Gov. Maura Healey, flanked by Workforce Development Secretary Lauren Jones left) and Joanne Pokaski, chair of the MassHire Workforce Board (right) hosts a press conference on her administration's new workforce plan at the State House on Monday, March 18, 2024. Photo by Sam Drysdale | State House News Service

As Massachusetts struggles with a workforce shortage that is being felt in industries around the state and country, Gov. Maura Healey’s administration released a new plan Monday to “attract, retain and develop a future workforce.”

The plan is federally required, but Healey said her team “leaned in and said, ‘Alright, how do we actually use this vehicle to do something real, you know, to do something meaningful to actually get results?'”

The 23-page plan includes ideas to launch a stipend initiative for low-income participants in industry preparation programs to incentivize enrollment and completion (such as covering costs for caregiving, transportation, and digital access); use “limited” federal subsidies to support employees’ transportation to work; launch a pilot to reform benefit cliff disincentives; and promote the use of artificial intelligence.

The plan represents more than $400 million in state and federal funding, though Healey told reporters Monday that the new agenda is a reorganization of dollars already in the budget.

“We’re mindful of the time that we’re in right now looking at revenues,” she said, referencing struggling tax collections. “It’s really about how do we better strategically align things within the administration? How do we work to support existing programs and structures out there that are delivering, and then wherever we make adjustments, so that we’re making better use of connections, partnerships, networks, that will help us get to where we need to go.”

Guv’s Workforce Plan Attempts ‘to Do Something Real’

by State House News Service time to read: 1 min