School-to-Career Connecting Activities program attracts over 1,200 local students (5/16/2013)
Earlier this month, the Massachusetts School-to-Career Connecting Activities Partnership once again sponsored "Construction Career Day," drawing over 1,200 local high school students, including many from the Metro North high schools of Everett, Malden, Revere, and Woburn. With the goal of helping to meet the industry's workforce needs of the future, this popular annual program is designed to encourage youth to enter into construction-related careers.
The event provides local students with opportunities to get a hands-on look at some of the many careers options available within the construction industry. This year, students were able to partake in a wide range of activities, including: operating large equipment such as cranes and excavators; designing bridges, tunnels, and buildings using computer-aided drafting software; and getting a glimpe of what's involved in masonry, welding, and carpentry. In addition, students had the opportunity to speak with exhibitor companies and operators, as well as receive information on trade schools, certification programs, and scholarships.
In addition to The New England Labors Training Academy, which hosted the event, this year's program was a cooperative effort of the following agencies and organizations: The Federal Highway Administration, The Engineer Center Association, Massachusetts Highway Department, Massachusetts Aggregate and Asphalt Pavement Association, Massachusetts Concrete and Aggregate Producers Association, The Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section/ASCE, The Massachusetts Association of Land Surveyors and Civil Engineers, Construction Industries of Massachusetts, and The Massachusetts Department of Education.
For more information about School-to-Career Connecting Activities initiatives, please visit: www.schooltocareer.info/programs/constructioncareer.htm
Save the Date! Massachusetts STEM Summit, Nov. 13, 2013
The 10th annual Massachusetts STEM Summit will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough MA. Hosted by the Massachusetts Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and the UMass Donahue Institute, the Summit will bring together leaders in business, government, and education to discuss the goals, plans, and progress of STEM education. Additional information will soon be posted on the 2013 STEM Summit website: http://www.mass-stem-summit.org/.
Save the Date! Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Summit 2013
For conference details and registration information, please visit: www.ampitupma.com/summit2013
Legislative report just released!
Please click here to access the Metro North
One-Stop Career Centers 2013 Legislative Report, which highlights the remarkable accomplishments of the Metro North One-Stop Career Centers.
North REB FY 2013 - FY 2016 Draft Strategic Plan
The REB is pleased to announce that a draft version of the FY 2013 - FY 2016 REB Strategic Plan is now available for download. Please submit your comments or suggestions in writing to Holly Vogel, firstname.lastname@example.org, by no later than April 30,
2013. Click here for PDF version of the Draft Strategic Plan.
REB Chair to be honored as a Mass High Tech "Woman to Watch"
Joanna Dowling, REB Chair and Director of Operations for Custom Group, Inc., a leading advanced manufacturing company in Woburn, MA, is one of twenty-one women selected to receive a Mass High Tech’s (MHT) 2013 "Women to Watch" award. Held annually, MHT’s Women to Watch program serves to recognize women who are thought leaders in the technology and life sciences fields, and whose work is certain to have a sustained positive impact on these industries in the future. In its March 18, 2013 article announcing the honorees, the Boston Business journal states the following: "Joanna Dowling is truly an outstanding leader. She plays a significant role in giving new life to unique manufacturing in the U.S. and is one of the very few women leaders in manufacturing…She is also actively involved with the State of Massachusetts within the manufacturing sector to promote the trade and the importance of education and sustaining manufacturing in the Bay State." The event will be held on May 9 at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston. For more information please click here.
Leaders from Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation meet with Healthcare Partnership
Anna Gosline, Director of Policy and Research, and Jessica Larochelle, Director of Evaluation and Strategic Initiatives for Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation recently met with members from the Metro North Healthcare Partnership to discuss healthcare reform in Massachusetts. Their presentation, titled “Payment Reform in Massachusetts: Impacts and Opportunities for the Health Care Workforce” addressed a number of key issues in healthcare reform, including the following: The current shift from fee-for-service models to more aggregated, bundled and global payments; the impact of alternative payment models with regard to the creation of new models of care delivery and opportunities to pay for a wider range of services; and the impact of the reforms on the demand for healthcare professionals. For more information about the Metro North Healthcare Partnership, please contact: Meelynn Wong, email@example.com.
Welcome new REB Members!
Philip Bronder-Giroux is the Executive Director ofTri-City Community Action Program, Inc. (Tri-CAP) in Malden, Massachusetts. Mr. Bronder-Giroux has worked for more than thirty years in programs addressing the effects and conditions of people living in poverty. In twenty-five years as executive director of non-profit antipoverty agencies (Sojourner House, Inc. & Tri-CAP), he has worked on issues of hunger, homelessness, legal services, affordable housing, health care reform and job training for low wage earners. He is a founding member of the Cyber Café @Malden Square, an initiative to reduce the effects of the digital divide for the low-income community. He has three years of overseas experience in Haiti and French Polynesia. Mr. Bronder-Giroux holds graduate degrees from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Weston School of Theology and a Bachelor of Science degree from Framingham State College. Mr. Bronder-Giroux says: “I am honored to serve a second time on the REB. Employment and job training are at the center for low income individuals and families moving to self-sufficiency. I look forward to being a part of the REB’s important work of linking low wage work with emerging work opportunities that pay living wages and have good benefits.”
Lisa Amaya Price is Biogen Idec’s director of global talent acquisition programs. In this role, she is responsible for developing and implementing programs and operational support for a global recruiting team. Her areas of direct responsibility include university relations, onboarding, contingent workforce management, employer marketing strategy, global mobility and talent acquisition operations. In 2011, Lisa cofounded Biogen Idec’s Women’s Innovation Network and launched the company’s first Diversity & Inclusion function. Lisa joined Biogen Idec in 2008 as the lead global HR Business Partner for Information Technology, Supply Chain, Engineering, and Technical Development.
Prior to Biogen Idec, Lisa held HR leadership roles with global companies in the media & communications and high technology industries, including positions with Weber Shandwick, Metro International, and Keane, Inc. In addition to her HR career, Lisa spent several years teaching English and playing music around the world. She received her MBA, summa cum laude, in global management from the F.W. Olin School of Business at Babson College in 2005, and also holds an MA in Teaching from Simmons College in Boston, MA. She received her BA in Music, summa cum laude, from Bard College. Ms. Amaya Price states: “I am looking forward to working with the Metro North REB to identify new partnerships that will enhance its capacity to address critical workforce challenges.”
Sandra Smith is a senior HR leader at Microsoft’s New England Research and Development Center, and brings over 20 years of human resource and strategic planning experience to the REB. At Microsoft, Sandra works to create high-performing teams, leaders and employees. Prior to Microsoft, Sandra worked for Monsanto, Biogen Idec and two life science start-ups. Sandra began her career focused on affordable housing and finance in the Commonwealth, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard College. Sandra lives in Belmont with her husband and three children. She enjoys expressing her creativity through gardening, painting pottery, and reviving old furniture. Ms. Smith states: “As a 25-year resident of Cambridge and Belmont, I am excited and honored to join the Metro North Regional Employment Board and to contribute to its mission of shaping and influencing the local workforce. I am particularly interested in continuing to develop individuals in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines. I look forward to partnering and building a vibrant, skilled workforce in our region for the 21st Century.”
Mary Tighe currently serves as the Director of Human Resources for Boston Centerless, a precision manufacturing and distribution operation based in Woburn, MA. She brings over 15 years of HR leadership and experience as a dynamic, collaborative, strategic business partner with strong communication and influencing skills and the ability to quickly build credibility and develop relationships in fast-paced, growth-oriented organizations. Ms. Tighe states: “I am grateful to be appointed to the Metro North Regional Employment Board and look forward to the opportunity to utilize my skills and experience to drive and support initiatives in the Metro North area.”
Mark Tardiff currently serves as Vice President of Operations for United Electric Controls (UE), an international manufacturer of pressure and temperature switches, controls and sensors, headquartered in Watertown, MA. Mr. Tardiff brings to the REB over 20 years of leadership in the field of manufacturing. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Management and an Associate in Engineering degree from Northeastern University, and an MBA from Bentley University Graduate School of Business. Mr. Tardiff states: “I am exited to join the MNREB to continue the great work done so far. Creating a comprehensive strategy for workforce development and training programs is key to our success and to the Massachusetts economy as a whole. I look forward to working with the board to help shape programs that help our industry grow and succeed!”
Patricia Tyler currently serves as Director of Workforce Development for Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA. (Full bio coming soon!)
Chelsea Collaborative presents REB with Community Partner Award
The REB is honored to have received one of five Community Partner Awards given by the Chelsea Collaborative at its Twenty Fourth Annual Holiday Gala earlier this month. Each year, the Chelsea Collaborative presents this award to those who they deem have made significant contributions to improving the quality of life for the residents of Chelsea. In her award letter, Gladys Vega, Executive Director of the Chelsea Collaborative, states: “The Metro North Regional Employment Board has been an integral partner in providing support for Chelsea’s youth…it would be impossible to employ as many youth as the Summer Employment initiative does, and place them in worksites throughout the community without you.” As part of the award, the REB also received official citations from both the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives. Awards were also presented to: Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash, The Foley Hoag Foundation, Two Sisters and a Wife Foundation, Alejandrina Rodriguez, and Gabriel Camacho.
Metro North awarded $10K grant to promote advanced manufacturing
The REB is among several organizations across the state to be awarded a grant from MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development agency. The grant is part of MassDevelopment’s AMP it up! Campaign, an initiative aimed at dispelling widespread misperceptions about the nature of today's manufacturing jobs by educating youth about the wide range, and abundance, of high-tech, innovative jobs available throughout Massachusetts. Using a hands-on approach, the REB will use the funds to introduce youth enrolled in GED programs to the field of advanced manufacturing through a combination of information sessions, workshops, company tours, and exposure to machining at training sites. Funds will also be used to develop educational materials. The REB’s partners in this effort include: The Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, American Training, Inc., Launch GED/Mystic Learning Center, Wakefield Public Schools, Just-A-Start YouthBuild, and the Metro North One-Stop Career Centers, The Career Place, and Career Source.
New advanced manufacturing collaborative established in Northeastern Massachusetts
Manufacturing leaders from Northeastern Massachusetts, regional workforce development and education officials, and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki recently announced a new collaborative effort designed to strengthen the industry and help connect businesses looking for employees with well-trained, available workers. The announcement of the creation of the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium followed a Northeast Massachusetts Skills Gap Labor Market Information event at the Rogers Center in North Andover, on Nov. 8, which was designed to release new labor market supply and demand data and provide a detailed picture of the region’s current and future labor supply. [Click here to read full press release]
Secretary Solis visits, CONNECT receives $3M DOL grant
Originally published in The Connector, the quarterly publication of CONNECT, Issue 2, November 14, 2012.
Secretary Solis was at The Neighborhood Developers’ office on August 24, just one month after CONNECT was awarded a U.S. Department of Labor (D.O.L.) Workforce Innovation Grant worth $3 million over three years. Secretary Solis congratulated the Metro North Regional Employment Board for its successful application on CONNECT’s behalf. CONNECT is the only organization in Massachusetts to receive the grant in 2012.
Secretary Solis lauded the efforts of pioneering community-based organizations like CONNECT to equip Americans to succeed in the workforce, emphasizing that they, not the D.O.L., help to create jobs. She described the experience of meeting so many people who are unemployed and taking initiative to get trained in a new career as “humbling.” Secretary Solis said it is important to give those people a strong support network and referral system to help them navigate the intimidating workforce re-entry process. She recalled having visited communities that had re-invented themselves thanks to local initiatives, offering hope that reforming models of service-delivery to clients can lead to job creation. Finally, Secretary Solis said that the D.O.L. is relying on organizations’ rigorous measurement and evaluation processes to help it identify the nation’s most effective workforce development programs. Those programs can then be promoted among funders and used as models for the nation. CONNECT’s commitment to innovation, developing strong local partnerships, and tracking clients’ progress makes it a strong ally for the D.O.L. as it supports clients in meeting their financial and professional goals.
REB member Paul Richard named new Vice-Chair
The REB is delighted to announce that Paul Richard, Sustainability Director for the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry in Wilmington, MA, has been appointed to Vice-Chair of the Metro North REB. Prior to his role at the Warner Babcock Institute, Mr. Richard worked at the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, where he served as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Director of Technical Assistance and Technology. He has over 25 years of experience in public service, environmental protection, pollution prevention, toxic use reduction, and business relations. Paul is a strong advocate for green chemistry and serves on the Advisory Board of Beyond Benign, a non-profit affiliate of the Warner Babcock Institute that is dedicated to green chemistry education in K-12 and higher education. He holds a B.S. from Purdue University, and he is a two-time recipient of the Kennedy School of Government and Ford Foundation Award for Innovations in State and Local Government.
Skills gap summit marks release of major new labor market report (10.12.2012)
It was standing room only at the October 1st summit, Skills Gap: Supply & Demand in the Boston/ Metro North Economy. Close to 200 workforce development professionals, legislators, and civic, education and business leaders gathered for the release of a new report, "Labor Market Trends in the Boston/Metro North Region.” A joint effort of the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Commonwealth Corporation, the report provides a detailed picture of Boston/Metro North’s current and future labor supply, as well as information about labor demand over the past decade. Speakers at the event included Joanne Goldstein, Secretary of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development; Peter Meade, Chief Economic Development Officer, City of Boston; Robert Healey, City Manager, City of Cambridge; Nancy Snyder, President/CEO, Commonwealth Corporation; Gary Gottlieb, President/CEO, Partners HealthCare; and Joanna Dowling, Director of Operations, The Custom Group. The findings were presented by Robert Clifford, Policy Analyst at the New England Public Policy Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Report on manufacturing in Massachusetts is released
“Staying Power II: A Report Card on Manufacturing in Massachusetts 2012" is an update of a 2008 study that conveys positive news about the resiliency of the state’s sector. Click here to access the report.
REB welcomes delegation from Quinghai Province, China to learn about STEM strategies
The Metro North Regional Employment Board (REB) recently welcomed twenty-two delegates from the Quinghai Province in China for a series of presentations and discussion around strategies for promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Led by Mr. Xiofang Xing, Deputy Director-General of Quinghai Provinicial Science and Technology Bureau, the delegation represented a broad spectrum of institutions that included universities, hospitals, government agencies, and private sector companies. Since current initiatives to grow the economy in Quinghai Province focus on industries that relate to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the delegation was interested in learning how regional workforce investment boards and the state are working to help increase participation in STEM by local communities.
The REB organized a two-hour program that was designed to provide the delegates with an overview of current STEM-related activities and initiatives on the local, regional, and state levels. Speakers included: David Cedrone, Associate Commissioner for Economic and Workforce Development for the MA Department of Higher Education; Lance Hartford, Executive Director of MassBioEd Foundation; Patricia Hogan, Chair of the Massachusetts Council of STEM Professional Societies; Larisa Schelkin, President and CEO of DOME Foundation; Alysia Ordway, Workforce Initiatives Director for the Boston Private Industry Council; Matt Bruce, Manager of Regional Workforce Initiatives for the Mayor’s Office of Jobs & Community Service; Linda Rohrer, Executive Director of Career Source; Chris Brennan, Executive Director of The Career Place; and Linda Bass, Executive Director of the Metro North Regional Employment Board. In addition, George Moriarty, Director of the MA Department of Career Services, was in attendance. An engaging question and answer session and tour of Career Source followed the presentations.
U.S. Labor Department awards $3 Million to the Metro North Regional Employment Board to support innovative workforce collaboration, CONNECT, in Chelsea, MA
The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $3 Million, highly competitive Workforce Innovations Grant to the Metro North Regional Employment Board to support CONNECT. A unique partnership of six organizations who have come together in Chelsea Massachusetts, CONNECT co‐locates and bundles complementary services, allowing for the delivery of stronger outcomes for clients while effectively pooling resources. CONNECT’s six partners are: Career Source (chartered by the Metro North Regional Employment Board), Bunker Hill Community College, Centro Latino, Chelsea Neighborhood Developers, Metro Credit Union, and The Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership. This innovative program leverages funding from more than 16 public federal and state funding streams through its partners, incorporates the use of social networks, provides peer support through Success Teams, and provides Financial Coaching which has been documented to support progress against action plans and behavior changes that support financial success. Regular updates on CONNECT will be posted on this website. [Click here to read press release]...
Boston Globe Article: Chelsea nonprofit coaches clients to independence
By Megan Woolhouse, Boston Globe, August 24, 2012
Adaliz Rodriguez was struggling financially until a coach from a unique program at The Neighborhood Developers in Chelsea helped her learn new skills. Two years ago, Adaliz Rodriguez worked as a medical assistant, neck-deep in credit card debt and with no idea how to budget household expenses or even balance her checkbook. Today, the 34-year-old single mother not only balances her checkbook, but also plans to become an accountant — and has the savings to pay for the community college courses. How did she do it? With the help and advice of her “coach,” Marissa Guananja. [Read more...]
Sciences Center Equipment and Supplies for High Schools
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has announced the launch of the second
round of an open solicitation for capital dollars to support: (1) equipment and
supplies for high schools in Gateway Cities and vocational/technical high
schools; and (2) life-sciences related capital projects for academic/research
institutions (including community colleges), business incubators, and other
not-for-profit organizations in the Commonwealth. The Equipment and Supplies for
High Schools program will enable the purchase of equipment and supplies to train
high school students in life sciences technology and research. The program will
address a funding gap in capital dollars for public and not-for-profit workforce
training and educational institutions. Eligible high schools, as well as
community-based organizations that serve such high schools, are invited to apply
for this grant funding by completing a brief online application via the Center's
website (below). Applicants seeking funding of greater than $100,000 (but no
more than $250,000) are required to secure matching funds, in cash or as a
donation, for any amount over $100,000 from an industry partner. The
deadline for this application will be October 12, 2012 at noon. For
more information, and to apply, please visit www.masslifesciences.com
Governor Patrick Appoints REB Chair Joanna Dowling to MWIB
The Metro North Regional Employment Board (REB) is pleased to announce that Governor Deval Patrick has appointed REB Chair Joanna Dowling to the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board (MWIB). The MWIB, which represents a broad range of businesses and organizations across the state, advises the Governor on growing an effective workforce development system that is aligned with state education policies and economic development goals. Ms. Dowling serves as Director of Operations of The Custom Group -- a leading, Massachusetts-based precision manufacturing company – and President of the Center for Manufacturing Technology, a member of The Custom Group. Previously, Ms. Dowling served as Chief Financial Officer of Custom Machine. She is currently involved in statewide initiatives designed to promote the advanced manufacturing industry to help ensure a strong workforce pipeline to address the need for succession planning in light of the industry’s aging workforce. She is also co-chair of the Workforce Development Committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, a board member of Boston Tooling and Machining Education and the Massachusetts Association of Private Career Schools, and a recent appointee to the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Workforce Board Association. As one of 65 MWIB members, Ms. Dowling will advise the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development on how to create and sustain the workforce that Massachusetts needs to succeed in the world economy. For more information about the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, please visit www.mass.gov/MWIB.
Boston Globe Article: Summertime blues for teen job seekers
Published in the Boston Globe North
By Kathy McCabe – June 28, 2012
Summer jobs for teenagers remain in short supply north of Boston, with many losing opportunities to out-of-work adults in such traditionally youth-friendly industries as retailers and restaurants. “Unless the kids have a serious connection to somebody who will hire them, they’re usually out of luck,” said Mary Sarris, executive director of the North Shore Workforce Investment Board in Salem. “If a kid walks in off the street, applies for a job and gets it, it is a miracle.” In old cities, such as Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn, unemployed teens face the summertime blues. “It’s a big problem,” said Rafael Abislaiman, executive director of the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board in Lawrence. “The unemployment rate is so high [in Lawrence], there aren’t a lot of opportunities for kids.” [Read more]...
Local biomedical careers programs celebrates twenty successful years (June, 2012)
As one of several long-time supporters of the Just-A-Start Biomedical Careers Program (BCP), the REB is pleased to announce that BCP has recently commemorated its 20th anniversary. This intensive 9-month program – a collaboration between Just A Start, Inc., Bunker Hill Community College, and the City of Cambridge -- provides job training and job placement for area residents for careers in the biotechnology, research and medical industries. Since its inception, the program has provided services at no-cost to eligible low- and low-moderate individuals, enabling them to obtain entrance into fields where there are opportunities to advance and earn reasonable wages. Of the nearly 500 individuals who have successfully completed the program since 1992, over 80% have been successfully placed into jobs in the biotechnology, research and hospital laboratory industries. Recently, Les Warren from The Workforce Development Center at Bunker Hill Community College, and John Witt from Just-A-Start, recently presented a plaque to the REB for its ongoing partnership with the REB in support of the program (see photo).
Massachusetts Workforce Board Association co-sponsors event for small businesses (June 7, 2012)
Earlier this week the Massachusetts Workforce
Board Association, in partnership with Google and several Massachusetts-based organizations, sponsored a unique event designed to help small business owners to establish an online
presence. Over the course of two days, representatives from Google provided hands-on, on-site assistance with developing and
publishing a website, as well information on
how to effectively grow and promote a business online. Senator John Kerry kicked off the event with a keynote address.
Pictured above: Linda Bass, David Augustino, Maryellen Brett, Tim Sappington, Sen. John Kerry, Mary Sarris, Ralph Abislaiman.
Additional event sponsors included: Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network, SBANE, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Center for Women and Enterprise, the Association of Small Business Development Centers, SCORE and Intuit. If you missed the event you can still take advantage of the opportunity to develop a free website by visiting: http://www.gybo.com/massachusetts/.
New REB Executive Director selected!
The REB Search Committee is delighted to
announce that Linda Bass, former REB Senior
Associate Director, has been selected as the REB’s new Executive Director. Susan Walsh, REB Executive Committee Member and Director of the Cam-bridge Office of Workforce Development commented, “Bass brings to the position over 25 years of leadership in workforce development in Massachu-setts, an in-depth understanding of the system, extraordinary analytical abilities, and a passion and energy that has long been known to her colleagues throughout the state.” As she settles into her new role, Bass will focus on strategic planning, working closely with the Board, employer industry groups, training providers/community colleges, and others to develop innovative solutions to addressing current workforce challenges. “As a hub for life sciences, information technology, higher education and healthcare, Metro North is a particularly exciting region for this work. I am looking forward to cultivating the partnerships and teams necessary to advance the REB’s mission of meeting the work-force needs of our region’s employers and residents,” said Bass.
Malden initiative engages students, employers (May 1, 2012)
Representatives from a broad spectrum of agencies have joined forces to establish the Malden Employer Engagement Initiative (MEEI) — also referred to as the “Malden Team” —with the goal of supporting workforce-related programming for youth in Malden. The Team includes the Metro North Youth Council and Career Centers (Career Source and The Career Place), Malden High School, local community organizations, and the statewide Connecting Activities and MassGrad programs. The initiative’s overarching goal is to align the needs of employers with those of students through promoting employer engagement in and around the city of Malden. This past April, the initiative kicked off with a career fair at Malden High School. Close to forty local businesses and agencies talked with students about a wide range of career choices, and the pathways necessary to enter into, and excel in, specific careers. REB Associate Director Priscilla Golding played a key role in organizing the event. Future MEEI programs and events will be posted on www.mnreb.org.
REB Vice-Chair Antonio de la Serna awarded prestigious Medalla de Oro (April 27, 2012)
The Metro North REB is pleased to announce that REB Vice Chair Antonio de la Serna was recently awarded the Medalla de Oro. This prestigious award, presented by MAES -- a society of Latino engineers and scientists -- recognizes individuals who “have demonstrated outstanding technical and educational innovation, have made significant contributions to science and/or engineering, have a long history of supporting the mission and vision of MAES as well as have personal involvement in the development, operation, and growth of MAES, its membership and chapters.” As part of the award, Mr. de la Serna had the unique opportunity to present a scholarship to a college student in his name, to mark the beginning of a long-term mentoring relationship. For this honor, Mr. de la Serna selected Miquel Sanchez, a chemical engineering student at the University of California, Irvine.
Mr. de la Serna is a digital design engineer at Draper Laboratory, an independent, not-for-profit research and engineering organization dedicated to solving problems in the national interest. He is also founder and past president of the Greater Boston chapter of MAES, which performs STEM outreach from kindergarten to career. Mr. de la Serna is now the Region 4 vice president on the MAES National Board of Directors. To read more about Mr. de la Serna’s efforts in STEM, as well as MAES, please visit: www.mymaes.org.
Malden career fair highlights student options (April 23, 2012)
This article was originally published in The Malden Observer, April 23, 2012.
By Nathan Lamb, Editor, Malden Observer
Malden -- Students received a hands-on look at the job market from some 37 local businesses and organizations, during a recent youth career fair at Malden High School. For more than two hours on April 13, hundreds of students met and chatted with business owners and non-profit directors— discussing what those jobs are like and how to get them.
Organized jointly by educators and several area non-profits, it was MHS’ first career fair, but organizer Kelli Collomb said it went well. “I was very pleased at the energy in the room and the way the students presented themselves,” said Collomb, a vocational rehabilitation counselor at MHS. “The employers had a lot of hands-on activities; it was nice chance for the two groups to really interact in a very friendly environment.”
Director of Guidance Manjula Karamcheti said the event reflects a growing emphasis toward preparing students for life after graduation. “We’ve implemented some really good career exploration curriculum within our business department and also through some of our guidance department,” she said. “[The fair] is so students can get exposed to the experts who actually do the work. They’re listening to people who are actually doing the hiring, to hear what kind of skills they’ll need and who’d they’d want to hire.” Karamcheti credited the business department with helping students develop questions beforehand for their guests, adding a “career choices” curriculum is part of a freshman-level elective all students are strongly encouraged to take. The school also has a “pathways” program, which encourages career exploration and also teaches students social skills to succeed in the marketplace. “There’s a transition initiative going on within the school to ensure students are prepared after they graduate from high school,” said Collomb, who is a career coach and intern advisor for Pathways.
Karamcheti traced the career fair idea back to a recent youth development grant for linking careers and academics. She said those funds were used to bring together the schools, the regional employment board and various community organizations, saying the job fair grew out of that. “When we started meeting and having conversations, we wanted to come up with one program, event, or initiative we could all work on together,” she said. “A dream of mine since I’ve been here is to have a career fair.” A key player in those discussions was the Metro North Regional Employment Board, a regional non-profit that oversees federal money for youth programs and career centers in the metro-Boston area. Board associate Priscilla Golding said they’ve long provided services in Malden — noting sponsorship of in-school program through the Malden YWCA and a local GED program — but added the recent round of discussions centered on how they could do more to teach youth about the connection between education and vocation. Speaking after the event, Golding termed education the most important factor for young people seeking jobs, saying they need a diploma or GED, followed by certificate training or higher education. She hoped the career fair would get students thinking proactively about the future and preparing for it. “We’re hoping some of these kids get inspired to pick a career they might never have thought about,” she said. Event organizers said they’re hoping the career fair will become an annual event in Malden. MHS principal Dana Brown sounded onboard with that notion. “The foundation is there for an annual event,” he said. “I heard nothing but positives from kids, teachers and our partners, so I think the foundation is there.”
To view this article in the Malden Observer: http://www.wickedlocal.com/malden/news/x1783274616/Malden-career-fair-highlights-student-options#ixzz1tNiuxCMa
Metro Boston workforce investment areas receive $5M to build life sciences workforce (April, 2012)
The Metro North REB is pleased to announce that the Boston Skilled Careers in Life Sciences (SCILS) Initiative has recently been awarded $5M by the USDOL to support its mission to grow and maintain a life sciences workforce in the state. Led by the City of Boston Jobs and Community Services, the initiative will provide residents in more than 80 cities and towns in and around Boston with customized occupational training for careers as Biological Technicians, Medical Lab Technicians and Medical Lab Technologists, as well as student internships, career counseling and outreach services. In addition to Metro North and the City of Boston's Jobs and Community Services, SCILS is being implemented in collaboration with the Metro South/West and South Shore workforce regions. Current training partners include Boston University, Quincy College, and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.
The Executive Committee of the Initiative is currently seeking to fill the position of Director of the Metro Boston Life Science and Healthcare Career Center Resource (HLS-CCR), who will be responsible for creating an industry resource within the region’s workforce investment system. The HLS-CCR is an integral part of the Metro Boston Skilled Careers In Life Sciences Initiative, a four year $5 million initiative to improve career opportunities for residents of the Greater Boston area and provide a more highly trained life science workforce for the area’s healthcare and biotechnology sectors. The HLS-CCR will work with all of the region’s 10 one-stop career centers, and build a productive network of career center staff, customers, and employer partners. The Director will create this new regional resource, supervise its staff, and lead its efforts to support the SCILS Initiative and make a significant impact on the region’s workforce.. Please click here for the full job posting and information on how to apply.
Annual CWC Workforce Development Conference - May 14, 2012
Commonwealth Workforce Coalition (CWC) will host its 9th annual workforce development conference - Partnering for Opportunity on Monday, May 14th. Joanne F. Goldstein, Secretary of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development will be a guest speaker at the conference. Workshops include: Using the Empower Your Future Curriculum in Youth Employment Programs; Youth Manufacturing Pilot: Pathway System-Building and Employer Engagement; and Measuring Business Impact in Workforce Development. Commonwealth Corporation is not only a sponsor of the conference, but will be presenting multiple workshops throughout the day. Be sure to visit the CWC website and register by April 20th.
Youth Council and Malden Youth Advocates Join Forces (December 6, 2011)
Representatives from the Metro North Youth Council, Malden High School and local WIA-funded community agencies have established a new initiative to support youth workforce-related programming through promoting employer engagement in the city of Malden. To help focus their initial efforts, the team members attended the recent U.S. Department of Labor Forum entitled “Working Collaboratively to Provide Work and Learn Opportunities for Young Adults: A Conference for Teams that Cross Delivery Systems.” Also involved in the effort is the statewide Connecting Activities Program and the MassGrad Initiative --both of which are funded by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education-- as well as the Metro North Career Centers, Career Source and The Career Place. Updates on the progress of the initiative will be posted on this Web site.
Lahey Clinic among those Honored for Successful English Language Program
Lt. Governor Timothy Murray presents certificate to (from left to right): Lahey EWL Program Director Pat McAuliffe, students Claudia Rodriguez, Marc Rhuand, and Zoe Moore, and Instructor Kathy McAlpine.
Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray presented an award today to Lahey Clinic for its demonstrated commitment to providing its non-English speaking employees an opportunity to learn English at work. Lahey was one of 18 businesses across the state to receive the award at a ceremony organized by the English Works Campaign. The event underscored the value of work-based Engish language programs, particularly in light of the many challenges that immigrants often face in getting access to these programs outside of of the workplace.
Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne Goldstein also attended the event. Secretary Goldstein praised the award recipients, and voiced her strong support for work-based English language programs: "It's good for business, it's good for workers, it's good for the Commonwealth, and it's good for us as a community," said Goldstein.
Since its inception in 1995, the highly successful English as a Working Language Program at Lahey Clinic has served over 500 immigrant employees. Graduates of the program have made career advancements, earned GED diplomas as well as college degrees, become mentors, supervisors, translators, and many have achieved US citizenship. Lahey Clinic has funded this initiative annually for over 15 years, and today the program serves as a model for ESL workplace education throughout the country.
Massachusetts Community Colleges Awarded $20 Million U.S. Department of Labor Grant
A consortia proposal submitted by all 15 Massachusetts Community Colleges has been selected by the U.S. Department of Labor to receive the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant. This capacity-building proposal entitled “Massachusetts Community College and Workforce Development Transformation Agenda” will assist trade impacted and other eligible citizens of the Commonwealth to attain degrees, certificates, and industry recognized credentials that will help prepare them for high wage, high skill employment in an accelerated manner.
The $20 million dollar grant, funded through the U.S. Department of Labor in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education will create collaborative statewide change in the delivery system of high quality education and training programs for workers eligible under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act (TAA) and beyond. “It is a new delivery model for a new era and will go a long way to make a significant difference in the lives of the individuals who need the training and education to get ahead in these challenging economic times”, said William Hart, Executive Director, Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office.
This is the first time that an initiative of this magnitude has been undertaken by all 15 community colleges. Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) was the lead institution that submitted the consortia proposal for the community college segment in partnership with the Commonwealth’s workforce system and industry partners. The grant was designed to focus on key industry sectors that reflect the strategic economic development plan of the Commonwealth: Life Sciences and Biotechnology; Information Technology; Health Care; Clean Energy; Advanced Manufacturing; and Financial Services and Entrepreneurship. Funding from this grant will provide a seamless pipeline of supports and activities from the moment the customer is notified of their layoff, to their completion of education/training, to their achievement of a new job or career; benefiting both the individual and the Commonwealth.
Department of Industrial Accidents Workplace Safety Training & Education Grant Program - Fiscal Year 2012 - 2nd Round
The Office of Safety of the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) released the Workplace Safety Training & Education Grant Program Application for Fiscal Year 2012 - 2nd Round on September 1, 2011. The objective of this program is to promote safe and healthy conditions in the workplace by awarding state funds to eligible employers/employees within the Commonwealth who are covered by the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Law (M.G.L. Chapter 152), and who submit responses designed to provide and improve safety education and training in Occupational Safety and Health. Complete instructions are detailed in the FY12 - 2nd Round Safety Training Grant Application, available here: www.mass.gov/dia/safety . The completed grant application must be submitted electronically and sent to the Office of Safety at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions concerning the grant application process can be directed to the Office of Safety automatic response system by emailing email@example.com
Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair seeks judges, mentors, advocates, students
The Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair, Inc. (MSSEF) is a non-profit organization committed to increasing awareness of, exposure to, and participation in inquiry-based learning through the development of science and engineering projects by middle school and high school students. Through its Curious Minds Initiative, MSSEF offers graduate courses for teachers leading to the STEM Certificate in Inquiry at Framingham State University.
Ways to get involved:
1. Be a science fair judge. Opportunities exist at the middle and high school levels and for statewide, regional, and school district fairs.
2. Mentor science fair students and science teachers.
3. Help develop a science fair program in a school.
4. Become a STEM education advocate. Promote the need for students to choose STEM education and careers.
5. Enter your students in a fair! Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fairs are open to students in grades 6-12 from all public, private and parochial schools throughout the state.
For additional information please visit: www.massscifair.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer employment program puts local youth to work (August 3, 2011)
The Metro North cities of Cambridge, Chelsea and Malden are providing meaningful, subsidized employment to over 230 local youth this summer. Funding for the program is being provided by the state through the Commonwealth Corporation, and is being administered by the REB as part of the successful statewide YouthWorks program. To help ensure that the benefits of their experiences extend far beyond their paychecks, the youth are also receiving services to help them develop essential job skills and explore educational and career paths. A follow-up story on the program will be published in the Fall 2011 issue of REB Connections.
REB STEM Forum fuels discussion on local STEM programming (July 7, 2011)
In keeping with its goal of generating and growing STEM-related partnerships between local businesses and schools in the region, the Metro North REB hosted a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Forum at the Burlington Marriott Hotel this past June. The forum attracted directors of guidance and STEM-related departments from nearly every high school in the Metro North region, as well as representatives from ten local companies in fields ranging from green chemistry to aeronautical engineering. The event provided a unique opportunity for school staff and administrators to meet with local industry representatives to explore synergies for the purpose of establishing new or expanding current STEM programs for local high school students.
The Forum followed on the heels of the launch of the Web-based Metro North STEM Resource – a new online inventory (www.mnreb.org/STEM) of some of the most effective and well-established STEM-related programs in the region. The resource also features a wide range of information to support those partnerships, including a STEM Activity Guide and program-focused STEM resources. More information about both the Forum and the STEM Resource will be posted on this site in the near future - so please stay tuned!
REB elects new chair, vice chair (June 29, 2011)
The REB is pleased to announce that Joanna Dowling of The Custom Group, Inc. and Antonio de la Serna of Draper Laboratory have been elected to the positions of Board Chair and Vice Chair, respectively. Ms. Dowling currently serves as Director of Operations of The Custom Group -- a leading, Massachusetts-based precision manufacturing company, and is also President of The Center for Manufacturing Technology, a member of The Custom Group. She is actively involved with the State of Massachusetts to promote the importance of ensuring the growth and sustainability of manufacturing in the state. As a Board member since 2009, Ms. Dowling has brought to the REB a wealth of expertise in strategic planning, human resources and marketing. “As Chair I am looking forward to working with REB Executive Director Nancy Brown and Vice Chair Antonio de la Serna. I believe the REB can play a pivotal role in helping employers build a stronger workforce and grow new and existing businesses in Massachusetts,” said Dowling.
The REB’s new Vice-Chair, Antonio de la Serna, is a digital design engineer at Draper Laboratory, an independent, not-for-profit research and engineering organization dedicated to solving problems in the national interest. He is also founder and president of the Greater Boston chapter of the Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists, which performs K-12 educational outreach in both the sciences and engineering. “We’re thrilled that Ms. Dowling and Mr. de la Serna have accepted leadership roles on the Metro North Regional Employment Board. Their combined skills and expertise will help us to effectively help residents gain the skills to maximize their economic self-sufficiency,” remarked REB Executive Director Nancy Brown.
State gives $6 million toward teen jobs, far below need (May 29, 2011)
A recent article on funding for summer youth employment programs published in The Boston Globe quotes Metro North REB Executive Director Nancy Brown. (Click here to view).
Metro North Career Pathways in Healthcare (April 22, 2011)
The REB is pleased to make available a new career exploration tool which outlines career pathways in healthcare in the Metro North region. Developed in close collaboration with the Metro North Healthcare Partnership, this resource provides both an overview of healthcare career ladders as they relate to the region, as well as information on trends, wages and resources. The tool will be distributed to schools and career centers throughout the Metro North region. (Click on the image to the left to view/download).
Mass. job training programs to see loss of stimulus, budget cuts (April 21, 2011)
By David Riley,
GateHouse News Service
Published on PatriotLedger.com, Apr 21, 2011
"Even as unemployment remains stubbornly high, Massachusetts job training and placement programs face
both federal budget cuts and the loss of stimulus funding that bolstered them through the recession.
State workforce development programs have received roughly $75 million through the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act (ARRA)...." [Full article]
Custom Group Earns Prestigious PM100 Award from Managing Automation (February 18, 2011)
The Custom Group Center for Manufacturing Technology, a full-service hands-on training facility based in Woburn, MA has been selected as a winner of the 2011 Progressive Manufacturing 100 Award in the Training & Education category. The Progressive Manufacturing 100 award is a prestigious program which honors companies who have transformed themselves through the use of information technology. Each year 100 manufacturing companies from around the world are recognized by Managing Automation Media for their groundbreaking projects that deliver a demonstrable competitive advantage. Visit the Center's Web site for more information: here: http://www.customtrainingcenter.com.
Richard Freeland meets with Board to discuss Vision Project (January 6, 2011)
Massachusetts Commissioner of the Board of Higher Education Richard M. Freeland recently met with the Metro North REB to discuss the Vision Project, a bold new statewide initiative that is designed to enhance the quality and accessibility of the state’s higher education system. In developing the Vision Project, Freeland and his team first sought to identify the most important objectives that the state needs higher education to fulfill. The answer they formulated, Freeland said, is “to produce the best educated workforce and citizenry in the country,” and “to position the state as a national leader in research that drives economic development.” Freeland asserted that in today’s economy, a strong, unified system of public higher education is critical to the economic well-being of the state. He pointed out that that while soon the vast majority of all jobs will require a college degree, graduates of Massachusetts colleges are leaving the state at an increasing rate. The future workforce of Massachusetts, he argued, will come from the state’s system of higher education. “We need to change the equation by getting the state to see more clearly the public policy importance of this system...and, by getting this highly decentralized system to see that it needs to find a way to behave as a system if it's going to communicate its importance to the state,” Freeland said. The ambitious goals of the project include: increasing college attendance and graduation rates; implementing accurate assessment tools to ensure that high school students are ready for advanced work; aligning degree programs with the workforce needs of the state; and eliminating racial, ethnic and economic disparities with respect to all of these outcomes. Freeland said that a report on the initiative will likely be published in 2012.
Career Paths in STEM forum draws crowd (January 6, 2011)
There was standing room only at the December STEM forum, held at Career Source in Cambridge. Hosted by the Metro North Career Centers, the forum featured speakers who are working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and who represent companies that include: Vertex, Just-A-Start, Biogen Idec, Vecna, and Everett Credit Union. Each presenter spoke to the audience of local youth about their organizations, some of the highlights of working in their fields, and their sometimes unpredictable career paths. Speaker Janis Caines, Vice President of Operations and Administration at Everett Credit Union, said that despite being an “average student” in high school, she worked her way up from part-time receptionist to vice president of her company. Caines stressed that students shouldn’t feel that they need to know everything before they enter the workforce. “What matters is that you show up, you are on time, you maintain a positive attitude, and you work hard….as for confidence, that will come.” The forum is one element of the Metro North REB’s comprehensive strategy to increase youth interest in the STEM fields, and to connect local schools with industry in the region. Other components of the strategy include the Metro North STEM Partnership (see article below), and the development of a web-based collection of local STEM-related initiatives and resources, slated to be launched in the spring of 2011.
New STEM Partnership to Build Local Workforce Capacity, Empower Youth (November 5, 2010)
Following on the heels of the successful forum, “Best Practices in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)” held this past summer, the REB is pleased to announce the launch of the Metro North STEM Partnership. The Partnership, which is comprised of 30 leaders in industry and education from throughout the Metro North region, will serve as a catalyst to revitalize local interest and leadership in the STEM fields. At its first meeting in October, representatives from industry and community colleges explored local workforce needs, challenges and resources. The next meeting, to be held in early 2011, will include leadership from many local school districts, and will focus on establishing partnerships that will support effective, sustainable STEM programming throughout the region. The Metro North STEM Partnership is one component of the REB’s comprehensive Strategic Plan, which identifies healthcare and the professional/technical/scientific services sectors as priority areas for 2009 - 2012. Updates on the Partnership’s activities will be posted on this Web site as they become available.
Metro North REB Awarded High Performing WIB Status (September 22, 2010)
The Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Joanne Goldstein, recently awarded the status of High Performing Workforce Investment Board (WIB) to the Metro North REB on behalf of the state. This designation is given to WIBs that meet and sustain rigorous performance standards, and that have a demonstrated commitment to achieving the strategic workforce goals outlined by the Patrick Administration. These high-level goals include building workforce capacity, closing the skills gap, and developing education, training, and employment infrastructure to increase opportunities for youth. As part of the award, the REB will receive a $100,000 grant which it will use to support objectives in its priority industries of healthcare and the professional/technical/services sector.
ESOL Program for Former Ames Workers Now Underway (September 7, 2010)
Classes have begun for over twenty former employees of the Ames Safety Envelope Company in Somerville, who are participating in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program at the Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences (SCALE). This training is one component of a suite of education, training, and job counseling services that is currently being offered to 150 former Ames workers, thanks to a grant that was recently awarded to the REB by the Rapid Response Team of the Department of Workforce Development. In addition to ESOL training, the REB has allocated a large portion of the award for a wide range of direct services to be provided by the Metro North Career Centers. These services include outreach and recruitment, case management, job search workshops, and job placement services. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to help the former Ames workers, many of whom were long-term employees of the company, to successfully compete into today’s rapidly evolving job market.
REB Forum Sparks Partnerships to Address STEM Challenges (August 2, 2010)
At a recent forum at the Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA, leaders in business and education from across the Metro North gathered together with a single shared purpose: to learn how they can work together to address the growing crisis in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The diverse mix of professionals included engineers, scientists, CEOs, school superintendents, career development professionals and sustainability experts. Sponsored by the Metro North Regional Employment Board (Cambridge, MA), the forum built upon a shared understanding of the challenges by exploring practical strategies to inspire students to pursue careers in the STEM fields.
In concluding the forum, REB Executive Director Nancy Brown announced that the REB is in the process of establishing a regional STEM planning team, as well as a clearinghouse for STEM resources. Additionally, Brown said that the REB will continue to serve as a catalyst to help foster new partnerships and initiatives to revitalize interest and leadership in STEM within the Metro North region and beyond. [Please see the latest issue of our newsletter, REB Connections, to read the full article].
REB Receives Grant to Assist Former Workers of Somerville-based Company (June 14, 2010)
The Metro North REB has received a grant from the Rapid Response team of the Department of Workforce Development to provide critical education, training and job counseling services to former employees of the Ames Safety Envelope Company. The award, which is funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), will serve to help these workers to secure other means of employment by providing them with a wide array of job counseling and occupational skills training, as well as opportunities to develop English language skills. Over the course of the 14-month grant period (ending June 30, 2011), the Metro North Career Centers will also provide a wide range of direct services which include: outreach and recruitment, case management, job search workshops, computer skills development and job placement services.
REB Receives $300K for Green Jobs (April 30, 2010)
We are pleased to announce that the Metro North REB will receive $300K as part of the Massachusetts State Energy Sector Partnership (MB-SESP) Award. Supported by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the U.S. Department of Labor, the award is one component of a major federal initiative established to promote economic growth through training workers in skills required for emerging industries. [Read full article]
REB Receives $200K Award
to Bridge Healthcare Skills Gap (April 2, 2010)
The U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that in the decade between
2008 and 2018, job growth for clinical laboratory workers will
exceed 14%, a rate that is “faster than
average for all occupations.” The BLS also predicts that
the number of job openings in the field will continue to exceed
the number of those entering the field. [Read