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.
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.
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.
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