Demand Driven Strategies for Business & Workforce

WCTF Current Grants

Learn to earn

The Learn to Earn Initiative (LTE), designed by the Executive Offices of Labor and Workforce Development, Education, Health and Human Services and Housing and Economic Development, is a comprehensive approach to providing individuals who are receiving assistance from public benefit programs with the supports, skills, and credentials they need to gain and retain employment in occupations for which employers have persistent demand.

LTE Programs will help participants set and achieve goals necessary for employment and sustained economic stability, including maintaining and growing family net resources. They will also test approaches for minimizing the real or perceived potential impact of increased earned income on benefit receipt, including improving coordination across benefit programs and reducing benefit cliff effects.

The program leverages the regional industry sector partnership model from the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund and adds cohort-based coaching, family-focused supports and benefits counseling.

In January 2018, five regional partnerships received program design grants to design or re-design an occupationally-specific training and placement programs. Between January 2018 and April 2018 these five partnerships will participate in an intensive program design learning community convened and supported by Commonwealth Corporation. Through this process the members of each partnership will examine every component of their current program and design or enhance their program to address the needs and requirements of their population and target occupation. At the conclusion of the program design phase all five partnerships will submit implementation plans, and, subject to review and approval of the plans, will be awarded implementation funding to carry out their new program designs for up to two years. Throughout the program design and implementation period the Executive Offices of Labor and Workforce Development, Education, Health and Human Services and Housing and Economic Development will provide guidance on addressing benefit-related issues and will examine opportunities to enhance economic stability.

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FY17 TRAINING AND PLACEMENT GRANTS FOR LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED

The goal of Commonwealth Corporation’s FY17 Training and Placement Grants for Long-Term Unemployed is to improve the economic competitiveness of Massachusetts businesses by training workers for in-demand jobs and to connect individuals left out of the labor market to a career pathway.

Eight regional partnerships received up to $225,000 each to design and implement an occupationally-specific training and placement program that supports individuals who have limited or no attachment to the labor force in making a successful transition to employment in an occupation in-demand by local employers. These grants are aligned to serve populations identified by Governor Baker’s Economic Opportunity Task Force as experiencing chronically high rates of unemployment, including African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, persons with disabilities, and Gulf War Era II Veterans. Dollars from the WCTF FY17 appropriation funded two partnerships; the remaining six were funded by Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund.

Between April 2017 and June 2017, we conducted an intensive program design learning community for the eight partnerships. We provided them with program design tools and technical assistance, and facilitated learning community meetings involving peer-to-peer support and subject matter experts. Through this process the members of each partnership examined every component of their current program and designed or enhanced their program to address the needs and requirements of their population and target occupation. All eight programs successfully completed the three-month-long Program Design Phase in June 2017, submitted strong implementation plans, and have since started operating their two-year-long programs. The 8 grant-funded programs began recruiting and serving participants in July 2017 and are planning to serve 210 unemployed workers place at least 144 in jobs that have been identified as in-demand by the partnering businesses. The occupations they are targeting include construction, textile manufacturing, and entry-level health care such as CNAs, medical assistants and home health aides.

Download the Grantee Summary

FY16 Appropriation (2016-2018)

This round of Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund grants is designed to deliver Pipeline Training Programs to train and place un/underemployed Massachusetts residents into occupation(s) that are in demand by employers in a targeted region.

Collectively, the 14 grant-funded programs will serve 375 unemployed workers and are planning to place at least 300 in jobs that have been identified as in-demand by the partnering businesses. The occupations they are targeting include automotive maintenance and repair, culinary, retail, bank teller, construction trades, biotech manufacturing, commercial driver, and entry-level health care such as CNAs and home health aides.

Addressing the Middle Skills Gap Grant Program (2013-2016)

Between 2013 and 2016, the WCTF Addressing the Middle Skills Gap grant program awarded $4.5 million to 15 partnerships to train and place unemployed and underemployed individuals and meet the hiring needs of regional businesses. The industry sectors represented by these partnerships included construction, manufacturing, health care, early childhood education, financial services, transportation and travel and tourism. As a result of this round of funding, 670 people were placed in jobs at 447 companies; this is 82% of graduates and 74% of participants, compared to a national enrollment to placement rate of 56% for similar programs.

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