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New Report Offers Valuable Insight Into The Relationship Between Today’s Education And Opportunities In The 21st Century Workplace

BOSTON — Treasurer and Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Chair Deb Goldberg and the MSBA have released the results of the “Meeting the Commonwealth’s Workforce Needs” report. The report, conducted in partnership with Northeastern University’s Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban Regional Policy, utilizes comprehensive data and innovative analysis to further explore the relationship between what Massachusetts students learn in school today and the educational requirements the job market is expected to demand tomorrow.

“At the Massachusetts School Building Authority, we are investing in 21st century classrooms where teachers are able to provide the education necessary for the jobs here in Massachusetts,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “As we work with communities across the state we believe we can better match our school buildings to provide the environment needed for the skill set necessary to grow our economic base.”

“This extraordinarily detailed research uncovered some surprising and critically important trends in the Commonwealth’s workforce including the fact that up to two-thirds of the 1.1 million job openings between 2012 and 2022 will be for replacement workers of those retiring or changing occupations,” said Barry Bluestone, Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University. "This suggests the need for a huge training effort to make sure that Massachusetts’ employers can find qualified workers to meet their workforce needs.”

The “Meeting the Commonwealth’s Workforce Needs” is an innovative approach for looking at how the MSBA will address capital projects going forward. The report provides insight into the anticipated demands of the job market and into how Massachusetts schools can address these demands.

“My colleagues at the MSBA and I are delighted to have partnered with the Dukakis Center at Northeastern to present this important study. The insights gained from this report will help us evaluate what jobs will be needed in the future and the ability of both traditional schools and vocational facilities to meet the real world demands of the 21st century workplace,” said MSBA Chief Executive Officer Maureen Valente, who was extensively involved in the project.

The report stresses the importance of strong post-secondary education options for Massachusetts students, from vocational-technical schools, to community colleges, and four-year colleges and universities, while offering insight into how these different opportunities relate to the labor market.

The report covers at length the expanding role of vocational schools in Massachusetts, while also emphasizing the importance of financial education within school curricula, the projected job growth in Massachusetts over the next decade, and the top occupation groups in terms of projected job openings.

“One of the successes of vocational technical education is the ability to meet the labor market demands of business and industry. This report, commissioned by the MSBA in collaboration with the Dukakis Center at Northeastern University, identifies the emerging careers that will assist graduates of vocational technical schools with opportunities in our innovation economy and play a crucial role to the economic stability of the Commonwealth,” said David Ferreira, who serves as executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators.

"As we continue to redefine the Chapter 74 comprehensive model of education in our District, we are excited to reap the benefits of offering a 21st-century program coupled with a rigorous academic curriculum,” Said Dr. Gary Maestas, Superintendent of Schools, Plymouth Public Schools. “In navigating the school designs at our High Schools in partnership with the MSBA, it is our belief that we have clearly mapped a comprehensive model delineating 21st-century learning expectations for our students."

Some key findings from the report include:

  • Between 2012 and 2022 there will be nearly 1.2 million job openings in the Commonwealth

  • More than 3 out of 5 of the nearly 1.2 million job openings will require less than a B.A. degree, and 1 out of 3 will require no more than a high school degree

  • Vocational school graduates will be able to fill approximately 11.7 percent of all job openings by 2022

  • While various regions of the state have vocational technical schools that seem to be well positioned to meet their region’s projected occupational openings, there are other areas of the state including the City of Boston, the Metro North Region, Metro Southwest, and the Cape and Islands where more attention needs to be paid to increasing the capacity of vocational schools to meet projected job needs

For more information and to view the report, please visit:



Andrew Napolitano

Communications Director

(617) 367-9333 x614

Cell: (781) 403-0600


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