Policy News and Updates – July 18, 2017
Final State Budget Invests in Talent Pipelines
Thanks for all your advocacy around the state budget!  Both the Conference Committee and the Governor approved our priority investments in job training and workforce development.   In such a tight budget year, with fewer than expected revenues, this is a strong outcome.   The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund and Learn to Earn were funded at $1 million each for job sector training.  Learn to Earn is a new initiative targeted for people with long term barriers to employment.

YouthWorks and School to Career Connecting Activities were essentially level funded (the Governor vetoed some earmarks).  Youth employment continues to struggle around our state and we need to continue to bolster both state and private investments in youth jobs programs.

We thank all legislators, House and Senate leadership, and Governor Baker and his team for these critical investments.  Employers are struggling to find skilled workers and these programs will build and support training pipelines to ensure our economy continues to grow and people are able to advance their skills and careers.

Click here for the  WSG Budget Chart with line item information.

WCTF & WTF Bill Moves Forward!
We are thrilled to report that An Act to Diversify Use of the Workforce Training Fund to Support the WCTF (S2109/H3804)  received a favorable report from the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce.  We thank Chairs Jason Lewis and Paul Brodeurfor their leadership and we thank Committee members for their support.  The bill is now being considered by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and we welcome your letters of support to the Committee.

For a fact sheet on the bill click here.
Click here to contact the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Filed by the late Senator Ken Donnelly and Representative Joseph Wagner, the bill would allow up to 5% of the Workforce Training Fund to be used for pipeline training, and would match those employer contributions with state dollars to enable up to $2.2 million per year to be used to upskill people for vacant jobs.  The bill has garnered widespread support from employer groups, labor unions, and community based organizations.

For more information  please contact Kathie Mainzer at 617-263-3344.

Bill to Improve Training and Education Outcomes Needs Your Support
currently under review by the Joint Committee on Higher Education.
Filed by the late Senator Ken Donnelly, the bill would make outcome data like wage attainment and college completion rates available to consumers on a timely basis to better inform consumer choices and options.  It would give policy makers new tools to better inform the state’s workforce and education planning strategies.
The bill is supported by the National Skills Coalition Workforce Data Quality Campaign: you can read their testimony here .

Here is  our fact sheet on the bill and why it would improve quality education and training programs in Massachusetts.  Please send letters supporting the bill to: Rosalind.Jordan@mahouse.gov.

For more information please contact Kathie Mainzer  at 617-263-3344.