In This Issue:

  • State and Federal Policy Updates:
  • MWA Updates: Racial Justice Resources, Register today! WSG Jobs and Workforce Summit Registration,
  • Member Updates:
  • News From Around the Sector: Jobs, funding, news and updates
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State Public Policy

Post-Budget State House Focus Turns to Migrant Housing Crisis and Other Priorities

Since the passage of the budget in July, lawmakers and policy makers have turned their attentions to the many other issues facing the Commonwealth. Still on the to do list is an agreement on tax relief, and a housing bond bill. But right now, the most urgent challenge is supporting the more than 6,500 migrant families that are living across Massachusetts in temporary emergency shelters-hotels, unused dorms, and other facilities. The Governor has filed a supplemental budget requesting and additional $250M to support the services and housing needs of these families (the FY24 budget allocated $325M for emergency assistance family shelters). This week, in addition to Governor Healey's continued calls for federal support to aid these individuals, 21 business groups, including MWA Workforce Solutions Group partner Mass Business Roundtable, sent a letter to US Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, calling for expedited provisional work authorizations for adult migrants saying, "It is critical to these families, our communities, and our economy that these migrants are allowed to work as quickly as possible." Click here to read the business coalition letter. The Governor has also signed into law, $1 billion in tax cuts for the first time in more than 20 years.

August 2023 Unemployment Rate and Economic Analysis

On August 15th, the state released the unemployment rate for August and the revised rate for July 2023. Click here to read the 9/15 state press release. Massachusetts' August rate increased 0.1 of a percentage point from July's revised rate (2.5%) to 2.6 percent, 1.2 percentage points below the national rate for August (3.8%). The MA labor force participation rate remained at 64.5 percent, down 0.6 of a percentage point from the prior year (August 2022). The labor force increased 2,000 from July 2023. Over the year, August 2022 to August 2023, the state gained 90,500 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 August were released on 9/19. The most recent local press release can be found here.

Economic Analysis

MassBenchmarks released its Notes from the Board on 9/6. The summary of the board of regional and national economists noted that the Massachusetts economy has performed stronger than previously expected, dispelling previous fears of recession. However, constraints on labor force growth continue to pose challenges for businesses and the board calls for policies to support labor force growth and retention. Housing production, public transportation, affordable childcare and college opportunities are high on the list of priorities for the state to tackle. Click here to read the release and report.

Federal Public Policy

Federal Government Shutdown Avoided As Congress passed H.R. 5860, The Continuing Appropriations, 2024 and Other Extensions Act

As we mentioned in last month's newsletter, with the House's dramatic proposed cuts to workforce programs, and the Senate's more reasonable workforce funding proposal, workforce development funding is just one of many federal appropriations that is in limbo. Congress averted a government shutdown by passing a continuing resolution. The stopgap funding bill gives lawmakers until November 17th to reach a bipartisan spending deal for the rest of fiscal 2024. Click here for an explainer on how federal government shutdowns work and why we have them.

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 MWA's First Massachusetts Workforce Advocacy Academy!

MWA welcomes you, as an MWA member, to apply for our inaugural Massachusetts Workforce Advocacy Academy. MWA, with grant funding from SkillWorks and in partnership with Black Lion Strategies, LLC, is organizing our first ever dedicated professional development opportunity to develop a diverse, statewide advocacy network that represents all parts of the workforce system.

We believe that those closest to job seekers and employers, those working in the workforce system, are in the best position to help policymakers understand what they need to be successful. Good public policy relies on the voices of those who have on-the-ground experience to educate legislators. We want to help you feel confident and empowered to effectively advocate for the work you do and the populations you serve.

This academy will be comprised of 6 in-person and virtual sessions over 13 weeks including:

  • History of Workforce Development at the Federal Level
  • Workforce 101: The State and Local Workforce System, Legislative Process and the State Budget
  • Advocacy 101: Coalition Building and Effective Meetings with Decision Makers
  • Communications: Effectively Telling Your Story and Managing Disagreement
  • Legislative Meeting Practice/Role Play
  • State House Workforce Advocacy Day, including Meetings with Legislators and Executive Agency Leaders

In addition, you will have the opportunity to work in small groups of 2-3 participants on researching and developing your own state level workforce development policy solution, including a two-page brief to share with legislators when you meet at our culminating event: A State House Workforce Advocacy Day.

You will meet state and local decision-makers, advocates, and other policy professionals. You will learn and practice how to effectively engage legislators. When you graduate you will join a growing network of advocates for workforce development that we hope will grow into an increasingly powerful voice across the Commonwealth.

This first Massachusetts Workforce Advocacy Academy will be made up of a small group of 10-12 participants. Applications are due by October 6th, we will let applicants know if they are selected to participate by October 13th. If you have any questions, please email Kelly Hanlon. Click here to apply!

MWA's Summer Lunch

On September 8th we met new Board Members and enjoyed lunch with our members at Worcester's Polar Park where our friend's from the MassHire Central Career Center and Central Region Workforce Board simultaneously hosted a career fair. It was wonderful to see everyone and we will organize another opportunity to connect soon!

Mary Osorio wins 2023 Campus Award

The MassHire Greater Brockton Career Center announces that Mary Osorio was selected at the sinner of the Spring 2023 UMass Research and Engagement Outstanding Employee Award. Mary is the Manager of Job Seeker Services at the center and has been instrumental in the center's delivery of high-quality services to Brockton area residents.


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:

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