The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund delivers the best bang for the State’s buck, so let’s fund it!
According to a recent survey, two thirdsof employers in Massachusetts have trouble finding workers with the right skills. That’s not surprising when you consider that one in threeadults 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.
SkillWorks has been a consummate mainstay for the past 14 years, with a proven track record acting as an innovative funder and partner while influencing the policies and practices of dozens of organizations in the region. As the pendulum of the economy has made dramatic shifts from periods of high unemployment to today’s tight labor market, SkillWorks has applied its practice, knowledge, and experience to respond as a nimble tool in support of our region’s workforce needs.
As we consider our role for the four years ahead, we will continue to sustain our values and act as a dynamic partner to aligned funders, intermediaries, organizations and employers, innovative platform to link talent to employers, responsive driver for diversity and inclusion, and strategic shaper of policy and practice.
What does it mean to be economically self-sufficient? To be financially stable? Many of us hear those terms, or something similar, and learn of their importance starting from an early age and may even get some exposure to tools and tips from family, teachers or mentors, but studies show that nearly 70% of Americans are not financially literate. So we’re talking about a LOT of people who aren’t getting the financial literacy knowledge they need to understand or manage their finances.
As a workforce funder collaborative, SkillWorks invests pooled resources into employer-driven, sector-based training and placement strategies to help low-skill, low-and moderate-income job seekers move to family-sustaining jobs, and help employers find and retain skilled employees. SkillWorks is a nationally recognized workforce development intermediary and is the model for the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. Since its inception in 2007, the National Fund has been a key partner, advisor, and collaborator with SkillWorks, and we’re excited to continue working closely with the National Fund as they launch into an exciting new phase!
After an intensive RFP process over the late summer-early fall of 2015, SkillWorks recommended a slate of 11 new grantees for one-year awards, approved by our funders in December of 2015. SkillWorks’ newest grantees began their terms on January 1st of this year and are already off to a fantastic start, with a full quarter of project activities under their belts. Early outcomes are looking positive and we are excited to continue working with and monitoring the progress of these projects, and sharing out learnings and best practices.