In This Issue:

  • State and Federal Policy Updates: New Report: A Workforce Development Vision for a New Administration, Unemployment & Economic Data, ARPA dollars supporting small businesses, Historic Funding for Adult Ed, Federal FY23 Omnibus
  • MWA Updates: MBR Talent Agenda Released, Racial Equity Resources, January Workforce Webinar - Promoting Digital Equity, Trauma-Informed & Resilience-Building Strategies Webinar Recap
  • Member Updates: Maddrey Goode Appointed to State Workforce Board, Jim Oliveira Announces Retirement, Franklin County Tech CTI Program
  • News From Around the Sector: Jobs, funding, news and updates
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State Public Policy

A Workforce Development Vision for the New Administration

MWA has prepared a report setting out a workforce vision and recommendations for the Healey-Driscoll Administration. We hope to work with the incoming administration to create a nation-leading and forward-thinking workforce system. A system that:

  • Invests in modern data systems;
  • Makes workforce data public and accessible;
  • Prioritizes collaboration between local and state-level parts of the system; and
  • Establishes two new workforce funds to support capacity and innovation.

MWA will be using this report to advocate for system improvements as the Healey-Driscoll Administration takes office and as the 2023-2024 Legislative Session begins. Questions about this report? Reach out to Tonja anytime.

November 2022 Unemployment and Economic Data

On December 16th, the state released the unemployment rate for November 2022 and the revised rate for October 2022. Click here to read the December 16th state press release. Massachusetts' November rate declined 0.1 of a percentage point from October to 3.4 percent, 0.3 of a percentage point lower than the national rate for October. The MA labor force participation rate dropped by 0.2 of a percentage point, to  65.3 percent, down 0.3 of a percentage point from the prior year. The labor force decreased by 13,000 from October. Since the beginning of the pandemic (April 2020), Massachusetts has recovered 677,100 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 November were released on 12/20. The most recent local press release can be found here.

Economic Analysis

This month, the Mass Taxpayers Foundation released a report highlighting demographic challenges impacting the Massachusetts labor market. To learn more about the report and read other economist reactions, click here for a CommonWealth Magazine article.

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth recently released The Recovery Reports: Impacts of COVID-19 Relief, highlighting how specific recovery programs and funding impacted small businesses, families, and local communities.

The Boston Fed also continues to follow the economic impacts of the pandemic with one of its latest research reports: Government Transfers and Consumer Spending Among Households with Children during COVID-19.

MassHire Central Region Workforce Board's Bruce Mendelsohn was interviewed about the national, regional, and local economy by Hank Stolz on Talk of the Commonwealth. Click here to listen.

New Federal Dollars for Small Businesses

The Baker-Polito Administration announced that it plans to direct almost $169M in U.S. Treasury funding toward loans and seed money for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Created in 2010 by Congress, the State Small Business Credit Initiative was recently reauthorized with an additional $10B as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

These funds will be used to promote growth of smaller employers, particularly those owned and controlled by people from underrepresented or disadvantaged backgrounds. You can learn more about these funds and where they are being directed here.

The Project on Workforce Releases Report on Community Colleges

The Project on Workforce recently released a report "The Partnership Imperative: Community Colleges, Employers, and America's Chronic Skills Gap".

The report calls on employers to partner more actively with local community colleges. Surveys conducted with educators and employers revealed there is a disconnect behind this partnership’s underperformance. It also underscored the need for businesses to take the lead in making the partnership more relevant and effective in three areas: (1) training and education aligned with industry needs; (2) commitments to hire community college students; and (3) sharing of data on the supply and demand for talent. You can read the report here.

$250M for Adult Education Over Next 5 Years

This week the Baker-Polito Administration announced that it would make an historic investment in adult education services, including English language learners, beginning with allocating $48.2M in FY24. These funds, a mix of state and federal dollars, will provide for 5,000 adult basic education seats and more than 16,000 for adult English learners. Grants were awarded to providers of these services in every corner of the state, including correctional institutions. Click here to read the press release, which details the grantees.

Federal Public Policy

Updates From D.C.

FY23 Funding

Earlier this week Congress released the text of the FY23 Omnibus spending bill overnight. Click here for an overview of the federal funding levels for the WIOA connected accounts. As expected, it includes marginal increases to the formula with more concentrated increases to Apprenticeships and CTE.

You can find the text to this bill here and a summary of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies here. The government is funded through Friday. This funding package passed the Senate Thursday afternoon, and is now on its way to the House.


Mass Business Roundtable Releases Its Talent Agenda for Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Business Roundtable is an MWA partner through the Workforce Solutions Group and its Vice President, Lauren Jones, being an MWA Board Member. This month they shared their Talent Agenda focused on attracting and retaining talent, developing untapped talent, and diversifying the pipeline of new workers. Click here to read more.

January Workforce Webinar: Promoting Digital Equity

Join MWA on Tuesday, January 24th at 2PM for our latest Workforce Webinar Professional Learning Session. In this webinar, we’ll hear from the Massachusetts Broadband Institute about new opportunities to expand digital equity across Massachusetts, including: The current state of available funding; The programs expected to be launched in the next 3 to 6 months; How to prepare for the federal funding process; and How your organization can get involved (including time for feedback and discussion). 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.

MWA, SkillWorks, and United Way of Mass Bay Partner with Corporation for a Skilled Workforce to Offer Trauma-Informed Workforce Development Webinar

On December 8th, more than 70 Massachusetts workforce development professionals attended a webinar led by Vicki Choitz and Patricia Maguire of the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) to learn about strategies they can use to support individuals who have experienced trauma in their lives. This learning opportunity was very interactive and included an overview of a number of practical guides that CSW has developed to help workforce professionals understand and better serve customers with lived traumatic experience. This information is essential more than ever post-pandemic. Click here to learn more about CSW's trauma and resilience work, and here to download the guides. They are also offering a free webinar on how to use the guides on January 11th at 4PM. Click here to register.

Maddrey Goode, Director of MassHire Boston Career Center, Appointed to State Workforce Board

Congratulations to Maddrey Goode for being appointed by Governor Baker to the MassHire State Workforce Board! The MassHire State Workforce Board advises the Governor on building a strong workforce development system aligned with education policies and economic development goals. Maddrey leads the MassHire Boston Career Center, operated by Morgan Memorial Goodwill located in Roxbury. Maddrey is also on the MWA Board of Directors.

Jim Oliveira, MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board CEO, Announces Retirement

Congratulations to MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board CEO Jim Oliveira on his planned retirement at the end of March 2023! In October, Joe Lopes assumed the position of Executive Director to ensure a smooth transition. We welcome Joe and bid a fond farewell to Jim.

Franklin County Tech Celebrates Strong Evening Adult Training Program

Franklin County Technical School, in partnership with MassHire Franklin-Hampshire Career Center, are seeing early successes in their Career Technical Institute (CTI) Program, funded through Commonwealth Corporation. Tuition, fees, and materials are covered by the program, which offers adult training in the evenings in carpentry, automotive technology, welding, and metal fabrication. Jobs or apprenticeships are waiting for graduates upon program completion. Educator and alum Justin Lawrence says, “I am thrilled to be working with the Night School program and am looking forward to helping local adults gain valuable skills and eventually providing needed services to the local area. I grew up in Franklin County and am ecstatic to see such a vibrant and new-aged approach to tackling our economic needs.” Click here to read the full press release.


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:

  • Job Opportunity: The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is hiring a Chief Administrative Officer. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • Job Opportunity: Jobs for the Future is hiring a Senior Manager to work with their Executive Team. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • Funding Opportunity: The United Way Community Action Grants application is open. 16 one-year unrestricted grants of $15K each are available for local organizations or grassroots coalitions led by BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ teams that are currently implementing campaigns or initiatives to affect social change. Applications are due January 20th. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • Funding Opportunity: Commonwealth Corporation has re-released its rolling Kenneth J Donnelly Workforce Success Grant (aka Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund) RFP with changes to eligibility requirements, max funding amount, and ability to include job quality consideration. Click here for more information. 
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