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Workforce Development launches Boston employer forum series


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Workforce Development

The series of virtual panels will focus on the healthcare, hospitality, construction, retail, and IT/tech industries during COVID-19.

To better help colleges and job training programs prepare their participants for the COVID-era workforce, the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development is launching a series of virtual panels to disseminate the latest research on labor market trends in Boston's major industry sectors. These panels, called the Boston Employer Forum Series, will also feature insights from hiring directors in these industries. The series will begin today, Thursday, July 30 with a panel focused on Boston's healthcare industry. 

"Now more than ever it is critical that we provide residents with the information and resources they need to enter the workforce," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "The Boston Employer Forum Series pools on-the-ground knowledge from leading industry employers along with the best available academic data to provide a complete picture of employment opportunities for Boston's residents." 

The Boston Employer Forum Series, which is free and open to the public, will cover the following industries: Healthcare, Hospitality, Construction, Retail and IT/Tech. Each of these panels will feature the latest sector-specific labor market data presented by Dr. Alicia Sasser Modestino, an Economist and Associate Professor at Northeastern University. Hiring managers from within that sector will also offer their perspectives on how colleges and job training organizations can tailor their programs to help Boston residents position themselves for these employment opportunities.

"In order for individuals to increase access to family sustaining careers, it is critical to ensure that education and training are well-aligned with the needs and expectations of employers," said MJ Ryan, Senior Director of Workforce Development and Economic Opportunity at Mass General Brigham, Inc. and a panelist on the healthcare-focused panel. "The Boston Employer Forum Series is a great way to start this information flow. Mass General Brigham has a constant need for high quality, diverse, culturally competent talent, and we appreciate the commitment of Mayor Walsh and his team to help connect us to that talent."

"With so much uncertainty in the economy and especially the hard-hit hospitality industry,  industry-specific panels with expertise such as these offer relevant real-time data for training providers to better serve those seeking jobs and or reemployment," said Luther Pinckney, Outreach and Community Engagement Specialist at BEST Hospitality Training and moderator of the hospitality focused panel.  

The Boston Employer Forum Series builds on the Walsh Administration's ongoing efforts to address the pressing needs of Boston's workforce and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, Mayor Walsh and the Office of Workforce Development dedicated $2.4 million in Neighborhood Jobs Trust funding to support emergency workforce training programs. 

Mayor Walsh and the Office of Economic Development have also launched the Small Business Relief Fund and the Boston Reopen Fund, two strategic initiatives to support small businesses and employees. Over $13 million in debt-free grants has been allocated to help small businesses across the City of Boston pay rent, fulfill payroll, or cover any operating expenses, as well as cover costs of personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and temporary structures required for reopening and to keep employees and customers safe.

The currently scheduled Boston Employer Forum Series panels are listed below. For those unable to attend, the video will be made available after each panel on

Boston Employer Forum Series: Healthcare
Boston Employer Forum Series: Hospitality
Boston Employer Forum Series: Construction
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. 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.

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