More targeted investment in workforce training could help the economy in Massachusetts continue with its recovery.
Muise co-wrote the letter with Cynthia Rodrigues, president of the Greater Southeastern Massachusetts Labor Council.
Both suggested that legislators, the business community, organized labor, workforce boards and community groups come together to create a legislative package that focuses on putting people back to work, given that there were 258,000 unemployed people in Massachusetts in February and another 200,000 who were underemployed.
Muise and Rodrigues said the state has a proven track record of coming up with training solutions. The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund, which was funded in the Jobs Bill of 2006, provided 34 training partnerships across the state that trained more than 7,000 people, they wrote. The state should re-capitalize the fund with an infusion of $20 million, Muise and Rodrigues suggested.
Community colleges, along with creating incentives and standards for the use of future gambling casino proceeds that are allocated to them, can also create opportunities for more training and education.
“With the Massachusetts economy continuing to recover, the state should make targeted investments in workforce training to ensure that businesses have ready access to highly skilled, trained workers,” Muise and Rodrigues wrote. “The talent of our workforce is a major competitive advantage that can help spur our economy.”