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Workforce highlights of Economic Development bill

1599-6086: Comprehensive review of workforce development programs

The bill allocates $500,000 for a comprehensive review of all career service and grant programs administered by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, including Commonwealth Corporation and MassHire. This study will examine the grant application process, job retention rates, cost-effectiveness, disbursement timeframes, demographic data, and other key metrics of our existing workforce programs. The goal is to measure the effectiveness of existing programs to ensure that the record levels of funding the legislature has invested in workforce development services are being spent in an optimal manner to best serve the needs of our labor force.

7003-0101: Labor and Workforce Development Shared Services

In order to cover unanticipated costs for the executive office of labor and workforce development during FY‘22, the bill provides $10.5 million to the shared services line-item. This money is used to support the costs of facilities, staff, and technology that is utilized for the core administrative functions of the executive office. It is critical to ensuring that the department’s programs can operate effectively and efficiently.

1599-6087: Support scholarships for students seeking degrees in high demand fields

To improve the pipeline of students studying to go into high demand fields, this line item provides $50 million for a scholarship program to reduce or eliminate the cost of higher education for certain students. The department of higher education is mandated to prioritize awarding scholarship money to students in courses of study or training programs aligned with regional market blueprints. These awards are meant to target students enrolled in programs for high-demand fields, such as healthcare, education, manufacturing, and cybersecurity.

1599-6088: Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Within a line item made up of local economic development project funds, the bill provides $750,000 earmarked to the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership for the development and implementation of a workforce development second chance initiative. The program will focus on improving outcomes for underserved populations, and candidates who face challenges entering the workforce.

7009-7477: Nursing Workforce Talent Pipeline

To improve the nursing workforce talent pipeline and improve career pathways for the nursing profession, the fund provides $2.5 million for the creation of a grant program administered by the executive office of education. These funds may be used for program-related staffing, technology, equipment, and operational costs to increase student enrollment.

SECTION 44: Massachusetts Centers for Cybersecurity and Advanced Manufacturing

Creates two new centers within the Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation, one focused on cyber security and one focused on advanced manufacturing. The cybersecurity center shall work to strengthen the cybersecurity industry in Massachusetts, working to help ensure enough training is available and affordable to meet the workforce demands of the industry. The advanced manufacturing center will work to leverage existing state and federal programs and supporting the development of advanced manufacturing workforce training programs aligned with the Commonwealth’s priorities.

Section 265: Transfer to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund

The bill provides $100 million to bolster the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and help offset costs of benefit overpayments that the state has waived. Adding these funds to the UI trust fund will help reduce burdens on businesses that would otherwise be on the hook for higher contribution rates. This amount is in addition to the $500 million transferred to the UI fund last year.



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