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MassHire Cape & Islands Workforce Board Highlights New Industry Findings

Government, Non-Profit, and Higher Education Partner Up to Tackle Massachusetts’s Workforce Needs

MassHire Cape & Islands Workforce Board Highlights New Industry Findings

In today’s new normal, jobseekers and employers throughout Massachusetts need the right career services and training to set themselves up for success in a post-COVID economy.

Mandated by Governor Charlie Baker and led by Rosalin Acosta, MA secretary of labor & workforce development, the Regional Blueprint Project is a state-wide initiative aimed at identifying and addressing the unique workforce needs of each region within the state. The MassHire Cape & Islands Workforce Board (CIWB), is at the forefront of this initiative, working closely with Secretary Acosta to understand the outlook for occupational and industry trends, how COVID-19 has impacted the local workforce and how the Cape & Islands can best serve jobseekers and employers.  

A four-part editorial series authored by Kara Galvin, executive director of the MassHire Cape and Island Workforce Board (CWIB), highlights the work the CIWB is conducting to identify how best to serve its local economy to drive economic growth and create new job opportunities for the Cape’s residents.

Part one highlights:

  • The need for regional workforce boards and why they are necessary for the stability and long-term viability of each region’s economy.
  • How regional blueprints are the best way to make informed and educated decisions on allocating state funds.
  • How COVID-19 has impacted Massachusetts’s workforce – displacing one million workers

“Regional Workforce Board Aims to Address the Commonwealth’s Workforce Needs in a Post-COVID Era - Part 1”, is available on the UMass Online blog beginning today. All subsequent releases will be issued once a week after this date on the UMass Online blog.

“The working partnership between us, UMass Donahue Institute and UMass Online is a perfect example of state government, non-profit and higher education coming together to address critical workforce needs,” said Kara Galvin, executive director of the MassHire Cape and Island Workforce Board. “Through this strategic partnership, the CIWB and our WorkSmart team are better equipped to tackle the unique industry and occupational needs and challenges faced by the Cape & Islands workforce resulting in a strong systemic impact across the region. The updated blueprint will guide future funding decisions that will directly impact job seekers and employers.”

Working closely with the Economic & Public Policy Research (EPPR) and Organizational Development & Learning Solutions units within the UMass Donahue Institute, UMass Online was brought on as a trusted advisor with the MassHire Cape and Islands Workforce Board and the WorkSmart team. UMass Online’s primary role was to help identify and strategize ways the Cape and Island Regional Planning Committee can strengthen, improve and promote systemic awareness regarding the Regional Blueprint amongst their business and community partners.

“Using our experience as consultants for the Metro Boston regional blueprint, we provided advice on how others have tackled various issues such as getting to a manageable number of priority industries/occupations, coordinating strategies, and expectations of the state,” said Rod Motamedi, EPPR senior research manager.

The state created the Regional Blueprint Project to identify gaps in the supply of trained workers across the regions across the Commonwealth. Individual regions, like the Cape and Islands, are asked to prioritize occupations and industries that are growing, have labor supply gaps, pay good wages, and have a career pathway for people with varying levels of education and experience. The initiative brings together workforce development, economic development, and education partners within each region to create a single group that can both identify the priority industries and occupations and devise strategies to address the gaps.

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