OCTOBER 2016
around the table
Executive Director's Message

Dear Members,

We are convening several Roundtable policy task forces this fall to update our priorities and principles for next legislative session. Thank you to all who joined us at Comcast last month for the Education & Workforce Development Task Force meeting.

Next up is our Health Care Task Force and Energy Task Force meetings in November. These discussions are open to Roundtable members, as well as expert staff in Roundtable member companies. We appreciate all the input and guidance from members to shape our policy priorities and guide our advocacy during the 2017-18 legislative session.


New Roundtable Report Highlights High Value Business-Education Partnerships
A new report released by the Roundtable, “Shaping the Future Workforce,” showcases more than two dozen high value partnerships businesses have created with public schools, community colleges and universities. Strengthening the talent of our workforce remains a top priority for CEOs and senior executives at the Roundtable to ensure that Massachusetts is competitive in the global economy.

The report features best practices and key drivers of success to engage and inspire the next generation of workers in three categories: 1) Engaging & Inspiring the Future Workforce; 2) Targeted Curriculum & Training Partnerships to produce workers with the skills they need most; and 3) Advancement Opportunities for Current Workers.

Business leaders consistently cite five common drivers of success that apply to partnerships yielding the best outcomes. These themes offer a foundation for policy makers and educators to develop and scale future initiatives:

  • Adaptability. Adapting the goals of the program over time enables both businesses and educational institutions to evolve to meet changing needs, thus increasing the likelihood of the success;
  • Responsiveness. Acknowledging and being responsive to the different needs of students is necessary to ensure the maximum number of students are able to complete the program;
  • Accountability. Empirically measuring outcomes of these partnerships (i.e. completion rates, costs, attendance) allows for concrete analysis on the program’s impact;
  • Affordability. Emphasizing low cost is incredibly important to maximize the number of students able to participate thus increasing the impact of the program; and,
  • Leadership. Commitment by senior-level leadership is imperative and leads to a mutually beneficial partnership.

For a printed copy of the report, please contact the Roundtable office at 617-728-0881 or

READ Report

MBR’s Education & Workforce Development Task Force Meets in Chelmsford at Comcast
Tracy Pitcher, Regional Vice President for Comcast and Chair of MBR’s Education Task Force recently hosted a meeting of Roundtable business leaders representing a wide variety of industry sectors. The meeting featured a robust discussion on the importance of applied skills, the role of the business community working with educators and creating experiential learning opportunities for students. Members of the task force collaborated on a draft set of education and workforce development principles and policy priorities that will lead to specific action items and goals included in the MBR work plan in 2017. The high level principles include:

  • Education and Workforce development systems must align with the needs of employers across Massachusetts.
  • A robust STEM workforce pipeline is essential for short- and long-term competitiveness.
  • Early childhood education provides the foundation for later learning and success.
  • Partnerships between business and education provide innovative models for workforce development.
  • Applied skills and “real world” skills are essential for workplace success. 

READ Draft Principles

Roundtable Co-Sponsors 13th Annual STEM Summit November 1st at the DCU Center in Worcester
The Roundtable is co-sponsoring the 13th annual Massachusetts STEM Summit, scheduled for Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at the DCU Center in Worcester. The event will draw 1,500 STEM leaders from education, business, government and non-profits for an exciting program of stimulating speakers, sessions and exhibitors. Colin Angle, CEO and Co-Founder of iRobot and an MBR member, will provide keynote remarks.

The Summit’s theme, “Building a Lifetime of Opportunity,” recognizes that the nurturing of curiosity and enthusiasm for STEM can begin in the earliest years of life, and then be built upon and sustained over the course of a lifetime. Discussion of this theme, and sharing of successful programs and activities will be the foundation of this year’s Summit. For more information visit 2016 STEM Summit or contact the MBR office. 

Roundtable Members Speak at the 7th Annual Jobs & Workforce Summit at Devens
The Roundtable partnered with the Workforce Solutions Group again this year to produce the 7th Annual Jobs & Workforce Summit on October 26th at Devens. The program featured keynote remarks from Governor Charlie Baker, remarks from Congressman Seth Moulton, as well as a special panel discussion on the “pay equity” legislation with Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad and AIM’s Executive Vice President John Regan. The Summit also included a panel of business leaders including Rachel Kaprielian from from Vertex, David Howe from J. Derenzo Co. and Joseph Quinn from Walmart. The panel was joined by education and workforce development expert Dane Linn from the National Business Roundtable.

The Summit will place a spotlight on the skills that are most needed by employers competing in the global economy, and how employers and policy makers are working together to meet talent needs. The 2016 Summit attracted close to 300 people to Devens including policy makers, business, labor and education leaders. For more information, visit online.

Roundtable Submits Feedback to DPH on Regulations Governing Construction
Working with members in the health care and the construction industries, the Roundtable submitted feedback to the state Department of Public Health regarding draft Determination of Need regulations. Highlighting a key element of the Roundtable’s agenda, the letter described MBR’s commitment to addressing the cost and complexity of doing business in the Commonwealth. Toward that end, MBR offered its support for revising and modernizing the Determination of Need Regulations, specifically the change that allows for greater flexibility in advancing “conservation projects.” This advocacy is consistent with two of the Roundtable’s key priorities: reducing costs and streamlining regulations. MBR expressed its appreciation to the Department for addressing this issue and respectfully urged action to promote additional flexibility for those engaging in this work.

READ Letter

Going Around the Table
News, links and information about members of the Roundtable

Roundtable Member Citizens Bank Takes Action to Alleviate Hunger
Roundtable member and President of Citizens Bank Massachusetts Jerry Sargent authored an op-ed piece in the Boston Business Journal raising awareness and spurring action to alleviate hunger. The bank is partnering with local food banks and other food programs donating 3.3 million meals during 2016 in communities across the region to help feed families in need.

An excerpt from the op-ed: “In Massachusetts, Citizens Bank has partnered with The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) to support their mission to End Hunger Here. The Greater Boston Food Bank works with a network of 550 hunger relief agencies and about 60 direct service programs across 190 Eastern Massachusetts cities and towns to help alleviate hunger in our communities. As part of an ongoing effort, we’ve partnered with GBFB to sponsor two of their distribution trucks, which to date have delivered more than 4.9 million pounds of nutritious food across eastern Massachusetts. The two trucks are part of GBFB’s fleet of 11 that help to distribute over 57 million pounds of healthy food each year, helping the one-in-nine residents of eastern Massachusetts who struggle to have enough to eat.” READ Boston Business Journal Op-Ed

Roundtable Member Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology Gets Surprise Gift from Robert Kraft
President Anthony Benoit recently got an unexpected phone call from Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group and owner of the New England Patriots. Kraft was calling to let Benoit know that he was providing the college with a $100,000 surprise gift. The gift will be used over the next two years to provide gap scholarships to first-year BFIT students struggling to pay for a college education.

“Giving hope to those who may not have hope is what it is all about,” says Kraft. “My hope is that by making gap scholarships available at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, we are providing Boston’s youth a chance at economic mobility while also meeting the skills shortage in Massachusetts.”

Since 1908, BFIT has been training local young people for the fields that drive the region’s economy by offering affordable college programs that prepare students for technology jobs in growing fields. BFIT students graduate with practical experience in their field of study and “power skills” that are of immediate value in the workforce like teamwork, critical thinking and professionalism. READ More

Does your company have news about industry trends, key milestones or other materials you are sharing with the public? We want to include news from our members in this space, so please send any story ideas or links to MBR Deputy Director Chris Kealey.

TwitterWhat's News on Twitter

Business Roundtable @BizRoundtable
98% of CEOs say that they have trouble finding candidates to fill open positions. Here's what needs to be done:

Great Schools MA ‏@GreatSchoolsMA  
If you have great schools already, Q2 does not affect you. If you don't, however:  #YESon2MA #MaEdu #MaPoli

Roundtable members @IBM and @ATT expand virtual networking partnership

We need a tax code that improves the quality of life for American families, says @RepRichardNeal at @masstaxpayersfd conference

Congratulations to Roundtable member @museumofscience! With $50m, Bloomberg thanks Museum of Science via @leung

Safe and Healthy Massachusetts @safehealthyma 
Marijuana edibles. Dangerous drivers. Impacting our communities. View our new television ad "Neighborhoods" here.

Team @Shireplc kicking off our day of service at Madison Park Voc Tech in Boston #shiregds


The Roundtable is pleased to welcome several new followers on Twitter. Please consider following them.
Ken Donnelly @SenKenDonnelly
Jackie Berry @Jackie500 
Harriet Cross @harryvx 
Jim Stergios @JimStergios
In this issue
New Roundtable Report Highlights High Value Business-Education Partnerships
MBR’s Education & Workforce Development Task Force Meets in Chelmsford at Comcast
Roundtable Co-Sponsors 13th Annual STEM Summit November 1st at the DCU Center in Worcester
Roundtable Members Speak at the 7th Annual Jobs & Workforce Summit at Devens
Roundtable Submits Feedback to DPH on Regulations Governing Construction
Going Around the Table
What's News on Twitter
Upcoming events

Statewide STEM Summit
7:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m.
DCU Center
Worcester, MA

NOVEMBER 10Health Care Task Force
9:00-11:00 a.m.
Hosted by Skadden Arps
500 Boylston Street
Boston, MA

NOVEMBER 16Energy Care Task Force
Noon-1:30 p.m.
Hosted by Foley Hoag
155 Seaport Blvd
Boston, MA

Roundtable Board Meeting
8:00–10:00 a.m.
Location: TBA in Boston
Members only

Hot links
MBR Mid-Year Highlights
MBR on Early Education & Care
MBR Report on Early Education & Care
Roundtable Member List 2016
Follow us Follow US
National Business Roundtable
BRT on Financial Disclosures
BRT on Economic Growth
BRT CEO Survey
Biz & Politics

About Us  |  Competitiveness Agenda  |  Focus  Areas  |  Task Forces  |  Membership  |  Home
©Massachusetts Business Roundtable. All rights reserved.