January 1, 2020

A Bill to increase access and funding for vocational technical education

House Bill 3756:An Act to Increase Student Access to Career Technical Education Schools and Programs which are aligned with regional labor market needs

Lead Sponsors State Senator Jason Lewis and State Representative Paul Brodeur  , a joint petition and others relative to career technical education schools and programs.

Background:   Massachusetts faces an acute skills gap and employers are challenged with finding qualified talent across nearly every sector and region of the state.   At the same time, our state’s CTE high schools and programs have a vast footprint across the Commonwealth, and are teaching timely competencies that match the skills required for jobs in demand from advanced manufacturing, healthcare, building trades and engineering, innovation and technology, and more. Our existing CTE schools and programs have been validated by employers for decades as a talent pipeline, yet they are not available to the majority of students.

Challenge:  CTE enrollment has grown in the past decade, however, the capital infrastructure, financing mechanisms, and governance of our schools has not evolved to meet our workforce needs and, as a result, schools are challenged to serve more than 20-25% of the state’s enrolled high school population.

Opportunity: To facilitate this needed capacity, H3756 offers a set of proposed solutions. HD 3279 will help expand access to state Chapter 74-approved CTE programs for more students, provide incentives to partnerships that increase potential for achievements in college and career, and develop effective tools to increase capacity to maximize outcomes for students, businesses and communities.

This bill would:

Integrate Career Technical Education (CTE) more explicitly into the mission of the DESE by appointing a Deputy Commissioner for Career Technical Education and establishing an Office of Career Technical Education to focus solely on elevating CTE as a critical pathway.


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.