COVID-19 Special Edition
Dear Members and Partners,

Below is this week's special edition of Workforce Connections. Please share with your staff and encourage them to sign up for the newsletter .

Our thanks continue for all those in the workforce system who are working around the clock to serve customers through these challenging times. Together we will get through this.

Be well,

Tonja Mettlach
Raija Vaisanen
COVID-19 Updates 5.7.2020
State COVID-19 Policy Updates:
Executive Orders/Administrative Updates:
  • On Wednesday, Governor Baker's order requiring face masks and coverings in public when social distancing is not possible went into effect. Click here to read the order and here to see the Department of Public Health's guide on wearing face masks in public.

  • Earlier this week the Governor Baker administration also issued guidance on limited business reopening before Mother's Day. The guidance applies to opening to fulfill online or phone orders so long as the facilities remain closed to the public and the employees are fulfilling remote sales/orders only. You can read the full guidance here.

MA Legislature:
  • On May 6, 2020, the House of Representatives held its first ever remote formal session to pass H.4677, An Act to Facilitate the Delay of the Income Tax Filing Deadline. Given the state tax filing deadline extension from April until July, this legislation will allow the Treasury to borrow funds as needed through June to meet the Commonwealth's financial obligations. Borrowing will be necessary sooner rather than later given April tax collections which fell 54%, missing budget estimates by nearly $2.2 billion. You can read the full text of the bill here. This legislation now moves to the Senate who will be taking it up today.

MWA and Partners Advocate for Workforce Resources:
  • Over the past 10 days, both MWA and the Workforce Solutions Group (WSG), of which MWA is on the executive committee, submitted letters to the Administration and House and Senate leaders. Click here to view MWA's letter and here to view WSG's letter.

Resources for Businesses:
The 2020 Census is Here!!
Households around the country are receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census  online , by phone , or via paper questionnaire . Make sure you fill out the census today! Federal, state and local government use the Census to allocate funding to communities for a number of public programs. Everyone counts and everyone should be counted!
Federal COVID-19 Policy Updates:
Late last week the Relaunching America's Workforce Act (RAWA) was introduced by the Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA-3). RAWA would provide both immediate and long term supports to the U.S. workforce system and the funding structure included in the legislation mirrors the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Under RAWA, funding for the workforce system to help get people back to work would be funneled through existing channels.In addition, RAWA would increase flexibility so more funding could be used for training, supportive services, and career services. A section by section summary can be found  here . Of importance funding in the bill would include:
  • $500 million for National Dislocated Worker Grants
  • $2.5 billion for State Dislocated Worker Grants
  • $2.5 billion for Youth Workforce Investment Activities
  • $2.5 billion for Adult Education and Training Activities
  • $1 billion for Wagner- Peyser/Employment Services
  • $500 million for JobCorps
  • $150 million for Native American Programs
  • $150 million for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers
  • $250 million for YouthBuild
  • $350 million for Reentry Employment Opportunities
  • $500 million for Registered Apprenticeships
  • $1 billion for Adult Education and Literacy
  • $2 billion for Community College and Industry Partnership Grants (TAACCCT Grants)

MWA will continue to work with our national colleagues to build support and momentum for this critical piece of legislation.

Economic/Employment Research Resources
The initial UI claims release today showed that last week a total of 3.2M Americans filed claims for unemployment assistance, including more than 55K in Massachusetts. This brings the 6-week total to more than 33.5M nationwide and 777K statewide. Of the 23 states reporting who has filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), the total for the prior week was nearly 584K. In Massachusetts, 185K people have filed PUA claims since April 20th. The state press release with more detail by industry, gender and race/ethnicity can be found here.

EMSI published an analysis of changes in online job postings during the pandemic. April job postings are down 44% since January/February, though some companies are posting more, like online retail and general merchandise stores. Click here to read more.

The U.S. Census Bureau has been doing pulse surveys of households and small businesses, and updating their business formation statistics weekly, since the start of the pandemic. Click here to learn more about the new Household Pulse and Small Business Pulse surveys, and Business Formation Statistics products.

The Strada Education Network weekly public opinion survey has been updated. Click here for the latest findings.

CLASP estimates that it will take $50B for the child care industry to weather the pandemic. Click here for their state by state analysis.

The National Skills Coalition held a webinar this week on the new landscape for digital literacy skills. A link to the webinar recording, presentation, and a number of additional resources mentioned during can be found here.

MassHire North Central and reMAke 4.0 Host Virtual Job Fair
ReMAke 4.0 is hosting their first virtual manufacturing job fair on June 4, 2020 from 10AM to 12PM. Companies interested in participating should contact Kelley French at

MWA Launches New Website
Our new website is live! In addition to news, we'd love to feature your success stories and best practices on our blog. Click the link below to e-mail us a blog post to feature (250-500 words).

  • Good News - Essex Tech was highlighted in a recent article in the Atlantic talking about how career vocational technical schools are continuing learning online and remotely. Click here to read the article.

  • Good News - More highschools around the state received Innovation Pathway designations last week. Those in the Central Region, along with their MassHire partners, were featured in this news article. Click here for the press release with the statewide list.

  • Recruitment for contact tracing - For those interested in learning more about the Community Tracing Collaborative or who would like to work as a contact tracer, click here to learn more.

  • Training Opportunity - MassHire DCS is conducting online trainings on how to use WebEx with customers and colleagues over the next several weeks. Click here for the issuance with dates, topics, and a link to register.

  • Training Opportunity - MassHire Metro South/West is holding online training on how to use Zoom for the career center services workshop and other meetings and presentations, Monday May 11 10-11:30 and Thursday, May 14 1-2:30. Click here for the issuance to learn more and to register.

  • Resource - *New Link* John Hampe from the MassHire Metro-North Career Center developed a new YouTube video showing how to develop a career center seminar using WebEx. Click here to view the updated hour long tutorial. Here is an issuance with links to powerpoint and other materials supporting offering remote career center seminars.

  • Resource - MDRC published tips for how to run an effective group meeting remotely. Click here to read more.

  • Job Opportunities - Commonwealth Corporation is hiring a Human Resources Director, along with several other positions. Click here to learn more and apply.

  • Job Opportunities - Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) is posting for a Director of the Career Centers System for the MassHire Metro North Career Center, in addition to a Program Manager and Assistant Program Manager. For the job postings click here. To learn more and apply online click here.

  • Job Opportunities - MassHire Metro North Workforce Board is seeking a Manager of Workforce Systems. Click here to learn more and apply.

  • Announcement - Commonwealth Corporation Hires New President and CEO. Click here for the press release.

  • Article - California to give worker's compensation to any essential worker who is infected with the coronavirus. Click here to read more.

  • Article - A new poll shows that 77 percent of those who lost their job due to COVID-19 believe they will get their job back. Click here for the Washington Post article.
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