A listing of all WSG news updates, event recaps, and legislation updates from the past few years.
Feel free to browse through to see how the WSG has evolved since it's incarnation in 2006.
Winter 2011 News:
Budget Data 2012
With 2011 underway, now is the time for determining the 2012 budget. Below are links to important information concerning how we intend to spend on workforce programs, as well as how similar agencies will be funding their projects.
WSG Chart of Priority Budget for Workforce Programs
Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) FY 2012 Budget Released
Fall 2010 News:
Massachusetts Gubernatorial Forum
September 28, 2010
Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, MA
the Gubernatorial Forum brought out close to 600 Commonwealth citizens to hear what their candidates had to say about workforce development.
Charlie Baker (Republican), Jill Stein (Green), Tim Cahill (Independent), and Deval Patrick (Democrat) addressed questions sent in by the public about job creation and the future of the Massachusetts economy.
Summer 2010 News:
Report and Recommendations Released
Massachusetts Jobs and Workforce Summit
June 22, 2010
Publick House, Sturbridge, MA
Governor Patrick was the keynote speaker at the Jobs Summit, which covered topics including: A View from the State House and Capitol Hill; Engaging Employers in the Workforce System; and Connecting Workers to Jobs. The Summit included over 300 business, labor, education and workforce leaders from across Massachusetts.
Click to read the 2010 Summit Program.
Past Organization News:
Recent Studies and Articles
(YOUR OPINION:) Legislature Should't Mess with Success
Sue Parsons, WSG Director, 03/16/10
Read the new Center for Labor Market Studies Paper on the
Depth of the Depression in the Blue Collar Sectors
Workforce Training Fund
Legislative Hearing held at the State House on January 13, 2010 on H22 and H1813 to
Extend the Workforce Training Fund and Create a Trust for the Fund
(L-R) Barbara Emmanuel, Tom McDonough, Carl Lavin, Sue Parsons, Chris Martin, Alan Macdonald
Workforce Solutions Group Executive Director Sue Parsons led the Panel in support of these bills relative to the Workforce Training Fund. The Panel touted the Training Fund for the immense benefit it provides for employers in need of training funds- the availability of these funds has literally saved companies from closure or from moving to other countries. The Panel also spoke to the unique aspect of the Fund in that it is completely supported by employer payroll taxes and is of no cost to the State. The high satisfaction rate of employers who have used the fund- 96% would recommend the program to other people- also speaks to the merit. Also on the Panel were Alan Macdonald of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, Chris Martin of the Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership, Carl Lavin of the Norwood One-Stop Career Center and Barbara Emmanuel and Tom McDonough of the BerkshireWorks One Stop Career Center.
Representative Rodrigues, who originally introduced H1841: An Act Eliminating the Workforce Training Fund, spoke at the beginning of the Hearing on his desire not to eliminate the fund but to extend it with the condition that it be made into a trust to prevent the diversion of money from this training fund into the general fund. A small business owner himself he originally opposed the fund because he was wary that it would be another payroll surcharge that would be misappropriated: now saying, “I have been converted. I realize what a great program the Workforce Training Fund is.” He also noted that other employers do not mind the charges either, as long as the funds are not diverted for other uses than intended- as workforce training to incumbent workers.
WIA Reauthorization 2009
President Barack Obama calls upon Congress to Reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act-
Recognizes Massachusetts Success in Science
Workforce Solutions Group Hires New Director
New WSG Director Sue Parsons, formerly the Mass AFL-CIO organizer to the Workforce Solutions Group,
became WSG Director on February 2, 2009. She brings to this leadership position her 5 years work advocating
within organized labor for WSG goals and reform. Of her new role at WSG, Sue says,
"I look forward to working closely with our coalition partners to advocate for the creative solutions
that the WSG brings to our state's economic challenges." Bob Haynes, President of the Mass AFL- CIO said,
"As Director of WSG, Sue will continue to be a strong advocate for an effective workforce system
in the Commonwealth that increases workers' skills, promotes family-sustaining jobs, and economic growth."
Alan Macdonald, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable added,
"We've been able to 'hit the ground running' this year, with Sue on board to lead our expanded group."
To contact the Workforce Solutions Group or Sue Parsons,
call 617-259-2960, or email sparsons @liveworkthrive.org
$787 Billion ARRA Funding Flowing To States
In Massachusetts, our workforce development constituency faces both the challenge and the opportunity
to create well-paid, family-supporting jobs throught a range of industries while also directing funds into effective
training and education activities that benefit a wide range of struggling Americans. And all this before July this year!
Many of our WSG coalition groups have advocated to policy-makers that training is needed to ensure that low-wage
and displaced workers have the necessary skills to take advantage of these emerging opportunities.
Nationally, $4 billion in ARRA funding will go toward training.
President Barack Obama signs onto ARRA.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of Massachusetts is set to receive $64 million in funding as follows:
WSG Awarded SkillWorks grant for Phase 2 of Public Policy Advocacy
The WSG launched its Phase 2 campaign January 1, 2009 with the successful award of a three-year grant by the SkillWorks Funders Group. The WSG is a multi-sector partnership that develops and implements public policy advocacy activities and initiatives to: - Sustain and expand funding for the Mass. workforce development system - Achieve systemic reforms that improve access to workforce development resources and supports by workers, job seekers, education and training providers and employers To meet the needs of the Massachusetts workforce development system, WSG has expanded its executive team for the work of Phase 2. The four original WSG members, the Mass WIB Association, the Crittenton Women's Union, the Mass Communities Action Network and the Mass AFL-CIO are joined by the Mass Workforce Investment Administrators Association (WIA Association), the Mass Business Roundtable, and NU's Center for Labor Market Studies (CLMS). Kris Dower from the WIA Association, Alan Macdonald from the Business Roundtable and Andy Sum from CLMS, add important perspectives to our partnership, along with the specialized knowledge and experiences of their organizations. We are pleased to welcome them as Executive Team leaders.
WSG Phase 2 Year 1 Priorities:
The WSG Partners Group is a coalition of statewide and regional organizations and institutions responsible for deliberating issues related to WSG's public policy advocacy work. In Phase 2, we are expanding our Partners Group and inviting partners to participate in WSG committees to contribute to Phase 2 system change and funding goals. These committees along with the WSG regional networks will be vehicles for the involvement of diverse stakeholders beyond the Partners Group. WSG Committees Legislative and Administrative Policy Committee Organizing & Public Engagement Committee Employer Engagement Committee Research Committee At the WSG March 24 Partners Group Quarterly Meeting, committee priorities will be discussed and partners will be invited to become members of the committee of their choice.
Regional Meetings to Be Held
In December 2008, members of the WSG Executive Team worked with the State's Task Force on ARRA implementation, and helped form its recommendations:
Food Stamp Employment and Training (FSET) Program allows organizations to receive a 50% reimbursement from the federal government for all non-federal dollars spent on education and training for non-TANF Food Stamp recipients. This program was part of the Workforce Solutions Act/Economic Stimulus Bill.
Links to the pre-qualification form, which we urge you to fill out as soon as possible if you serve eligible people, and a Fact Sheet on the FSET program.If you have questions about the program please contact:
Anthony Owumi, Research Analyst
University of Massachusetts Medical School
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSITIONAL ASSISTANCE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM
Educational Rewards Grant Program
Established by the Workforce Solutions Act/ Economic Stimulus Bill has been released, applications are now availeble. Information and applications are available at your local One-Stop Career Center or Community College.
Click here for more information.
This program funds grants of up to $3,000 for students seeking training in a high demand occupations. It gives special attention to low-income working adults and displaced workers. In addition to paying for tuition, these flexible grants may be used to help with living expenses such as transportation and child care.
Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund
Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund Grants
The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) is the hallmark of the Workforce Solutions Act, a three-year initiative focused on several critical industry sectors. It is designed to enable a broad range of residents—including older workers, low-wage workers, low-income individuals, disabled citizens, vulnerable youth, incumbent workers and the unemployed—to gain access to employment, education and the skills necessary to move forward along a career path leading to economic self-sufficiency.
Implementing the Workforce Solutions Act/Economic Stimulus Bill
The Workforce Solutions Group has continued to meet and reach out to our partners to shape the implementation of the proposals we have worked so hard to see enacted in legislation. The following outlines the most recent updates.
Workforce Solutions Group members are working with the state Departments of Workforce Development, Education, Transitional Assistance and the Commonwealth Corporation on implementation of the historic workforce investments in Massachusetts workers and employers passed by the Legislature including the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund; School to Career Connecting Activities; One-Stop Career Centers; Food Stamp Employment and Training Program and Extended Career Career Ladder Initiative. Several members of the WSG are on the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund Advisory Committee and working subcommittees
Representative Thomas Kennedy joins Ed Lofgren from the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association during the announcement that Massasoit Community College would lead the Jobs in Boating project.
Secretary Bump along with her mother congratulate Michael Martin who provided a moving account on his successful experience in the At Your Service Program, a WCTF grant recipient.
The Workforce Solutions Group (WSG) is a coalition led by the Massachusetts Workforce Board Association,
the Massachusetts Communities Action Network the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, The Crittendon Women’s Union,
the Mass Business Roundtable, the Center for Labor Market Studies and the Workforce Investment Association of Mass.
WSG advocates for an effective workforce development system that increases workers’ skills,
advances families to self-sufficiency and promotes job creation and economic growth.
SkillWorks, the largest public/private investment in workforce development in Boston’s history,
is an ambitious effort on the part of philanthropy, government, community organizations, unions, and employers to
create a workforce development system that helps low to moderate income
residents move to family-sustaining jobs and helps employers find and retain skilled employees.
For more information about the strategies and programs of SkillWorks, please visit their web site at SkillWorks and click on SkillWorks brochure
Find out more about the work and constituencies of our other partners by visiting their web site's below:
Workforce Investment Association of Mass.
The Strategy Group
More about out coalition partners in the Workforce Solutions Group
Labor market research reports prepared for the Workforce Solutions Group by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.
The Workforce Solutions Group • One Washington Mall, 2nd Floor • Boston, MA 02108 • (p)617-259-2960 • (f)617-247-8826