What is the workforce system?
The public workforce system is a network of federal, state, and local entities that work together to provide education and training services to jobseekers and skilled talent to businesses to support economic strength and competitiveness. The public workforce system was initially developed through the 1998 Workforce Investment Act, which developed a state-based system organized through state and local workforce boards, which oversee one-stop career centers. Today, under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the public system also includes adult education, vocational rehabilitation, transitional assistance and other state and local agency partners. The public workforce system works in partnership with businesses, educators, training providers, community leaders and non-profits.
Of importance, the public workforce system is designed to be locally responsive and demand driven and serves four populations:
- Individuals with barriers to employment
- Dislocated workers or those who are underemployed/seeking a change in their employment
In 2017, The Baker-Polito Administration launched a regional planning initiative focusing on convening regional teams of educators, workforce, and economic development professionals to create regional blueprints for growth strategies in 7 regions of the Commonwealth. The initiative, led by the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, which is comprised of the Secretaries of Education, Labor and Workforce Development and Housing and Economic Development, works to align state and local programs, policies, and resources to fuel job growth and address employer demand for talent.
Seven regional teams across the Berkshire, Pioneer Valley, Central, Northeast, Greater Boston, Cape & Islands, and Southeast regions have developed regional labor market blueprints that are now used to inform policy-making and investments targeted at strengthening the Massachusetts economy. You can access those blueprints here.
Dynamic Labor Market Tool
Developed by the Exec. Office of Labor and Workforce Development, these tools were developed to support regions in updating the labor market information in their blueprints and in doing deeper dives in the data for regional planning efforts.
ReMAke 4.0 was an effort funded by the Exec. Office of Housing and Economic Development to pilot a promotion and marketing campaign for the advanced manufacturing industry and associated careers. MassHire North Central and Central Region Workforce Boards led the effort and now additional regions are joining to make this a statewide campaign.
The resources linked here on the National Association of Workforce Boards website detail the federal legislation that reauthorized the previous Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and outlines how states should use their federal workforce funding in a coordinated way with partners, such as Adult Education and Vocational Rehabilitation.
Massachusetts WIOA 2020 State Plan
The federal 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires that each state governor submit a WIOA State Plan, a four-year strategy document outlining the state’s workforce development system’s vision, including operational information for administration of programs funded by WIOA. Businesses and public agencies helped craft the latest draft state plan, which is currently available for public review and comment. Click here to read the draft as of February 25, 2020.