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MAY 2020


Dear Members,

Earlier this month, I was pleased to share with the Governor’s Reopening Advisory Board the thoughtful and responsible approach that Roundtable member companies are taking to safely reopen their businesses while protecting the safety of their employees and customers. MBR members are also stepping up to work collaboratively with the Administration on its phased reopening strategy by enabling employees to continue working remotely to ensure that social distancing and other safety measures are feasible in workplaces and the state’s transportation system is well prepared to handle increased demand.   

Thank you to Roundtable member CEOs and senior executives for your leadership, innovation, and cooperation to support workers and customers across a wide range of industries during these unprecedented times. We will get through this together!

Best,
JD

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito Announce Phased Reopening Plan
Informed by the work of the Reopening Advisory Board and guided by the latest data on public health, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito announced a comprehensive plan to reopen the state’s economy. The Roundtable presented the experiences from its member companies across the state with the Advisory Board earlier this month pledging to work collaboratively with the Administration and public leaders to ensure the safety of workers, customers and communities. The Administration provided detailed documents and business guidance outlining the key steps to safely reopen the economy.

READ full report

VIEW Business Guidance site | VIEW Reopening Massachusetts site

Roundtable Members Support Continuation of Work from Home Policies to Safely Reopen State’s Economy
Roundtable members from a wide range of industries across the state joined with the Baker-Polito Administration to announce that they will continue with work from home policies for the foreseeable future, which will provide added flexibility for their employees and increased capacity for social distancing on the public transportation system. The announcement included quotes from numerous Roundtable member CEOs and executives from among the largest employers in Massachusetts as part of their ongoing commitment to safely reopening of the state’s economy.

“I continue to be amazed by the ingenuity and toughness that the people of Massachusetts are displaying in this fight and these employers are taking the right steps to balance work and health,” said Governor Charlie Baker in a press release. “As Massachusetts businesses reopen, we are asking employers to continue to work from home when they can so that more social distancing remains possible in our transit system and in our workplaces. We are home to some of the smartest and most innovative economies in the world and I know we can and will rise to this challenge together.”

READ release

MBR Presents to Reopening Advisory Board Led by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff joined AIM President John Regan and MACP President Jay Ash for a joint presentation before the Baker-Polito Administration’s Recovery Advisory Board led by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. He shared a slide deck that featured a compilation of Roundtable members’ preparations for reopening, as well as national Business Roundtable guidance and best practices gathered from other state Roundtables. MBR noted that access to quality childcare is an essential component of any reopen strategy. Financial strategies and alignment with the state are necessary for a successful reopening of the childcare industry.

READ presentation | READ reopening report

 

 

Roundtable, Eastern Bank Advocate for Quality Early Education & Care as Key Enabler to Reopen Economy
The Roundtable is working with its national partners, employer members, as well as the Department of Early Education and Care in developing a detailed framework for successfully and sustainably reopening child care, a key enabler to jumpstarting the state’s economy. The Roundtable highlights four focus areas—Criteria and Protocols; Financing Strategies; Confidence in Safety; and Alignment with reopening strategies—and suggests priorities in each area. The Roundtable joined more than a dozen organizations signing a letter conveying to public leaders that, “No recovery will be successful if employees and working families do not have access to safe, affordable, high-quality child care for their children.”

MBR Chair Bob Rivers, Chair & CEO of Eastern Bank, advocated that Congressional leaders recognize the critical importance of early child care and learning to the American economy and urging they include at least $50 billion for the sector in upcoming federal stimulus packages. Chair Rivers also noted the importance of investing in a system “that can afford its workers greater economic security while guaranteeing families access to the quality care that they desire and deserve.”   

READ State Early Education Letter | READ Eastern Bank Letter

Roundtable Connects with Congressman Richard Neal on Key Priorities to Support Economic Recovery
During one of its Weekly Open Forums, Roundtable members had an opportunity to engage with Congressman Richard E. Neal, Chairman of the powerful Committee on Ways & Means and representing the First Congressional District in Massachusetts. Roundtable members highlighted several important priorities to help the nation’s economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Roundtable Chair Bob Rivers and MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff followed up that conversation with a letter advocating for key areas of focus in federal stimulus bills including:

  • Assistance for State Budget Relief
  • Adequate Funding for Child Care
  • Grants for Minority-Owned Small Business.
  • Additional Funding for Testing
  • Liability Protection

Special thanks to Congressman Neal for his accessibility, leadership, and collaboration with Roundtable member businesses across the Commonwealth.

READ letter

Massachusetts Caregiver Coalition Hosts First in New Series of Webinars to Support Family Caregivers
The Massachusetts Caregiver Coalition convened an event, “Supporting Family Caregivers During COVID-19”, a new webinar series designed to highlight the challenges facing more than 840,000 volunteer caregivers in Massachusetts. Special thanks to Roundtable members Cigna Health, EMD Serono, Seniorlink, Care.com, MassTech Collaborative and many partners in state government for a successful first webinar that shared important information and resources.

  • View the visual summary of the webinar conversation, illustrated live by Sketch Effect artist, Alejo Porras.
  • Learn more about the Massachusetts Caregiver Coalition. A new website dedicated to sharing resources and webinar content will be launching soon.
  • Register for the next webinar to take place Wednesday, May 27, 2:00-3:00pm ET. Topics and speakers to be announced.

If you have suggestions for future topics and speakers, or you just want to get someone from your organization more involved with the Coalition, please contact Chris Kealey.

Roundtable Weekly “Open Forums” Connect Public & Private Sector Leaders on COVID-19 Crisis Response
The Roundtable is hosting a weekly series of “Open Forum” calls with members to connect public and private sector leaders on the latest strategies and best practices to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic across the Commonwealth. Since March 18th, these remote forums have featured leaders from Congress, State Senate, State House of Representatives, Cabinet Secretaries, Public Health & Medical Professionals, Biotech Executives, Economists, the National Business Roundtable and MBR Members from diverse industries.

Last week’s Open Forum featured a discussion with former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift and national Roundtable Vice President Dane Linn on educational innovations, remote learning, and planning for the future of workforce development. The most recent Open Forum, in partnership with Roundtable member Bill Kennedy at Nutter, was a special opportunity for Roundtable members to participate in a webinar with Attorney General Maura Healey as she addressed issues and rights being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as initiatives of the National Association of Attorneys General.

If you have ideas for future Zoom forums, please reach out to Chris Kealey or Katelyn Hamilton.

Roundtable Member Care.Com Partners with Administration to Support Essential Workers, Families
Roundtable member Care.com, a world-leading platform for finding and managing high-quality family care, partnered with the Baker-Polito Administration to help solve the childcare crisis for essential workers, create jobs for unemployed educators and support the safe reopening of the state’s economy.

In a recent news announcement, the company noted that the partnership will help “match the demand for care among essential working families with the supply of early educators across the state now unemployed due to this health crisis. Care.com is providing free 90-day premium memberships to both groups of eligible families and early educators.”

READ release


Roundtable Member MassTech Collaborative Leads COVID-19 Manufacturing Emergency Response Team
Roundtable member Carolyn Kirk, Executive Director of the MassTech Collaborative, worked with a diverse group featuring “volunteers from university research-and-development and engineering departments, manufacturing companies, and health care institutions.” To establish the Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (M-ERT). The M-ERT quickly “mobilized to help Massachusetts-based manufacturers open up new supply chains to start producing materials needed to fight the epidemic.” READ more

Roundtable Member FirstLight Power on the Path to a Cleaner Energy Future
Along with its ability to store close to 9,000 megawatt-hours of electricity generated by offshore wind, solar, and other renewable resources–enough to keep the lights on for 300,000 New England homes for a day–Northfield Mountain is prized by the New England grid operator for its ability to generate emergency power in a matter of minutes. The National Hydropower Association’s “Path to Clean Energy” recently highlighted the critical role Northfield Mountain, and a second Western Massachusetts pumped-storage hydro facility, Bear Swamp, fulfilled this spring when a major nuclear power plant suddenly went offline. Thanks to the clean, abundant hydroelectric power these facilities could begin generating almost instantaneously, the Association noted, “the lights throughout the region didn’t even flicker.” As the editors write, not only is Northfield Mountain an important electric resource for maintaining grid reliability and providing substantial emergency reserves, “pumped storage hydropower is also used to smooth out variations in wind and solar generation. As New England transitions towards a clean energy economy, pumped storage hydropower will continue to be an essential resource to keep the lights on.” READ more

 

Roundtable Member Berkshire Bank Hosts Panel Discussion on More Equitable Economic System
Berkshire Bank invites people to join them on Friday, June 5, 4pm-5:30pm, for a robust panel discussion with leading economic experts, Members of Congress, Community Bank Executives, and more as we tackle the current crises and reimagine what a more equitable economic system could do to increase Latinx wealth and strengthen the community’s standing overall. Note that the panel is still in formation awaiting additional confirmation. Please RSVP here.

 

Babson College Webinar: How to Identify Oppotunity in Crisis
Even the most thoughtful plans and strategies must shift in crisis scenarios. Entrepreneurial leaders know that rather than be set back by these challenges, they convert these challenges into new opportunities. Learn how you can navigate crises in an entrepreneurial manner, find new market opportunities, and develop an entrepreneurial leadership style. In this webinar, Professor Phil Kim will discuss strategies for actively identifying opportunities in a crisis. LEARN more

 

 
BRT on Covid-19
BRT on Workplace Safety
BRT on Purpose of a Corporation
 

Special thanks to @TheSketchEffect for this great visual summary of the #SupportingCaregivers webinar this week!  READ more

"It is important that the public engages in reducing the stigma in asking for mental and behavioral health support especially during the time of #COVID19" –Dean Michelle Williams  @HarvardChanSPH #SupportingCaregivers

Op-Ed: Businesses are working together for the public good –@andrewdreyfus @JohnRRegan via @BosBizJournal  #mabiz  READ more

"It is clear that the time is now for meaningful action on early education and care." -@MA_Senate President @KarenSpilka speaking at @bostonchamber webinar #mapoli #mabiz

 Thanks to our great friends and partners for a timely and important conversation and to @RepJoeKennedy for your leadership! READ more

Thank you to to experts from Roundtable member @DeloitteUS for leading a discussion on how to plan for safely reopening the state’s economy during today's MBR Open Forum call!

 

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