Transportation Bill:
In July, Governor Baker filed a $18 million transportation bond bill. H.4002, An Act Authorizing and Accelerating Transportation Investment , would direct an additional $2.7 billion toward MBTA projects, make hundreds of millions of dollars available for road and bridge improvements, and use a still-in-development state partnership to boost public transit funding. In addition, it would launch a new program, capped at $50 million per year, that would make a $2,000-per-employee tax credit available to employers who let workers telecommute and therefore avoid traveling on already-clogged roads during rush hour. You can view the full text of the bill here .

Paid Family Medical Leave Education Sessions:
The Department of Paid Family Medical Leave is offering education sessions across the state to help employers prepare to administer the new paid family and medical leave program. Click here  to see upcoming sessions and register for an event near you.

Proposed SNAP changes:
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed a rule that, if implemented, would remove approximately 3.1 million people from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Beneficiaries would have to meet certain income and asset levels to qualify for SNAP, rather than being enrolled automatically if they received benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The administration says it wants to close what it calls a "loophole" that allows states to give benefits to those who would not otherwise be eligible by raising or eliminating income and asset limits. Forty states and Washington, D.C., now take advantage of this option and have done so for many years. Proponents of the current system say it helps low-income families who work but have childcare, housing, and other expenses that leave them with insufficient money to buy food. The public has 60 days to comment on the proposal and broad opposition is expected.

Community College Compact:
Support is building for the adoption of a job-driven   Community College Compact ; a set of policy proposals developed by the National Skills Coalition (NSC) and vetted by a range of stakeholders, including academic institutions, employers, community-based organizations and workforce development boards. If adopted by Congress, these policies would increase access to high-quality education and training programs, crucial support services, and transparent information regarding postsecondary programs for students of all ages and backgrounds. You can read more about the Community College Compact here .

Support for the Community College Compact is timely given the possible reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The HEA, which is the most comprehensive federal law governing postsecondary institutions and programs, has been eligible for reauthorization by Congress since 2008. Senate HELP Committee Chairman, Lamar Alexander, and Ranking Member, Patty Murray, as well as House Education and Labor Committee Chairman, Bobby Scott, and Ranking Member, Virginia Foxx, have expressed interest in reauthorizing this legislation before the end of this Congress.
MWA Hires an Associate Director:
Please join me in welcoming Raija Vaisanen as MWA's new Associate Director! Most recently Raija worked at the Commonwealth Corporation as the Director of Research. With a workforce and economic development background, Raija will be a great addition to the team. You can view her full resume here . Welcome Raija! . he
MWA is now on LinkedIn. Be sure to click the link to the left and follow our new page!
  • Funding Opportunity - Massachusetts Early College Planning grants are now available. Early college programs are designed to blend elements of high school and college to provide students with the opportunity to experience and complete college level academic coursework on a clearly articulated pathway and simultaneously gain exposure to a variety of career opportunities. Early college programs also reduce the time and expense of earning a college credential while increasing the likelihood of completion. You can download the application here.

  • Funding Opportunity - MassDOT seeks to award up to $4.58M of federal and state funds for projects that provide workforce transportation service. Click here to learn more.

  • Funding Opportunity - National Skills Coalition has announced the launch of a Supportive Services Academy to assist state teams in advancing state policies that expand access to supportive services so that people with lower incomes can complete education and training programsApplications for participation are open and are due November 1, 2019.

  • New Publication by DESE - Policy Brief: Understanding Excess Demand for High-quality Career and Technical Education in Massachusetts. Click here to read more.

  • MassHire South Shore Career Center is hiring a Career Center Director. Click here to view the job posting.

  • Congressman Kennedy visits the MassHire Taunton Career Center. Click here to read the article.

  • From the Globe - Boston Biz Bigwigs Try to Help New College Grads Enter the Workforce, read the entire article here.

  • MassHire Metro North Workforce Board and the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium have released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for providers of advanced manufacturing training services. Please review the RFP document here for additional details.

  • Clark University was recently awarded $12 million for a new apprenticeship program. The program, called Tech Quest, aims to provide information technology apprenticeships to at least 5,000 people in the next four years across eight states, including Massachusetts. Click here to learn more.

  • Save the Date! The 10th Annual MA Jobs and Workforce Summit "A Decade of Progress: Looking Back, Moving Forward" will be held on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at the Devens Common Center. As was done in years prior, MWA will hold a dinner and reception at the Devens Common Center on the night of October 22nd.