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The Workforce Solutions Group

 NonProfit Center, 89 South Street, Suite 700
 Boston, MA 02111
[P] (617) 523-6565
[F] (617) 5232070
http://www.workforcesolutionsgrp.org
[email protected]
Kathie Mainzer
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INCORPORATED: 2003
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2261109

LAST UPDATED: 02/04/2016
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

The Workforce Solutions Group (WSG) is a statewide advocacy coalition which brings together business, labor, community, and workforce organizations to advance a clear and unified policy agenda for workforce development.   Working closely with SkillWorks and our partners across the state, WSG is the leading advocate for systems change and alignment among workforce, education, and economic development agencies; and the leading advocate for increased state resources for sector based job training, skills training for low income adults and youth, and employer investment in talent pipelines.

Mission Statement

The Workforce Solutions Group (WSG) is a statewide advocacy coalition which brings together business, labor, community, and workforce organizations to advance a clear and unified policy agenda for workforce development.   Working closely with SkillWorks and our partners across the state, WSG is the leading advocate for systems change and alignment among workforce, education, and economic development agencies; and the leading advocate for increased state resources for sector based job training, skills training for low income adults and youth, and employer investment in talent pipelines.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2013 to Dec 31, 2013
Projected Income $229,048.00
Projected Expense $224,656.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Jobs and Workforce Summit

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The Workforce Solutions Group (WSG) is a statewide advocacy coalition which brings together business, labor, community, and workforce organizations to advance a clear and unified policy agenda for workforce development.   Working closely with SkillWorks and our partners across the state, WSG is the leading advocate for systems change and alignment among workforce, education, and economic development agencies; and the leading advocate for increased state resources for sector based job training, skills training for low income adults and youth, and employer investment in talent pipelines.

Background Statement

Formed in 2003 through a grant from SkillWorks, the Workforce Solutions Group (WSG) brings together business, labor, community, and workforce organizations to advance a clear and unified policy agenda for workforce development.   These sectors are represented through our E Team which is managed by leaders from the MA AFL-CIO, MA Business Roundtable, Crittenton Women's Union, MA Communities Action Network, MA Workforce Professionals Association, MA Workforce Board Association, and the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.  
 

These groups then work together to identify areas of common ground,  to advocate on behalf of workers, training , economic opportunity.   WSG helps these diverse groups set shared goals, and then leverages relationships, networks, contacts, and track record to achieve them through our specific, strategic yearly legislative and budget agendas.  

 

WSG’s work in formulating and influencing state level economic development policy has helped to create a better prepared workforce. As a result of our organizing and advocacy, the Commonwealth has added over $65 million in new funding for workforce development, including the creation of the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF), the restoration and preservation of the Workforce Training Fund as a Trust, the Educational Rewards program, and supplemental funding for Adult Basic Education, youth jobs programs, and One Stop Career Centers.  


Our work has resulted in significant changes in the policy and programs that comprise the workforce system, and taken together, represent a real shift in resources toward building strategic alignment between and among businesses, education and training providers, and the legislature.


Impact Statement

The Workforce Solutions Group has four goals. These are to:
 
  • Create a forum for discussion and consensus building on policy, legislation and budget issues that affect both workers and employers, resulting in sound and proactive policy and legislation;
  • Develop and enact legislation and policy initiatives which create jobs and career pathways for Massachusetts residents, and to advocate for resources through the state budget;
  • Align state systems which prepare the workforce (higher education, training, adult basic education, social services and supports) to achieve maximum return on those investments; and
  • Create/support systems that lead the expansion of youth employment, college and career pathways.
In 2015-6, WSG will convene partners to work in three major focus areas, each essential to achieving our goals:
 
1) Develop a workforce and education system that supports Career Pathways that align the job training, economic development and higher education systems, including Adult Basic Education, to help workers obtain post-secondary degrees, credentials and careers.
 
2) Develop career and vocational technical pathways for disconnected and opportunity youth that align workforce development, secondary and post-secondary education systems, and job training and job placement programs.
 
3) Develop evidence based policies and programs which support people with barriers to employment; including TAFDC recipients with low education levels and little or no employment history.
 
WSG accomplishments to date include:
 
1) Co-hosting (with SkillWorks) the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Gubernatorial Forums on Jobs and Workforce Development.
 
2) The formation of a Workforce Accountability Task Force to address performance, governance and coordination within the workforce system.
 
3) Creation and funding of the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund in the 2006 Economic Stimulus Bill. The WCTF has since distributed $23M in funding for sector partnerships across the state in industries with critical vacancy rates
 
4) Creation of the $1.5M Educational Rewards Grants program for part-time college students; partly incorporated into High Demand Vacancy Scholarships, funded in FY13-14.
 
5) Changes to the state’s Food Stamp Employment Training Program to allow community-based organizations to draw down more federal reimbursements for providing job training to food stamp recipients.
 
6) Co-releasing (with SkillWorks) the Forgotten Middle Skills Jobs Report and drafting of subsequent Middle Skills Solutions Act to spotlight the importance of credential completion for working adults.
 
7) Restoration of the Workforce Training Fund in the FY2011 budget providing $24 million in skills training to incumbent workers and businesses in MA.
 
8) Establishment and annual convening of the MA Jobs and Workforce Summit which brings together hundreds of policy makers and stakeholders to spotlight workforce development and systems change efforts.
 
9) Middle Skills Solutions Act provisions and funding included in 2012 Jobs Bill including $5M to recapitalize the WCTF, annual labor market review to support regional planning, MWIB credential tracking, and the establishment of an Advanced Manufacturing Grants program to support sector training.
 
10) Increases in workforce development line items for youth employment regularly since 2006.
 
11) Increase in FY14 including forward funding for YouthWorks summer jobs program for teens.
 
12) National attention to the crisis in youth unemployment; and leadership on the Governor’s College and Career Readiness Task Force.
 
13) Establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing, IT and Hospitality Training Grant Fund in the 2014 Jobs and Economic Development Bill. This was funded at 12.3 million PLUS $2.5 million for the WCTF. Unfortunately these funds were both victims of 9C cuts during the arly days of the Baker Administration when they had to find every dollar that hadn’t been spent to close the budget gap. We are working with the Administration and Legislature to restore these funds in the FY16 budget process.
 
14) A new pre-apprenticeship training program at the state Dept. of Transportation (MassDOT) which is funding 80 slots per year for disconnected youth of color and 300 career readiness slots for vocational high school students. These are funded by and will be plugged into the $13 billion state investment in transportation infrastructure improvements over the next five-ten years.
 
 

Needs Statement

WSG has been supported by SkillWorks and the United Way in 2014-5. We hope to continue this broad support in 2015-6 as well.
 
Through the efforts of the WSG E Team, WSG has expanded its network across the state and deepened its relationships with workforce advocates across many sectors. Our electronic newsletter and action alert list now number over 1,300 contacts, and our website has been professionally redesigned and is independently hosted. We update website content regularly and maintain social media updates through Facebook, Twitter and Constant Contact.
 
Our signature annual gathering, the MA Jobs and Workforce Summit, has grown to be a highly anticipated event for stakeholders as well as a coveted spotlight for business and elected leaders to showcase their efforts around workforce development, higher education and job creation. The summit has also become a consistent revenue source; this year generating $10,000 in unrestricted net income for WSG.
 
The goals of the Workforce Solutions Group are to help build a more efficient and effective pipeline that connects skilled workers to employers; increase access to job training for hard-to-serve-individuals; increase career pathways and job readiness for teens and disconnected youth and to increase the level and flexibility of funding for workforce services.
 
To achieve these goals for 2015-6, the Workforce Solutions Group seeks continued support from SkillWorks and the United Way. To maintain our work though the 2016 Legislative session and FY17 budget cycle, we hope to continue partnering with SkillWorks and the United Way for this important multi sector advocacy.

CEO Statement

WSG is uniquely positioned to catalyze and support change because of our ability to convene interest groups more often in conflict than in agreement – and keep them at the table to identify, and act upon, common ground. Consequently, WSG was nominated by SkillWorks for an Investor Committee Award for Promotion of Systems Change in June of 2012, and awarded this prize by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.    WSG was also the focus of a business story in the Boston Globe, “Unusual

Alliance Backs Job Training”, which called attention to WSG’s campaign to recapitalize the Workforce Competiveness Trust Fund and highlighted the importance and the unique nature of our coalition.    

WSG research partner Dr. Andy Sum has also generated national coverage for the youth unemployment crisis and educated legislators around the state about the need for career pathways for high school students and disconnected youth.


Board Chair Statement

WSG's Executive Team operates as a horizontal leadership body. 
 
Comment from Ruthie Liberman:
Comment from Tim Sullivan:
Comment from Chris Kealey: 

Geographic Area Served

Throughout the United States
Massachusetts 

Organization Categories

  1. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Alliances & Advocacy
  2. Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy - Alliances & Advocacy
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development

Programs

Jobs and Workforce Summit

 The Annual MA Jobs and Workforce Summit: WSG has developed a signature event which brings together 300 business leaders, policy makers and practitioners from all over the state to discuss, debate, and learn about the best new public policies and best practices from around the country. 

WSG will coordinate the 6th Annual Jobs and Workforce Summit in October 2015.

· E Team and Director will design and coordinate a summit bringing together policy makers and stakeholders to spotlight workforce development issues and systems change efforts.

· Summit will highlight business leaders and employer champions through keynotes, breakout sessions and annual awards.

· Summit will earn a profit and net financial support for WSG.

Budget  $15,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Education Policy Programs
Population Served Adults College Aged (18-26 years) Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program Short-Term Success 

·    Summit will spotlight workforce development issues and highlight at least 15 employer champions through workshops, plenaries and awards ceremony.

·    Summit will increase dialogue between workforce developers and employers by featuring more employer panels and more workshops.   Participants will come away with one new program idea, one new regional contact, and one new advocacy idea.

Program Long-Term Success 

Develop a workforce and education system that supports Career Pathways that align the job training, economic development and higher education systems, including Adult Basic Education, to help workers obtain post-secondary degrees, credentials and careers.

Develop career and vocational technical pathways for disconnected and opportunity youth that align workforce development, secondary and post-secondary education systems, and job training and job placement programs. 

Develop evidence based policies and programs which support people with barriers to employment; including TAFDC recipients with low education levels and little or no employment history. 

Program Success Monitored By  WSG will generate at least $5K net profit from the summit towards its 2015 budget.
Examples of Program Success 

WSG has coordinated previous summits with a subcommittee of the E Team and Loh-Sze Leung, the Director of SkillWorks. In 2013 and 2014 the event was coordinated by of Rendon Group, and overseen by WSG Director Kathie Mainzer. With this leadership team, the summit has continued to grow in revenue and impact every year. This year’s consumer reviews were the best; and revenues after expenses were @ $5,000.  


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Katherine Mainzer
CEO Term Start Jan 2012
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Katherine Mainzer has over 25 years experience in public policy development, media relations, and legislative advocacy. An innovative coalition builder and entrepreneur, she has led successful campaigns to reduce violence, prevent homelessness, and develop jobs in distressed neighborhoods.   For the past four years Kathie has served as communications and government relations advisor to the Workforce Solutions Group (WSG), and since January 2012 she has served as Project Director.    Katherine also serves as Director of Advocacy and Communications at The Strategy Group, a public affairs firm in Boston.

In 1993, Kathie and three colleagues opened Bella Luna Restaurant in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. For 20 years, Bella Luna and the Milky Way Lounge have served as a catalyst for economic revitalization and a gathering spot for families.   The restaurant has created 50 permanent jobs and supports local non profits and artists through diverse programming. Kathie has served as President of the local business association, as well as on numerous boards including the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, Mass. Law Reform Institute, the National Coalition for the Homeless, the Civil Liberties Union of MA   and the MA State Welfare Advisory Board.

In 1989, Kathie received her Masters in Public Administration from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Ms. Sue Parsons Aug 2010 Jan 2012

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our project is staffed by a consultant team and is under the fiscal umbrella of TSNE.   As such, we follow their policies in general, but as we have no full time staff and no direct payroll or hiring procedures, many of these questions are not applicable.

Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 0
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 1
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 1
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has Strategic Plan? No
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A

Governance


Board Chair Mr. David S. Orlinoff
Board Chair Company Affiliation Third Sector New England
Board Chair Term July 2011 - June 2014
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Bob Bower MA AFL-CIO Voting
Lewis Finfer MA Communities Action Network Voting
Don Gillis MA Workforce Board Association Voting
Chris Kealey MA Business Roundtable Voting
Ruthie Liberman Crittenton Women's Union Voting
Susan Quinones Mass Workforce Professionals Association Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 2
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 0%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The Board meets monthly and establishes the policy agenda of the Workforce Solutions Group. They lead our work at the State House and leverage their statewide memberships to meet with legislators and develop and advocate for legislation to increase employment programs and career readiness programs for low income youth and adults.   

The Board represents a broad and diverse coalition of stakeholders including low income single heads of households through Crittenton Women's Union; young adults and teens through the Youth Jobs Coalition/MA Communities Action Coalition; Workforce Boards which represent regional employment boards across the state (such as the Boston PIC) which run summer jobs programs for teens; the engagement of employers through the MA Business Roundtable, and the commitment of organized labor through the MA AFL-CIO.

WSG Board members work closely with legislators and administration officials to develop and file legislation as well as advocate for funding within the state budget. Their involvement and leadership is a critical element of WSG's success.

 In January of 2012, the Workforce Solutions Group hired Katherine Mainzer as Director, which provided the organization with experienced leadership and expertise as it expanded its agenda and policy work.   Katherine had previously served as communications and government relations consultant to the group, in addition to Susan Tracy, who also served as senior government relations advisor through the Strategy Group. Under Kathie’s leadership, WSG has expanded its policy agenda and impact, developed its own website and social media outlets, increased revenues and participation at the annual Jobs and Workforce Summit, and maintained its horizontal, consensus style of decision making.

Also in January of 2012, WSG contracted with Third Sector New England to be its fiscal sponsor and to administer all finances. Previously, organizational members of the E Team had taken turns as fiscal sponsor/administrative agent for the group; but in the 10th year of operations it was felt that a permanent fiscal sponsor could provide continuity and self-sufficiency for the group.

Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $174,014 $241,313 $201,956
Total Expenses $204,069 $205,312 $187,432

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$150,000 $200,000 $202,456
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $250 -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- $2,764 --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues $21,000 -- --
Special Events -- $38,548 --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $2,764 -- $-500

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $148,229 $152,911 $146,473
Administration Expense $10,740 $8,552 $7,984
Fundraising Expense $1,000 $750 $875
Payments to Affiliates $44,100 $43,100 $32,100
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.85 1.18 1.08
Program Expense/Total Expenses 73% 74% 78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 1% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $99,616 $58,874 $21,484
Current Assets $99,616 $58,874 $21,484
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $8,351 $6,961
Total Net Assets $99,616 $50,524 $14,524

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf 7.05 3.09

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

The Workforce Solutions Group (WSG) was formed in 2003. Third Sector New England (TSNE) became the WSG's fiscal sponsor in 2012. WSG was previously fiscally sponsored by Crittenton Women's Union (CWU).
 
The financial data in the charts and graphs above is per WSG and the fiscal agent covering the appropriate time period. The Affiliates expense category above for all fiscal years reflects lobbying expenses.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

An Increase in Sector Based Training and Education Resources for Working Adults: In 2006 WSG crafted the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) legislation which  has secured more than $23 million from state and federal resources. The WCTF provides grants to regional partnerships that train people in job sectors with high vacancy rates.  Since 2006 it has trained over 6,400 Massachusetts residents working in 30 critical industries.  In 2014, WSG was successful in getting a new Middle Skills Training Fund called the Advanced Manufacturing, Technical and Hospitality Training Fund established in the Jobs and Economic Bill with an appropriation of $12.5 million. 

Career Pathways for Disconnected and Opportunity Youth:  E Team organizations lobbied hard for youth employment funds in FY15 and were successful in getting $10.2 million for the YouthWorks’ summer jobs program and an increase in Shannon Anti-Violence grants (used for summer jobs) of $1.25 million to $8.25 M total.   Funding for School to Career Connecting Activities was only $2.75 million so WSG will work to ensure that FY 2016 funding for this line is restored to at least $3.5 million.   Success in this effort will ensure that thousands of Massachusetts high schools students graduate on time and prepared for careers. A new STEM Starter Academy was established for $4.5 million and an additional $1.5 million was appropriated for the STEM Pipeline Fund which will help provide students from all socio-economic backgrounds with STEM opportunities.   The sector- based training partnerships through WCTF have also benefitted disconnected and opportunity youth; by connecting them to job training and job placements through YouthBuild and the Building Pathways construction program.   

WSG was successful in adding a key workforce training provision to the 2014 state Transportation Bond bill; requiring that the MassDOT shall train no less than 300 participants per year from low-income, minority, youth, or young adult populations in pre-apprenticeship programs registered with the Division of Apprentice Training.”   We are working on implementation of this provision with the MassDOT and a coalition of community and labor groups. 

Career Pathways for TAFDC recipients: This proposed program would support Transitional Assistance to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) recipients in work readiness, skills training, and job placement. We are advocating for a pilot program of $2 million to develop supported work, subsidized employment and work readiness activities including skills training and certificate programs at community colleges and vocational technical schools. We were successful at increasing the Employment Services Program for TAFDC recipients from $7.6 M to 11.8 M in FY15; and also at getting $11 million included in the 2014 welfare reform bill for employment and training services. One big curveball is that the legislature changed some eligibility factors in the bill as well, and approximately 3,000 recipients will be terminated from TAFDC and this money will be used in conjunction with the MA Disability Commission to provide job training and placement for these 3,000 recipients. We are continuing to work closely with legislators and administration members to direct this money in the most effective ways. Much work will be needed during the upcoming transition in the Executive Branch to ensure good policy and practice for this vulnerable population, over 85% of whom have a high school diploma or less.


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


1) Advocate for continued investment in the WCTF, the rollout of the Community College WD Grant Fund, Adult College Transition Services, and High Demand Education Grants.

Work closely with business groups and legislative leaders as well as the Commonwealth Corporation and Secretaries of Labor, Education and Economic Development to support these investments.

2) WSG will advocate for youth workforce and education system alignment including:

Implementation of the goals of the Integrated College and Career Readiness Task Force Report and the principals of the Youth Solutions Act. 

These include: expansion of employment initiatives for summer and year round employment for youth.

·   Access to construction jobs for disconnected youth.

·   Increasing private sector and city of Boston funding for youth jobs. 

WSG will participate in the Integrated College and Career Readiness Subcommittee follow up work.  

· Through the Center for Labor Market Studies, WSG will disseminate the latest youth employment information to policy makers.

3) Lobby the Conference Committee and leadership on An Act to Foster Economic Independence.

·   Work to preserve positive measures related to education and training and asset development opportunities for TAFDC recipients.

·   Work to clarify and strengthen language for the Pathways to Self-Sufficiency sections of the bill to include opportunities for education & training (in addition to job search) and to insure implementation of best practices.

B. Work to monitor and influence positive implementation of the Pathways section of the bill through the following activities:

·   Secure WSG appointment to any task force or advisory group related to the Pathways to Self-Sufficiency section of the bill (education & training).

·   In addition to participation in an advisory group, continue to meet with DTA, Commonwealth Corporation, EOWLD to provide background information to positively shape program start up and implementation

·   CWU to release policy brief with recommendations on implementation in Winter 2014.

4) Strengthen statewide efforts to enhance Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and workforce training programs through increased advocacy and awareness of the opportunities that exist across various skill and income levels.  

· WSG is uniquely positioned to increase awareness across the state through Community Based Organizations, Workforce Investment Boards, Career Centers, apprenticeship programs and others about the importance of basic math, science and computer skills to succeed in the state’s economy.

5) Advocacy for One Stop Career Centers

6) WSG will support E team partners leading the effort to increase state transportation and infrastructure investments.




3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

WSG is the only forum in the state that brings together such diverse interests as the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, as well as training, policy, and research partners. These groups then work together to identify areas of common ground,  to advocate on behalf of workers, training , economic opportunity.   WSG helps these diverse groups set shared goals, and then leverages relationships, networks, contacts, and track record to achieve them through our specific, strategic yearly legislative and budget agendas.  

WSG is uniquely positioned to catalyze and support change because of our ability to convene interest groups more often in conflict than in agreement – and keep them at the table to identify, and act upon, common ground. 


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

Every year we set specific objectives and benchmarks which we check quarterly to ensure we are making progress.  Our internal workplan is available upon request.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

The needs are great for skills training in Massachusetts and across the country.  Our public education systems have not kept pace with the need for skilled workers; and the credentials, degrees, and certificates required by many employers.  High schools need to do a better job connecting young people to vocational opportunities, and colleges need to adapt more to working adults by offering year round rolling admissions for work related coursework.  
 

According to a 2013 Report on skill levels around the world by the Organization of Economic and Community Development,  about 36 million US adults have low skills; more than half are black or Hispanic, and two-thirds were born in the U.S.  One-third are less than 35 years old. Two-thirds of young (16-25) low-skilled adults are men.  Nearly two-thirds of these low skilled adults are working in low wage jobs, which means that workforce development programs could reach many of them.