Catapult Papers highlight the opportunities for “Next Gen” workforce development solutions

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“Catapult Papers” series recognizes opportunities for employers, workers in new approaches during tight labor market

Boston –Changing industries. A tight labor market. Changing demographics among jobseekers. With all of these disruptions to the workforce, workforce development organizations must pivot in order to better connect employers and jobseekers. How workforce development organizations can do that is the subject of a new series of papers underwritten by the Boston Foundation, SkillWorks, and JVS Boston.

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New SkillSPAN Network Will Increase Skills and Job Training Opportunities for Thousands of People

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New network will push for policies in postsecondary education, workforce training, career and technical education that expand economic opportunities for people and boost local businesses

Boston, MA – Massachusetts will be one of ten states to join the just-launched SkillSPAN, the first nationwide network of non-partisan organizations working together to drive workforce policy wins in over twenty-five states over the next five years.

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Project Catapult Launches First in Catapult Papers Series on The Future of Workforce Development

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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.

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Funder’s Corner: The Clowes Fund

A decade with SkillWorks

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“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.

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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”