The YouthWorks 2015 Data Book is submitted to General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by Commonwealth Corporation on behalf of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
Healthcare Cost Containment Law & Impact on Healthcare Workforce
We invited Jessica Larochelle from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation to present an overview of the forces driving healthcare payment and delivery system reform, reform efforts in the state, and the implications for the workforce. Following the presentation two employers discussed the implications the law has already had on their healthcare organizations.
Governor Charlie Baker visits Signal Success at Malden High School
Malden High School demonstrated the Signal Success curriculum in action to guests Governor Charlie Baker, Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II, Undersecretary & Chief Operating Officer of Education Ann Reale, and Malden Mayor Gary Christenson. The four witnessed how Signal Success incorporates various learning styles and real-world scenarios to teach dependability, collaboration, initiative and communication. Malden High School served as one of the pilot sites for the Signal Success curriculum. They expanded the program from the original 25 students to 300 this year because school officials found the curriculum so beneficial to students’ success. Click here to learn more.
Photo credit: Paul Hammersley, City of Malden
New Website for Our Social Enterprise
We're pleased to announce a new website for our social enterprise, Exclusive Tees. With technical expertise from a local silk screening company, youth in a juvenile justice facility have the opportunity to gain real world job experience by engaging in full operations of a silk screening business.
Exclusive Tees employs youth to work as a team to fulfill orders, allowing them to gain workplace skills, build self-confidence, and set goals for success in transitioning into mainstream employment.
WCTF: Preparing Workers for Jobs in Demand
Learn more about how the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund fosters successful regional sector partnerships. This piece highlights the Bristol Manufacturing Partnership and their work tailoring training to meet the needs of local employers and unemployed and underemployed individuals.
The Wall Street Journal: What's Keeping Teens Out of Work
The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted Commonwealth Corporation's efforts to help young people navigate today's job market. The article focuses on increased use of online applications and soft skills as major barriers to teens entering the workforce. Click here to read more.
Patient Centered Medical Homes: How New Approaches to Care are Affecting the Health Care Workforce
Dr. Judith Steinberg of UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine gave an excellent presentation describing Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) models of care and how these changes in care delivery are affecting health care workers and the skills they need. Two employer panelists shared their experiences implementing PCMH in their organizations. The presentation materials from the event are available to download here.
Teen Employment Crisis Continues
Teen employment has yet to rebound and the employment prospects for young low-income black men are even worse. Learn more about our programs to support career readiness training for youth here.
Source: 1999 and 2014 employment-to-population ratios from the Current Population Survey; Low-income, black teen employment-to-population ratio from the American Community Survey, 2012-2013 averages.
Statewide Approach to Reducing Youth Violence
The Safe & Successful Youth Initiative is a multi-faceted strategy for reducing youth violence in Massachusetts. Using a public health and public safety approach, it is specifically tailored to address gaps in services for young men ages 14 to 24 that are identified as being "proven risk" or at the highest risk for being perpetrators of violence.
Research found that over the last two years SSYI engaged cities experienced 139 fewer violent crimes on average per month compared to non-SSYI municipalities. This year alone, for every dollar invested in SSYI, taxpayers have saved as much as $7.35 from the crime reductions produced through the program's support services.
Since its inception in 1999, YouthWorks, Commonwealth Corporation’s summer job program for teens and young adults, has relied on employer partnerships. YouthWorks requires understanding employers who are willing to help coach young adults through what is often their first job. Without them, this program would be impossible. Employers, in turn, have the opportunity to do “job try-outs” with young people.
The value of incumbent worker training is being recognized by high profile policymakers and business and labor leaders. President Obama referenced the importance of incumbent worker training in his April 25, 2015 address on the proposed US trade deal. Furthermore, a published report by the New England Council and Deloitte highlights the value of incumbent worker training in keeping the manufacturing industry alive in New England. As the economy improves and businesses shift from survival mode to a renewed focus on growth strategies, it’s important to recognize the necessity of investing in the skills of their workforce.
Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act
In Summer 2014 the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and other support services to succeed in the workforce and to connect employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in today’s economy.
WIOA encourages greater collaboration among employers, high schools and community colleges, and workforce organizations to ensure education and training activities are aligned with regional labor market needs.
Commonwealth Corporation is committed to advancing the entire field of workforce development through the sharing of best practices. Two of our Workforce Development in Practice guidebooks focus on building partnerships to address regional labor market needs and engaging employers in youth employment programming.
Understanding & Addressing the Youth Employment Crisis