Why Can’t We Fill Our Jobs?
Workforce Development in Greater Boston
We have all been reading about the economic boom in Boston with the growing technology and health sectors and enviable low unemployment rate. We are also faced with the unpleasant reality that this economic opportunity continues to leave people behind, while at the same time, jobs in these growing sectors are going unfilled. What is the outlook for closing this gap? What will it take to match people who need good jobs with good jobs that are available? What should we be doing differently to prepare our high school and community college students for the changing job scene?
Join other TPC members and guests to learn about this urgent challenge. Our panelists include an expert in the workforce development “system” and two of our grantees who are considered “best in class” among the non-profits working on this important problem.
Marybeth Campbell, Executive Director of SkillWorks, Partners for a Productive Workforce. This nationally recognized funder collaborative was started by the Boston Foundation and City of Boston 14 years ago to address the growing challenge of building a skilled workforce in Boston. They raise millions of dollars and have invested in capacity-building for a wide range of nonprofits in the system as well as support advocacy, policy change, and research. In recent years, they have begun to focus on youth development and connecting community colleges and other post-secondary institutions with the workforce development system.
David Delmar, Executive Director of Resilient Coders (TPC Grantee). Resilient Coders offers young people from traditionally underserved communities in the Boston area a promising pathway to skilled technical careers. Ranging in age from 18-26, all program participants are from low income communities, and the majority are black and Hispanic. While all have high school diplomas or GEDs, participants face significant barriers to entry into the tech community, often including court involvement and other symptoms of disenfranchisement. Through its innovative programs, Resilient Coders teaches coding and other workplace skills and then places participants in career-launching internships and entry-level jobs.
Joan Abbot, Assistant Director of BEST Hospitality Training (TPC Grantee). BEST provides a pipeline for low-income adults to move into quality career jobs at Boston’s union hotels. BEST’s mission is to provide individuals with the education, skills, and training to excel in the hospitality industry and in their personal lives. Eighty-six percent of BEST’s graduates are placed into hospitality jobs with family-sustaining wages and comprehensive, employer-paid benefits.