As a society, we invest in roads and buildings, in water and electric systems because they are vital to our economic development and prosperity. So are people. But do we invest effectively in our human infrastructure?
As we navigate through and past the COVID-19 pandemic, Essex County has within our grasp the antidote to recent labor market reports: human potential. Prior to COVID-19, Massachusetts had long enjoyed one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, but things have changed. While state data for June is not yet available, the Bay State’s May unemployment rate of 16.3% tied for the 4th highest in the country and was three percent higher than the national rate at the time.
A partnership between the Baker administration and GE Foundation – the charitable arm of one of the largest manufacturers on the North Shore – will pump $4.5 million into workforce development training that they hope will ultimately help to fill the hundreds of vacant advanced manufacturing jobs on the North Shore.
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