Connecting Industry to Talent in the Digital Age: A Look at the Greater Boston IT/Tech Industry

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Guest written by: Philip Jordan, Economic Advancement Research Institute (EARI)

The U.S. economy is a complex and dynamic system within a global framework of goods and services. Through each boom and bust cycle, our economy has evolved, facing new global competitors and harnessing the creative and destructive power of technology. In the 21st century, this evolution has led to the intersection of the digital age and the human age; an age where repetition and consistency have given way to creativity and innovation, and skilled human capital fuels growth.

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Participant Highlight: Luis Garcia

Guest Written by: Barbara Hindley, Senior Director of Publications and Marketing, The Boston Foundation

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Photo credit: Richard Howard Photography

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.

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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, as indicated below. MassBudget’s new paper Investing in People: Workforce Training in the Massachusetts State Budget analyzes these long-term trends while also walking users through our interactive on-line Jobs & Workforce Budget tool. Together these resources describe each workforce training program funded by the state, show funding histories, and highlight broader trends across programs that provide similar supports. The Jobs & Workforce Budget also provides highlights from this year’s state budget.

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Advocacy 101: 4 Ways Community Based Organizations Can Get Involved in Advocacy and Engage with Policymakers

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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? Here are 4 ways your organization can get involved in policy advocacy or improve your current advocacy strategy:

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Skills to Succeed: A New Campaign to Increase Massachusetts’ Workforce Outcomes and Resources

As an article in today’s Boston Globe highlights, warnings of the instability of the Massachusetts economy are growing.  Reporter Deirdre Fernandes writes that the region’s top economists are stressing that despite numbers showing economic recovery and steady growth, when you check under the hood, you’ll see a more troubling picture. Yes, the official unemployment has dropped even lower than pre-recession levels to 4.4%, which is also below the current national average of 5%. And it’s true that the state economy has been experiencing steady growth, reaching an annual rate of 2.3%, well above the national average of 0.5%. But these data points divert attention from a myriad of challenges and systemic imbalances combining to create a ‘perfect storm’ positioned to wreak havoc on our economy.

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