Corean Reynold was recently appointed the Director of Nightlife Economy for the City of Boston, where she brings a wealth of experience and a passion for fostering an equitable and thriving nightlife ecosystem.
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Roundhead Brewing Company
Don’t miss our upcoming Government Affairs Forum with Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg. Register now!
9:45am - 11:00am
Bank of America
Learn about new ways of utilizing the professional apprenticeship model to create diverse, sustainable, and scalable talent pipelines.
10:00am - 11:30am
Designed for mid-level managers and supervisors, this new certificate program addresses workplace well-being through unique, innovative, and actionable methods.
Join our Transformational DEI Certificate! Our comprehensive learning & development offerings are designed to connect and grow strong leaders who lead both inside and out of the office.
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Our Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) program provides emerging leaders with a socially conscious and civically engaged leadership toolkit, as well as the opportunity to apply their knowledge through experiential assignments.
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We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For nearly 30 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
The Massachusetts Apprentice Network convenes employers, training providers, and talent sources interested in developing and implementing apprenticeship programs in occupations across industries and statewide in fields such as tech, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
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August 7, 2023
Governor Maura Healey
Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State House, Room 360
Boston, MA, 02133
Dear Governor Healey,
On behalf of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and our 1,200 members, I would like to thank you and your staff for your diligent and thoughtful efforts in developing the state’s FY24 budget. As you review the Legislature’s final conference budget, I write to share the Chamber’s feedback on several budget priorities of employers in Massachusetts.
SUPPORT: MBTA Board Seat for the City of Boston (Section 55)
The Chamber supports creating a seat on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Board of Directors (MBTA Board) that is appointed by the Mayor of Boston. Given the significant portion of the T that runs through the City of Boston and the city’s large financial contribution to the system, Boston should have a designated seat on the MBTA Board.
SUPPORT: MBTA Capital Investments (Item 1596-2404 – $180.8M)
The Chamber supports the proposed $180.8 million for critical capital improvements and signal work at the MBTA. While the MBTA needs significant organizational and cultural changes in the wake of poor service and historic safety problems, this appropriate use of income surtax funds is a positive step that helps the MBTA begin to address critical infrastructure issues and encourage increased ridership.
SUPPORT: MBTA Workforce and Safety Reserve (Item 1596-2427 – $20M)
The Chamber respectfully requests your support for critical safety investments at the MBTA. The FY24 budget includes $20 million for a MBTA Workforce and Safety reserve to address the specific safety and workforce shortcomings identified by the Federal Transit Administration in 2022. The MBTA must address these significant failures immediately by diligently deploying these funds for staffing and other important needs to increase confidence in the system.
SUPPORT: Early Education and Care Stabilization Grants (Item 3000-1045 – $475M)
The Chamber supports the historic $475 million investment in EEC Stabilization Grants. Access to affordable, high quality early education and care programs helps attract and retain talent in Massachusetts. Stabilization grants will provide these programs vital financial support as they face challenges tied to a tight labor market in 2023. These grants will not only support this workforce, but the workforce of all employers with continued access to childcare options.
OPPOSE: ConnectorCare Pilot Program (Section 81)
We respectfully request that you veto outside section 81, which extends eligibility for premium assistance payments for ConnectorCare to applicants at or below 500% of the federal poverty guidelines for a 2-year pilot period. As noted by Governor Baker in 2022 in his message to the Legislature, the pilot program may have significant impact on carriers, enrollees, and Connector systems while potentially adding costs to employer assessments and premiums.
ConnectorCare is financially supported by the Commonwealth Care Trust Fund, which receives funding from assessments on employers (employer medical assistance contributions, or EMAC) and taxes on tobacco products. Given that employer contributions subsidize ConnectorCare, the long-term financial and market implications should be analyzed and shared with employers prior to significant changes in eligibility criteria. In addition, potential federal funding is not guaranteed to pay for the pilot expansion, leaving employers potentially responsible for continued subsidies.
Eligibility expansion will be difficult to undo, and employers should be at the table to avoid unintended consequences such as increased employer assessments or premiums and other negative impacts to health care coverage options in the marketplace.
Section 81 may hurt small businesses in particular: small group insurance plans already face significant declines in enrollment, few insurance options, and higher premiums. Increasing the eligibility threshold may shift enrollees from small group insurance to subsidized insurance, risking additional premium increases to the already-stressed small group market. Higher premiums for businesses that cross-subsidize premium expenses for individual health care coverage may further undermine any affordable health care insurance options for small employers. Any eligibility expansion should be paired with policies to reduce health care costs and stabilize the marketplace for small businesses.
SUPPORT: High Demand Scholarship Program (Section 12)
The Chamber supports a high demand targeted scholarship program to address the challenging labor market, ensure equitable opportunities to access in-demand careers, and increase regional competitiveness for the Commonwealth. As employers continue to face worker shortages across many industries, this targeted scholarship program incentivizes students in the Commonwealth to pursue educational pathways that employers need. Critically, including wraparound services also provides students with additional support to improve educational outcomes and help students successfully earn certificates and degrees. This program also ensures Massachusetts employers have access to qualified talent in high-demand industries by requiring students earning scholarships to remain in Massachusetts for five years after completing their programs.
SUPPORT: Higher Education COVID-19 Limited Liability (Section 80)
The Chamber encourages the Administration to support civil liability protections for our colleges and universities for claims arising out of the pandemic. Higher education institutions in Massachusetts confronted significant challenges in the spring of 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Acting in collaboration with the Commonwealth’s public health agencies, colleges and universities took the necessary steps to protect students’ health and wellbeing.
However, higher-ed institutions now face civil claims seeking tuition reimbursement related to the disruptions of the state’s public health emergency. The Chamber supports Section 80 extending limited civil liability protection for these claims after colleges and universities were required to temporarily transition to remote instruction by the state. This protection should extend retroactively to all existing cases stemming from the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic to allow these institutions to provide high-quality education to the state’s future workforce.
SUPPORT Clean Energy Investment Fund (Item 1595-6232 – $30M)
The Chamber also supports additional investments in the clean energy workforce as the Commonwealth adopts new sources of renewable energy and strives to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Massachusetts is at the forefront of clean energy policy and the development of offshore wind, solar, and other clean energy technologies will create new jobs. These new industries will need access to a talented and trained workforce and the state moves from planning to implementing clean energy projects and necessary infrastructure improvements ahead of 2025 and 2030 emissions reductions requirements.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.
James E. Rooney President and CEO