State official highlights collaboration with Hanscom AFB during New Horizons

  • Published
  • By Jessica Casserly
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

NEWTON, Mass. – Lauren Jones, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development in Massachusetts, spoke about various workforce-related partnerships between the state and Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., during her New Horizons keynote address March 13.

As a keynote speaker at the 2024 event, Jones provided insight into Massachusetts’ workforce development initiatives and shared how Governor Maura Healey and her administration are “emphasizing and bridging connections” to help address key workforce issues.

“[Workforce development] really has to be anchored in all that we do, because behind our workforce is people,” Jones said.

The secretary also addressed the need to help break down barriers to entry, such as childcare challenges, for potential employees.

MassHire, the state’s network of American Job career centers was also a focus of the secretary’s remarks. MassHire is a front door, offering employment and training services for employers and jobseekers.

“MassHire has a close relationship with Hanscom Air Force Base, which we appreciate, from holding hiring events, to conducting trainings and working with Hanscom-based [organizations] like Kessel Run to help with candidate screenings and hiring assistance,” she said.

Team Hanscom and MassHire will partner again this spring for a 2024 hiring event scheduled to take place May 23 in Needham, Massachusetts.

Jones said MassHire also supports local veterans in collaboration with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Veterans’ Services.

“We are working together to build campaigns and opportunities to reach more veterans,” she said. “[We want to] ensure the resources that we get through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as on the state level, can be further leveraged to create more pathways and opportunities for our service men and women who have served our country and are looking for great opportunities to translate their incredible skills to the workforce needs that we have.”

The secretary highlighted registered apprenticeship programs during her keynote, which the governor is expanding through increased state and federal funding in industries such as health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and life sciences fields, as well as many others.

“We’re continuing to knock on more doors to use this model in emerging areas,” Jones said. “We appreciate that we can do so with Hanscom Air Force Base. They are a partner with the registered apprenticeship program for training those within refrigeration, which is huge.”

The secretary also talked about the importance of continuing to enhance the Commonwealth’s tech and innovation ecosystem.
“We’re thinking about how we can lead moving forward, how we can invest today to make sure that we continue to be that innovation hub that we’re known to be.”

In addition to innovation, Jones said partnerships will be key to ensuring a strong workforce of the future.

“We know that we have to think creatively, and we have to think differently, as we prepare for our workforce today and meet the urgent needs that employers and industry are experiencing each and every day,” she said. “But we also know that we have to think creatively and innovatively as we prepare for the workforce over the next four, five, ten years. We know that we have to do that in partnership with many in this room.”