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.
The Current FY17 House Ways and Means budget would CUT job training, career readiness and employment programs for youth and adults.
Help us stop that from happening! To ensure funding for these critical programs, please contact your representatives and urge them to support and co-sponsor these amendments:
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.
As you might already know, we’re in the midst of the FY17 State Budget process. Curious about the timeline and mechanics of this process and how you can get involved? Click ‘Read More’ to find out what you should know!
Our Gubernatorial Forum, Building Massachusetts’ Skills to Compete is less than 1 week away! If you haven’t already, don’t forget to register for the event and spread the word to anyone interested in hearing the Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates talk job creation, unemployment, skills training and other critical workforce development related issues!
In preparation for the forum, along with our co-hosts we have developed a policy platform which includes Six Recommendations for the Next Governor of Massachusetts, to ensure the continued competitiveness of Massachusetts’ workers and businesses:
1) Double the number of job-seekers who are able to obtain the skills for good jobs through training partnerships that meet business needs.
2) Increase the capacity of Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs, and ensure that they prepare MA residents for success in post-secondary education, workforce training or employment.
3) Double the number of young people in the state who are able to access summer and year-round jobs, structured career development opportunities, and vocational technical training
4) Integrate our education, workforce and economic development systems so there are no dead ends and only seamless connections for business or individuals seeking opportunities to grow in the Commonwealth.
5) Improve job quality to address the rise in income inequality in the Commonwealth.
6) Measure and report results of education, training, and employment programs in a comprehensive way across all public policy systems.
Don’t forget to follow us & the event on Twitter!! We’ll be live tweeting throughout the evening!
@SkillWorks_MA @WSG_40 #majobsforum #mapoli #MAGov
See you there!