On Tuesday, August 7, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the Economic Development and Jobs bill (H.4352). The bill includes a $5M direct appropriation for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund, a portion of which shall be directed to middle-skill training!
This new funding will create opportunities for hundreds of Commonwealth residents to train for and access middle-skill jobs and help dozens of employers fill critical vacancies, skill-up their workforces, and grow their businesses.
In addition, the legislation:
- Establishes a MA Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative and Commonwealth Advanced Manufacturing Futures program which, as part of their missions, will develop and implement worker training for and talent pipelines into this sector;
- Requires the state’s Workforce Investment Board (MWIB), in consultation with the president of the Commonwealth Corporation, to undertake an annual review of local and regional labor market information to develop regional plans to coordinate training and education activities to target employer needs and to meet the commonwealth’s demand for workers
- Establishes a middle-skill subcommittee of the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund advisory board.
Read the Governor’s press release for more information on the bill.
We could not be more excited to see the hard work and advocacy of the Skills2Compete MA coalition and all of our legislative champions come to fruition in just one legislative session. Readers of this space will remember that this effort all started with the release of the Massachusetts’ Forgotten Middle Skill Jobs report back in July 2010 and the filing of the Middle-Skill Solutions Act in January 2011. From there allies and legislative champions alike fought hard and worked creatively to get more resources into the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund and systems changes to increase our state’s focus on middle-skill jobs and credentials. A special thanks definitely goes out to Senator Ken Donnelly, who championed our bill from start to finish, and to Senator Dan Wolf, chair of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development and a strong believer in worker training. The newly-passed Jobs bill is a big step in the right direction, and we look forward to working with the legislature and the administration to implement it!
- Senators Ken Donnelly, Dan Wolf, Chairwoman Gale Candaras, Karen Spilka, Stan Rosenberg, Katherine Clark, Sonia Chang-Diaz, Tom McGee, Jack Hart, Chairman Stephen Brewer, Mike Moore, Michael Knapik, Brian Joyce, and Mike Rush.
- Chairman Joseph Wagner, Chairman Brian Dempsey, and Representative Cheryl Coakley-Rivera
Thanks, finally, to all of YOU for helping this cross the finish line and for supporting job training in our state!