Fall 2016 Newsletter

CEDAC AND UMASS Boston McCormack Graduate School Center for Social Policy Announce New Partnership

In September, CEDAC and the University of Massachusetts Boston McCormack Graduate School Center for Social Policy (CSP) announced a new partnership to manage the Commonwealth Workforce Coalition (CWC). The partnership began in July 2016 and will extend for one year, after which the Center for Social Policy will operate the program so critical to the state’s workforce development system.

CWC is a statewide initiative that seeks to strengthen the capacity of Massachusetts’ education, training, and workforce system to produce better employment and earnings outcomes for unemployed and underemployed residents.  CWC’s services and activities include: partnering with statewide agencies, businesses, and community based organizations; promoting professional networking and sharing through convening 5 Regional Peer Learning Networks and organizing the annual Sharing Skills~Building Connections Conference; developing and facilitating customized professional development workshops; supporting organizational development through technical assistance; connecting organizations and staff with resources, tools, and best practices; and responding to the needs of the field with new and flexible offerings.

CWC, a program of CEDAC since 2000, serves a membership of more than 5,500 workforce professionals, providing 20 to 25 training and networking events every year across the state along with the annual conference.  Funders have included the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimac Valley, SkillWorks, State Street Foundation, the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, The Hyams Foundation, the City of Boston Office of Workforce Development, Boston Private Bank & Trust Company, Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) and The Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, among others.

The Center for Social Policy (CSP) is based at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. CSP is a research and evaluation center for policy makers, funders, and business leaders focused on researching the root causes of economic hardship and examining the impact of public policies and business practices in order to boost economic well-being.  The center’s team brings with them a wealth of workforce and community development experience that matches CWC’s mission.

After achieving years of CWC’s success, CEDAC and CSP reached an agreement to transfer this workforce development program to CSP.  CWC’s efforts to strengthen the workforce development system – and by extension, low- and moderate-income communities – is an excellent match for CSP’s mission and work. The transfer will enable CSP to strengthen its community partnerships and extend its impact across the state. So as to make sure that the transition is as smooth and orderly as possible, CEDAC and CSP have agreed to enter into a partnership for one year. CEDAC will work with CSP to transition CWC’s operations over the next 12 months. The 14th annual Sharing Skills~Building Connections conference will take place on May 11, 2017 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center. For more information, visit cwc-ma.org/annual-conference.