The Commonwealth Workforce Coalition (CWC), a program of the Center for Social Policy (CSP) at the University of Massachusetts Boston, 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. Founded by the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), CWC was transferred to CSP in 2017.

CWC provides learning and development opportunities for the professional workforce development staff supporting individuals and families in pursuit of jobs and careers that provide good jobs and contribute to the building of financial assets in the community.

CWC members represent a range of organizations including community based education and training programs, housing and homeless services agencies, community colleges, community development corporations, career centers, workforce investment boards, and human services agencies. Since 2001, CWC has worked to strengthen and build the capacity of this community of practice that is over 5,500 strong.

CWC accomplishes this by

  • Hosting the annual Sharing Skills~Building Connections Conference;
  • Convening regional networking events with staff from organizations spanning the whole provider system;
  • Developing and facilitating workshops and training institutes for program managers and front-line staff;
  • Connecting the field to relevant resources, tools, and best practices.
Regional Networking
Regional Networking

A key feature of CWC are the regional networking events held three times a year in each of CWC’s five state regions – Boston, Central, Northeast, Southeast, and West. These communities of practice are needed given the regional diversity in Massachusetts in regard to the labor market, public and private resources, support services, and transportation.

Regional Networking
Professional Development + Training
Professional Development + Training

CWC works with organizations spanning the whole provider system to ensure they have the tools to help job seekers and their families in their communities thrive. Each year, CWC provides half, full, and multi-day trainings and workshops of a variety of topics for workforce development professionals.

Professional Development + Training
Annual Conference
Annual Conference

Each year over 300 workforce development professionals from across the state come together for CWC’s annual Sharing Skills~Building Connections conference. The conference provides an opportunity for attendees to improve their workforce programs and practices, build connections across the range of provider systems, share skills and experience, and equip them to better provide employment services to unemployed and underemployed people moving towards economic success.

Annual Conference
Baker Administration Awards $2M For Job Training
Banker & Tradesman / May 02, 2016

The Baker Administration has awarded more than $2 million in grants from the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) to support 14 regional partnerships between businesses, educational institutions, community-based o...

Hampden Sheriff’s Department, Commonwealth Workforce Coalition conduct training for employment couns
The Republican / Dec 05, 2014

Of the 53 employees at his Avocado Street company, Hampton Farms plant manager Matthew B. Venezuela, said 25 have come through "the program." The program is a euphemism for the Hampden County Correctional Center in Ludl...

Building a STEM-skilled workforce
The MetroWest Daily News / Jul 27, 2014

One of our nation’s education challenges today is that too many students are training for jobs in which labor surpluses exist and demand is low, while high-demand jobs go unfilled, especially those in science, technolo...

Although the unemployment rate for populations that experience disparate employment outcomes has greatly improved; we have more work to do. Access and opportunity, especially for those who face barriers to meaningful employment require, in addition to commitment, the tools necessary to meet individuals where they are to help them get to where they want to be. The CWC provides community-based and other organizations the tools they need to achieve this society critical mission.
Ron MarlowVP, Workforce Development, National Urban League; Former MA Undersecretary for Workforce Development