Blogging about jobs, skills, policy, and economic opportunity in Massachusetts
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: 1) Helping low-skill, low-income individuals attain family-supporting jobs; and 2) Helping employers find and retain skilled employees.
We are experiencing one of the strongest and most sustained periods of economic growth in American history—accompanied by unprecedented levels of income inequality. That growth has led to the current tight labor market with its continued proliferation of skilled jobs, which, in combination with anticipated attrition due to Baby Boomer retirements, has created a never-before-seen tension between the demand to fill jobs and the lack of supply ready to fill those jobs.
That tension requires a more robust workforce development solution. For example, with historically tight job markets, employers are desperate for talent. They are now willing to consider previously disregarded sources of labor and new approaches to recruitment and retention. This not only offers greater economic opportunity to lower-income individuals, but it creates a competitive business advantage for the employer. To meet these extraordinary challenges and opportunities, we need a very different approach, a new kind of “Next Gen” workforce organization that can launch untapped talent into new opportunities at a much faster, more direct and sustained rate and support the long-term success of both workers and employers via advancement, retention and strong employment practices. It also requires accompanying investment by philanthropy and government to make Next Gen workforce development a reality.
Enter Project Catapult: a new way of doing workforce development that will be valued by employers and will support longer-term economic mobility for jobseekers and employees.
BEST Corp Hospitality Training’s mission is to provide individuals with the education, skills and training to excel in the hospitality industry and in their personal lives. This is the story of a man, just one of many, for whom BEST Corp did just that! Along with his own dedication, perserverence and professionalism, Mahmudul Hassan went from being a new immigrant earning $9.00 per hour, to earning more than double that and is well on his way into a fulfilling career in hospitality!
“The Clowes Fund, a family foundation, seeks to enhance the common good by encouraging organizations and projects that help to build a just and equitable society, create opportunities for initiative, foster creativity and the growth of knowledge, and promote appreciation of the natural environment.” This mission has guided The Clowes Fund for nearly two decades. Ten years ago, The Clowes Fund articulated its specific interest in assuring that all individuals have available the support and services necessary to enable them to participate fully in the economic life of their communities. SkillWorks has been part of our strategy since then.
The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund delivers the best bang for the State’s buck, so let’s fund it!
According to a recent survey, two thirdsof employers in Massachusetts have trouble finding workers with the right skills. That’s not surprising when you consider that one in threeadults in our state have only a high school diploma or less. Not to mention, nearly one third of the state’s labor force is over the age of 55 and will be retiring soon. These are among the realities that combine to create a perfect storm, threatening the stability our statewide economy.
According to the National Fund for Workforce Solutions’ new report, Improving Supervision for Frontline Jobs: A Massachusetts Case Study of Skilled Nursing Facilities, efforts to improve frontline supervision can improve the quality of entry-level jobs in long-term care resulting in higher retention of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) and better care for patients. Working with the Massachusetts Senior Care Association and SkillWorks, the report examined findings from five skilled nursing facilities that implemented the PHI Coaching Approach to supervision.