Mayor Wu announces City awarded $23 million EDA Good Jobs Challenge grant
Aug 16, 2022
ARPA funds will provide more than 4,600 projected job placements in Healthcare, Clean Energy, and Child Care and support services to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color residents in the Greater Boston area over the next three years
Mayor Michelle Wu today announced that the City of Boston has been awarded a $23 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). This grant will establish a Regional Workforce Training System (RWTS) that will focus on training and placement for 4,618 quality jobs within targeted industries including healthcare, clean energy, and child care. This announcement was made today at an event at Beth Israel Lahey Health.
As the lead applicant, the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD) brought together partners from key organizations that serve unemployed, underemployed, incumbent workers, community college students, and BIPOC individuals within the Greater Boston Region. Over 100 local employers will create opportunities and connect the region’s workers to training and career pathways within the childcare, healthcare, and clean energy industries, over a three-year grant period, beginning in October 2022.
“This important funding will connect participating residents with more than 4,000 living wage jobs and crucial support services,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “This grant will accelerate our work to make Boston a city for everyone and connect our residents with opportunities in healthcare, child care and clean energy. I’m grateful to the Biden Administration for their partnership and our Office of Workforce Development team for their leadership in securing this critical grant.”
“Thanks to President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, this EDA Good Jobs Challenge grant is delivering for thousands of Bostonians and their families across several crucial industries,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “Ensuring the placement of underrepresented populations into quality, good-paying jobs ensures the success of individuals, the community, and the local economy.”
“The awarding of this grant by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration will go a long way toward helping us reach our Cabinet’s vision of an equitable, sustainable city that centers people and creates opportunities to build generational wealth,” said Segun Idowu, Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion. “I am grateful to Director Trinh Nguyen and her team at the Office of Workforce Development for their months-long dedication to forging lasting partnerships and crafting an award-winning submission. Their commitment has helped ensure that pathways to lucrative opportunities in critical industries are available to those Bostonians most in need.”
"We are proud of the work the Office of Workforce Development has done here to be able to bring this important grant funding back to Boston, to stimulate our economy and diversify our business community," said Arthur Jemison, Chief of Planning. “I look forward to seeing this pipeline of diverse workers thrive, while making a big impact on Boston's future.”
These jobs will have pathways that lead to family-sustaining wages, employer-sponsored benefits, and educational attainment. With continual program evaluation and client tracking, the RWTS will meet the needs of employers and job seekers alike.
“This grant is the result of close collaboration between the City of Boston and major employer partners such as Mass General Brigham and Beth Israel Lahey Health, employer partners of Asian American Civic Association , and the YMCA and the Massachusetts Association of Early Education & Care (Child Care),” said Trinh Nguyen, Director of OWD. “With ready-to-scale projects in key sectors, these partners will create sustainable pipelines to good-paying jobs with a focus on people of color who have been historically excluded from jobs with advancement potential.”
“All of us at Beth Israel Lahey Health are proud to partner with the City of Boston’s Office of Workforce Development, and we’re grateful to the Biden Administration for their support for our efforts to develop the exceptional workforce we have today and engage the next generation of talented caregivers and staff,” said Kevin Tabb, MD, president and CEO, Beth Israel Lahey Health. “Partnerships like these help us meet our shared goals of building the economic security of the region and meeting the diverse needs of our community.”
Each targeted industry is led by a backbone organization that serves as a leader and convener within its respective industry. Leading the healthcare industry is the MassHire Boston Workforce Board (Boston PIC), for clean energy, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT), and for child care, the Community Advocates for Young Learners (CAYL) Institute. Education and training partners also include Boston’s community colleges. The grant will serve the Greater Boston Region and the Child Care Sectoral Partnership covers the cities of Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, and Salem. In addition, 10 MassHire career centers in the defined region will provide outreach and recruitment, assessment, career coaching, employer engagement, and job placement throughout all three sectors.
“The CAYL Institute is honored to lead this effort to increase the visibility and strength of the child care sector as a key partner in Massachusetts’ economic development priorities. We will bolster and expand this essential and skilled workforce in order to facilitate child development opportunities, support families, and transform early childhood education systems,” said Dr. Valora Washington, Founder and CEO of the CAYL Institute.
“We are grateful to Mayor Wu, the Office of Workforce Development, and the Biden Administration for making this award possible,” said Dr. Aisha Francis, president & CEO of Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology. “This funding will contribute to the growth of skilled clean energy professionals educated through our Renewable Energy and Building Energy Efficiency programs. We are grateful for the added support to provide students with the skills that align with good-paying green jobs that need to be filled with a trained workforce right now.”
“This grant offers an extraordinary opportunity for job seekers to enter and advance within the healthcare industry, Boston's largest employment sector,” said Neil Sullivan, Executive Director of the Boston Private Industry Council, which organizes Boston's Healthcare Careers Consortium. “Boston's major hospitals are eager to work with job training organizations to broaden their access to talent and to diversify their organizations at all levels."
“The Good Jobs Challenge will allow us to address the needs of communities that were most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, helping households that have lost jobs to find employment and services in child care, health care, and clean energy. We are thrilled to be part of this project!” said Marc Draisen, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC).
OWD will partner with MAPC, the Boston metro’s regional planning agency and EDA-designated Economic Development District. MAPC will serve to coordinate, convene, and facilitate establishment of a Greater Boston Regional Workforce Training System to include the three career pathways. MAPC has also been building up engagements to support our most vulnerable workers - including BIPOC community members who are overrepresented in the low end of the labor market.
The Good Jobs Challenge is administered by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration and will enable communities across the country to invest in innovative approaches to workforce development that will secure job opportunities for more than 50,000 Americans. The Good Jobs Challenge is designed to help get Americans back to work by developing holistic regional workforce systems with strong sectoral and employer partnerships that will lead to good-paying jobs.