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 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!

SkillWorks' policy advocacy partner, the Workforce Solutions Group, hosted their 6th Annual Massachusetts Jobs and Workforce Summit

SkillWorks took part in the planning process and proudly sponsored this year's 6th Annual MA Jobs and Workforce Summit: The Future of Work, hosted by the Workforce Solutions Group, which took place on October 14th. We heard inspiring calls to action from the Senate President, three state agency Secretaries, three college Presidents, the Attorney General, numerous business leaders, and varied labor and workforce leaders. We heard about the impact of automation on the workplace, the challenges of the gig economy, and best practices for youth employment programs.

Find more information and highlights in WSG's most recent newsletter and check out SkillWorks' Facebook page for some pictures of the day's events!

And keep an eye on WSG's website for more info and highlights from this year's Summit!

New Report: "Inclusive Employment and Career for Boston Youth with Disabilities: Pathways to the Talent Pipeline"

Recent SkillWorks' grantee, the Massachusetts Advocates for Children and  The Boston Foundation convened a Workforce Development Task Force with a goal to increase inclusive workforce and post-secondary education placements and opportunities for Boston youth with disabilities, for all types and severities, while enrolled in school and after exiting. The Task Force released its report and action plan in late October. Although focused on Boston, the report's recommendations are applicable statewide and beyond.

Check out the report and action plan on the new B-SET for Career website!

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