Welcome to the Massachusetts Workforce Association's new monthly newsletter: Workforce Connections! Look for this publication in your inbox each month!

In This Issue:
  • Celebrating Workforce Development Month
  • Federal Policy Updates
  • Save the Date for MWA Jobs Summit Reception 10/22
  • MWA Social Media Links
  • Member Highlights
  • News From Around the Sector
September is Workforce Development Month!
Even though every month is workforce development month here at MWA, this September we'll be joining in the national conversation , sharing some of the best local news stories, research, programs, and best practices in workforce development from Massachusetts.

Stay up to date by following the National Fund for Workforce Solutions on Twitter and LinkedIn by using and following #NFWkDevMonth19! Please share your local news and expertise and tag us @MAWorkforce.
Federal Policy Updates
Eugene Scalia Officially Nominated for Secretary of Labor 

The announcement initially came more than a month ago that President Trump would be nominating the son of the late Antonin Scalia to take over as the new Secretary of Labor. Last week, President Trump officially nominated Eugene Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, to succeed the recently resigned Alex Acosta.  

The Senate HELP Committee has scheduled the Scalia nomination hearing for Secretary at DOL for next Thursday September 19.
Senate to Mark-Up Labor-HHS Bills 

Congress is back in session after the August recess. The Senate was scheduled to mark up the Labor-HHS bills September 12th but that has been delayed over disagreements on policy rider issues. The House has already passed its FY2020 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Bill with really strong WIOA authorized levels for workforce connected programs as well as Perkins-CTE. The two-year budget agreement is likely to bring the House Labor, HHS numbers down just based on the overall funding levels and allocations.

Congress will be considering a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) that may go through November 21 st  (subject to change) while these negotiations continue.
MWA Members Participate in Innovation Pathways Briefing
Last week, the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) and American Student Assistance (ASA) hosted an informational briefing and lobby day on Innovation Pathways. The goal of the event was to help strengthen awareness and support within the legislature for this important program. After the briefing attendees meet with dozens of Senators and Representatives, highlighting this important program and the partnerships it helps to foster between schools, employers, and the workforce system.

Thank you to our members in Boston, Metro South/West, Greater New Bedford, and Metro North and board members from the Worcester Chamber and Mass Business Roundtable who participated.
Save the Date!
October 22nd MWA Jobs Summit Reception and Dinner
October 23rd WSG Jobs and Workforce Summit
Please join us the evening of Tuesday, October 22nd from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. for a reception and dinner at the Devens Common Community Center. We will have a guest speaker to kick off the night, with plenty of time to connect with colleagues from across the state. Keep an eye out next week for additional details on the guest speaker and hotel information!

Registration has launched for the 10th Annual MA Jobs and Workforce Summit "A Decade of Progress: Looking Back, Moving Forward" Wednesday, October 23, 2019. Click here to register and learn more!
MWA is now on social media! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest workforce news and updates. Have colleague interested in subscribing to our newsletter? Click the link below!
Member Highlights
This graphic, intended to be used on a social media post, was created by a student in the Marketing Pilot Program. The intent is to create a sense of urgency and to show that through MassHire, the start of gainful employment is just a click away.
Improved Outreach Increases the Potential of Bristol Youth
The MassHire Bristol Workforce Board (MHBWB) recently engaged in a concerted effort to increase youth awareness of the many valuable education, career development and training opportunities available within the region’s workforce development system. This initiative started with the board’s Youth Committee (MHBYC) which included representation among local employers, educators, and community organizations. The committee, in setting strategic priorities for 2019-2020, decided that youth systems awareness was a critical factor in maximizing the impact of workforce development services and programming available to at-risk youth throughout the local area.

MassHire Greater Brockton Workforce Board Develops WAVE Summer Program for 14 & 15 Year Old Youth
What do you do with a 14-year-old when school lets out for the summer? They are too young for most employers to hire and their parents don’t want them just hanging out at home – potentially unsupervised. 

Having been challenged by this dilemma, MassHire Greater Brockton Workforce Board developed the WAVE (Work, Achieve, Volunteer, Education) program in 2012 for 14- & 15-year olds in their community.


  • Training Opportunity - There will be a Customer Service Training on Wednesday, September 25th from 9AM - 1PM at the MassHire Springfield Career Center. For more information, find the issuance here or click here to register.

  • Training Opportunity - There is an upcoming webinar on September 19th from 10AM - 11AM on how to use Burning Glass' Labor Insight Tool. MWA Members have access to this tool through DCS to help job seekers understand what jobs are in-demand in their region. More information can be found here and registration is required here.

  • Taunton Area School to Career's summer YouthWorks program, managed by the MassHire Bristol Workforce Board, was featured in the news.

  • Research from Virginia shows public workforce programs can have a good return on investment, especially when training leads to a qualification. Read more here.

  • Michael Copp, Executive Vice President, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Assn. (PHCC) talks about changing the workforce narrative in an interview here.

  • Funding Opportunity - Apprenticeships: Closing the Skills Gap: FOA-ETA-19-09 This Announcement solicits applications for the Apprenticeships: Closing the Skills Gap grant program. The purpose of this program is to promote apprenticeships as a significant workforce solution in filling current middle- and high-skilled job vacancies and closing the skills gap between employer workforce needs and the skills of the current workforce.
  • Estimated Total Program Funding:$100,000,000
  • Award Ceiling:$6,000,000
  • Award Floor:$500,000
  • Original Closing Date for Applications: Sep 24, 2019
  • Full Posting

  • 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 programs. Applications for participation are open and are due November 1, 2019.

  • Funding Opportunity - The Massachusetts Workforce Skills Capital Grant Program for FY20 has been released. There are $12M in additional resources being made available and in response to some requests multi-year awards up to $1.5M are being considered. Proposals can be submitted online by 3pm on September 26, 2019. Link to the RFP is here.

  • MA STEM Week 2019: "See Yourself in STEM" is the theme for this year's statewide STEM week, October 21-25. Last year, there were more than 500 events held across the state to celebrate STEM. For more information and to find local events go to their website.

  • October is Manufacturing Month and October 4th in Manufacturing Day! Many MWA members are planning events in their regions to amplify manufacturing career opportunities. Follow #MFGDay19 on Twitter and see some of the events already posted to the National Manufacturing Day website for MA.

  • Data for the American Dream grantees were announced. These three projects from Colorado, Michigan and New Jersey will be working on innovative efforts to expand access to education and career data through partnerships that might include both public and private agencies and organizations. The goal of the D4AD initiative is to help students and jobseekers make better career decisions in a changing economy through data-driven information, and especially to help low-income, lower-skilled, underemployed, and unemployed Americans access better jobs and education opportunities.

  • NASWA's 2019 State of the Workforce Report was just released. Check it out to see how MA compares to other states across labor market statistics and workforce development indicators.