Sustained Funding Needed For Training To Meet State’s Skilled Labor Needs

The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund delivers the best bang for the State’s buck, so let’s fund it!

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Photo credit: Commonwealth Corporation

According to a recent survey, two thirds of employers in Massachusetts have trouble finding workers with the right skills. That’s not surprising when you consider that one in three adults 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.

The good news is that Massachusetts has two funding mechanisms to help address these issues: the Workforce Training Fund (WTF), a $22M fund supported by employer-backed contributions from Unemployment Insurance for incumbent worker training, and the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF), a proven sector-based training model that has served hundreds of employers with qualified talent. The bad news: funding for both has decreased over the years, and only one of these has a sustained annual funding stream. Continue reading “Sustained Funding Needed For Training To Meet State’s Skilled Labor Needs”

Alliance for Vocational Technical Education (AVTE) Calls for Increased Investment by State in Career and Technical Education

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 1.42.08 PM.pngMarch 2, 2018: A broad, statewide coalition of business, education, and community groups, including SkillWorks and advocacy partners with the Workforce Solutions Group, convened at the State House on Friday to urge the Governor and Legislature to redouble their efforts to expand access and boost funding for career and technical education (CTE) in Massachusetts.

Continue reading “Alliance for Vocational Technical Education (AVTE) Calls for Increased Investment by State in Career and Technical Education”

SkillWorks, Partners Support Legislation to Ensure Quality Education & Training Programs Through Quality Data

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SkillWorks has joined state and national partners to support SB674: An Act Relative to Ensuring Quality Education and Training Programs. Filed by the late Senator Ken Donnelly, the bill would make education and training program outcome data like wage attainment and college completion rates available to consumers on a timely basis to better inform consumer choices and options.  It would give policymakers new tools to better inform the state’s workforce and education planning strategies.

Interested in learning more and finding out how you can support SB674? Well, you’re in luck! Working with our partners at the Workforce Solutions Group and the National Skills Coalition’s Workforce Data Quality Campaign, we’ve developed a fact sheet explaining the What, Who, How and ultimately Why of this critical piece of legislation:

Continue reading “SkillWorks, Partners Support Legislation to Ensure Quality Education & Training Programs Through Quality Data”

MA Jobs & Workforce Summit Recap: This Year, We Mean Business!

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In case you missed it, the Workforce Solutions Group (WSG), with support and in partnership with SkillWorks, successfully hosted the 7th Annual Massachusetts Jobs and Workforce Summit on Wednesday, October 26 in Devens, MA. Every year, the Workforce Solutions group brings more than 300 key policy makers, business, labor, and education leaders, to present the latest information about statewide labor and credential needs, higher education initiatives and career pathways for young adults. This year’s theme? We Mean Business!

Continue reading “MA Jobs & Workforce Summit Recap: This Year, We Mean Business!”

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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Continue reading “Funding for Workforce Training in Massachusetts – and a Promising Opportunity”