyen. Each speaker expressed steadfast support of and commitment to quality community based job training and workforce development programs and more broadly commitment to improving the lives of low-income Bostonians and Massachusetts residents and to ensuring that employers have an accessible pipeline of skilled talent.

READ MORE: 1 Page Summary | Full Report

New Coalition Formed to support Career and Vocational Technical Education in MA

In a packed space at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boson on Friday, January 22nd, members from the business, workforce, education, nonprofit, and government sectors came together to celebrate the launch of the The Alliance for Vocational and Technical Education (AVTE) and to highlight the importance of the Career/Vocational Technical Education system in Massachusetts.

The AVTE outlined how CVTE is essential to economic development across the state, and presented key policy recommendations. Governor Baker and his Workforce Skills Cabinet joined us and shared their support for the Alliance and CVTE across the state.

The program also included highlights of a report commissioned by AVTE that examines public perceptions of CVTE, presented by Barry Bluestone, Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University. Click here to read the full report.

To learn more about the Alliance for Vocational Technical Education and their policy recommendations, check out their new website and one-pager!

The Boston Foundation, City of Boston & JPMorgan Chase, announced investments in SkillWorks

On Wednesday, November 18th, at an event at Boston City Hall, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Boston Foundation President & CEO Paul S. Grogan, and Peter Scher, Head of Corporate Responsibility for JPMorgan Chase & Co, announced more than $1.2 million in new investments for training and workforce development focused in the City of Boston, including $350,000 from the city, $400,000 from the Boston Foundation and $500,000 from JPMorgan Chase.

Read the press release for more informataion!

SkillWorks Announces 11 New Grantees

Also at the City Hall event on November 18th, Boston Foundation President & CEO Paul S. Grogran announced SkillWorks' 11 newest grantees:

See our Grantees and Workforce Partnerships pages for more information!

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