Come hear from Governor Maura Healey as she addresses Chamber members as the 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth.
9:45am - 11:00am
The Westin Copley
Hear from a panel of professionals on how apprenticeship programs are creating a more robust and diverse talent pipeline.
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Another Age Productions
Join us for our highly anticipated Annual Meeting, Greater Boston's top business convening of the year.
4:30pm - 8:00pm
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
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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.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
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.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
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.
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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For almost 40 years, Boston has led the nation in supplying high school students with paid internships and meaningful work experiences. Since 1982, the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Campaign, in partnership with the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), has been recruiting private sector companies to hire Boston Public School (BPS) students for summer internships.
The Mayor’s Summer Jobs Campaign not only provides young people with meaningful work experiences that support entry or advancement in a particular industry area – it also builds a local talent pipeline from neighborhoods across Boston. Annually, the campaign generates over 8,000 paid summer jobs and internships for Boston’s youth at community-based organizations and public agencies, as well as private companies and institutions.
While these efforts have persisted over the last four decades, youth employment is significantly lower in America today: about a third of young people are working now compared to the turn of the century when over half of youth had paid employment. The COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened this decline locally, reducing the number of private sector summer internships in Boston from 1,150 in 2019 to just 655 in 2021. While Boston’s private sector internship program employs 90 percent students of color, the same cannot be said for the youth labor market overall. It is these young people that are most likely to be affected by declines in employment.
We find ourselves at a significant moment, battling a stubborn pandemic that has worsened inequities and facing a national reckoning that has laid bare the ills of systemic racism.
It will require unrivaled private sector participation not only to replace the summer internships lost over the past two years, but also to tackle the systemic inequities at the root of the racial disparities in opportunity. The only way we can achieve true racial equity in the workforce is to move past rhetoric and make real change. Boston’s private sector internship program makes a significant contribution to the pursuit of racial equity. When we help BPS students connect the dots between school and work, we empower them to visualize college and career pathways previously invisible or unattainable.
The good news is that Boston has the infrastructure and resources to confront and address these issues head on.
Many employers understand that internships provide a critical introduction to the workforce for young people and that early professional experiences build essential skills like communication and problem solving. Many also understand that Boston Public School (BPS) students bring cultural wealth to the workplace through their knowledge, skills, and abilities to navigate in the face of systemic barriers.
Private sector employers that value the tremendous assets of our city’s students and invest in developing their skills today will be prepared to address the challenges of tomorrow. Those who don’t provide work-based learning opportunities for Boston Public School students today will lose the opportunity to prepare for the changing demographics of the future workforce – a situation that increases racial inequality as well as skill shortages.
Boston is one of six U.S. cities selected by JPMorgan Chase to receive $7 million of a $35 million philanthropic investment. The effort known as “New Skills Boston” is aimed at developing equitable career pathways and policies that give Boston Public School students access to post-secondary learning opportunities and real-world work experiences while in high school, thereby supporting an inclusive economic recovery and advancing racial equity.
EdVestors and the Boston Private Industry Council are partnering with Boston Public Schools, Bunker Hill Community College, UMass Boston, Massachusetts Executive Office of Education, The Boston Foundation, and the City of Boston’s Office of Workforce Development to meet the ambitious goals of this initiative.
Those who don’t provide work-based learning opportunities for Boston Public School students today will lose the opportunity to prepare for the changing demographics of the future workforce – a situation that increases racial inequality as well as skill shortages.
This notable investment of resources will help ensure the pipeline of students is ready to take advantage of learning from and in the engines of Boston’s economy. This provides a renewed impetus for the Boston business community to prioritize the city’s public school students for internships and other work based learning experiences. The New Skills Boston partners are ready to work with employers to make this happen.
As the new school year ramps up, we must start planning for summer 2022 now. We can mark 40 years of providing work-based learning opportunities with the private sector stepping up in a renewed and larger way. Preparing a high-quality internship experience – whether in-person, hybrid or remote – requires thoughtful planning and an investment of time and resources. The PIC stands ready to assist in developing job descriptions, leading recruitment and training, and troubleshooting logistical issues to accommodate any format or setting.
Building a skilled and prepared homegrown workforce is not only the equitable thing to do, but also the most cost-effective. Investing in BPS students is not only the right thing to do, but also a great business practice. As we prepare for the summer of 2022, with an eye toward the future, Boston’s private sector can get this right and reassert our city as a national model that truly leads by example.
Our guest blogs are written and produced by organizations within our membership. They are not intended to reflect the views nor opinions of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.