JUNE 2019
around the table
Executive Director's Message
Dear Members,

Thanks to all the members who joined us for the Roundtable’s annual meeting this month, as well as special thanks to Deloitte for hosting and Dr. Michael Goodman for leading a great discussion on the economic outlook for Massachusetts. As we do each year following the Annual Meeting, MBR staff are connecting with members one-on-one this summer to learn about trends in your industry, your views on the economy, and how we can continue to improve and provide value for your Roundtable membership. We are grateful for your time and engagement, which makes MBR a more effective and responsive organization.

I want to take a moment to recognize and thank our dear friend, Rick Lord, who retired from AIM. Rick showed us all how it’s done, and I look forward to our continued partnership with AIM and wish John Regan the very best in his new role.

Have a great summer!


Roundtable Annual Meeting Features Discussion on Uncertain Economic Outlook in Massachusetts
Highlighting demographic challenges, regional economic disparities, a growing skills gap and increasing income inequality, Dr. Michael Goodman, Economist and Executive Director of the Public Policy Center at UMass Dartmouth, led a conversation with business leaders about the state’s economic outlook during uncertain times. Members engaged in a detailed discussion about the demographic data and workforce challenges that are facing industries across the Commonwealth.

The Roundtable Board also voted unanimously to fill several open positions on the MBR Executive Committee. Congratulations to Jaime Paris Boisvert, General Manager, Boston Region, Siemens, Mary Anne Heino, CEO, Lantheus Medical Imaging and Kevin McGovern, Managing Partner, Deloitte. Congratulations to our new Executive Committee members!

VIEW Dr. Goodman's presentation

State Adopts Three Month Paid Family Leave Collections Extension Requested by Business, Community Groups
The Roundtable worked collaboratively with several business groups, members of RaiseUP MA, as well as leaders from the legislative and executive branches of state government to successfully push for a three month extension in the collections for the new paid family & medical leave law. State leaders adopted legislation authorizing the three month extension of collections set to begin July 1st and several other changes to the law the Roundtable believes are necessary to ensure a smooth rollout of the new benefits program.
In addition to the extension, the amendments will provide greater clarity for employers, insurance providers (developing products for employers), employees applying for leave covered by the new law, and health care providers certifying the need for leave. These clarifying amendments help align core principles of the Massachusetts paid family and medical leave law with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a key principle cited by Roundtable members to aid in the implementation of the new statute, especially for large multi-state employers.
The Roundtable expresses its deep appreciation to the Baker-Polito Administration, Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, as well as legislative and executive branch leaders for their responsiveness to concerns raised by the coalition of business and community groups. MBR will continue to work with the state toward the successful implementation of paid family and medical leave, which employees can begin to access in January 2021. Special thanks to Roundtable member companies for sharing their expertise and ideas throughout this process.

READ updated Guidance from State DFML | VIEW more information

MBR Joins Coalition Supporting Transportation Climate Initiative
The Roundtable joined a group of five diverse Massachusetts organizations in supporting the regional Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) offering its collective assistance to the Baker Administration to help design, implement and monitor the new program. United by the once-in-a-generation opportunity to modernize and decarbonize our transportation system, a unique alliance was built with the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Ceres, the Environmental League of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation to jointly craft a letter to Governor Baker.

The group expressed support for the Commission on the Future of Transportation report, specifically the recommendation urging Governor Baker to pursue TCI, a cap-and-invest program that provides a regional approach to decrease transportation-sector emissions while generating revenue that could be reinvested in system improvements. If properly structured, TCI could achieve several goals concurrently: mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from transportation; investing in much-needed public transit; alleviating congestion; and generating a revenue stream to fund these and future transportation improvements. While TCI isn’t the solution to all of our transportation and climate problems, it is a proven and effective policy tool to move us toward a cleaner, less congested, more financially stable transportation system.

READ Globe story

MBR Convenes Discussion on Impact of Caregiving in the Workplace at Cigna Health
Roundtable Executive Committee member and Chair of the Ad Hoc Business Innovation Group Mark Butler, President, Cigna New England, convened a discussion this month on the impact of caregiving in the workplace with leaders from industry, government and higher education. Roundtable members participating in the discussion on best practices included UBS Financial, Dunkin’ Brands, Comcast, Partners Health Care, Beth Israel Lahey Health, MGH, BIDMC, MITRE Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, MassTech Collaborative, UMass Boston, as well as business leaders from, EMD Serono, Health Leads, Senior Link, ARCHANGELS, AARP and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

Meagan Bates Perry from EMD Serono gave a presentation on the company’s global initiative Embracing Carer, which “highlights the unmet needs of carers on a global and country level, empowers them to advocate for their own health and well-being, and drives calls to action for support of carers worldwide.” The initiative is making strides in raising awareness, promoting best practices at companies and integrating caregivers into the health care system. A representative from Massachusetts General Hospital noted its work with caregivers in oncology and recent data showing a reduction in hospital readmissions leading to reduced health care costs.

Robin Lipson and Amanda Bernardo from the state’s Elder Affairs Secretariat presented the latest information in its new Employer Toolkit, which includes an overview of working caregivers, employee questionnaires, action steps for employers to support caregivers and resources for family caregivers. There was also a discussion of the implications on financial planning and financial well-being during the meeting. Members shared their own personal stories and how employers are stepping up to support workers across all industries.

READ Mark Butler’s Caregiving Journey

Roundtable Testifies in Support of Career Technical Education Legislation
MBR Deputy Director Chris Kealey joined members of the Alliance for Vocational Technical Education and the Workforce Solutions Group testifying before the Joint Committee on Education this month in support of H.3756, a bill that would expand access to career technical education across the Commonwealth. MBR supports public policy solutions that create new pathways for students and workers to develop the skills needed to succeed in highly innovative industry-leading companies. The legislation also calls for data-driven solutions that will lead to better alignment with regional labor market needs, a key principle of the Roundtable’s statewide education and workforce development advocacy.    

Excerpt from the MBR Testimony
"The Roundtable supports expanding access to high quality career technical education schools through the passage of H.3756 because we believe these schools provide important pathways for students to develop the skills necessary to fill open jobs that are in high demand in industry sectors across the Commonwealth."

READ full testimony

Roundtable Members Participate in Talent & Apprenticeship Discussion with Apprenti
On June 12 the Roundtable hosted a Lunch & Learn featuring the Massachusetts Director of Apprenti, Lauren Jones. Roundtable members present included Citizens Bank, Delta Dental, General Dynamics Mission Systems, National Grid, Siemens, Shawmut Construction & Design and Tufts Health Plan.

The Roundtable continues to hear from members that they are facing a skills gap today and are increasingly having a hard time recruiting qualified candidates to fill open positions. This luncheon brought together employers and Apprenti around the table to discuss how workforce pipeline programs may be helpful in addressing talent acquisition issues. 

Apprenti serves as an intermediary between employers, training providers, talent and government. It is currently the only registered apprenticeship program that provides both technical and on-the-job training to help fill diverse tech related jobs in the state.

If you are interested in learning more about Apprenti or this luncheon, please contact Katelyn Hamilton, 617-728-0881.

Roundtable Partners with JFK Library on JFK Space Summit
The Roundtable partnered with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, among others, for an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo mission and the first moon landing.

As part of a year-long series honoring and celebrating President Kennedy’s leadership that guided us to the moon, the keynote address this month featured the Chairman, President & CEO of the Boeing Company, Dennis Muilenburg. 
He spoke about past, present, and future of international space travel and highlighted the economic impact and competitiveness among industry leaders that is producing jobs and new technologies across the country.

Throughout the address, Mr. Muilenburg emphasized the importance of investing in future generations through talent pipeline programs and STEM education in order to be able to continue pioneering space technology.

Sponsors and partners of this event included Roundtable members Comcast, Raytheon and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

LEARN more about President Kennedy’s legacy in space and the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

MBR Advocates Against Attempts to Alter Elements of “Grand Bargain” Compromise
The Roundtable teamed up with six business groups representing employers of all sizes across the state to advocate against legislation before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development that would undo key elements of the deal last year to avoid statewide ballot questions on paid leave, minimum wage and sale tax reduction. The business groups noted that while no organization at the table agreed with the entire package, the process with public and private leaders produced a compromise and a more balanced economic approach that should be respected.

Excerpt from the Letter
Last year, we joined with House and Senate leadership and with representatives of Raise Up Massachusetts to find a careful and balanced pathway forward that would remove from consideration three pending statewide ballot questions: a proposed $1 billion reduction in the sales tax; an increase of the state minimum wage to $15; and the Paid Family and Medical Leave proposal. An agreement coalesced around phasing-in a $15 minimum wage, creating a paid family and medical leave program, and codifying a permanent annual Sales Tax Holiday while phasing-out the premium pay requirements. Twelve months after reaching that significant agreement, we strongly urge that those commitments be honored and preserved, and we urge you to reject H.1593, S.1073 and S.1111.

READ Business Coalition letter

Roundtable Welcomes New Member Corey Johnson, Corporate Director, JBRI Holdings
The Roundtable is pleased to welcome new member, Corey Johnson Co-Founder and Corporate Director of JBRI Holdings, a control driven family office real-estate investment organization with holdings throughout the Northeast.

Mr. Johnson is Managing Director and Head of Telecommunications (Mobile, Internet & Cloud) at Cordiant Capital, a private capital organization with $1.6bn of assets under management. He is responsible for expanding the firm’s global presence and infrastructure investments in the sector. He specializes in identifying macro patterns to better understand how commercial models are evolving and will continue to develop through network investment cycles.

Prior to Cordiant Mr. Johnson was recruited to Comverse, a distressed publicly traded software company, to execute a $1bn global restructuring across 100 countries. Over the course of eighteen months as a Vice President in the finance organization, he supported the divestiture of half of Comverse to Amdocs, the acquisition of Acision to double the core of the new business and executed a $100m cost cutting program before selling the business for $600m. He managed teams in the United Kingdom, Israel, and the U.S.A. and oversaw sales operations across five global regions. Through the restructuring period and successful sale investors realized a 60% return.

Prior to Comverse Mr. Johnson worked at the U.S. Tower division of American Tower, which today is the largest Real Estate Investment Trust globally by enterprise value.  While at American Tower he supported $12B of tower transactions including the industry’s first ‘Aaa’ tower securitization.

Earlier in his career, during the credit collapse and recovery, Mr. Johnson worked in the Insurance & Banking Audit practice of PwC.  His work focused on fair value and companies executing on M&A and divestiture strategies.  He earned an M.B.A and a Master of Accounting from Bentley University while working at PwC.

Mr. Johnson received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Vermont, is a Certified Public Accountant, holds the Series 7, 63 and 79 and is an Eagle Scout.

MBR Workforce Partner Commonwealth Corporation Shares Results of Employer Survey on Entry-Level Skills Most Important to Businesses
Commonwealth Corporation recently surveyed more than 230 business across Massachusetts about the skills, knowledge and behaviors most important to businesses when entry-level workers present themselves for promotion or advancement. The goal was to help prepare young and entry-level workers to effectively navigate their careers, and also to help businesses retain and grow the talent they worked so hard to recruit. Key takeaways include:

  • Managers must be explicit about expectations and opportunities. Companies are clear about available growth opportunities and how to take advantage of them, but this implicit understanding is not necessarily communicated to workers. Managers should meet workers halfway regarding expectations and opportunities for advancement, offer information and guidance on steps to take, skills to acquire, and how skills are transferable.
  • Create time and space for conversations between managers and workers. Firms that expected managers, supervisors, and even owners to build relationships with new or early-career workers made a significant difference in creating an open and welcoming culture and in workers seeing a future for themselves at the company. Sharing career journeys with new workers provides vital context for entry-level workers to understand the trial and error involved in career growth.
  • Invest in systems that provide entry-level workers with the skills needed to advance. Let workers know if you have formal or informal training and technical advancement requirements, especially if you offer training or education opportunities in-house.
  • Train managers to capitalize on talent. Not all managers are taught how to recognize and capitalize on employees’ strengths or how to proactively talk to workers about advancement opportunities. Sometimes quiet or less outgoing individuals may be great workers who are passed over for those who are more forthcoming about their interest in moving up.
  • Make space for experimentation, creativity and problem solving. Supervisors of younger entry-level workers had to spend a lot of time reassuring them that it was OK to make a mistake and to take initiative. Being clear when it is safe to take initiative and try new approaches to a problem or task can help newer workers grow their confidence.

If your company is interested in learning more about ways to implement these strategies, please Connect with CommCorp. For more information, check out the report or new employer tip sheet

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

Roundtable Member Tufts Health Plan Employees Served Communities across New England during 11th Annual Volunteer Day
More than 1,000 Tufts Health Plan employees traveled across New England to serve local nonprofits as part of its 11th Annual Volunteer Day earlier this month.

Tufts Health Plan's mission is to improve the health and wellness of the diverse communities it serves. During Volunteer Day, employees showcased this commitment by giving back to the cities and towns where they live and work.
"Volunteering isn't just something we do; it's who we are," said Tom Croswell, Tufts Health Plan president and CEO. "I'm incredibly proud of our dedicated employees who are so committed to our members and our local communities each and every day."

Volunteers participated in a range of projects, including preparing meals for people with chronic illnesses, doing yard work, engaging older people in their choice of activities, sorting donated food, assembling books for people who are blind or visually impaired, setting up sites for summer camps, and more.

"Volunteer Day builds on the everyday work we do as a company to improve the health and wellness of the diverse communities we serve," said Nora Moreno Cargie, vice president of corporate citizenship for Tufts Health Plan and president of its Foundation. "We support and encourage employees to be engaged in community to make a difference. And they do."

Tufts Health Plan employees completed about 3,000 service hours throughout the day in support of 36 nonprofits. The health plan, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, touches the lives of more than 1.16 members in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

Roundtable Member iRobot Leading 3rd Annual STEM Career Fair Sept. 26th at Fenway Park

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.

TwitterTweets you may have missed

”If the state wants to fulfill its constitutional needs to do more than spend. It also needs to ensure districts spend the money well, spend it where it’s needed—and produce results.” #FBRC #MAedu via @BostonGlobe READ Globe editorial

#InTheNews Roundtable Member @BerkshireBank just announced the launch of new “storefronts” in underserved areas. These locations will provide banking assistance and also offer free co-working and event space to the communities. #BusinessisGood #mabiz READ more

#InTheNews Roundtable Member @HillcrestEdCtrs highlights a program for students at #HillcrestAcademy, a therapeutic day school, to work in the their school store as a way to learn #softskills as they prepare to enter the adult world. LEARN more

Congratulations to our dear friend and colleague, Rick Lord, for an impactful and meaningful career @aimbusinessnews. Thanks for showing us how it’s done. #mabiz

#InTheNews Congratulations to Roundtable member @Consigli1905 on being named an @ENR_NE Top Contractor of the year! LEARN more about what earned them that recognition

#InTheNews Roundtable member Lantheus Medical Imaging just announced a strategic collaboration with NanoMab on the first broadly-available imaging biomarker research tool! Read more about this exciting collaboration and license agreement here #mabiz READ press release

#ICYMI: #InTheNews Congratulations to Roundtable member @CabotCorp who was just named a top 100 best corporate citizen by @3BLMedia #CRMagazine #mabiz

The Roundtable is pleased to welcome new followers on Twitter:
Kathleen Theoharides  @EEASecretary ‏ 
Southcoast Health  @SouthcoastHlth ‏ 
Carolyn Kirk  @ExecDirKirk ‏ 
Ann Klee   @ann_klee 
Camp Harbor View   @CampHarborView ‏ 
MassRobotics   @MassRobotics ‏ 
MassTLC  @MassTLC ‏ 

In this issue
Roundtable Annual Meeting Features Discussion on Uncertain Economic Outlook in Massachusetts
State Adopts Three Month Paid Family Leave Collections Extension Requested by Business, Community Groups
MBR Joins Coalition Supporting Transportation Climate Initiative
MBR Convenes Discussion on Impact of Caregiving in the Workplace at Cigna Health
Roundtable Testifies in Support of Career Technical Education Legislation
Roundtable Members Participate in Talent & Apprenticeship Discussion with Apprenti
Roundtable Partners with JFK Library on JFK Space Summit
MBR Advocates Against Attempts to Alter Elements of “Grand Bargain” Compromise
Roundtable Welcomes New Member Corey Johnson, Corporate Director, JBRI Holdings

MBR Workforce Partner Commonwealth Corporation Shares Results of Employer Survey on Entry-Level Skills Most Important to Businesses

Going Around the Table
What's News on Twitter
Upcoming events

MBR Board Meeting
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Noon-1:30 pm
Location TBD
Open to Roundtable Members Only

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