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Massachusetts Gov. Healey’s executive order to promote hiring of people without degrees


“Our people—the individuals who comprise Massachusetts’ workforce today and for the future—will help to drive the state’s economic competitiveness. This is exactly why Massachusetts needs to develop skilled talent to meet the growing needs of employers, large and small, across a range of industries statewide. And the Healey-Driscoll Administration is doing just that.

We are collaborating with regional workforce partners including training providers, academia, labor, and businesses to close the skills gaps by investing in registered apprenticeships, work-based learning, and accelerated industry-recognized credentials, certifications, and career paths. As we and so many partners help to expand opportunities for rising talent, we also have to reimagine strategies to ensure skilled, untapped talent we are investing in can compete for the jobs in-demand yet often left unfilled.

As the largest employer in the state, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has to embrace new strategies, too. That is why Governor Healey signed an Executive Order to institute skills-based hiring for executive agencies and departments to focus on an individual’s skills, knowledge, and abilities rather than just a degree to attract, retain, and develop diverse talent. While this is a huge opportunity for an employer with 40,000+ employees to look inward and lead by example, we also recognize and appreciate that many companies have been instituting such strategies and seeing proven results.

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That is why the Healey-Driscoll Administration wants to build a community of leaders, represented by business, labor, and workforce partners dedicated to executing effective skills-based hiring strategies. We are building this community through the newly launched MassSkills Coalition, a collaborative effort focused on promoting effective strategies, creating a community of best practices, and encouraging more employers to recognize the value of expanding workforce strategies.

Skills-based hiring is meant to enhance strategies to ensure employers have access to talent. This approach does not diminish the value of higher education; in fact, we know that higher education provides an incredible foundation for thousands of students graduating from Massachusetts institutions every year. However, we also know that college is not the solution for all. At the same time, Massachusetts is home to untapped talent eager to join the workforce and with exceptional skills, knowledge, and abilities that may not have been acquired through a degree program. Take for example, Medical Assistants at Bay State Health who gain industry-recognized skills through a registered apprenticeship program, combining technical training with on-the-job training.

The MassSkills Coalition is just getting started, and we look forward to attracting more organizations to team up with us to promote expanded ways to attract, retain, and develop Massachusetts talent by lifting up skills first and investing in Massachusetts greatest asset—our people.

To learn more about the MassSkills Coalition, visit: Mass.gov/MassSkills.”-Mass.gov.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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