Summer 2017 Newsletter
Executive Director's Message
SkillWorks is looking ahead at the next four years to come!
SkillWorks has been a consummate mainstay for the past 14 years, with a proven track record acting as an innovative funder and partner while influencing the policies and practices of dozens of organizations in the region. As the pendulum of the economy has made dramatic shifts from periods of high unemployment to today’s tight labor market, SkillWorks has applied its practice, knowledge, and experience to respond as a nimble tool in support of our region’s workforce needs.

As we consider our role for the four years ahead, we will continue to sustain our values and act as a dynamic partner to aligned funders, intermediaries, organizations and employers, innovative platform to link talent to employers, responsive driver for diversity and inclusion, and strategic shaper of policy and practice.

SkillWorks and our partners have trained, placed and supported over 6000 job seekers and incumbent workers since inception, including nearly 1,700 individuals since the beginning of Phase III (Jan 2014). SkillWorks has also increased the number and capacity of dozens of workforce partnerships and advocated for more than $100M in workforce resources locally, statewide and nationally

Over the next four years, SkillWorks' plan is to support interrelated components to achieve our overall goal of sustained improvement to the workforce system. We will target our region’s skill gaps and systemic challenges by
  • expanding employer engagement in healthcare, information technology/technology, and hospitality in order to aggregate better labor market intelligence to inform training programs,

  • focus on career awareness and workforce readiness integrated with career pathways so youth and young adults are exposed earlier to career options and credential requirements,

  • diversify pipelines through internship models for youth and young adults to expose employers to non-traditional talent pools, and

  • leverage retention and succession planning needs of employers by promoting job quality, upskilling and career advancement strategies.

Download our strategy document   to learn more about SkillWorks' 4-year plan!

Thank you for your support and partnership, and we look forward to continuing to work to create opportunities toward economic sufficiency for low-income workers and meet employer needs for high demand occupations throughout our region.

Marybeth Campbell
Executive Director, SkillWorks

P.S. There's so much more below! Please continue reading for all the latest news, updates and insights from SkillWorks, our partners and folks throughout our networks!
**We're Moving!**

As of August 17, 2017, SkillWorks will be rejoining our colleagues at the Boston Foundation in their new space:

75 Arlington Street,
3rd Floor 
Boston, MA 02116
SkillWorks' *NEWEST* Investments in IT/Tech
As part of the major funding announcements made at our third IT/Tech forum on June 19th, SkillWorks has formally launched our regional IT/Tech strategy with a set of new investments that will focus on working with employers to grow a more diverse pipeline of workers from under-represented talent pools in Greater Boston.

1. Expand Employer Engagement and Internships for Boston youth and adults through the TechHire Boston employer consortium.

2. Support the Scaling of the Tech Apprentice summer internship program through incorporating the Signal Success work readiness and career exploration curriculum.

3. Create a Career Advancement Plan for Cyber Security through Cyber Warriors Academy, an upskilling program for mid-level help desk and technical roles.

Earlier this month, SkillWorks' Executive Director, Marybeth Campbell shared her ViewPoint on the need to re-think how we do workforce development to build a diverse IT/tech workforce and remain competitive in a rapidly changing economy.
From the SkillWorks Blog
What does it mean to be economically self-sufficient? Some of us may learn the basics of personal finance and the importance of being financially literate starting from an early age and may even get some exposure to tools and tips from family, teachers or mentors, but  studies show  that  nearly 70%  of Americans are not financially literate. 
We've joined state and national partners to support An Act Relative to Ensuring Quality Education and Training Programs, which would make education and training program outcome data like wages and college completion rates regularly available to consumers to help inform decisions about the many training and education options.
The  TechHire Boston employer consortium, SkillWorks and the Boston Private Industry Council, hosted the third and final Boston IT/Tech forum on June 19th, 2017, where Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and the Boston Foundation's Paul Grogan announced unprecedented new investments in workforce development!
"I was privileged to participate in a  TechHire  Boston forum... focused on strategies to close the workforce gap in Greater Boston’s IT and tech space. As part of a panel of leaders from public, private, and nonprofit sectors, our discussion centered on the economic shifts in the digital age and the need for employers to easily find quality, diverse talent in a highly competitive market."
Involvement in policy advocacy can seem daunting, meant only for policy wonks and experts who know all the physical and political in’s and out’s of state and local legislatures – not true! CBOs can and should get civically engaged  to tell representatives why they should care about and support your cause! We've identified a few easy ways for CBOs to get involved in policy advocacy.
Policy Alerts & Updates
Final State Budget Invests in Talent Pipelines
Our priority investments in job training and workforce development were approved in the final FY18 state budget!

SkillWorks and our policy advocacy partners at the  Workforce Solutions Group (WSG) thank all legislators, House and Senate leadership, and Governor Baker and team for these critical investments!  

Employers are struggling to find skilled workers and  these programs will build and support training pipelines to ensure our economy continues to grow and people are able to advance their skills and careers.

Read the Final FY 2018 Massachusetts State Budget. 

Download the WSG's Budget Chart for specific line item information.

Sign up for the WSG's email list for all the latest workforce development policy updates in Massachusetts!
Deadline to submit responses: Friday, October 13, 2017 by Midnight.
WCTF & WTFP Bill Moves Forward!  
We are thrilled to report that  An Act to Diversify Use of the Workforce Training Fund to Support the WCTF  (S2109/H3804) received a favorable report from the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce.

This bill would allow up to 5% of the Workforce Training Fund (WTFP) to be used for pipeline training – allocated through the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF)  – and would match employer contributions with state dollars to enable up to $2.2 million per year to be used to upskill people for vacant jobs. The bill has widespread support from employer groups , labor unions, and community based organizations.   
Thank You to Chairs Sen.  Jason Lewis and Rep. Paul Brodeur for their leadership and to the Committee members for their support. The bill is now being considered by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and we welcome your letters of support to the Committee!

Click here  to contact the Senate Ways and Means Committee and pledge your support!

Download a fact sheet on the bill to learn more and share with legislators.  

For more information please contact  Kathie Mainzer  of the Workforce Solutions Group at 617-263-3344.

"Talent in the New Economy:  Powering Economic Growth"
The 8th Annual Massachusetts Jobs & Workforce Summit
Thursday, October 26th, 2017
 9:00- 3:00 pm
Devens Commons Conference Center
Devens, MA
Around the Workforce World
CWC is starting off their Fall Regional Networking Series with a workshop looking at the Economic Impacts of Just-A-Start Inc.'s Biomedical Careers Program. Register here.
Filling The “Skills Gap”
An innovative program aims to retrain workers for high-demand "middle skill" jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, healthcare and other fields.
More than 380 business, workforce development, and philanthropic leaders met in Philadelphia, PA to discuss how communities can  build prosperity together. 
The Latino population has driven Boston’s population growth, but data show efforts needed to improve access to high-wage, high-value industries. The report was released at an event hosted by the  Latino Legacy Fund at the Boston Foundation. is committing $50 million to support nonprofits that are expanding economic opportunity for everyone.
Further Reading & Resources
New article via WBUR's Bostonomix team features Hack.Diversity - an exciting and innovative initiative expanding access and diversity in Boston's tech industry. Supported in part by SkillWorks and the Boston Foundation.
Featured Reports
Report by Kate O'Sullivan and Don Spangler for the National Fund for Workforce Solutions
SkillWorks is a nationally recognized workforce funder collaborative, launched by the Boston Foundation in 2003 to improve workforce development in Boston and across 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. We're also a model for the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, along with 33 other regional workforce funder collaboratives. Learn more on our website:
Stay Connected!