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

In This Issue:
  • State and Federal Policy Updates
  • MWA Updates: Jobs & Workforce Summit 10/23 and MWA Pre- Summit Reception 10/22, STEM Week, Save the Date for Apprenticeship Week Event
  • Member Updates: WCTF Kenneth J. Donnelly Success Grants & YouthWorks Year-Round Awards Announced, Celebrating Manufacturing Month, MassHire Boston Career Center Recognized by Dept. of Correction
  • News From Around the Sector
State Policy Updates
State Senate Unanimously Passes Education Funding Bill
The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed a $1.5 billion education reform bill on October 4th. This legislation responds to a commission report released four years ago that found that the state's foundation funding formula for K-12 public schools was underfunding districts by $1 billion each year, underestimating the expenses associated with serving special education, English language learners, and low-income students and the rising costs of employee health benefits.

You can view the full text of the bill as passed by the Senate here . One priority of the business community that was not included in the Senate's final bill and one that many MWA members support is a permanent funding source for innovation pathways. It is anticipated that the House will take up this bill in the coming weeks.
MBTA Youth Pass offers reduced fares for Greater Boston and North Shore youth
Did you know that the MBTA has a reduced fare program called the Youth Pass ?

The Youth Pass provides discounted fares (such as a $30 monthly LinkPass) to eligible youth who:
  • Live in a participating city or town
  • Are between 12 – 18 and not enrolled in middle or high school
  • Are between 18 – 25 and enrolled in an accepted GED, job training, or state or federal benefit program

Since this program is administered by city/town, it is up to individuals to contact their respective city/town to apply. If your city or town is not on the list and is interested in joining this program, they can e-mail to learn more.
MA Department of Unemployment Assistance Releases Online Benefit Calculator
The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance recently released an online benefit calculator for customers to use to estimate their benefit amount and duration. As of October 2019, the maximum weekly benefit amount was increased to $823. To check out the calculator, click here .
Federal Policy Updates
Eugene Scalia Sworn in as Secretary of Labor 

After a 53-44 vote, Eugene Scalia was confirmed in the Senate as the next Secretary of Labor. He was sworn in on Sept. 30th. To read the press release, click here .
Senate Committee Keeps WIOA Level Funded from FY19

In the first markup of the Senate Appropriations bill there was no increase or decrease in WIOA program funding from FY19. The full text to the proposed legislation including all Labor, Health, and Human Services fundin g here

These numbers are less than authorized levels in the final WIOA law and less than the numbers coming out of the House of Representatives.

We will keep you updated as final numbers are settled on in the budget process.
FY20 Budget: Continuing Resolution Passed

The Senate voted on and passed the continuing resolution for the FY2020 budget during the last week in September. This resolution extends the budget through November 21st. President Trump signed the resolution into law, putting off the passage of a federal budget for at least 2 months.

The government still faces the possibility of a shutdown after Nov. 21th as lawmakers battle over President Trump's drive to build a wall on the Mexican border. 
Don't forget to register!
10th Annual Jobs and Workforce Summit
October 23, 2019
Sign up before October 23rd to be eligible for the early bird rate of $150! To register, click here .

Also, please join MWA the evening before the Summit, on October 22, for a reception and dinner featuring the Consul General of Ireland for New England, Laoise Moore. Laoise will share her perspective on some of the shared economic and workforce challenges and opportunities facing Ireland, Great Britain, the EU and Massachusetts.
"See Yourself in STEM"
STEM Week: October 21-25
STEM week education and training events planned around the state
"See Yourself in STEM" is the theme for this year's statewide STEM week. Last year, there were more than 500 events held across the state to celebrate STEM. For more information and to find local events or register your own events, go to their website .
WCTF Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants Announced
Several MWA members were named as partners or lead organizations in the FY20 Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund grants announced at MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board on September 26th. More than $4M was awarded for 18 sector partnerships across the state that will train workers for in-demand jobs in health care and social assistance, information technology, accommodation, food service and hospitality, transportation and warehousing, finance and insurance and construction. Click here to read the press release.
$740K in YouthWorks Year-Round Awards Announced

Secretary Acosta announced $740,000 for 17 YouthWorks Year-Round Competitive Grants which will serve at least 165 young people in training and work-based learning across the state. Grantees applied for one of three options in this round of funding: a career pathway planning and implementation grant, a traditional YouthWorks placements plus targeted career exploration grant, or a planning-only grant for a future career pathway program. To read the press release, click here .
October is Manufacturing Month!
Manufacturing Day Recap
On Friday, October 4th, the nation celebrated Manufacturing Day 2019. MassHire North Central Workforce Board participated by organizing a multi-business tour in their region. To read the Gardner News article about the events that day, click here .
The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board shared the above infographic in the Berkshire Eagle to highlight the career pathways in advanced manufacturing that exist in the region. There are more than 150 manufacturers in the Berkshire region, making it the 5th largest industry by employment in the region.
MassHire Boston Career Center Recognized by Massachusetts Department of Correction
MassHire Boston Career Center, operated by Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, will be receiving the Public Safety Partnership Award from the MA Department of Correction on November 1st. This award recognizes the career center's work with returning citizens from the Boston Pre-Release Center in Roslindale. In January 2018, Governor Baker visited the career center to learn more about the program and meet participants. To read more, click here .

  • Wage Data Bill Passes in CA - Last week the California Workforce Association, along with the 45 local workforce development boards in the state, celebrated the passage of AB593, relating to data access and use of public information. This bill will permit public workforce agencies to access base wage file data, allowing the workforce system to better track the performance of program participants, and tailor their job-seeker programs to better fit the needs of each customer. You can view California Workforce Association's press release here. You can also view the full text of the bill here

  • Information - The MA Department of Paid Family and Medical Leave is looking for opportunities to engage with businesses. If businesses in your region are interested in learning more about the new paid family and medical leave law and its roll-out, please contact Jess Muradian at EOLWD.

  • Training Opportunity - There will be a Customer Service Training on Thursday, October 31st from 9AM - 1PM at the MassHire Springfield Career Center. For more information, you can find the issuance here or click here to register.

  • 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.

  • Save the Date - November 11-17 is National Apprenticeship Week. This nationwide celebration unites business, labor, educational institutions, and Americans interested in apprenticeships to showcase the impact apprenticeship programs have on closing the U.S. skills gap and preparing the American workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Massachusetts has tax credits for employers looking to implement apprenticeship programs.

  • MassHire Metro North Workforce Board held a Youth Employment Forum on October 9th where they released a research report by the UMass Donahue Institute detailing demographic, education and employment statistics of young people in the Metro North region ages 15-24. Click here to read the report.

  • MassHire Central Region Workforce Board and MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board were featured in a Boston Business Journal article about their receipt of state funding to provide job training for high school students and out of school youth for in-demand careers in health care and advanced manufacturing.

  • The PIC, MassHire Boston Workforce Board celebrated its 40th anniversary on October 2nd and released their 2019 Annual Report. For more on the event, click here.

  • MassHire Berkshire Career Center was featured in a Berkshire Eagle news report highlighting how to help older job seekers succeed. Read the article here.

  • An MIT task force on The Work of the Future recently released an interim report called The Work of the The Future: Shaping Technology and Institutions. The report recommends a number of policies that would broaden career opportunities and rebalance fiscal policies in favor of workers facing the disruptive labor market effects of technology. Read the report here.

  • A new report from Credential Engine estimates that the U.S. has at least 738,428 unique postsecondary and secondary credentials across 17 different sub-categories. Click here to read the report.
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