In This Issue:

  • State and Federal Policy Updates: Governor Healey Signs FY24 Budget, State Unemployment Drops, MassReconnect Launch, Emergency Declaration for Migrant Shelter, Opportunities to Advocate for Workforce Development with Congress, Proposed Overtime Expansion Rule, Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy, NAWDP BSR Survey
  • MWA Updates: Racial Justice Resources, WSG Jobs and Workforce Summit Early Bird Registration, Welcome New MassHire State Workforce Board ED
  • Member Updates: MDCS JVSG Awards, Metro North receives Somerville ARPA funding, MassCEC Announces $18M in Workforce Grants, MassHire Central Success Story in EOLWD Blog
  • News From Around the Sector: Jobs, funding, news and updates
Sign-Up for this Newsletter

**Please check your Spam or Junk folders if you have signed up and are not receiving our newsletter.**

State Public Policy
State House

Governor Returns Signed Budget with Some Vetoes

Governor Healey signed the FY24 budget earlier this month, including vetoes cutting $272M in proposed spending ($205M after revenue offsets) and several amendments. The largest reductions were in MassHealth fee for service payments the Administration believes won't be necessary, and funding for center-based child care rate increases. Reducing these increases keeps center and family-based rates in line with each other. Additionally, about $7.7M in flexible funding for community action agencies was cut. For more on the Governor's vetoes, click here for a Mass Taxpayers Foundation summary. For a MassBudget analysis of how the first year of Fair Share Amendment income tax revenue is being invested, click here.

July 2023 Unemployment Rate and Economic Analysis

On August 18th, the state released the unemployment rate for July and the revised rate for June 2023. Click here to read the 8/18 state press release. Massachusetts' July rate declined 0.1 of a percentage point from June's revised rate (2.6%) to 2.5 percent, 1.0 percentage point below the national rate for July (3.5%). The MA labor force participation rate dropped to 64.5 percent, down 0.6 of a percentage point from the prior year (July 2022). The labor force decreased by 5,200 from June 2023. Over the year, July 2022 to July 2023, the state gained 90,300 jobs. The largest over the year gains occurred in Education and Health Services; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; and Leisure and Hospitality.

Click here to read the most recent state press release. Local unemployment estimates for May were released on 8/21. The most recent local press release can be found here.

Economic Analysis

MassBenchmarks released its quarterly analysis of state GDP on 7/31. This quarter, state GDP was estimated to have increased at an annualized rate of 4% compared to national growth of 2.4%. This was higher than expected for both state and the nation and shows surprising resilience in the labor market. While growth is expected to slow in the next several quarters, a recession is no longer expected. Click here to read the release and report.

MassReconnect Community College Program Kicks Off

Each of Massachusetts' 15 community colleges received $100K this month to support implementation of the new MassReconnect program starting this fall. With a total $20M statewide investment for FY24, students who are permanent residents aged 25 and older, who do not already have a college degree, will be eligible to enroll for at least 6 credits toward an associate's degree or certificate. There is no deadline to apply, but students must also complete an application for student aid (FAFSA). It is estimated that the program will serve 6,500-8,000 students in its first year, growing to nearly 10K by FY25. To read the press-release, click here. For more on the program and how to apply, click here.

State of Emergency Declared and Federal Funding Received to Support Migrant Families

On August 8th, Governor Healey filed an emergency declaration due to the rapid increase in migrant families arriving in the state requiring shelter and services. The federal government, through FEMA, responded on 8/18, awarding the state $1.9M to help expand shelter services and transportation for these families. The Administration estimates that more than 5,800 families are in state shelter, many in hotels or former student dormitories. Massachusetts federal delegation has written to the Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services asking for expedited work authorizations for these families. Click here to read the emergency declaration press release and here for the federal funding press release.

Federal Public Policy

Lawmakers take August Recess and Return to Districts

August is the usual period when Congress is in recess and lawmakers return to home to their districts. With the House's dramatic proposed cuts to workforce programs, and the Senate's more reasonable funding proposal, federal workforce development funding is uncertain. This is a good time to remind our federal delegation of the importance of workforce development in our communities. The National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) shared a policy alert earlier this month with suggestions on how to connect with your local delegation to let them know the impact of your work on workers and businesses. As always, just reach out to Raija or Kelly if you need assistance.

US Department of Labor Issues Proposed Rule Extending Overtime Protections to Executive, Administrative, and Professional Workers

Today, the US Department of Labor issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administration, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposal includes increasing the standard salary level and the highly compensated employee total annual compensation threshold, and also implementing an automatic updating mechanism to keep these levels in line with current earnings data. The proposed rule would impact an estimated 3.6M salaried workers who make less than $1,059 per week, or about $55K per year. Click here for more information on the proposed rule.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy

On July 31st, the Biden-Harris Administration shared its Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy, a "first-of-its-kind comprehensive approach aimed at addressing both immediate and long-term cyber workforce needs." To do this, the Administration, along with a variety of national nonprofits and philanthropic organizations, commit to investing more than $100M in funding and resources. Click here for the fact sheet to read more.

The National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) Asks for Business Services Representative Input

NAWDP has put out a survey targeting business services representatives (BSR) across the country to gather input for its Next Level Now Collaborative future webinars and trainings. If you are a BSR, take a few minutes to offer your perspective here and share with your colleagues.

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 Welcomes Darien Johnson, New MassHire State Workforce Board Executive Director

On August 21st, Darien Johnson joined EOLWD as the new MassHire State Workforce Board Executive Director. Previously serving as the Head of Policy for the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA), Darien developed and executed the organization's policy, public affairs, and advocacy strategy and agenda. He also served on Governor Healey's transition team and previously worked as the Regional Director for Senator Elizabeth Warren. MWA appreciates outgoing Executive Director, Cheryl Scott, and her years of committed public service and partnership with our Commonwealth's workforce development system. We wish Cheryl all the best in her future endeavors and look forward to working with Darien!

MassHire Department of Career Services Recognizes 2023 Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) Incentive Awards

The MassHire Department of Career Services (MDCS) announced this year's recipients of the MDCS Jobs for Veterans State Grant Incentive Awards. The JVSG Incentive Awards recognize the efforts of an entire One-Stop Career Center (not just a Veterans unit or Veterans staff) whose efforts demonstrate: improvement and modernization of employment, training, and placement services for Veterans; the reward and celebration of excellence in priority of service; development and delivery of best practice techniques and improved performance outcomes for Veterans. Congratulations to the following MWA members who were recognized:

MassHire Metro North Workforce Board Awarded $765K in City of Somerville ARPA Funds

The MassHire Metro North Workforce Board in partnership with Somerville Community Corporation, The Welcome Project, Union Square Main Streets and East Somerville Main Streets has been granted a total of $765K from the City of Somerville's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. This funding will be dedicated to uplifting new immigrant entrepreneurs in Somerville through skill- based training programs, while also offering specialized courses to assist low- and moderate-income employees of established small businesses in the area. Click here for the full press release.

Healy-Driscoll Administration Awards $18 Million to Drive Equitable Clean Energy Workforce Development

The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced over $18 million in grants that will support an expanded clean energy workforce. The awards, provided by the MassCEC, go to over 40 organizations and include MassHire North Shore, MassHire South Shore and MassHire Cape and Islands Workforce Board. Click here for the full press release.

EOLWD Blog Features MassHire Central CDL Training Success Story

Did you know that the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development has a blog? It does! You can find it here. Earlier this month they featured a great success story of a Certified Driver's License training participant. The training program was developed through a sector partnership led by the MassHire Central Region Workforce Board and funded by the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (aka Sen. Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grants) administered by Commonwealth Corporation. Click here to read the post.


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 just sample of the events, funding opportunities, jobs, and more posted on our website:

  • Job Opportunity: MassHire Metro North Workforce Board has multiple openings including Manager of Workforce Systems, and Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (NAMC) Program Manager. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • Job Opportunity: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is hiring a Deputy Director for Workforce Development. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • Job Opportunity: The MassHire Metro North Career Center operated by ABCD is hiring an Assistant Career Center Manager for its Chelsea location. Click here to learn more and apply.
  • Funding Opportunity: The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center released its Notice of Intent to Issue for Offshore Wind Works: Offshore Wind Workforce Grants. Click here to learn more. The official solicitation will come out September 11th, and the deadline to apply will be November 10th.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest workforce news and updates.
Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin