Strong Workforce.     Strong Economy.

Workforce training gives people the skills they need to find good jobs, support their families, and contribute to the Massachusetts economy.

MassBudget's Jobs & Workforce Budget looks at the various ways we support workforce training through the Massachusetts state budget; this includes programs for Education, Workforce Development, Youth Development, and Workers with Disabilities. As the chart at right shows, overall funding has been falling over time—particularly for the core "Workforce Development" efforts.

Detailed information about specific programs can be found throughout the Jobs & Workforce Budget. Along with full descriptions of the various state-supported programs in Massachusetts, you'll find long-term funding histories, new funding proposals, as well as links to helpful resources.

7 Things You Should Know About Workforce Development Programs In the FY 2017 State Budget:

  • Total funding for workforce development programs for FY 2017 is $112.8 million.
    State funding for these programs has declined over time – down 30 percent since FY 2001.

  • FY 2017 budget adds two small, new workforce development programs.
    First, the Re-entry Demonstration Workforce Development Program receives $250,000. This program provides workforce development and supportive services to individuals transitioning from a correctional facility. Second, the Digital Health Internship Incentive Fund receives $100,000. This will be a new trust fund that aims to prepare college and graduate students for careers in digital health fields such as e-health, cyber and IT security, and integrated photonics.

  • Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) receives funding this fiscal year.
    This fund, which invests in training for unemployed workers, receives periodic deposits at the discretion of the Legislature. For FY 2017, the fund received $1.0 million and most recent deposits were in 2016 for $2.2 million and in 2013 for $5.2 million, in inflation-adjusted dollars.

  • YouthWorks receives 13 percent less funding than last fiscal year, resulting in fewer jobs for MA youths.
    Specifically, YouthWorks receives $1.5 million less than current FY 2016 spending levels. YouthWorks pays for the salaries of low-income and at-risk youth living in select communities for summer and some year-round jobs.

  • School to Career Connecting Activities receives less funding for its core program than last fiscal year.
    Although funding overall appears to be higher than FY 2016 year, roughly $699,000 goes to earmarks that are not core to the program. This program helps teens find employment through internships, career exploration activities, and apprenticeships.

  • Commonwealth Corporation Transitions to Work program receives zero state funding in FY 2017.
    This is an employment-training program for unemployed young adults with disabilities.

  • New economic development bill offers additional opportunities for workforce development.
    The Legislature also passed an economic development bill, which authorizes dedicated funding for workforce training as well as new equipment funds for vocational schools. Since this is in the capital budget, this new funding is not included in the line-items we highlight in this tool.

- The State of Working Massachusetts -

A strong economy is one that works for everyone, including young and experienced workers, children and families, lower-wage and high-wage earners. The labor market in Massachusetts remains relatively weak, with poverty rates stubbornly high, and wages lower than they were in 2007, before the Great Recession. Massbudget's State of Working Massachusetts provides a more complete analysis of the conditions facing workers in the Commonwealth.

The Role of Federal Funding

The Jobs & Workforce Budget includes funding information for worker training programs supported through our state budget. However, the federal government also provides direct support for worker development in Massachusetts, and because this support does not flow through our state budget, it is not reflected in the funding detail we include here. More information about these streams of direct, federal support is available through the National Skills Coalition.