Education & Workforce

Massachusetts’ talent continues to be a source of strength in the national and global competition for jobs and investment. The Council’s 50-State Competitiveness Dashboard, which aggregates data from Emsi and other labor market analytics sources, ranks Massachusetts first overall nationwide in talent and workforce. Employers, however, continue to struggle to meet their talent needs given an inadequate supply of workers with the skills needed for many positions.

Our advocacy aims to help Massachusetts address this misalignment and close gaps between workforce demands and the supply of qualified workers. A central priority in service of that aim is expanding education and training opportunities for all Massachusetts residents—particularly with an eye to policies that widen the top of the funnel for groups that have traditionally not had access to the same education and employment opportunities.

The continued improvement of Massachusetts’ public schools is one of most important opportunities and challenges we face in our efforts to meet this economic need and address social challenges. While redoubling efforts to close persistent achievement gaps that leave many young residents ill-prepared for the workforce, the Council supports initiatives that increase the number of students who enter post-secondary programs and career paths with the skills necessary for employment in the 21st century economy.

Education & Workforce Policy Priorities

The Council supports education policies that (1) balance appropriate state financial support with high standards of accountability for students, teachers, and administrators; and (2) ensure that all public-school students and parents have access to education options that maximize students’ opportunities for economic and social mobility.

Access to Technical Education & Workforce Training

The Council supports effective public and private programs that equip residents at all grade levels and career stages with the skills to be successful in technical occupations and industries. This support includes:

Advocating for policies that increase the availability of STEM-focused classes and curriculum, including computer science curriculum

Supporting measures that improve access to technical and vocational education options to align with regional labor market demands

Promote work-based learning opportunities and programs that connect talent to employers, including industrial-ready credentials and Early College efforts

Advance opportunities for state government matching funds for on-the-job training, including partnerships between community colleges and employers to better connect degree-seeking students to employment opportunities and job training

K-12 & Higher Education Excellence

The Council is committed to ensuring Massachusetts continues to have a world-class public education system that provides every student in the Commonwealth access to high-quality public education opportunities in K-12 and higher education institutions.

Advocate for high-quality public education standards and assessment including continued use and administration of MCAS student assessment tests

Support modernization of the state funding formula to meet districts’ evolving needs, like growing healthcare and special education costs

Leverage partnerships between the private sector and the state’s 29 public higher education campuses to research and develop innovations that will drive the future economy