Creating a Labor Pipeline for Business with an Eye on Growth
I had the pleasure recently of being part of group of vocational education leaders making a pitch for increased funding avenues during a meeting with Governor Charlie Baker.
The Governor followed up a tour of the South Coast by meeting with several vocational technical superintendents on the campus of the Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech.
The national shortage of trained technical employees was a topic for discussion. Massachusetts is definitely feeling the pinch of the lack quality candidates for employment. Numerous employers that I’ve spoken with have expressed the primary limiting factor in growing their business is a shortage of qualified employees.
The Governor echoed those sentiments in his speech and said he would look to continue the Skills Capital Grants program administered by his office as well as other avenues to expand access to technical education and fill the void that exists in the skilled labor pipeline.
An interesting point made by the Governor was the potential for students attending tech schools to earn Associates Degrees through continuation of their technical program in their local technical school.
While the challenge to fulfill the needs of workforce development are significant, I came away encouraged by the meeting. Governor Baker was listening and has identified economic development and expansion of access to vocational education as a goal. The Governor understands that vocational schools can be a viable engine for the state’s economic growth. I look forward to Upper Cape Tech’s role in working with the Governor’s administration and the Workforce Cabinet to address the goal of expanded access and workforce development.