In This Issue:

  • State and Federal Policy Updates: Unemployment and Economic Update, Tax Refunds, and New Federal and State Funding Opportunities
  • MWA Updates: Summit Recap, SHIFT Conference Recap, Digital Equity Webinar, Racial Equity Resources
  • Member Updates: MassHire Champion Honored, MassHire Award Finalist Workshops, Lowell Success Videos, Links to Member News, MassForward Video Highlights
  • News From Around the Sector: Jobs, funding, news and updates
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State Public Policy

MA Taxpayers to Start Seeing Refunds

Starting on November 1st, MA taxpayers will start receiving tax refunds for the $2.9B in excess revenues collected by the state and now be returned to taxpayers based on “Chapter 62F".

In general, eligible taxpayers will receive a credit in the form of a refund that is 13% of their State Tax Year 2021 personal income tax liability. Individuals eligible for a refund will receive it automatically as a check sent through the mail or through direct deposit. For those interested in estimating their potential tax return, the Department of Revenue has developed a tool that can calculate your estimated refund based on 2021 tax information.

State Funding Opportunities

Commonwealth Corporation and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services has announced two new funding opportunities:

  • Career Technical Initiative (CTI): Commonwealth Corporation has released information on the 7th found of CTI grants. You can find more information here. The deadline to apply is November 21st.
  • Executive Office of Heath and Human Services: HHS has released an RFP for Home- and Community-Based Services and Human Services Workforce Grant. You can find out more information here. The deadline to apply is November 4th.

Don't Forget! Tuesday, November 8th is Election Day!

To find your voting location click here. This year, in addition to voting for local, state, and federal races, there are four important questions on the ballot. You can read more information about the four ballot questions here.

$3.9 Million Awarded in Senator Donnelly Success Grants

On October 14th the Baker-Polito Administration announced more than $3.9 million in grant funding through the Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants (WCTF) to provide job training, placement, and retention services to 562 unemployed and underemployed Massachusetts residents. You can read more about the grants and grantees here.

September 2022 Unemployment and Economic Data

On October 21st, the state released the unemployment rate for September 2022 and the revised rate for August 2022. Click here to read the October 21st state press release. Massachusetts' September rate declined 0.2 of a percentage point from August to 3.4 percent, 0.1 of a percentage point lower than the national rate for September. The MA labor force participation rate dropped by 0.2 of a percentage point, as well, to  65.6 percent, same as the prior year. The labor force decreased by 13,500 from August. Since the beginning of the pandemic (April 2020), Massachusetts has recovered 640,700 jobs. The largest over the year gains occurred in Leisure and Hospitality; Education and Health Services; and Professional, Scientific, and Business Services. Click here to read the state press release. Local unemployment estimates for September were released on 10/25. The most recent local press release can be found here. The press release for the Unemployment Claimant data for September 2022 can be found here.

Economic Analysis

Last week, MassBenchmarks released the latest Benchmarks Bulletin, comparing the current economic conditions in Massachusetts with the US overall. The economists note that despite GDP growth in the last quarter, there's a 63% probability of recession within the year. Read more here.

Federal Public Policy

Updates From D.C.

Congress Still in Recess

Congress remains in an extended recess period as lawmakers hit the campaign trail ahead of the upcoming November midterm elections. With less than 2 weeks until the midterms, everyone is focused on what party will control both the House and the Senate next year. After the election, it is likely that FY23 appropriations will be revisited during the 117th Congress’ short “lame-duck” session. However, we will provide updates as we get closer to the current CR expiring.

Updates from DOL:


13th Annual Jobs and Workforce Summit Convenes Workforce Leaders in Person Once Again

On Tuesday, October 25th the Workforce Solutions Group hosted its 13th Annual Massachusetts Jobs and Workforce Summit, returning to an in-person conference for the first time since 2019. There were nearly 250 attendees from business, labor, the workforce system, state agencies, community organizations and other non-profits invested in the workforce development system. 


The conference began with a discussion between Secretary Acosta and Jill Ashton who provided insights into the current trends in the Massachusetts and national labor markets, with a particular focus on the realities facing women and people of color in today’s economy. The conference also included panels on the economic impacts of accessible and affordable child care and early education on job seekers and employers, scaling effective programs to build future talent, and connecting with untapped talent to overcome post-pandemic recruitment challenges. At the end of the day, attendees heard from former Mayor of Boston Kim Janey, now President and CEO of EMPath, and had small group discussions focused on identifying policy ideas for helping address inequities in job training and the economy.


The conference was highlighted by an awards ceremony celebrating the contributions of the Employer of the Year (Citizens), the Rising Workforce Leader (Amelia Diaz), a Lifetime Achievement Award for a longtime legislative champion (Rep. Joseph Wagner), and an inaugural award named after and presented to the long-time former Executive Director of the Workforce Solutions Group (Kathie Mainzer) (all pictured above). MWA was thrilled to be a partner in this event and thank all our members for attending!

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.

Join us for our next Workforce Webinar: Promoting Digital Equity

Join MWA on November 10th at 10AM for our next Workforce Webinar with the Mass Broadband Institute, a division of the MassTech Collaborative. MBI has recently launched two new programs, funded through the state's ARPA COVID recovery legislation, that are focused on bridging the digital divide in Massachusetts: the Digital Equity Partnerships Program, and the Municipal Digital Equity Planning Program. MBI will talk about these programs and how they are planning to work with local communities to expand digital equity across Massachusetts, helping residents and businesses access 21st century opportunity. Click here to register.

National Fund SHIFT Conference Emphasizes Racial Equity & Systems Change in Workforce Development

MWA's Associate Director, Raija Vaisanen, attended this year's National Fund for Workforce Solutions conference in Minneapolis, September 27-29. In this blog post, Raija shares themes that emerged during the conference. 

MassHire Champion Award Goes to Longtime Labor Leader Bob Bower

Congratulations to Bob Bower, Special Advisor to the President for Workforce Development at the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, for being honored with the 2022 MassHire Workforce Champion Award! Bob was honored for his decades of commitment to the workforce system in Massachusetts, advocating for labor, training programs, and expanding diversity and access to apprenticeships. Bob serves on the MWA Board of Directors as Clerk and is also a member of the Workforce Solutions Group Executive Team. We are proud to work closely with Bob and congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition.

MassHire Award Finalists Share Peer Learning Opportunity Workshops

MWA is hosting the following virtual workshops by MassHire finalists in November and December. Join us!

Recruitment Challenges: New Ways of Engaging with Employers and Jobseekers

Thursday, November 3rd, 11AM

Jeff Cahill, Business Services, MassHire Greater Brockton

John Nesti, Business Services, MassHire Greater Brockton

Click here to register.

Partnerships and Collaboration to Achieve Better Results for Customers

Thursday, November 17th, 11AM

Madeline Colon Rivera, Career Advisement, MassHire Greater Lowell

Daphne Nichols, Career Advisement, MassHire Greater Lowell

Click here to register.

Innovation in Times of Uncertainty

Thursday, December 1st, 11AM

Samantha Fonseca, Data/Program Management, MassHire Cape & Islands

Phylis Gedeon, Youth Program, MassHire Hampden County

Click here to register.

Celebrate MassHire Finalists for Respect, Collaboration, and Reliability!

The celebrations for the 2022 MassHire Finalists continue! Click here to read a blog post highlighting the great work of the Respect finalists, here for a recap of the finalists in Collaboration category, and here for the Reliability finalists. Congrats to our MWA members for the incredible work you are doing in every region in the Commonwealth.

MassHire Lowell Career Center Success Story Videos Showcase Personal Impact of Workforce Development

MassHire Lowell Career Center has released several videos highlighting success stories of customers whose lives have been improved through their relationships with MassHire and the trainings provided to them. Take a few minutes to view these inspirational videos below.

MassForward Convening

Video Highlights 

Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia takes MassHire Pledge to Support Workers Recovering from Addiction

Berkshire Innovation Center and MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board Joint Media Campaign

Trauma and Resilience at Work

Quick Guides (Complete Series)


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 events, funding opportunities, jobs, and more posted on our website:

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