"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 Investment Boards established in Massachusetts by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, the REB was formed to: set local workforce policy, determine how state and federal funds are best used for workforce development, 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:
Promoting the participation of business in the statewide workforce system, with a focus on priority industries that include Biotechnology, Information Technology, Healthcare, and Advanced Manufacturing
Coordinating local workforce activities with economic development strategies
Developing industry-specific consortia focusing on strategic planning and implementation
Setting local workforce policy
Chartering career center operators and overseeing career centers
Identifying eligible training providers
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 Investment Act funds for the region
Metro North REB Committees
Career Center Committee
Oversees three-year rechartering process:
- Ensures implementation of career center vision
- Reviews broad conceptual issues related to center services and establishes career center policies
- Evaluates career center performance
- Recommends strategies to ensure ongoing financial viability
Conducts ongoing career center oversight and evaluation:
- Oversees the Consumer Advisory Group
- Reviews customer feedback
- Reviews and recommends Consumer Advisory Group member composition
Policy, Funding, and Oversight Committee
- Makes planning decisions regarding regional service priorities
- Determines allocation of funds among training providers, career centers, and the REB
- Develops WIA performance standards and criteria
- Determines funding formula for career centers
- Develops Memoranda of Understanding with One-Stop Career Center partners
- Approves the Annual Plan for regional workforce development services/activities
ABE Transitions to College and Careers (ABE TCC) Committee
This newly formed committee has been established to facilitate the transition of adult learners from ABE programs to college and careers. The committee will consist of REB members, as well as representatives from Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs, colleges, career centers, and businesses in the Metro North region. Possible activities may include: sharing information about the ABE system, identifying barriers and supports for transition to college and careers, examining best practices and models, creating a pilot project, or other relevant activities regarding ABE.
- Develops portions of the local plan relating to eligible youth
- Reviews and recommends youth and education services to be awarded on a competitive basis
- Networks and shares best practices
- Sponsors other youth activities
- Supports efforts to increase funding
- Coordinates youth service activities in the region
- Consistently involves youth in planning and evaluation activities
- Advises the REB on youth employment issues.
In addition, the REB will consider adding some additional committees:
- Sectoral Initiatives Committee – To oversee/coordinate industry collaboratives/ partnerships activities (as noted below).
- Innovation Council – To identify innovative approaches to solving workforce issues (potentially drawn from other fields) and identify funding sources to support pilot projects testing these approaches.
- ABE Transitions to Higher Education/Skills Training – To identify pathways from Adult Basic Education (ABE) to community college-level education and training.
The REB currently leads the following industry partnerships and collaboratives:
Metro North Regional (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) STEM Network, focusing on the following objectives (as outlined in MA STEM Plan 2.0): increasing student interest in STEM; increasing student achievement among PreK–12 students in order to
prepare graduates to be civically and college and/or career ready; increasing the percentage of skilled educators who teach PreK–16 STEM; increasing the percentage of students completing postsecondary degrees or
certificates in STEM subjects; and, aligning STEM degrees and certificate attainment with corresponding
opportunities in STEM-related fields to match the state’s workforce needs for a
STEM talent pipeline. Funded by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education through the STEM Pipeline Fund, the Metro North Regional STEM Network is one of eight Regional STEM Networks across the state.
Northeast MA Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, focusing on the development of a pipeline for job openings, developing training and aligning education/training curricula with employer needs, and promoting manufacturing as a career option.
The REB is also in the process of prioritizing initatives focused on the following areas:
- Biotech/Life Sciences Collaborative
- Information Technology Collaborative