In This Issue:
  • State and Federal Policy Updates: FY23 Budget in Conference, UI and Economic Data Updates, What is FutureSkills?, New Research from MassINC, WIOA Reauthorization, DOL Public Comments, Federal Budget
  • MWA Updates: MWA Accepted into SkillWorks Fellowship Community, Save the Date for 13th Annual Jobs and Workforce Summit, MWA joins WCTF Advisory Board, Racial Equity Resources, Lunch & Learn Wellness Series, 2022 Annual Meeting Recap
  • Member Updates: News from MassHire Central, North Central, and Berkshire
  • News From Around the Sector: Jobs, funding, news and updates
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State Public Policy
State House
FY23 Budget in Conference

On June 2nd, the final House and Senate FY23 budget proposals were sent to a six member conference committee to work out the differences. The two final budgets, H.4701 and S.2915 will be reconciled by: Representatives Michlewitz, Ferrante, and Smola and Senators Rodrigues, Friedman, and O'Connor. The conference committee began meeting on June 8th, with a goal of agreeing to a final budget which can be voted on by both chambers, before July 1st. This week the Legislature passed a one-month interim budget bill to keep the state funded through July should the conference committee not finish its work before Friday.

MWA sent a letter to the conference committee earlier this month urging members to support various workforce and childcare funding line items. You can view the letter here.
What is FutureSkills?
FutureSkills is the Baker-Polito Administration's Initiative to support Massachusetts businesses that are looking to access a pipeline of skilled workers. Over the past several months, the Administration, led by the Workforce Skills Cabinet and in partnership with MassHire, have held "Road Shows" in each region of the Commonwealth and virtually, that offer employers the opportunity to learn more about the funding, training programs, and business support services that are available locally. Learn more at their website here.
New Research Report from MassINC

Last week MassINC released a new report "Sizing up Massachusetts' Looming Skilled-Worker Shortage".

This report follows up on a 2014 report with UMass Donahue Institute where it was predicted that the 2020's would be the first decade in the Commonwealth to see a reduction in the state's working-age, college-educated population. In this new report, the authors explore how the pandemic has likely impacted previous estimates and what this means for a state already facing labor challenges.

You can read the full report here.

May 2022 Unemployment and Economic Data
On June 17th, the state released the unemployment rate for May 2022 and the revised rate for April 2022. Click here to read the June 17th state press release. Massachusetts' May rate decreased 0.2 percentage point from April to 3.9 percent, 0.3 percentage point higher than the national rate. The MA labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 66 percent, up 0.6 percentage point from the prior year. The labor force increased by 200 from April. Since May 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates Massachusetts gained 176,600 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 May were released on 6/21. The most recent local press release can be found here.

The UMass Donahue Institute issued their latest Notes from the Board at the end of May. Economists at the most recent board meeting discussed how the economic recovery was stalling both at the state and national levels due to uncertainties related to the labor market, inflation, Omicron variant and the Ukraine conflict. Read more here.

The Boston Indicators at The Boston Foundation issued a brief called 8 Key Findings from 2 Years of the COVID Community Data Lab. The brief offers a complete look at the labor market and other economic indicators since April 2020.

Claims Data
On June 16th, the state released the monthly unemployment claim data for May. The state had 17,760 initial claims for regular unemployment insurance, a decrease of 2,832 from the previous month. Most initial claims were in Construction, Food and Accommodation, and Health Care and Social Assistance. Continued weeks claimed decreased by 7,213 to 202,269. Most decreases were in Construction, Administrative & Waste, and Health Care and Social Assistance. Click here for the claims press release.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston created a data tool for analyzing unemployment insurance claims across the New England states from 2019 - 2021. Click here to view the tool and explore.
Federal Public Policy
Capital Building_ Washington DC
WIOA Reauthorization Bill - What Would the House Bill Do?

As reported in last month's newsletter, on May 17th, the House passed H.R.7309, reauthorizing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). While the Senate has not, and likely will not act on this legislation, it is still an important step in the process. See here for a helpful overview of how WIOA would change under the House passed bill. MWA continues to engage members and our Congressional delegation on our priorities for WIOA Reauthorization.

House Releases FY23 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations

The House Appropriations Committee released its FY23 Labor-HHS-Education appropriation numbers. You can see the summary here and the text here. A markup hearing is scheduled for today. A few highlights:
  • Title I Adult, Youth, and Dislocated Worker activities would increase by $256 million.
  • Three new programs would also be introduced: National Youth Employment Program, the Veterans Climate Training Program, and the Youth Climate Corps.
  • See here for details on the proposed funding levels.
Note these funding levels will change in the Senate and we will most likely see another Continuing Resolution (CR), like FY22, until after midterms. 

MWA Submits Comments to DOL

Last week, MWA submitted comments to DOL in response to its Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) around the Wagner-Peyser Staffing Act. The proposed changes would have a big impact on four regions in Massachusetts, as well as Colorado and Michigan. You can read MWA's comments here. Any questions or concerns, please reach out to Tonja at any time.

Updates from the White House

  • New Internship Program: The Biden-Harris Administration has announced they will start paying interns, for the first time in recent history, with the launch of a new White House Internship Program. Interns will work across the executive office of the President and funding will come from a bipartisan bill passed earlier this year. By paying interns, the Administration hopes to remove barriers and open up more opportunities for low income students and first-generation professionals to gain meaningful public sector experiences. You can learn more here.

  • Talent Pipeline Challenge: Highlighting a need to connect employers to available skilled workers, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a new Talent Pipeline Challenge aimed at filling high quality jobs that will help rebuild infrastructure and supply chains and continue in our economic recovery. This is a nationwide call to action for employers, education and training providers, states, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, and philanthropic organizations to make tangible commitments that support equitable workforce development in three critical infrastructure sectors: (1) Broadband, (2) Construction, and (3) “Electrification” (EV Charging Infrastructure and Battery Manufacturing). The Talent Pipeline Challenge will encourage employers to partner with and hire skilled workers from at least one training provider in each region in which the employer has operations, such as a registered apprenticeship program or a community college with a diverse student population. It will also encourage training providers, unions, and other intermediaries, including labor-management skills programs, community colleges, industry associations, philanthropic organizations, and worker centers, to commit to:
  • Partner with employers to create or bring to scale skills training programs, coupled with wraparound services like transportation assistance and child care, that will prepare workers for in-demand jobs.
  • Help to recruit regional and local employers from the three infrastructure sectors into the Talent Pipeline Challenge—including through regional convenings.
  • Work with employer partners to identify, recruit, and support local women and workers of color so they will be employed in infrastructure jobs, including workers from communities with persistent poverty, and rural and Tribal communities.
  • Provide grant funding for employer-training-provider partnerships and to defer costs of advanced skills training, particularly for underserved workers.
MWA will be meeting with officials from the White House later this week to learn more.
MWA Awarded Grant through SkillWorks Fellowship Program
Earlier this year MWA was invited to submit a proposal and "pitch" an innovative idea to SkillWorks at The Boston Foundation for access to funding and a fellowship learning community. We are excited to announce that MWA has been awarded a $50,000 design grant from SkillWorks for our "pitch" to develop a Workforce Advocacy Academy in Massachusetts. This Academy, which we will design over the coming year, will be based on similar academies in other states, and will allow MWA to play a lead role in developing a diverse network of professionals to advocate on important workforce issues.

You can learn more about the grant and fellowship community here. Congrats to the eight other nonprofits who were also awarded design and implementation grants!
Racial Justice in Workforce Development Resources
MWA Executive Director Tonja Mettlach was sworn in this month as a member of Commonwealth Corporation's sen. Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant (Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund) Advisory Board. Tonja joins a diverse array of workforce development advocates and leaders that will support Commonwealth Corporation in its administration of this program.
On June 15th, we held the second in our three part Lunch and Learn series to Refill Your Tank! - Self-Care Daily Habits for Busy People. We learned a number of gratitude practices that take just a few minutes each day, and can be incorporated into our workplaces.

Join us for our final session with Happier Valley Comedy's Pam Victor. Click below to register for the half-hour (12-12:30PM) session in July:
MWA Holds 2022 Annual Meeting in Pittsfield
June 2nd and 3rd MWA held its first in-person Annual Meeting at the Hotel on North in Pittsfield, MA. Along with opportunities to network with colleagues from across the state, MWA members also enjoyed:
  • a fireside chat with Berkshire Senator Adam Hinds,
  • a panel discussion on diversifying the construction sector through apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships led by Third Sector, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, and Community Works in Springfield;
  • a conversation with Veronica Buckwalter from Jobs for the Future about their national AWAKE initiative and the future of workforce development; and
  • a conversation with Chris Andresen from Dutko Government Relations, about WIOA reauthorization and other federal workforce policy efforts.

Curious about becoming a member of MWA to access professional development and networking opportunities like this? Contact MWA Associate Director Raija Vaisanen for more information.
$2M Awarded in Sen. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant Awards (WCTF)
Last week, the Exec. Office of Labor and Workforce Development and Commonwealth Corporation announced the latest $2M in Sen. Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants (aka Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund) awards. Among the recipients was the MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board with their plan to train 190 individuals for CNA positions in partnership with Berkshire Health Systems. Other grant recipients included Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), which also operates the MassHire Metro North Career Center, Holyoke Community College, and Quinsigamond Community College. Click here to read the press release for more.
Over 1,000 jobseekers attended MassHire Central Region's Job Fair at the DCU Center in Worcester earlier this month. More than 100 employers from industries like health care, manufacturing, and hospitality were on hand to talk directly to interested candidates. Some of the region's largest employers including UMass Memorial Health, Saint Gobain, and the Worcester Red Sox participated. Click here to view local media coverage of the event.

MassHire North Central Workforce Board and Career Center has partnered with Sen. John Cronin to develop several videos/public service announcements to encourage local employers and jobseekers to access the local workforce system's services. Click here to view PSA 1 directed at businesses and here for PSA 2 for jobseekers.
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 funding opportunities, jobs, and more posted on our website today:
  • The US Economic Development Administration has several funding opportunities available including the FY22 Cares Act Economic Recovery Corps and Equity Impact Investments. Deadline to apply is August 5th. Click here to learn more.
  • Commonwealth Corporation is hiring a Chief Financial Officer, along with several other positions. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • Results for America is hiring a Director for Workforce Development to lead the expansion of their state and local workforce fellowship. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • MENTOR National is hiring a Director of Workplace Mentoring. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • The UMass Donahue Institute is holding a webinar series in Fall 2022 for new managers. Designed for those with limited experience in managing direct reports, these interactive webinars are focused on core skills that any manager should master to be effective in engaging, developing and retaining talent, and driving the performance of their team members. Designed to engage the participant and to stimulate dialogue amongst peers. Click here to learn more and apply.
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