(End of) Summer 2016 Newsletter

A Message from our Executive Director

Hello Friend of SkillWorks!

Where did the summer go? Seems like just yesterday we shared our Spring news and updates and yet here we are at the end of August, heading into Labor Day and many exciting endeavors! 
This year, SkillWorks successfully achieved our overarching goal to develop a sector-specific employer partnership in the IT/Technology sector focused on proven skill needs: the Greater Boston IT/Technology Consortium, supported by JPMorgan Chase, which will be formally launched next month. This partnership will engage employers and other key stakeholders in the Greater Boston IT/Tech industry to identify high-quality education and training partners to begin building the training and credentialing pathways needed to meet employers’ needs. The launch event will be the first in a series of three forums over the course of this year focused on the IT/Technology industry in Greater Boston. More details below! 

We are also planning to develop IT/Tech career pathways and job placement services for Opportunity Youth (OY), primarily between the ages of 16-24. Part of this will be to invest in coaching, tools, and curriculum developing youth across key areas related to career success including: academic knowledge, technical skills, work readiness and career interest/navigation.

This work aligns well with our newly developed youth and young adult investment strategy and portfolio. Our mission is to Ensure that 1) Greater Boston youth and young adults are aware, able to access, prepared and supported to enter into and persist through postsecondary or alternative education or training, leading to self and family sustaining employment; and 2) Employers perceive youth and young adults as a valuable source of talent and have a skilled and prepared pool of talent to draw upon. We plan to invest in strategies, curricula, and best practices that increase work readiness, provide postsecondary and career exploration and navigation, ensure service providers have adequate training and capacity, and engage employers around the value of hiring youth and young adults who are prepared for the workplace.

To share our efforts and learnings in this space, SkillWorks will be launching a blog series on our youth and young adult work, which will highlight investments, partnerships, initiatives, programs, and their participants. Keep an eye out for this series by following our blog

There’s so much more below! Check out the rest of our newsletter for more SkillWorks news and updates, and news from around the workforce world!

IT Jobs for All? 
  Understanding the Challenges and Opportunities of Meeting the IT/Tech Workforce Demands of Greater Boston
A forum convened by:
  Friday, September 16, 2016
8:00 to 10:30 a.m.
The Boston Foundation, 75 Arlington St, 10th Floor, Boston, MA

Partnering with the Boston Private Industry Council, SkillWorks will launch the IT/Tech Employer Consortium, the first in a year-long series of forums. This forum will focus on workforce challenges, including lack of diversity in the sector across all occupations and lack of exposure between employers and two-year colleges as a talent pipeline.

W e l c o m i n g  R e m a r k s  

Paul S. Grogan, President & CEO, The Boston Foundation 

G u e s t  S p e a k e r s  

Philip JordanExecutive Director

Economic Advancement Research Institute  

Sarah Ayers SteinbergVice President, Global Philanthropy 

at JPMorgan Chase & Co.  

Luther JacksonProgram Manager, TechLadder at NOVA Workforce Board 

Melissa JamesFounder and CEO, Tech Connection  

Reinier MoqueteCEO and Managing Partner, Advoqt, 

Founder, Latino STEM Alliance  

Trish TorizzoDiv. CIO, Enterprise & Analytics, Charles River Laboratories 

Join the conversation!       #GrtrBosTech
Funding for Workforce Training in Massachusetts – and a Promising Opportunity

Guest post by MassBudget.

Workforce training gives people the skills they need to get good jobs and support their families. These programs are also important to our Commonwealth more broadly, since we rely on well-educated, highly-skilled workers to sustain our state’s high-wage economy.

Despite the evidence that workforce training gives people the skills they need to succeed, state funding for workforce training has fallen over time, down 30 percent between Fiscal Years 2001 and 2017...

Advocacy 101: 4 Ways Community Based Organizations Can Get Involved in Advocacy and Engage with Policymakers
For many community based organizations, involvement in public policy advocacy can be a daunting endeavor, 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! Especially for social issue-focused organizations, which tend to be part of larger systems that may require more resources, support, and changes to those systems in order to work toward solving or improving a particular problem and/or serve a particular population. This calls for active civic engagement and advocacy to tell representatives why they should care about and support your cause(s)! But where to start?  We've identified 4 ways your organization can get involved in policy advocacy or improve your current advocacy strategy!
Skills to Succeed: A New Campaign to Increase Massachusetts’ Workforce Outcomes and Resources
  A Snapshot of the "Skills Gap" in Massachusetts:
  • The percent of underemployed workers and those who are only marginally attached to the workforce is still well above pre-recession levels at 9.3%.
  • Two thirds of Massachusetts employers are expressing difficulty finding and hiring people with the right skills, pointing to a so-called ‘skills gap.’
  • By 2020, 70% of all jobs will require post-secondary education, yet 1 in 3 adults in Massachusetts have only a high school diploma or less.
  • Nearly one third of the Massachusetts labor force is already over the age of 55 and will be retiring soon.
  • Anecdotally, 9 in 10 of individuals that seek out occupational training are turned away due to lack of basic skills.
SkillWorks , our policy advocacy partners at the  Workforce Solutions Group , and others across the workforce community are already well aware of this storm and we’ve devised a new campaign and set of policy recommendations to address these challenges and mitigate the impact on our economy and residents: Skills to Succeed: A Four Point Plan for Job Growth in Massachusetts.
Participant Highlight: Luis Garcia

Luis Garcia came to the United States from Guatemala in 1990 and found good work in the Boston area, mostly with moving companies.  He met and married his wife, who gave birth to their daughter.  Life was good—until everything started to fall apart.  Garcia was laid off and, as a result, lost his apartment.  He, his wife and their daughter were forced to live apart.  “I always worked,” he says, “and to be out of work and away from my family was very, very hard.” 

But Garcia’s life began to turn around when he learned about the Building Energy Efficient Maintenance Skills (BEEMS) program run by the Asian American Civic Association (AACA), and supported by SkillWorks, a public/private partnership between the Boston Foundation and the City of Boston.

Around the Workforce World

Save the Date:

7th Annual Massachusetts Jobs and Workforce Summit: 

"We Mean Business"

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 

Devens Commons Center, Devens, MA

Hosted by the Workforce Solutions Group  

2016 Workforce Solutions Group Champion Awards
Consider the employers, providers and partnerships you work with ~ recognize a workforce partner who contributes to innovative workforce programs with superb outcomes in Massachusetts!
The 2016 Workforce Solutions Group Champion Awards will be presented at the 7th Annual Massachusetts Jobs and Workforce Summit on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, at the Devens Common Conference Center in Devens, Massachusetts.
New Funding Opportunity from Mayor's Office of Workforce Development
Allston Community Benefits ApplicationFor Projects Benefiting Boston's Allston Neighborhood

As part of its agreement with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the developer of the Icon residential development at 75 Brainerd Road, Allston, contributed $100,000 for the benefit of the surrounding neighborhood. Available to Massachusetts-based nonprofits (or organizations whose fiscal agents are local non-profits), these community benefits funds are intended for projects that make a positive impact on the Allston neighborhood or community. 

Clemente Course in the Humanities
The Clemente Course in the Humanities is a year-long, college-level introduction to the humanities taught to adults supported by Mass Humanities. They teach art history, moral philosophy, American history, literature and writing & critical thinking. Classes are  Monday  and  Wednesday  evening and run from mid-September through early June.

The program provides free tuition, books and materials to qualified students. Graduates who complete the work of the program earn six college credits from Bard College, which can be transferred to any college or university.    
Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2 Million for Regional Competitive Workforce Partnerships
BOSTON, MA  – Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald L. Walker II today announced that the Baker-Polito Administration awarded more than $2 million in grants from the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) to support 14 regional partnerships between businesses, educational institutions, community-based organizations, and workforce development groups, helping prepare more than 370 unemployed and/or underemployed Massachusetts residents with additional skills and job training for in-demand occupations.
Grant Recipients:
  • Asian American Civic Association - $157,000 to train for jobs in finance and insurance
  • BEST Corp. Hospitality Training Center - $135,002 to train for jobs in hotels
  • Boston University - $99,986 to train for jobs in life sciences
  • Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board - $179,992 to train for jobs in transportation and warehousing
  • Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board - $160,473 to train for jobs in advanced manufacturing
  • Community Learning Center, City of Cambridge - $149,133 to train for jobs in healthcare
  • Holyoke Community College - $190,000 to train for jobs in culinary arts
  • Lawrence Community Works - $190,000 to train for jobs in educational services
  • Madison Park Technical Vocational High School - $64,344 to train for jobs in automotive technology
  • Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board - $190,000 to train for jobs in transportation
  • MetroNorth Regional Employment Board - $160,000 to train for jobs in hospitality
  • Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce - $186,902 to train for jobs in retail
  • Tech Foundry - $123,808 to train for jobs in information technology
  • YouthBuild Boston - $60,000 to train for jobs in construction
YouthWorks Gives Teens Opportunities
to Grow

Excerpt from  On the Job  The Official Blog of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development:
" YouthWorks is a state-funded employment program that helps low-income teens and young adults gain experience and skills to go from their first job to their next job by giving them invaluable soft-skills, like taking direction and working on a team. Every YouthWorks teen must complete Signal Success, a curriculum that teaches high school students “soft skills” such as dependability, collaboration, initiative and communication to help them be successful in a work environment. Research suggests mastering these skills at a young age predicts future career and life success."
Upcoming Meetings & Events
SkillWorks: Partners for a Productive Workforce | www.skill-works.org |  skillworks.wordpress.com