Spring 2016 Newsletter
It's Budget Season!
Friends of SkillWorks,

We’re in the thick of the FY17 State Budget process. Check out the information and resources below for everything you need to know this budget season! And keep reading for more SkillWorks and workforce news and updates!
The  Workforce Solutions Group (WSG) is SkillWorks' primary public policy advocacy grantee and partner. As such, WSG advocates for an effective workforce development system that increases workers’ skills, advances families to self-sufficiency and promotes job creation and economic growth. This includes deep involvement in the state budget process each year.
MA Senate Budget Highlights:
  • $4M for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (7002-1065), supporting job training partnerships that identify critical job vacancies and work with employers to train people for quality jobs with upward career paths.

  • YouthWorks(7002-0012) was level funded at $11.5M which would result in a net loss of 600 jobs due to the increase in the minimum wage. Last year we lost 750 jobs so this would make a cumulative loss of 1,350 youth jobs over the last two years. Please ask your senators to support an amendment lifting this appropriation to $13.3 to avoid this job loss for at risk teens. 

  • $2.8M for School-to-Career-Connecting Activities (7027-0019), which supports paid internships for high school students across the Commonwealth. This is less than Governor Baker's recommended $5.4M. Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz is the lead sponsor on the amendment to increase back to $5.4 million: please ask Senators to contact Anthony.Thomas@masenate.gov to co-sponsor this amendment.

  • Senator Michael Moore's amendment to fund paid work study for families on TAFDC at community colleges and to pay for navigators to help these students succeed in college. The amendment would provide $2.5 million to connect these low income parents to a community college education and economic self-sufficiency. Ask your senators to support this amendment!

  • Vocational Technical Education: check out the Alliance for Vocational Technical Education (AVTE)'s Policy Recommendations to improve the Commonwealth's Career/Vocational Technical Education system.

For the full list of line items, read WSG's  FY 2017 Budget Priorities.

And please call your Senators today about these important job training efforts!

Advocacy Resources:

Here are some informative resources to provide additional details and context around Massachusetts state workforce funding and policy. Please feel free to use, share, and refer to these resources when engaging in advocacy efforts!

MassBudget's Jobs & Workforce Budget Browser: an online tool that provides information and analysis of the many programs in our state budget that support workforce development.

Skills to Succeed: a presentation on the new policy advocacy campaign to increase workforce outcomes and resources in Massachusetts. Please also click below for a two-sided infographic depicting the Skills Gap in Massachusetts and the Four Point Plan for Job and Career Growth in Massachusetts.

Take Action:

Click here to learn more about the budget process and how YOU can impact state budget decisions!

Identify your representatives and reach out to advocate for these critical workforce issues!

For more information on the budget, policy advocacy, and how to get involved, contact the Workforce Solutions Group at 617-263-3344 

Commonwealth Corporation & Workforce Training Fund RFP for a new round of funding for small businesses and training providers  

 Deadline: June 30, 2016

Commonwealth Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the Workforce Training Fund Direct Access Program (DAP) Request for Proposals.The intent of the program is to provide all businesses, with a special emphasis on small businesses (100 employees or fewer in Massachusetts) with direct and streamlined access to training when:
  • the scope and scale of their immediate need is not sufficient to be worth developing a General Program application or,
  • there is significant documented regional demand for proposed training that the training provider has a track record of meeting.

AVTE Legislative Briefing & Advocacy Day
On Tuesday, March 29th, SkillWorks, the  Workforce Solutions Group , and the rest of the  Alliance for Vocational Technical Education (AVTE)  held a legislative briefing and advocacy day at the Massachusetts State House to garner support for their policy recommendations to improve Massachusetts’ Vocational Technical Education system.
Around the Workforce World
Upcoming Meetings & Events
  • June 7: SkillWorks Funders Group Meeting
  • June 8: SNAP E&T Forum hosted by SkillWorks, JVS, The Fireman Foundation and Eos, at Associated Grantmakters (AGM)
SkillWorks: Partners for a Productive Workforce | www.skill-works.org |  skillworks.wordpress.com