In This Issue:
  • State and Federal Policy Updates: FY23 Budget Process in Full Swing, Supplemental Budget Bill Passed, Economic Development Bill Filed
  • MWA Updates: Growing Equity Webinar Series Recap, Racial Equity Resources, Workforce Policy Briefing Media Coverage, Meet MWA!
  • Member Updates: MassHire Berkshire News, New CEO for JVS Boston, New Director of Worcester Jobs Fund
  • News From Around the Sector: Jobs, funding, news and updates
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State Public Policy
State House
House Releases and Debates its FY23 Budget

Last night the House passed a $49.7 billion FY23 budget. The final bill is not yet on the Legislature's website but you can see the House Ways and Means (HWM) Committee's proposed budget for FY23 here. Over the course of three days the House considered over 1500 amendments and added almost $130M in additional spending through its consolidated amendment process. The final budget proposal includes over $635M in funding for workforce development including:

  • Career Centers: $15M (see p.123 in the budget for a new reporting requirement)
  • YouthWorks: $28.3M
  • Connecting Activities: $8M
  • WCTF: $17M
  • Learn to Earn: $1M
  • Re-entry: $3.75M
  • Apprenticeships: $1M
  • Career Technical Institutes (CTI): $20.379M

We want to thank Speaker Mariano, Chairman Michlewitz, Chairman Cutler and the entire House for the critical investments this budget makes in workforce development. We urge everyone to reach out to their Representatives and thank them for their support of the workforce system in the FY23 budget.

The budget process now moves onto the Senate who will release and debate their budget before Memorial Day weekend. If you have any questions about who to reach out to please email Tonja Mettlach.
Baker-Polito Administration Files Economic Development Bill

Last week the Baker-Polito filed its economic development bill, An Act Investing in Future Opportunities for Resiliency, Workforce, and Revitalized Downtowns (FORWARD), which includes $2.3B in ARPA funding and over $1.256B in capital bond authorizations. For workforce funding, the bill would use ARPA funds to transfer $300M into the UI Trust Fund to address overpayments and $25M for HireNow. You can review a summary of the proposal here.

This legislation is now before the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies for a public hearing. MWA is in the process of reviewing this proposal and working with colleagues and members to propose ideas and changes.
FY22 Supplemental Budget Bill Signed

Earlier this month, Governor Baker signed a $1.67B midyear spending bill. The supplemental budget allocates funds toward the ongoing COVID-19 response ($700M), rate enhancements to human service providers ($401M), winter road repair ($100M), rental assistance ($100M) and more. It also extends pandemic-era restaurant policies for a year, and directs state officials to divest public pension funds from Russia-involved companies. Finally, the bill includes $10 million for Ukrainian refugee and immigrant resettlement efforts.

To read the final bill click here.
Latest Issue of MassBenchmarks Released
The Spring 2022 issue of MassBenchmarks looks into current conditions in the Massachusetts economy, including the status of economic recovery from pandemic lows. Articles within the spring edition look at the effects of the pandemic on migration patterns in New England, on house price trends in Massachusetts, and discuss major findings from the Massachusetts Census 2020 population count. Click here to download the entire issue.
FutureSkills Regional Upskilling Roadshows Begin Across the State
The Baker-Polito Administration, MassHire, and Commonwealth Corporation are hosting 10 events across the state through May to help connect employers to new and existing workforce supports from the Commonwealth. The roadshows will be a unique opportunity to hear from MA workforce leaders and for employers to share their perspectives with them. Click here to register for a roadshow coming near you!

RENEW Grant Awarded to MACC

The first Replenishing Employer iNvestment in Education & Training (RENEW) Demonstration Grant through Commonwealth Corporation has been awarded to Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges (MACC). This grant will be used to support MACC's and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership's Be Mass Competitive initiative. You can read the press release here.

March 2022 Unemployment Data
On April 15th, the state released the unemployment rate for March 2022 and the revised rate for February 2022. Click here to read the April 15th state press release. Massachusetts' March rate decreased from February to 4.4 percent, 0.7 percentage point higher than the national rate. The MA labor force participation rate was up 0.1 of a percentage point to 66 percent, up 0.8 percentage point from the prior year. The labor force increased by 2,700 from February. Since March 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates Massachusetts gained 186,400 jobs. The largest over the year gains occurred in Leisure and Hospitality; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; and Education and Health Services. Financial services was the only sector to see losses. Click here to read the state press release. Local unemployment estimates for March were released on 4/19. The most recent local press release can be found here.

Economic Update: The UMass Donahue Institute issued their latest edition of MassBenchmarks recently, with an updated design. Click here to view the publication, which includes analysis of the Massachusetts economy, housing price trends, and more.

Claims Data
On April 21st, the state released the monthly unemployment claim data for the month ending April 2nd. Between March 5th and April 2nd the state had 15,406 initial claims for regular unemployment insurance and 265,612 continued claims. The largest decreases in initial claims were in Transportation & Warehousing, Construction, and Food & Accommodation. The largest decreases in continued claims were in Construction, Food & Accommodation and Administrative & Waste. Click here for the claims press release.
Federal Public Policy
Capital Building_ Washington DC
House Education and Labor Committee Passes WIOA Reauthorization Proposal

On April 1st Democrats on the House Education and Labor Committee introduced their WIOA reauthorization legislation: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022. To learn more see:

  • The House Education and Labor Committee press release which can be found here.
  • The fact sheet which can be found here.
  • A section by section summary which can be found here.
  • The full text which can be found here.

MWA continues to have concerns with the final version of the legislation marked up by the Committee. Our priorities center around: (1) local flexibility; (2) full funding; (3) reimaging the career center network; and (4) data and performance. We have started meetings with staff from our congressional delegation to voice our concerns and these priorities. We will work with the MWA public policy committee as this legislation moves to the full House.

DOL Releases Proposed Wagner Peyser Rule Change  
On April 21st the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) formally published a long anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). This proposed regulatory change is related to the staffing requirements as part of the Wagner-Peyser (WP) Act. The proposed rule would require states to use state merit staff to provide WP Employment Service (ES) services including states that previously operating under a different staffing model (Colorado, Michigan, and 4 regions in Massachusetts). Comments on this proposal are due June 21,2022 (60 days). ETA will then review the comments, draft a response, and will publish a final rule at a later date. There is no set timeline for when or if a final rule would be released.

To read the proposed rule click here. To review a helpful summary prepared by our colleagues at the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) click here. MWA will be working with our members and other national and state associations to draft comments.
Updates from DOL

The US Department of Labor has awarded more than $189M to support workforce agencies' efforts to help unemployed workers find good jobs, including over $7M to the Department of Unemployment Assistance in MA. You can read the press release here.

DOL also announced a public education campaign "Mental Health at Work, What Can I Do?", which seeks to provide information about the importance of mental health-friendly workplaces. You can learn more about the campaign here.
Administration Expands Opportunities for Formerly Incarcerated

During April, as a part of second chance month, the Biden-Harris Administration released its comprehensive strategy to expand employment opportunities for those formerly incarcerated. This is part of a broader effort to advance employment, bolster reentry, empower formerly incarcerated persons, and strengthen communities and the economy. You can read the fact sheet about this new strategy here.
April Growing Equity Series Recap: Activating Employers
On April 14th, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions facilitated a workshop on "Activating Employers." In this fourth session in our 2022 Growing Equity Series, participants learned about the business case for investing in job quality and heard from partnerships in Chicago, IL, and Springfield, MA where employers and workforce intermediaries were working together to design jobs in early education & care and health care that offer true economic mobility for workers. In break out sessions, participants were able to ask more detailed questions about the successes and challenges each partnership has had along the way.

We invite anyone who participated in one of the Growing Equity workshops to join us for a debrief and feedback conversation on May 19th, so that MWA can improve this series and learn what is of interest for future sessions. Click here to register for the May debrief and feedback conversation.
Meet MWA! Friday, April 29th
Want to learn more about MWA and what we do? Join us for our virtual "Meet MWA!" session on Friday, April 29th at 10AM. In this short webinar, we go over how we lead, advocate, and convene on behalf of the Massachusetts workforce system, and the benefits of membership.
Click here to register.
Racial Justice in Workforce Development Resources
MWA is following the conversation among the workforce development and related communities about how racism and white supremacy influence the field and practice of workforce development. We will continue to use this newsletter to share relevant tools, articles, webinars and resources to support the workforce development community.
ICYMI: We held our FY23 Workforce Policy Briefing virtually with members of the State House on 3/31. Click here to read some press coverage we received on the briefing.
Join MWA and Happier Valley Comedy's Pam Victor for a three part lunchtime webinar series between May and July to Refill Your Tank! Click below to register for each half-hour (12-12:30PM) session:
MassHire Berkshire Celebrates Graduates of Health Care Hub Medical Assistant Training, Holds Spring Youth Career Fairs
The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board in partnership with Berkshire Health Systems graduated 12 Medical Assistants from their first Health Care Hub training program, funded through a Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant (a.k.a. WCTF). Congratulations to these successful graduates!

In April, MassHire Berkshire organized several career fairs at local middle and high schools in the region. The Lee Middle and High School fair was designed to engage LMHS students with local businesses, colleges, military branches, and others to help them learn more about potential career or college paths they may pursue when they graduate. Students in grades 7-12 were given incentives to ask meaningful questions about the organizations present. Over 35 local businesses, colleges, military, & nonprofits attended! At Mt. Greylock Regional School, students in grades 10-12 were introduced to careers in finance, HVAC, art, real estate, law enforcement, nursing, and education.
MassHire Springfield Career Center Receives 2022 Social Justice Award
On Saturday, April 23rd, Kevin Lynn, Executive Director of MassHire Springfield Career Center, received the Social Justice Award for Economic Development from MLK Jr. Family Services. This year's awards honored Executive Director Ronn Johnson, who passed away in January from a COVID-19 related illness. Ronn was a former longtime MassHire Springfield Career Center Board Member and his sister, JoAnn Miller, works for the Career Center today. Listen to Kevin's remarks here on YouTube (starting at 1:45:40) and read local news coverage of the virtual ceremony here.
Jewish Vocational Services Boston, which runs the MassHire Downtown Boston Career Center, has hired a new CEO to replace longtime CEO Jerry Rubin. David A. Fleishman will join JVS Boston this spring after serving as Superintendent of the Newton Public Schools for 12 years. Click here to read the press release.
The Worcester Jobs Fund, managed by the MassHire Central Region Workforce Board, has hired a new director, Arianna Drummy. Click here to read more about Arianna and her work in this 5 Questions Article by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.
There are so many job postings and funding announcements, we moved our News from Around the Sector section to our website, where you can access the news, jobs, funding announcements and more anytime throughout the month. Go to:

Here is a sample of the jobs and funding opportunities posted on our website today:
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