JUNE 2017
around the table
Executive Director's Message

Dear Members,

Paid family and medical leave, a new employer health care assessment, Internet privacy and workforce training are just a few of the issues we are working on as the state budget negotiations and legislative hearings play out on Beacon Hill. Thank you to Roundtable members for providing important feedback and guidance to shape our advocacy with key public leaders.     

Engagement of our members continues to reach new heights. We were thrilled that so many members participated in the Annual Meeting this month hosted by Jim Ducey, Managing Partner for UBS, which featured a fiscal update from State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, as well as a new segment of industry sector discussions led by members Jaime Paris Boisvert of Siemens, Jeff Cook of Cohen, Kinne, Valicenti & Cook in Pittsfield, Wes Kremer of Raytheon and Ty Ondatje of Iron Mountain. We continue to hear great feedback about the sector discussions and look forward to doing more of these at future Board meetings.

We are working with Roundtable members and New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell’s office to plan the next MBR Board meeting in New Bedford on September 20th. We hope you will join us for this exciting showcase of new opportunities in the city and the region.

Have a great summer!


Roundtable Annual Meeting Features Conversation with State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg
Industry Perspectives from Members at UBS Financial in Boston

Energy costs, population loss, talent needs and workforce diversity were among the topics addressed by four Roundtable members from different industry sectors during the Roundtable’s 38th Annual Meeting hosted by UBS in Boston. Members also received an update from State Treasurer Deb Goldberg on state fiscal issues as well as her work managing the state pension, modernizing the state lottery and expanding financial literacy through partnerships with financial services leaders in Massachusetts.

Four Roundtable members: Jaime Paris Boisvert, General Manager of Siemens Boston; Secretary of the Roundtable Jeffrey Cook, Chairman of Cohen, Kinne, Valicenti, & Cook; Wes Kremer, President of Raytheon IDS;, and Ty Ondatje, Chief Diversity Officer for Iron Mountain, shared priorities such as the importance of addressing the high cost of energy, cultivating a workforce pipeline with the skills necessary to compete, and committing to building a diverse workforce.

MBR thanks Treasurer Goldberg and our colleagues from other business associations for participating in the Annual Meeting and for their partnership throughout the year.

Roundtable Welcomes Three New Members to the Executive Committee
At the Roundtable’s Annual Meeting, the Board voted unanimously to elect three new members to the Executive Committee: Peter Sherlock, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for The MITRE Corporation; Jane Steinmetz, Boston Office Managing Principal and the New England Markets Leader for Ernst & Young; and Frank Sweet, Corporate Senior Vice President from AECOM. Thanks to these new Executive Committee members for their willingness to serve and for their outstanding leadership in the business community.

Roundtable Testifies for Increased Flexibility in Workforce Training at Joint Committee on Labor & Workforce Development Hearing
Testifying during a public hearing at the State House, Roundtable Deputy Director Chris Kealey asked lawmakers to support legislation that provides increased flexibility for workforce training funds to strengthen the talent pipeline for employers in regions across the state.

As a member the Workforce Solutions Group, a statewide advocacy coalition working to build an effective training and education system that increases workers' skills, the Roundtable has long supported the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund. Senate Bill 1006 and House Bill 3160 would allow up to 5% of the Workforce Training Fund, approximately $1.1 million, to be used for sector-based job training for non-incumbent workers. With the addition of some common sense performance language and the possibility of state matching funds, MBR believes this legislation will help job seekers develop new skills and enable employers to find the right talent to fuel economic growth in Massachusetts.

READ testimony

Roundtable Testifies before Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy on Internet Privacy Legislation
Testifying as a member of a panel before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, & Energy earlier this month, MBR Deputy Director Chris Kealey noted the business community’s opposition to House Bill 3698, which would lead to a patchwork of state rules governing how Internet service providers use customer information, is based on long-standing principles to prioritize support for consistent federal standards. MBR noted its strong support for Internet privacy and advocated for a comprehensive federal approach to protect personal data, but suggested that individual state legislation would undermine the important work of the Federal Trade Commission to create a level playing field across the country.

The Roundtable joined the Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce in presenting a letter in opposition to H3698 to Chairman Michael Barrett, Chairman Thomas Golden, and members of the committee. MBR members Comcast, Verizon and AT&T also expressed opposition to the state proposal.

READ Business Community Letter

MBR Advocates for Major Medicaid Reforms, Unemployment Insurance Savings in State Budget Package to Fund Health Care
The Baker Administration unveiled an ambitious package of major reforms to MassHealth that includes a commitment to program integrity, increased flexibility and new contributions totaling $200 million from employers to help close the short-term funding gaps in the state’s Medicaid program. The package requires both state legislative changes as well as federal waivers to be fully implemented.

The Roundtable has been collaborating with major business groups including AIM, MTF, Greater Boston Chamber, Retailers Association of Massachusetts and others to advocate for significant savings and reforms. Savings from the proposed unemployment insurance rate schedule changes will result in employers paying $334 million less than under the current schedule.

READ Reform Package Summary from Administration & Finance

Roundtable Member Companies Lead Offshore Wind Energy Supply Chain Forum
Roundtable members Dong Energy and Deepwater Wind helped lead the Massachusetts Offshore Wind Supply Chain Forum hosted by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to spur job creation in this fast-growing industry sector. The event was headlined by Secretary Matthew Beaton of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Secretary Jay Ash of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. More than 120 businesses from the wind industry, including European investors, participated in the packed forum, which highlighted the economic and environmental advantages of expanding offshore wind power in Massachusetts. Featured prominently among these advantages are the benefits to cities and towns from growing companies that make up a robust offshore wind supply chain.

Jeff Grybowski of Deepwater Wind and Fred Zalcman of Dong Energy both emphasized that wind energy presents an exciting opportunity not just to Massachusetts, but local communities across the nation, and that active local participation in the wind supply chain will prove critical to their success. Both set the early 2020s as a target for construction of offshore wind.

MBR Opposes Expanding Access to Confidential Tax Information
The Roundtable joined with business groups signing a letter articulating continued opposition to legislation that would expand access to confidential tax returns arguing that the state’s Department of Revenue is the appropriate agency with the security and expertise in place to review and report on tax expenditures. Similar legislation has been filed and defeated numerous times. Confidentiality is a bedrock foundation for the tax system that relies on voluntary compliance for more than 95% of all taxes collected in the state. An excerpt from the letter notes:

“Section 15 of Senate bill 2076 would extend access to tax return information to the State Auditor’s office, and additional individuals to be named to the Commission, through the creation of a tax expenditure review commission to ‘examine and evaluate the administration, effectiveness and fiscal impact of tax expenditures.’ We remain concerned that the broad access to tax returns and related information would undermine taxpayer privacy and erode confidence in our tax system. Additionally, we believe a separate commission is unnecessary as the legislature already has that authority and the Joint Committee on Revenue already has that expertise.”

READ letter

MBR Advocates with Fix-Our-T Coalition Against State Budget Amendment Harmful to MBTA Reforms
Serving as a member of the vast coalition of business and community-based organizations, the Roundtable continues to advocate for major reforms, strategic investments of capital and fiscal controls through the “Fix-Our-T” Coalition. Access to reliable public transportation remains a top public policy priorities for Roundtable members. As part of our ongoing advocacy, the Coalition sent a letter expressing strong opposition to a budget amendment filed in the Senate “that would undermine the MBTA’s three-year exemption from the state law that constrains privatization.” MBR will continue to fight for the implementation of reforms at the MBTA to improve services for riders and strong fiscal controls for taxpayers.

READ letter

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

Former Roundtable Chair Donna Cupelo, President, Verizon New England, Leads Workforce Development Board
The Diman Vocational High School in Fall River hosted the state’s Workforce Development Board, which is chaired by MBR member Donna Cupelo and includes several Roundtable members. The Board discussed priorities such as the importance of vocational schools and middle skills training to satisfying modern labor demands, developing the state’s career centers, funding for Learn-to-Earn and other programs, increasing Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund grants for job training, and a new data dashboard containing labor market & workforce information. Local school officials stressed the necessity of corporate partnerships to enable students to graduate with skills relevant to the modern economy.

The Roundtable thanks Secretary Walker for his great leadership and partnership during his tenure in the Baker Adminstration.


Roundtable Member Fidelity Supports Thousands of Employees Volunteering in the Community 
Fidelity is passionate about making a difference in everything we do, from helping our customers invest for the future to improving our communities where we work and live. Recently, Fidelity’s commitment was powerfully demonstrated as more than 7,000 colleagues joined forces and participated in Fidelity Cares Day, an annual education-focused day of service. Volunteers supported hundreds of community partners and schools in all of its U.S. and global locations. Service projects in the community or on-site at select Fidelity sites ranged from leading financial literacy workshops to sorting supplies for in-need students. READ more.


You Are Invited: Business Champions for Children Event at the Basketball Hall of Fame
Please join us, July 10th, for a special event highlighting the business imperative for early education investments with keynote speaker David Lawrence Jr., Founder of the Florida Children’s Movement, as well as remarks from MBR’s Executive Director, JD Chesloff, on Speaker DeLeo’s Business Advisory Group on Early Childhood Education. RSVPs should be sent to Christine Warren, Davis Foundation.


You Are Invited: Equitable Workplace, Equitable Society: Preventing Sex Trafficking in the Workplace
Please join us on June 27th for a workshop that will provide employers with new resources to create a more equitable work environment while protecting our youth, vulnerable women, and LGBTQ communities. RSVPs should be sent to Brenna Callahan.

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

Congratulations to New Bedford Mayor @JonMitchellNB & community leaders for the city's economic surge  via @wgbhnews

Full house at @MassCEC offshore wind supply chain conference advancing economic opportunities with @JayAshEOHED @MattBeatonEEA @rephaddad

Roundtable member @generalelectric pays employees wages that are more than twice the state average #mabiz #GEVoices

Congrats to @MassTLC, @mhsali and @thopcroft for an important report about the impact of immigration on our economy. 

Roundtable Member @Raytheon and the US Army tested a new version of the #Stinger

Roundtable member @IBM has #developed nanosheets, a technology that will shrink computer chips and boost #performance

The Roundtable is pleased to welcome several new followers on Twitter. Please consider following them.
Bob Rivers  @rfrivers64
Matt Beaton  @MattBeatonEEA
Vineyard Wind  @VineyardWindMA
Boston Women  @BostonWomen 
Shire plc  @Shireplc 
Alicia Barton  @abartontweets 
Sustain Bentley U  @SustainBentley 

In this issue
Roundtable Annual Meeting Features Conversation with State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg
Roundtable Welcomes Three New Members to the Executive Committee
Roundtable Testifies for Increased Flexibility in Workforce Training at Joint Committee on Labor & Workforce Development Hearing
Roundtable Testifies before Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy on Internet Privacy Legislation
MBR Advocates for Major Medicaid Reforms, Unemployment Insurance Savings in State Budget Package to Fund Health Care
Roundtable Member Companies Lead Offshore Wind Energy Supply Chain Forum
MBR Opposes Expanding Access to Confidential Tax Information
MBR Advocates with Fix-Our-T Coalition Against State Budget Amendment Harmful to MBTA Reforms
Going Around the Table
What's News on Twitter
Upcoming events
Board Meeting
Noon—1:30 p.m. (lunch provided)
Location: New Bedford
For members only

Board Meeting
8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Location: TBD
For members only

Hot links
MBR Mid-Year Highlights
MBR 2016 Annual Report
MBR Biz-Education Partnerships Report
MBR on Early Education & Care
Roundtable Member List 2017
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National Business Roundtable
BRT CEO Survey—Tax Reform
BRT Growth Agenda
BRT on Infrastructure
Biz & Politics

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