Workforce Development annual report outlines results and new initiatives
The Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (OWD) channeled over $14 million to more than 100 local organizations that provided job training, education, career coaching, English instruction, youth programs, and apprenticeship opportunities to Boston residents from July 2017 to June 2018, according to the newly-released Fiscal Year 2018 OWD Annual Report.
"All Boston residents deserve the opportunity to participate in our city's growing economy," said Mayor Walsh. "The Office of Workforce Development has carved pathways for workers to develop their talents, practice job-specific skills, and advance in the workforce. Through programs like these, we will continue to create opportunities for everyone in our city."
"This year's annual report shows how much we can accomplish through partnership and innovative thinking," said Trinh Nguyen, Director of the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (OWD). "Over the past year, we've worked with nonprofits, public sector institutions, and private companies to create a variety of different career ladders for hard-working Bostonians."
The report, FY18 Annual Report: A Better Boston for Everyone, features many of the different participants who strengthen Boston's workforce development system, including employers, workers, students, researchers, and public servants. Also highlighted are several new OWD initiatives of the past fiscal year:
- City Academy - a job training program to prepare residents for quality careers with the City of Boston
- Facilities maintenance apprenticeship - a paid apprenticeship for maintenance technicians with property manager WinnResidential
- Boston Builds Credit - a series of free credit-building workshops for Boston residents
- EMT apprenticeship - a paid apprenticeship for emergency medical technicians with Boston EMS
- BostonHires - a hiring campaign to place Boston residents in living wage jobs with benefits
The report also includes results of ongoing programs. For example, the Boston Tax Help Coalition - a division of OWD - provided free tax preparation services that returned $24 million in refunds to more than 12,000 workers in Fiscal Year 2018. The MassHire Career Centers in Boston, under OWD's financial oversight, served more than 15,000 job seekers with such career services as workshops, networking events, and job fairs. Those clients placed in jobs earned an average wage of $21.61 per hour.
Che Robinson is a Mattapan resident who started a new career this year as part of the facilities maintenance technician apprenticeship with WinnResidential.
"I have been trying to get in jobs like this for a while," said Robinson. "But I didn't have enough experience. I was getting overlooked."
In his apprenticeship, he's able to earn a living wage and benefits while picking up new skills in areas ranging from HVAC to carpentry to electrical - skills he hopes to share with his teenage son.
"The possibilities are on me and how far I want to take it," said Robinson. "That's why I'm excited."
OWD is an affiliate of the Boston Planning & Development Agency.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.