OCTOBER 2018
around the table
Executive Director's MessageDear Members,

As we develop the Roundtable’s member-driven public policy priorities for the 2019-20 legislative session, I want to thank everyone for their support and participation in our various task force meetings this fall. It is a busy schedule of discussions on workforce issues such as diversity & inclusion, as well as perennial policy priorities in education, energy, health care, transportation and competitiveness.

The Roundtable appreciates the engagement from Governor Baker’s Cabinet, as we had opportunities to discuss policy solutions with Administration & Finance Secretary Michael Heffernan, Elder Affairs Secretary Alice Bonner and Education Secretary James Peyser. Thank you for your continued partnership on issues of importance to the business community.


Roundtable Supports Yes on 3, No on 1 Campaigns on Statewide Ballot Questions

This November, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, which represents employers from diverse industry sectors employing more than 250,000 people across the state, supports “Yes on 3” and “No on 1” votes on the ballot. Roundtable members are participating in the business coalition to support a Yes vote on question 3 protecting transgender rights and maintaining the current law signed by Governor Baker in 2016. The members also strongly support high quality, affordable, accessible health care in Massachusetts. MBR is opposed to question 1, which would establish mandatory nurse staffing ratios. A study by the Health Policy Commission found that a similar mandate in California did not result in better quality care for patients, and it would increase health care costs by more than $900 million annually. 

To learn more about these coalitions, please visit online: No on Question 1 | Yes on Question 3

Roundtable Committee Addresses Workforce Issues—Diversity & Inclusion, CaregivingCigna New England President and Chair of the Roundtable’s Ad Hoc Committee on Innovative Business Models Mark Butler convened a discussion this month on diversity & inclusion, as well as the impact of caregiving on the workforce. The discussion featured Elder Affairs Secretary Alice Bonner, Cigna Health Chief Diversity Officer David Figliuzzi and Alexandra Drane, Co-Founder of ARCHANGELS, Board Member of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Roundtable member companies including Consigli Construction, Winter Wyman, Eaton Vance Investment Counsel, Shire, KPMG, Deloitte, Dunkin’ Brands, and others highlighted specific strategies for expanding diversity in all its forms in their workplaces.

Members noted their talent attraction and retention initiatives that are adding diverse voices to their organizations. Some strategies include establishing advancement tracks to identify and promote talent; utilizing Employee Resource Groups; changing recruitment strategies to reach new talent; encouraging “courageous conversations” as well as taking note of “blind spots” and seeking out opportunities to learn about different cultures. Members also noted the impact on productivity that caregiving is having in the workplace. Data from MassTech show that more than 800,000 workers in Massachusetts are providing some form of care to a family member and those numbers will increase based on changing demographics.  

Secretary Bonner highlighted MassOptions, as well as other state and federal resources available to help caregivers. She also noted the work of Governor Baker’s Council to Address Aging (/ The Roundtable’s Ad Hoc Committee on Innovative Business Models will use the experiences and insights from its members to develop guiding principles and policy priorities for the new legislative session that begins in January 2019.

Roundtable & Workforce Solutions Group Team Up for Successful Jobs & Workforce Summit Governor Charlie Baker keynoted the 9th Annual Statewide Jobs & Workforce Development Summit at Devens. The Summit also highlighted Roundtable organizations and executives serving on panels and as sponsors including Google, Deloitte, Eastern Bank, Verizon, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology and the University of Massachusetts.

The Roundtable hosted the Summit again this year as part of the Workforce Solutions Group, a coalition of business, community and labor organizations dedicated to advancing workforce training and skills building solutions that lead to jobs. This year's theme, "Fast Forward: Preparing the Workforce of the Future" put a spotlight on the skills needed to compete in a global economy, and how employers and policy makers are working together to meet talent needs. The 2018 Summit attracted business, labor and education leaders to share best practices, highlight statewide labor and credential needs, as well as higher education initiatives, and career pathways for young adults.

Senator Jason Lewis and Representative Paul Brodeur were honored with this year’s “Legislators of the Year” award for their commitment and leadership on workforce development solutions.

MBR Sponsors STEM Summit November 14th in WorcesterRegister today for the Massachusetts STEM Summit 2018—Pipelines to Prosperity. Roundtable member companies are featured throughout this year’s STEM Summit, the premier STEM event in Massachusetts. Through panel presentations, exhibits, and networking, attendees will share stories and models of measurable success along the various stages of the pipeline. The November 14th Summit will once again provide a venue for learning and collaboration among educators, workforce professionals, business leaders, policymakers, and other active participants in the STEM movement.

The Summit continues to be hosted by the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council, and the UMass Donahue Institute and supported by generous contributions from a broad array of public and private organizations invested in the economic vitality of the state, including businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, and non-profit entities. Register today.

Roundtable Joins Coalition Promoting Reasonable Immigration Policies
With strong support from members during the September Board of Directors meeting and unanimous support from the MBR Executive Committee earlier this month, the Roundtable agreed to join the Massachusetts Business Immigration Coalition (MBIC), which will address issues of immigration both on the state and federal levels. The Roundtable believes in diversity, equity and fairness in the workplace. At the core of that principle are immigrants, working in every industry sector and living in every region of the Commonwealth.

MBIC “brings together business leaders from across our Commonwealth to promote policies that support sustained prosperity; ensures that companies have the talent they need at all skill levels; and facilitates the integration of immigrants into our economy as workers, consumers, entrepreneurs and citizens.” The Coalition will feature business and community leaders calling for “reasonable policies from the federal, to the state, to the local level that recognize the importance of immigrants, and the need to invest in programs that support effective integration.”

Roundtable Supports Digital Innovation Grant
The Roundtable issued a letter detailing its strong support for Commonwealth Corporation’s application to Strada’s "Innovative Solutions in Education-to-Employment" grant competition. Commonwealth Corporation, which manages the Workforce Training Fund and Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund, is a major workforce partner with the Roundtable and its members to ensure that Massachusetts continues to have the talented workers employers need.

The grant application comes out of the work of Governor Baker’s Commission on Digital Innovation and Lifelong Learning, which is focused on creating new digital credentials specifically targeted to help employers address skills gaps, employee turnover, and employee shortages.

READ Letter of Support

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

Roundtable Member RSM Releases Middle Market Report
The middle market economy remained robust in the third quarter of 2018, signaling a period of sustained economic growth heading into the final three months of the year and 2019. According to Roundtable member RSM’s Quarterly Middle Market Business Index (MMBI), strong net earnings, revenue, employment and pricing were reported by middle market executives polled during survey period. The MMBI also suggest that policymakers at the Federal Reserve should proceed cautiously on interest rate hikes. While the economy and the middle market are sturdy enough to absorb rate hikes in September and December, by midyear 2019 Fed policy could become restrictive ahead of an impending decline in fiscal outlays one year from now. This may create the conditions for unwinding the economic strength that has characterized the middle market since 2014. READ Report.

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

#InTheNews: Thomas A. Croswell, of Lexington, president and CEO of roundtable member @TuftsHealthPlan will be honored as a Hero in Health Care by VNA Health. READ more >

The Roundtable supports #YesOn3 @Freedom_Mass #MaPoli #mabiz. READ more >

#InTheNews: Roundtable member @SantanderBankUS celebrated the official re-opening of its flagship branch today following a redesign project that has transformed the space into a state-of-the-art destination in the heart of Boston's Financial District. READ more >

#InTheNews: In a featured video, Mike Peck from Roundtable member @GDMS Land Systems tours the Griffin III, the latest in a series of GDLS demonstrator vehicles for the Army. READ more >

This November, the Roundtable supports #YesOn3 @Freedom_Mass  and #NoOn1 @MAPatientSafety  #mabiz READ more >

#InTheNews: Roundtable member @SuffolkBuilds will lead construction of the Winthrop Square towers, two high-rise towers spanning a combined 1.56 million square feet, that will be located in downtown Boston. READ more >

The Roundtable is pleased to be a partner in this effort. Thank you, @MassLtGov @KarynPolito, for your leadership! #MassSTEMWeek #STEM READ more >

Great read in @BostonMagazine about Roundtable Chair Bob Rivers @rfrivers64 CEO of @easternbank 

The Roundtable is pleased to welcome several new followers on Twitter. Please consider following them.

Jess Beeson Tocco  @JessBTocco ‏ 
Stephanie Murray  @StephMurr_Jour ‏ 
Adrian Madaro  @adrianmadaro ‏ 
Miriam Posner  @miriamkposner 
Mass. Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA)  @DTA_Listens 
Alex Schuman  @SchumanValueAdd 
Clean Energy Venture Group  @CEVentureGroup 

In this issue
Roundtable Supports Yes on 3, No on 1 Campaigns on Statewide Ballot Questions
Roundtable Committee Addresses Workforce Issues—Diversity & Inclusion, Caregiving
Roundtable & Workforce Solutions Group Team Up for Successful Jobs & Workforce Summit
MBR Sponsors STEM Summit November 14th in Worcester
Roundtable Joins Coalition Promoting Reasonable Immigration Policies
Roundtable Supports Digital Innovation Grant
Going Around the Table
What's News on Twitter
Upcoming events
Board Meeting
December 12, 2018
8:00–9:30 am
Blue Cross Blue Shield
101 Hungtington Ave., Boston

For members only

Hot links
Roundtable 2018 Legislative Session Summary
Roundtable Member List 2018
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BRT on Diversity & Inclusion
BRT on Immigration
BRT on Sustainability

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