SkillWorks Announces NEW 4-Year Plan!

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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.

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Major Investment in Boston’s Talent Pipeline Announced at TechHire Boston’s 3rd IT/Tech Forum!

3rdtechforumaudienceCo-conveners of the TechHire Boston employer consortium, SkillWorks and the Boston Private Industry Council (Boston PIC), hosted the third and final IT/Tech forum on Monday, June 19th, 2017. The Greater Boston education and workforce development community gathered with IT/tech industry leaders in a packed space at District Hall to discuss strategies to engage and prepare local talent to meet the growing demand for IT/tech professionals. Mayor Walsh and the Boston Foundation’s Paul Grogan also joined us to announce unprecedented new investments in workforce development to grow the pool of talent and raise the level of candidate preparation from high school through college and into career. Check out the press release below for more information!

Continue reading “Major Investment in Boston’s Talent Pipeline Announced at TechHire Boston’s 3rd IT/Tech Forum!”

Participant Highlight: Rizel Bobb-Semple

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At just 21 years old, Rizel Bobb-Semple has already attained various postsecondary credentials, worked in healthcare and IT, is currently working toward an Associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems at Bunker Hill Community College, and is starting an exciting internship at HubSpot this spring!

She attributes many of her accomplishments to the training and postsecondary programs she participated in, like Hack.Diversity, of which SkillWorks is a proud supporter. And her connection with SkillWorks doesn’t stop there, having also participated in other funded programs in healthcare and IT – showing that she’s in the driver’s seat of her education, purposefully taking advantage of opportunities to learn about, explore, and enter into the career pathway that’s right for her.

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What’s Next for IT/Tech Talent Strategies in Boston? We’ll be Putting Our Money Where our Mouth Is

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Ever since the launch of the Greater Boston IT/Tech Consortium in September 2016, there has been a flurry of excitement around the opportunities and challenges the Consortium has set out to address, and the possibilities for building an accessible and sustainable talent pipeline that meets the needs of Greater Boston residents and employers.

Don’t just take our word for it, after hosting two forums, we’ve been getting some awesome feedback and shout-outs via Twitter:

Continue reading “What’s Next for IT/Tech Talent Strategies in Boston? We’ll be Putting Our Money Where our Mouth Is”

A Youth's Perspective on Workforce Development

I, like most people at the age of 18, was not fully aware of the efforts in the workforce development field until, through the City of Boston’s Summer Jobs program, I landed an internship at SkillWorks for the summer. Now I cannot go a day without either uttering or hearing the words workforce development, jobs, and education.

On the first day of my internship, I was handed a copy of Massachusetts’ Forgotten Middle Skill Jobs report which revealed two statistics I thought were staggering. I read, “45 percent of the jobs in Massachusetts’ labor market are ‘middle-skill,’ requiring more than a high school diploma but not a four-year degree, and that nearly 400,000 job openings between now and 2016 will be in this middle-skill area.” I thought the country was in a job crisis and yet right then I learned that there were jobs going unfilled because people did not have the necessary skills to fill them!

It hit me that middle skill job training was imperative for our state’s and our country’s economy. Hundreds of thousands of people have no means of supporting their families only because they lack the correct training and education. This report informed me and made me excited to advocate for the Skills2Compete-Massachusetts campaign, which calls for two years of education or training past high school. I knew after reading the report that I was in for a lot of hard work.

Here I am today a month and a half into my internship. Having recently graduated from high school, I understand that a high school diploma is not enough to succeed in today’s job market. Thus, I put my efforts into bringing the Skills2Compete vision to life by attending numerous workforce development meetings, planning for a gubernatorial forum in September, and helping out in any way possible. The most fulfilling day of my job came when I attended a YMCA Training Inc. graduation. Many speakers went on stage and shared their stories which detailed the way in which training has helped them, their families, and their lives. I could have read thousands of statistics proving the need for job training, but these people’s stories were enough for me.

I witness the results of job training and education and hear new success stories every single day. Yet, it is our goal to open the eyes of legislative leaders, policymakers and our next governor so that they can see the impact of training as well. I may see the Skills2Compete vision, but many others still do not.  It is up to all of us to continue promoting the Skills2Compete Massachusetts vision and campaign so that everybody becomes aware of what a little bit of job training and hard work can do. Please help by supporting our campaign and promoting the Skills2Compete vision!

-Arlind Hoxha, SkillWorks Summer Intern