Showing posts with label workforce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label workforce. Show all posts

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Boston Globe: "Massachusetts is building a green economy, but does it have the workers to do so?"

"It’s going to take 38,100 workers to help Massachusetts transition to a clean energy state.

That’s according to a report published Wednesday by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), a quasi-public agency that supports the state’s green energy industry. The paper forecasts thousands of new jobs by 2030 in order to meet the state’s decarbonization goals. And as of now, we’re not ready to fill them.

The report classifies a worker as a “clean energy worker” if they are working in renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative transportation, or other decarbonization efforts. These jobs include electricians who install electric panels, insulation workers who help maximize the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, or construction workers who help install electric vehicle charging stations.

According to the center’s analysis, Massachusetts needs its clean energy workforce to expand by 37 percent from its current size of 104,000. However, the report also reflects the current challenges of filling those positions today. For example, 88 percent of companies that responded to MassCEC surveys said they have difficulty hiring workers for clean energy jobs."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

A new report highlights the need for more electricians and other workers skilled in clean energy-related trades to fill an expected 38,000 jobs in Massachusetts by 2030.DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF
A new report highlights the need for more electricians and other workers skilled in clean energy-related trades to fill an expected 38,000 jobs in Massachusetts by 2030.DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF

Get your own copy of the MassCEC report here ->

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

CommonWealth Magazine: The future of work; transmission site info sought

"EVERY LABOR DAY working people celebrate the countless contributions the labor movement has made to improve the lives of working people. We reflect on the past and present to organize a better future for all.

Right now, working people are frustrated. Many are struggling to afford the basics, much less save for college or retirement. Amidst this, corporate special interests are lining their pockets off the backs of working people. In 2021, the CEO pay at S&P 500 companies rose 18.2 percent, faster than the US inflation rate of 7.1 percent. In contrast, US workers’ wages fell behind inflation, with worker wages rising only 4.7 percent in 2021. This is not “inflation.” It is “greedflation” — when companies take advantage of consumers by using their market dominance to increase prices and boost corporate profits. We’ve seen this with Uber surge pricing during times when people are most desperate for a ride, little of which goes to the actual drivers."
Continue reading the article online

"FIVE OF THE SIX New England states have launched an effort to better coordinate the process of bringing ashore electricity produced by offshore wind farms and feeding the power into the regional grid.

Currently, states contract with offshore wind developers and the developers select where they want to bring their power ashore and are responsible for all transmission system upgrades needed to make that happen.

The process has gone fairly smoothly so far, with developers picking interconnection points on Cape Cod, in Somerset, and in Rhode Island."
Continue reading the article online

5 New England states seek info on transmission issues
"5 New England states seek info on transmission issues"

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Workplace Safety Grants of up to $25k available for businesses

"The DIA is offering Workplace Safety Grants of up to $25k to MA based businesses seeking to prevent or reduce workplace injuries. Employers covered by MA Workers’ Comp. Law may qualify. Email to start the application process. #SafetyGrantsMA"

More info online at

Shared via Twitter -> 

Workplace Safety Grants of up to $25k available for businesses
Workplace Safety Grants of up to $25k available for businesses

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Episode 019 - Overwork, Managing Work Life Balance, Finding Time For Rest (audio)

"In this episode, Dr. Pandora Carlucci and Jay Horrigan are joined by Reverend Junger, Reverend McAdams and Rabbi Alpert to discuss the topic of overwork; how work can bring meaning to one's life, when work starts to become overwork, how to find time for rest and recovery, balancing family and personal relationships and so much more. "

Audio link ->

“A Priest, a Minister, and a Rabbi Walk Into a Radio Station”
“A Priest, a Minister, and a Rabbi Walk Into a Radio Station”

Embedded audio

Monday, October 11, 2021

Workforce insights: "They’ll go back to work when they feel safe – and well-compensated"

"The anemic September employment report, with only 194,000 jobs added, illustrates the extent to which the recovery stalled as coronavirus cases surged last month, but it also signals something deeper: America’s unemployed are still struggling with child-care and health issues, and they are reluctant to return to jobs they see as unsafe or undercompensated.

For months, economists predicted a surge in hiring in September as unemployment benefits expired for millions of workers and schools reopened across the country. Instead, last month marked the weakest hiring this year, and an alarming number of women had to stop working again to deal with unstable school and child-care situations.

The numbers are striking: 309,000 women over age 20 dropped out of the labor force in September, meaning they quit work or halted their job searches. In contrast, 182,000 men joined the labor force, Labor Department data showed."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)

Workforce insights: "They’ll go back to work when they feel safe – and well-compensated"
Workforce insights: "They’ll go back to work when they feel safe – and well-compensated"

Saturday, September 25, 2021

“I don’t tell strangers what I do for a living any more”

"Alexandra was working in the public health emergencies unit in a major north-eastern American city when the first wave of the pandemic hit. Although her job was in public health policy research, and not treating Coovid-19 patients on the frontlines of the healthcare system, she recalls the spring of 2020 as a blur of 24-hour shifts.

Beginning last March, Alexandra estimates that she and her colleagues worked the equivalent of three full-time years in 12 months. (Her name has been changed to protect anonymity.)

“There was no overtime, there was no hazard pay,” Alexandra recalls. Throughout the public health department where she worked, symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress-related physical maladies were commonplace among staff.

This summer, despite the protestations of her superiors, Alexandra quit. She says she’s one of roughly 25 staff members who have left the department since the start of the pandemic."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)

Just as the pandemic has fuelled a burnout crisis among frontline medical staff, it has been calamitous for the mental health of workers in public health. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
Just as the pandemic has fuelled a burnout crisis among frontline medical staff, it has been calamitous for the mental health of workers in public health. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Baker-Polito Administration Releases Future of Work Report

Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) tweeted  on Tue, Jul 13, 2021:
To address key findings, our plan proposes support for several critical areas, including:

🏘️ Housing
🛠️ Workforce Training
🏙️ Downtown Development
🏥 Substance Use & Behavioral Health Programming
🚸 Child Care
🚗 Transportation Flexibility & Improvements

Full press release link ->

The report provides eight core insights:
  1. Demand for office real estate may fall as workers spend more time in residential areas due to hybrid work.
  2. Hybrid work will likely drive demand for flexible childcare options, requiring childcare business models to evolve.
  3. Public transit ridership is likely to fall, with the steepest decline likely in commuter rail.
  4. Business travel may be structurally reduced from pre-pandemic levels.
  5. Workforce training may be required at an unprecedented scale and pace.
  6. The Commonwealth population is likely to grow, albeit more slowly than pre-pandemic
  7. Existing equity challenges will intensify.
  8. Equitable housing opportunities will be key to retaining and attracting people.
Download the full report here to read:

Shared from Twitter:

Commonwealth Magazine coverage:

Boston Globe coverage

Future of Work Report
Future of Work Report

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

“Massachusetts is going to be ground zero for the next wave of this fight”

"A fight that became the most expensive ballot measure in California’s history has arrived in full force in Massachusetts, setting the stage for a potentially costly campaign that could reshape the state’s labor law and how hundreds of thousands of workers operate under it.

The question of whether Uber drivers, DoorDash delivery people, and other so-called gig economy workers should be classified as independent contractors or employees has already reared its head in litigation and at the State House, where a bill backed by the major ride-hailing companies is working through Beacon Hill’s legislative gears.

But the emergence of two similarly named but opposing coalitions — each claiming the backing of app-based workers — is seeding a potential ballot question fight next fall, when voters could be asked to decide how the workers should be treated."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Monday, April 19, 2021

CommonWealth Magazine: real work begins on climate change; legislative fixes possible for essential worker problems

"The real work begins now on climate change" 

"THIS SPRING, as flowers and trees begin to bloom in New England, our clean energy industry is also ready to blossom after decades of delays and setbacks. 
Last month Gov. Charlie Baker signed one of the strongest climate bills in the nation, committing to reduce emissions 50 percent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Boston, Massachusetts’ largest city, launched a municipal energy program to expand access to renewable energy for residents, including low-income families, and is considering nation-leading regulations to address carbon emissions from our biggest source – large buildings. Worcester has committed to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.  Even smaller towns across the Commonwealth, like Arlington, Melrose, and Natick, are developing plans for net-zero emissions by 2050."
Continue reading the article online 

"Legislative fixes for essential worker problems"
"ESSENTIAL WORKERS have always played a significant role in our society, but their roles were especially amplified since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Elected officials, the public, and many business owners continue to praise the critical work these essential workers do. They had the difficult task of keeping our society afloat by being on the frontline of many services including healthcare, groceries, and mail delivery. But still, the workforce has been suffering from a lack of government support. The unemployment rate in Massachusetts has faced a 4.4 percentage point increase, with 165,423 more workers unemployed compared to March 2020.

Just as COVID-19 laid bare the racial and economic disparities present in sectors from education to healthcare, the deep inequities that create an uneven playing field for workers and working conditions have become more visible and severe."
Continue reading the article online 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

"a rare opportunity—and a responsibility—to reimagine the path towards what I call “back to better”"

An excerpt from Senate President Karen Spilka's remarks to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, April 13, 2021: 

"I have been particularly struck by the statistics on the devastating effects COVID-19 has had on women in the workplace. Before the pandemic, women in Massachusetts were participating in the workforce at increasing rates, surpassing the national rate by 2019 – but the pandemic has brought women back to where they were after the 2009 recession. In fact, the percentage of women participating in the U.S. labor market in October 2020 was the lowest since 1988.

It is clear to me that if we wish to have a full and equitable recovery, we must take a close look at the factors that affect women’s employment, at every level and in every sector, and one clear factor that we must address is caregiving. In the same way that we learned to diversify our sectors after the last recession, we are now learning that we must support and strengthen the caregiving sector in Massachusetts so that we can support working families across the Commonwealth.

Almost exactly one year ago today, I appeared before this Chamber, in what was your first ever virtual forum, if you can believe it, and declared that childcare was as important to our infrastructure as roads and bridges in getting people back to work. The struggles of the past year have borne this out, which is why I have pushed the Legislature to begin to address the need for childcare, including providing for emergency childcare for essential workers, increasing rates for early education providers, and dedicating $40 million for a new reserve to cover parent fees for those receiving subsidized childcare. We also established the Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission to review childcare funding and make recommendations on policy changes to expand access.

With the promise of over $500 million in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan, we are well-poised to make more strides in making childcare more accessible and affordable, and I look forward to working with all of you to dedicate our best thinking towards tackling this problem, both in the public and private sectors.

But childcare is just one piece of what many are calling a “caregiving crisis”–a storm that has been brewing on our horizon for a few years, but which COVID-19 has turned into a full-blown tsunami. Many people, mostly women, who work in non-caregiving professions, but are sandwiched between aging parents and growing children, have dropped out of the workforce in alarming numbers to care for those who rely on them, while too many Black and brown women who work in caregiving professions have been crushed by the job losses of the economic downturn, with devastating results for their families and communities. As we all feel the squeeze of this caregiving crisis, is it any surprise that we are facing a mental health crisis as well?

But this is Massachusetts, my friends, and I know we can do better. "

Continue reading the full text of Senate President Spilka's remarks 

"a rare opportunity—and a responsibility—to reimagine the path towards what I call “back to better”"
"a rare opportunity—and a responsibility—to reimagine the path towards what I call “back to better”"

Sunday, November 29, 2020

CommonWealth Magazine: child care “holding our economy hostage”

From CommonWealth Magazine we share two articles of interest for Franklin:

"CHILD CARE’S CRITICAL importance to our economy was obvious as the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the Commonwealth. Some parents scrambled to work remotely while caring for children. Others rushed to secure care so they could perform essential work, much of it on the frontlines to ensure the health and well-being of Massachusetts residents. 

But even as the pandemic revealed the essential nature of child care, it’s also made it more vulnerable than ever. Lawmakers are entering a critical moment for the early education and care sector as they debate the 2021 fiscal year budget. And the pandemic may be coloring perceptions about the demand for child care that could hurt children and families in the long run. 

The fact is that the child care supply has dwindled in Massachusetts during the pandemic as providers closed in the face of fiscal challenges or limited enrollment to accommodate new safety protocols. The Department of Early Education and Care recently reported that enrollment is at 66 percent of pre-COVID numbers. This sharp drop includes parents who have chosen not to send their children or who now need very different arrangements than they did prior to the pandemic. As lawmakers account for these changes in the upcoming budget, do the current COVID-related trends signal decreased demand and justify a reduction in investments to stabilize and secure the sector? 

The simple answer? No. "

Continue reading the article online

"IF THERE WAS ever any doubt that the state’s system of early education and care for very young children was on the brink of crisis with far-reaching consequences, the COVID-19 pandemic has erased it. Congresswoman Katherine Clark, whose bill to  invest $50 billion in the sector was passed by the House of Representatives in July,  recently said that a COVID-19-related lack of access to child care was “holding our economy hostage.” 

Her observation is borne out by testimony collected in September by the state’s Commission on the Status of Women. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of women reported that COVID-19-related changes to child care arrangements had affected their ability to work. Included in this group were early care and education business owners themselves, who explained that if their own children could not attend school then they could not keep their businesses open. One reported that she was on the verge of losing her child care center, which had been serving her community for 17 years. 

Solutions such as Congresswoman Clark’s bill, which treats child care and early education programs as an essential public good requiring public investment, are key to ensuring that the sector doesn’t collapse under the weight of urgent needs from young families and their employers. Given the complex problems facing the field and early educators’ expertise and innovative approaches to problems of practice, it’s also important to center early educators in the policy making process."
Continue reading the article online

Saturday, October 17, 2020

"80 percent of those leaving the workforce during the pandemic are women"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

"LAUREN SONALKAR was working as a part-time science teacher in the Lincoln Public Schools before the pandemic. A week before school started this year, the district offered Sonalkar a job working full time, teaching a small class of fourth graders in person.

Sonalkar lives in Arlington, where her first-grade daughter was given the opportunity of hybrid or remote schooling, and the family felt remote learning would be a more consistent option. Sonalkar also has a 3-year-old in a part-time nanny share and needs to be available to help her mother, who has a disability.

“When they told me I’d have to be full time, I was like I can’t do that,” Sonalkar said.

Sonalkar’s husband works in finance, and the family relies on his income more than hers. She felt her only choice was to take a year-long leave of absence from her teaching job.

While Sonalkar knows she is privileged to be able to forgo the income and have a job waiting for her, she said, “It felt like losing a piece of my identity a little bit.”

Continue reading the article online

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

MassBudget: Workers' Policies That Work For Everyone

  MassBudget: Workers' Policies That Work For Everyone     
September 3, 2019

The Importance of Improving Workers' Lives
September is here and many of us are preparing for the start of the school year and heading back to work after this Labor Day weekend. In honor of our nation's holiday celebrating the socioeconomic achievements of workers, here's a look at some of the workers' justice issues we have been focusing on in 2019:
  • In January 2019, the Massachusetts minimum wage increased from $11 to $12 per hour, the first of five annual steps on the way to $15 in 2023. This historic win will benefit hundreds of thousands of workers across the state, along with their families and communities. 
  • Wage increases are vital to economic security. But workers need more than a raise, they need fair workweeks. Bills now before the Massachusetts Legislature would require large retail, food service, and hospitality employers to give their workers advanced notice of their schedules, time to rest between shifts, and access to more hours when they're available. Unstable scheduling practices affect household finances, health, and family well-being, and fixing the problem could help workers and businesses.
  • Hourly workers aren't the only ones demanding better schedules. Salaried workers are eligible for overtime, but outdated and confusing federal and state overtime laws make it easy for employers to require them to work 50 or more hours a week without paying them extra in overtime. MassBudget wrote about how modernizing the Massachusetts overtime law would grant new or stronger overtime protections to 435,000 salaried workers in Massachusetts, that's one out of four salaried workers.
  • Wage increases, fair workweeks, and modernized overtime protections are all important. But like all worker rights' protections, they need to be enforced. An innovative approach known as whistleblower enforcement could strengthen workers' ability to hold employers accountable in court - even if they've signed mandatory arbitration agreements. It could also provide the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division with much-needed funding for outreach and enforcement, and support a permanent grassroots infrastructure for education and enforcement of workplace rights.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.


BOSTON, MA 02109

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 1 State Street, Suite 1250, Boston, MA 02109
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Whistleblower enforcement

Overtime link

Fair Workweek testimony

Minimum wage increaseimpact$12-Massachusetts-Minimum-Wage.html

MassBudget: Workers' Policies That Work For Everyone
MassBudget: Workers' Policies That Work For Everyone

Monday, September 3, 2018

MassBudget: For Labor Day, a look at state policies that work for workers

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

$15 minimum wage, paid leave help Massachusetts workers

MassBudget Labor Day report offers state policy options for the future

This year, Massachusetts took steps toward enabling working people to earn enough to support themselves and their families. Some recently-passed policies - a $15 minimum wage, a Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, and an increase of the state's Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to 30 percent of the federal credit - can help improve the lives and working conditions of people across the state.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center's new report, Keeping Massachusetts Working for Workers: Policy Gains in 2018 and Possibilities Beyond, reviews the state's advances in 2018 and explores how it can further improve workers' conditions through policy.
Massachusetts is the third state to pass a $15 minimum hourly wage and the seventh state to create a PFML program. In concert with these, the increase of the state EITC match can help thousands of low-income working families make ends meet.
But many workers continue to deal with unpredictable schedules and employers who don't pay them the wages they are due, among other issues. This report offers a menu of state-level policy options that can have the widest impact on Massachusetts workers.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.


BOSTON, MA 02108

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Tri-County Students Attend Girls in Trades Conference

Thirteen Tri-County students in grades 10, 11 and 12 from the carpentry, metal fabrication, electrical, and HVAC and R programs attended the 2018 Massachusetts Girls in Trades Conference and Career Fair at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 103, Dorchester, MA. 

The event was attended by over 500 young women from 27 vocational high schools throughout eastern Massachusetts along with Lt. Governor Karen Polito.

The conference is intended to support and encourage female career and technical education students and alumni to pursue careers in the skilled trades. Tri-County students engaged in learning about apprenticeship training programs, met tradeswomen working in the field, and learned how they, as high school girls in trades programs, can leverage the increase in building projects and seek opportunities for high-paying careers in the construction industry. 

Building Trades Unions, Apprenticeships, Contractors and Community Organizations who were part of Girls in Trades Massachusetts Conference and Career Fair shared information with students in anticipating that many of them will come and join them after graduation.

Some of the trade unions, contractors and other organizations who were represented at the conference were:

  • Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen Union Local 3 MA ME NH RI
  • New England Regional Council of Carpenters
  • New England Carps Women's Committee
  • IBEW Local 103
  • IUEC local 4 Elevator Constructors
  • International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers
  • Iron Workers Local 7
  • New England Laborers Training Camp
  • Plumbers and Gasfitters Local 12
  • Sprinklerfitters Local 669 U.A.
  • United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers Local 11
  • Sheet Metal Workers Local 17
  • Teamsters Boston
  • Barr and Barr
  • Commodore Builders
  • Consigli Construction
  • Dimeo Construction Company
  • Gilbane Building Company
  • In order Business Development Solutions
  • The Lane Construction Corporation
  • Sealcoating, Inc. - Art Baker
  • Suffolk Construction
  • Turner Construction Company
  • Building Pathways Building Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program
  • City of Boston
  • Massachusetts School Building Authority
  • Massachusetts Gaming Commission
  • Massachusetts Division of Apprentice Standards
  • Build A Life MA
  • SkillsUSA Massachusetts
  • UMass Transportation Center
  • Mass Dept of Transportation
  • UMass Building Authority
  • Wynn Boston Harbor
  • YouthBuild Boston
Tri-County Students Attend Girls in Trades Conference
Tri-County Students Attend Girls in Trades Conference

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

MassBudget: What is the state of working Massachusetts?

 Massachusetts Budget and Policy CenterDemocracy.

New Study Finds MA Workers Joining Labor Force Faster Than Any Other State, Amid Strong Job Growth but Flat Wages

On this Labor Day there are some very positive signs in our economy, but our State of Working Massachusetts report finds that rapid job and labor force growth isn't leading to strong, broad-based wage growth. Our labor force has grown faster than any other state in 2017 - increasing 3.2 percent. Massachusetts has added close to 300,000 jobs since the start of the Great Recession in 2007. That's 9 percent job growth - among the highest rates of job growth in the country over that time.

While our economy is growing, we are not seeing strong wage growth for most workers. This continues a long-term trend in Massachusetts and in the United States: economic growth is not translating into wage and income growth for most workers and their families. Since 1979, median household income in Massachusetts has barely budged, growing only half a percentage point each year after adjusting for inflation. By contrast, among the highest-income one percent of households, income has risen by 4.3 percent annually. This is a national pattern, but it is particularly pronounced in Massachusetts. In fact, household income among the highest-income one percent has grown more rapidly in Massachusetts than in any other state: 341 percent between 1979 and 2014 (the most recent year for which data is available). Ten percent of all Massachusetts income went to the highest-income one percent of households in 1979. In 2014 it was 25 percent.

After years of stagnation and decline, we have seen strong growth in the wages of low-wage workers in Massachusetts over the last two years. After declining by almost 10 percent between 2008 and 2014, wages among the lowest-earning 10 percent of workers have increased by 8 percent since the state's minimum wage was increased by a dollar each year in 2015 and 2016.

Another bright sign in the data is that Massachusetts has the best educated workforce in the nation. In fact, in 2016 Massachusetts became the first state ever with 50 percent of its workforce holding a four-year college degree. Across the nation, the states with well-educated workforces consistently have stronger economies than those with less well-educated workforces. Massachusetts and New Jersey have the best educated workforces in the nation and workers in those states earn the highest wages. While that strength alone hasn't led to wage and income growth for all of our workers - a goal that likely requires improvements in the national economy, along with changes to state and federal policy, to achieve - it has put us in a strong position for our state economy to outperform the rest of the nation.

Read MassBudget's new State of Working Massachusetts 2017 report. 

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

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