Metro North Regional Employment Board
Building Partnerships for a Better Workforce

About the Metro North REB


"Building Partnerships for a Better Workforce"    


The Metro North Regional Employment Board (REB) is a public-private partnership whose mission is to enable area residents to gain the skills to maximize their economic self-sufficiency and provide employers with the workforce they need to effectively compete in the changing world economy. As one of 16 local Workforce Development Boards established in Massachusetts by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (recently superseded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014), the REB was formed to: set local workforce policy, determine how state and federal funds are best used for workforce development, develop partnerships to align the needs of employers to the needs of area residents, and oversee the Metro North One-Stop Career Centers where both job search and employer services are provided. By law, business leaders must constitute a majority of the Board with other members representing education, training, labor and economic development.

The functions of the Metro North Regional Employment Board include the following:

  • Addressing business’ workforce needs through strategic partnership building

  • Coordinating local workforce activities with economic development strategies

  • Developing industry-specific consortia focusing on strategic planning and implementation

  • Establishing workforce development policy for the region

  • Chartering career center operators and overseeing career centers

  • Matching the needs of business for skilled employees with training opportunities in the area

  • Assessing the effectiveness of the local workforce system

  • Administering federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds for the region

Metro North REB Committees

REB Standing Committees


The REB carries out the majority of its work through its committee structure, and it is expected that each board member will actively participate in at least one committee, and participate in the REB’s industry collaboratives in his/her field. The REB currently convenes the following committees: Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Workforce Systems Committee; Metro North Committee for Inclusive Employment Services; Metro North Youth Council; and the Metro North Career Pathways Task Force.


Convenes, brokers, and leverages partnerships between the private and public sectors to satisfy labor demand in the Metro North region and address gaps in services. Administers the region’s employment and training system in accordance with state and federal policies and guidelines. Provides oversight of overall programs and strategic direction to the organization. Elects officers and Board of Directors.             

Board of Directors – Chair: Sandra Smith

Manages the affairs of the REB nonprofit organization. Develops and recommends governance polices. Establishes new initiatives and strategic priorities. Ensures coordination among committees towards strategic objectives. Monitors REB budget and strategic issues; delegates to committees as appropriate. Acts on behalf of REB Members as delegated.


Finance Committee – Chair: TBD

Manages financial affairs of the corporation, such as budget preparation for approval by the Board of Directors, ensuring preparation of timely and accurate financial reports and providing fiscal policy recommendations to the Board of Directors.  Serves as audit committee to review annual audit of corporate financial operations.

Workforce Systems Committee – Co-Chairs: Susan Walsh and Valerie Sutton

Ensures implementation of the REB’s career center vision. Oversees and recommends procurement and re-chartering of Career Centers. Helps build capacity of the career centers as the hub of a one-stop delivery system by ensuring ongoing coordination with partners. Establishes career center policies; evaluates career center performance; determines allocation of funds among training providers, career centers, and the REB; develops performance standards and criteria; and approves the annual plan for regional workforce development activities.

Metro North Committee for Inclusive Employment Services – Co-Chairs: Karen Sampson Johnson and Rick Laferriere

Identifies barriers and develops effective solutions to address education and employment-related issues for people with disabilities including effective service delivery by the region’s Career Center, access to training, and job placement activities.


Metro North Youth Council – Chair: Reed Brockman

Coordinates youth services activities and builds a youth development system to improve graduation, employment, and post-secondary outcomes for youth. Oversees, evaluates, and selects vendors for youth programs. Oversees and evaluates the REB’s youth programs including Connecting Activities, YouthWorks, and WIOA Youth. Develops youth workforce development strategy for the region and supports efforts to increase funding for youth related education and workforce development activities.

Metro North Career Pathways Task Force – Co-Chairs:  Maria Kefallinou and Jennie Peterson

Assists residents of the Metro North region in accessing and pursuing long-term career pathways. The Task Force takes a “big picture” macro approach and determines how best to align various stakeholders into a cohesive, integrated, and comprehensive pathway system that meets the needs of job seekers and businesses in the Metro North region.

Development Task Force – Co-Chairs:  Carson Burrington and Steven Sullivan


Industry Partnerships:


The REB leads the following industry partnerships/consortia: 

Metro North Retail Advisory Council

Develops strategies that assist retail employers with critical workforce needs and helps job seekers be prepared for careers in the retail industry. Addresses the talent needs of the local retail industry through providing training for job seekers to enter retail careers, job placement, and training for incumbent workers.

Boston/Metro North Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Network

Ensures a pipeline to technical occupations for youth and adults making career transitions through promoting a skilled and sustainable STEM workforce in the region.

Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (NAMC)

Facilitates collaboration among industry, academia, and workforce development to define and implement an advanced manufacturing workforce development strategy within the Northeast region of Massachusetts.  Develops a pipeline for job openings; develops training and aligns education/training curricula with employer needs; promotes manufacturing as a career option. A four-region partnership of workforce development boards, community colleges, vocational technical schools, and One-Stop Career Centers. 


Metro North One-Stop Career Centers

The Metro North Regional Employment Board charters two career centers, both operated by The WorkPlace, to serve the 20-community Metro North region: Career Source in Cambridge and Chelsea (CONNECT), and The Career Place in Woburn.  In Metro North, the career centers operate as businesses, not as traditional workforce development programs; prospective operators submit business plans, not proposals, for consideration. REB staff work closely with career center operators to ensure that their business plans are fully implemented.

In order to assess career center performance, the REB reviews performance reports and customer satisfaction survey results, as well as convenes the Consumer Advisory Group to solicit feedback on services directly from customers (job seekers, training seekers, and employers). Each center must go through a formal review process once a year and meet performance criteria in order to be funded for the following year.

Membership of the Workforce Development Board


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) prescribes who must serve on each local Workforce Development Board.  The goal is to appoint a diverse Board that adequately represents the interests of both business and workers, infuses decision-making and strategic development with private-sector practices, and ensures that stakeholders play a part in the formation and implementation of local workforce development strategies. WDB membership must have a majority of business representatives, therefore 51% of the Board must be made up of private-sector members, with priority given to representatives of critical and emerging industries.  Other members include local education entities, organized labor, community-based organizations, economic development agencies, and each of the One-Stop Career Center partners. 


REB Membership

For a current list of our Board members and their affiliations, please visit:










 Metro North REB, Fresh Pond Mall, 186 Alewife Brook Parkway, Suite 216, Cambridge, MA 02138