Skills2Compete MA held a workforce policy breakfast briefing on Thursday, October 13 at the Parkman House. Moderated by Alan Macdonald, the breakfast featured remarks by Dr. Alicia Modestino of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Senator Daniel Wolf, chair of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development; and Senator Donnelly, lead Senate sponsor of the Middle-Skills Solutions Act.
- Dr. Modestino provided an overview of her research on the skills gap in Massachusetts for the New England Policy Center, emphasizing the continued need for workers with more than a high school level of education and in particular for workers with specific technical skills that are highly sought after by employers. Dr. Modestino also spoke about the long-term economic costs to the Commonwealth of not investing sufficient resources in training and education of our workforce.
- Senator Wolf spoke from his personal experience as a successful entrepreneur, citing current shortages that his company, Cape Air, is experiencing for airplane mechanics, pilots, and finance staff. He also spoke about the need for businesses and the workforce and education systems to be better coordinated and in closer communication in order to ensure our training is aligned with available jobs.
- Senator Donnelly emphasized his strong support for the Middle Skills Solutions Act (SB 921/ HB 2713), citing examples from his recent site visit to Middlesex Community College that demonstrated how workforce and post-secondary training could be delivered in a more streamlined, worker- and business-friendly manner.
All three urged the audience to support the Middle-Skills act, which will be heard in Senator Wolf’s committee on October 27, 10:30 am in room A-1 of the State House. Both Senators Wolf and Donnelly stated that this legislation was one of their highest priorities this session and that they were working with Senate and House leadership to pass the bill.
Thanks so much to those who were able to attend; we hope you enjoyed it!