September 23, 2017
 
Boston Foundation, SkillWorks Commit $10M for Job Training

August 7, 2017 — The Boston Foundation recently announced that it and SkillWorks, a Boston-based nonprofit that aims to improve workforce development in the city and across Massachusetts by providing funding to workforce programs, will commit $10 million over the next five years to strengthen workforce development programs.

The new funds are expected to create about 3,000 job placements, according to The Boston Foundation (TBF).

“It’s difficult to imagine a better environment in which to focus investment on workforce development programs than the one we are experiencing right now,” said Grogan. “In a labor market that is creating demand for skilled workers, investments that yield college graduates or workers with industry-relevant competencies are the most effective way to fill those vacancies. That creates a win-win-win – for the employer, the employee and the region as a whole.

At the same time, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced the city was investing $1 million in new and existing programs to prepare more than 500 Boston residents from underrepresented neighborhoods for information technology jobs.

“The mayor’s willingness to make a bold public investment in workforce development should inspire all of us in philanthropy to step up as well,” said Grogan. “We look forward to working in partnership with the city and other funders to create new opportunities for Boston’s diverse workforce.”

The Boston Foundation hosts and co-founded SkillWorks, and has invested $8 million in the initiative, and has funded millions of dollars in grants for workforce development and training programs.

The new funding follows disclosure of new data from TBF that highlights the challenges and opportunities facing Boston residents trying to become a part of the city’s growing economy. One report, noted that eight in10 white and nonwhite millennials both believe the Boston economy will do well or very well in the coming years. But more than 90% of black and 70% of Latino millennials surveyed said they didn’t believe there were opportunities for people from every socioeconomic background.

Another report highlighted challenges Latinos face trying to access high-quality jobs, including lower levels of high school and college graduation, and in some cases, limited English proficiency.

Established in 2003, SkillWorks is a funder collaborative that has created a pipeline of workers for the region’s highest demand business and industry including more than 100 employers seeking talent for jobs in healthcare, biotech, construction, financial services, hospitality, green jobs, and, most recently, IT/Technology.

Hosted and co-funded by TBF, SkillWorks acts as a workforce intermediary that pools funding from public, private, and corporate philanthropy to create a flexible set of resources steered toward innovative solutions across community based organizations, vocational training, community colleges, and employers.

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