Major investment in Boston's talent pipeline announced
June 19, 2017
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Boston Foundation President, Paul Grogan, to announce a nearly $11 million investment in training Boston residents to meet the talent needs of the region's growth industries at TechHire Boston. The collaborative effort, supported by the City of Boston's Neighborhood Jobs Trust, The Boston Foundation and various private funders, will support job training, internships and bridge-to-college-and-career programs to strengthen and diversify the talent pipeline in Boston. The investments are projected to serve more than 3,000 residents from underrepresented neighborhoods.
"In order to prepare our young people for the jobs of the future, we must invest in the training programs that recognize the needs of Boston's growing industries," said Mayor Walsh. "I thank the Boston Foundation and all of our public and private partners for stepping up to meet our shared goal to support our next generation while creating a talent pipeline for our small and large businesses."
"The Mayor's announcement is important not just for the money it provides, but for the message it sends -- that workforce development is a key opportunity for our City," said Paul Grogan. "We hope the City's investment will inspire other funders as it inspired us to commit to a long-term strategy that creates brighter futures for Boston's diverse workforce."
The Greater Boston tech industry poses significant benefit to the region, yet faces a serious talent shortfall, according to a recent SkillWorks report, "Information & Communication Technology: Shared Prosperity in the Digital Age." The report found that the Greater Boston tech sector:
- accounts for a majority of the state's 156,000 computer and mathematics-related IT jobs
- supports higher-than-average wages for computer and mathematical occupations, and
- is projected to grow, with 40 percent of firms surveyed projecting a near 9 percent growth rate in IT jobs over the next 12 months.
However, the study also found that nearly three-quarters of surveyed firms reported difficulty finding qualified IT workers in the last 12 months. These firms noted that many applicants failed to meet their standards for work experience and occupation-specific training.
The new pipeline investment announced by Mayor Walsh and The Boston Foundation targets these needs in collaboration with community partners. With the City of Boston leading the way with a one million dollar investment in the tech talent pipeline, the Boston Foundation followed suit, investing $10 million over five years for training and support in several growth industries from tech to manufacturing to hospitality. Examples of funded projects include:
- the establishment of a new Business Analyst program with Colaberry at Roxbury Community College
- the doubling of summer internships in Boston's Tech Apprentice program
- the expansion of a Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) program to develop a healthcare IT pathway to Bunker Hill Community College, and
- a new Cyber Warrior Academy to help entry-level tech workers upgrade to cyber security analyst positions.
TechHire Boston, an employer-led industry consortium convened by SkillWorks and the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) in partnership with the City of Boston, was created in September 2016 to identify solutions to closing the IT skills gap. Monday's event will be TechHire's third forum for sharing research findings and best practices in meeting industry labor demands.About the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development
The Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (OWD) is an innovative agency within the Boston Planning & Development Agency that seeks to ensure the full participation of all Boston residents in the city's economic vitality and future. The OWD funds and oversees programs that promote workforce development through education, jobs training, apprenticeships, financial coaching, career pathways, literacy initiatives, and the like. Please visit OWD.Boston.Gov to learn more about the OWD's work.