Metro North Regional Employment Board info@mnreb.org
Building Partnerships for a Better Workforce

About the Metro North REB

 

"Building Partnerships for a Better Workforce"

Overview

The Metro North Regional Employment Board (REB) is a public-private partnership whose mission is to enable area residents to gain skills that will maximize their economic self-sufficiency and to 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of 16 local Workforce Investment Boards established in Massachusetts by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (recently superseded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, which also changes our designation to “Workforce Development Board”), the REB was formed to: set local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. We lead the Metro North STEM Network and the Metro North Healthcare Partnership, co-lead the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium and Tech Ready (an IT/CS partnership), and partner in the Skilled Careers in Life Sciences Initiative (SCILS). 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

  • Establishing workforce development policy for the region

  • 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 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 participate in at least one committee or industry collaborative/partnership. The REB currently convenes the following committees: Career Center Committee; Policy, Funding and Oversight Committee; Adult Basic Education Transitions to College and Careers Committee; and the Youth Council.

 

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 WIOA 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 (ABETCC) Committee

 

This newly formed committee was established to facilitate the transition of adult learners from ABE programs to college and careers. The committee is focusing on achieving the following goals:

  • Prepare more ABE program graduates to enter and succeed in college-level courses;
  • Increase access to technology and technology skills of adult students;
  • Provide information and exposure to career options;
  • Map out pathways from ABE to college and careers and identify gaps; and
  • Highlight the value of adult students and what they need to meet their goals in life.

Metro North Youth Council

 

The Metro North Youth Council supports the development and implementation of effective workforce training programs to help ensure that local youth experience a successful transition into a productive working adulthood. The key functions of the Metro North Youth Council include: developing portions of the local plan relating to eligible youth; reviewing and recommending youth and education services to be awarded on a competitive basis; networking and sharing best practices; sponsoring other youth activities; supporting efforts to increase funding; coordinating youth service activities in the region; consistently involving youth in planning and evaluation activities, and advising the REB on youth employment issues.

Industry Partnerships/Collaboratives

The REB leads the following industry partnerships/consortia:

  • Metro North Healthcare Partnership – Focus is on alignment of curricula with employer needs; development of career pathways.

  • Metro North STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Network - Focus is on ensuring a pipeline to technical occupations for youth and adults making career transitions, through promoting a skilled and sustainable STEM workforce in the region. It is one of nine STEM Networks across the state that have been charged with promoting STEM careers and coordinating the regional STEM activities in congruence with the MA STEM Plan 2.0, an initiative of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

The REB co-leads/partners with other workforce regions in the following industry partnerships:

  • Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (NAMC) – A four-region partnership of three Community Colleges, nine vocational technical schools, four Workforce Development Boards, and seven One-Stop Career Centers. Focus is on: development of pipeline for job openings; developing training and aligning education/training curricula with employer needs; promoting manufacturing as a career option. NAMC is a collaboration among industry, academia, and workforce development that was created to define and implement the Commonwealth’s advanced manufacturing strategy within the Northeast region of Massachusetts.

  • Tech Ready – A five-region partnership focused on development of career pathways in the Information Technology/Computer Science Industry. Currently gathering information on industry needs via focus groups and other forms of research, with a goal of developing training responsive to industry as well as job seeker needs.

  • Skilled Careers in Life Sciences (SCILS) – A four-region partnership, currently funded by a USDOL grant to the Boston PIC/EDIC, focused on providing training and internships in the biotech/life sciences industry.

Metro North One-Stop Career Centers

The Metro North Regional Employment Board charters two career centers, both operated by Middlesex Community College, 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, and the REB takes a hands-off approach in defining how individual centers should operate in order to maximize innovation. 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, which is comprised of consumer advocates representing partner organizations, as well as job seeker and employer customers drawn from the host career center.  Although charters are issued for a three-year period, 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 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. WIB 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 several One-Stop Career Center partners.

 

REB Membership

For a current list of our board members and their affiliations, please visit: http://mnreb.org/board_staff.php.

 


 
   
 125 CambridgePark Drive Cambridge, MA 02140
 617-864-1500info@mnreb.org