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JANUARY 2021



Dear Roundtable Members,

Ten years ago, Chris Kealey was hired to be the Roundtable’s Deputy Director. Over that time, Chris has been an integral part of the Roundtable family and an invaluable partner to me. While his accomplishments are far too numerous to list here, his work and the professionalism he brought to it, combined with the quality of his character, have contributed to the Roundtable’s growth and success and for that I, and the organization, are eternally grateful.

As Chris embarks on a new opportunity with our friends at the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, I hope you will join me in conveying thanks to him for a job well done.

Best,
JD

Roundtable Convenes Task Forces to Develop Top Public Policy Principles & Priorities The Roundtable convened its CEO and senior business leader members to develop a set of policy principles and priorities that will guide MBR’s advocacy during the 2021-22 legislative session. MBR engages its member companies, as well as subject-matter experts from member companies. These virtual conversations with task forces and ad hoc committees featured leading voices in the following key priority areas:

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion     
  • Energy       
  • Competitiveness   
  • Health Care         
  • Education & Workforce Development  
  • Transportation & Housing         
  • Ad Hoc Committee on Innovation and Caregiving   

There is still time for executives and other experts from MBR companies to weigh in regarding the Roundtable’s policy priorities. If you or a member of your team is interested in engaging on any of the topics listed above, please email Katelyn Hamilton.

Roundtable Launches 2021 Open Forums Beginning with Four Legislative Leaders on Key End-of-Session Bills

The Roundtable convened its first Open Forum in 2021 featuring briefings on four major pieces of legislation that passed at the end of the legislative session earlier this month from the people who negotiated them. The flurry of activity included major legislation on issues that are priorities for Roundtable members: Economic Development; Climate Change; Health Care; and Transportation Financing.

Roundtable members engaged in conversation with legislators who were chief negotiators in the conference committees that developed these bills:

Special thanks to the legislative leaders for engaging with Roundtable members on these priority issues. Members of the Roundtable are encouraged to save the following dates for upcoming Open Forums:

Wednesday, January 27, 12:00–1:00 p.m. | The Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout and Employer Best Practices
This meeting will feature a presentation from McKinsey and an Open Forum conversation where Roundtable members can share their experiences, questions and best practices with each other on their roles and responsibilities regarding the covid-19 vaccine.

Wednesday, February 3, 12:00–1:00 p.m. | Increasing Supplier Diversity through the Pacesetters Program
This meeting will provide information on how Roundtable members can increase their supplier diversity by engaging in the Pacesetters program, in collaboration with the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. It will also include an Open Forum conversation among Roundtable members to share successful strategies around improving supplier diversity.

Wednesday, February 10, 12:00–1:00 p.m | Creating a Diverse STEM Pipeline with STEM Starter Academy
The Roundtable has been instrumental in developing the STEM Starter Academy, a state program that provides intensive STEM training at community colleges. This meeting will present a report of the program’s impact and identify ways for Roundtable members to recruit STEM talent through the program.

Roundtable Welcomes New Member Melanie Goins, General Counsel, Care.com
The Roundtable is pleased to welcome as a new member, Melanie Goins, who serves as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Care.com. In this capacity, she oversees all legal matters for Care.com, advancing business objectives while encouraging a culture of legal compliance. Melanie manages an in-house team that supports the company’s product, technology and safety teams and advises on corporate, transactional and litigation matters, and she provides comprehensive legal analysis and strategic advice to the executive team.

Melanie’s appointment marked her return to Care.com where she had been a key member of the legal team during her tenure from 2012 to late 2018, serving most recently as Associate General Counsel. From August 2018 through April 2019, Melanie served as General Counsel for Catalant Technologies, a SaaS platform that enables companies to transition to an agile operating model.

Previously, Melanie practiced at WilmerHale from 2007-12. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2007 and her A.B. from Harvard University in 2002. Melanie serves as Chairwoman of the education non-profit Breakthrough Greater Boston, which prepares low-income students for success in college and trains the next generation of urban teachers.

"It is a true gift to have found a loving, nurturing caregiver for our two sons. She creates space for my husband and me to juggle all that our busy lives bring and is an integral part of our family. I am inspired to help make Care.com the best resource for the millions of families who hope to find the same."

READ full biorgraphy

Roundtable partners with Boston Chamber and Member Companies to Promote Supplier Diversity through Pacesetters Program
The Roundtable is proud to be a business association partner with the Boston Chamber Pacesetter’s program. Pacesetters understands the economic case for inclusion by increasing supplier diversity spend across local, state and national partnerships with businesses of color. Through the Pacesetters program, procurement practices emerge as an equity tool and a runway for action on creating systemic and economic opportunity. To learn how to get involved with Pacesetters, visit bostonchamber.com.

Celebrating a Champion for Early Education & Care
MBR Executive Director JD Chesloff authored a post on the Strategies for Children blog honoring and celebrating the contributions of House Speaker Robert DeLeo as a legislative champion for early education and care in the Commonwealth. Roundtable members adopted as a business imperative and top policy priority strengthening the early education & care workforce and system, which is a key enabler of the Massachusetts economy and provides critical early learning opportunities for young children across the state.

Highlighting Speaker DeLeo’s passion on this issue, the post notes the important role the Speaker played in building a solid grassroots coalition that included leaders from the business community. The state has made significant strides by increasing investments and strengthening the early childhood education workforce. The Roundtable is grateful for Speaker DeLeo’s leadership and collaboration.

Excerpt from the post:  
With the data and research compiled, the early education and care field mobilized, and Speaker DeLeo as the champion, investments in the early education and care system began to multiply: tens of millions of dollars in funding to stabilize providers, focus on building a professional workforce development system, and a long-term commitment to high-quality programming. Even in the face of Covid-19, the Speaker maintained his steadfast support, which resulted in tens of millions of additional dollars to save an industry ravaged by the pandemic. Just before leaving office, he established an Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission to ensure bold investments can continue, especially for programs serving the most vulnerable children and families. And a coalition of business leaders is forming to continue the Speaker’s vision of an active business voice supporting early education and care. The impact of his leadership will last for generations to come.

READ full post

Early Education & Care Survey Results

Thank you to the many Roundtable members who contributed to two important surveys over the past few weeks, one on the Child Care Needs of Employees and the other regarding Trends in Remote Work. The results of both are below.

Regarding Child Care
We had 420 respondents, with good geographic and industry representation, as well as a variety of employer sizes. Here is a summary of key findings:


The information from this survey will be used to help inform the agenda and activities of the newly forming Business Coalition on Early Childhood Education, which is set to launch next month. The Governor’s office and Department of Early Education and Care are also using it in their planning, and we will be sharing with legislative leaders as well. We will also be presenting it to some early childhood coalitions to determine areas where the business community and early childhood stakeholders can work together.

Regarding Remote Work
This was led by the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership and included 122 employers from across the state representing more than 130,000 employees. Here is a summary of key findings, that will help the business community identify priorities and define an agenda for the coming year:

The good news: Employers estimate that their employment levels will return to 97% of their pre-COVID levels sometime after January 2022 and expect 81% of the workforce to be back on-site through 2022.

These surveys provide an important vehicle for Roundtable members to have their voice heard and impact public policy, a key element of our value proposition. Thank you for offering your insights and expertise in so many ways throughout the year.


 

Immigration Reforms & the Importance of Immigrants to the State & National Economy
By Juan Lopera, Tufts Health Plan Foundation and Aixa Beauchamp, Beauchamp & Associates

With the beginning Biden Administration starting this month, there promises to be a more open approach to immigration, including advocating for a pathway to citizenship and fewer restrictions on the program for highly skilled foreign workers. Both of these actions will continue creating jobs and prosperity for everyone. However, the responsibility to act does not only fall to the federal government. Here in Massachusetts, we have long standing policies that make it harder for immigrants to live and work in our commonwealth.

Immigrants are a significant part of the Massachusetts workforce–1 in 5 workers are foreign-born. In Massachusetts, much like the rest of the United States, immigrants are more likely to be working-age than their U.S.-born counterparts, with over 79% of the immigrant population in the 16-64 age group. This means immigrants are more likely to be active in the labor force, allowing them to contribute to the economy both as consumers and taxpayers and helping fund social services and programs like Medicare and Social Security.

There are two pieces of legislation in Massachusetts that address this issue. First is the Safe Communities Act and Work and Family Mobility Act. The Safe Communities Act draws a clear line between public safety and health and immigration enforcement, thus helping to ensure that police and court officials do not actively contribute to deportations. It sends a strong message to immigrants that they can safely seek the health care services they need, particularly at a time when public health is threatened by COVID-19.
 
The other is the Work and Family Mobility Act, which enables all state residents to apply for a driver’s license, regardless of immigration status. Even before COVID-19, public transit was not a viable option for a large share of the state’s population, due in large part to limited routes and schedules. Driving to work, running an errand, taking your child to the doctor, or buying groceries for your family should not put anyone at risk of arrest, detention, or deportation.

In addition, providing support to community organizations and small businesses owned by people of color and immigrants should be prioritized, or else large numbers may not survive the pandemic.

Immigrants contribute to the economy in many ways and they are integral parts of their communities. As a commonwealth, we are only as strong as the most vulnerable among us.

 
Federal Reserve Hosts Third Forum on Racism and the Economy
The third installment of the Federal Reserve Bank’s webinar series on Racism and the Economy focused on issues related to the structural racism encountered in the education field. The day’s conversations centered around the overall practicality and effectiveness offered by proposals to address implicit bias, provide supports for families with young children, and create a civil right to a quality public education. To view a recording of the event and find additional resources about the role of race in education and other focus policy areas please check out the Federal Reserve’s Racism and the Economy website
.

 


Job Opportunities at Roundtable Member Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
Founded in 1908, the college offers certificates of proficiency and associate and bachelor’s degrees in science and technology and is located in the South End, one of Boston’s most vibrant neighborhoods. 

Deeply rooted in their mission of preparing students for careers in industrial and engineering technologies, Roundtable member Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is seeking qualified candidates for various administrative, professional, and academic positions. If are interested in learning more about these positions visit bfit.edu/about-us/work.

 

 

BRT on Inauguration of 46th President

BRT Announces Board of Directors

BRT on Covid-19

Thanks for the informative briefing to Roundtable members today @tomtipagolden @EricLesser @CindyFriedmanMA @joeboncore on the major legislation passed at the end of last session. We are grateful for your leadership and partnership. #mapoli #mabiz

"We need to confront the fact that we as a society do not value all children equally." –Geoffrey Canada  @hczorg delivering the keynote address during the third installment of #RacismandtheEconomy #FederalReserve

My New Op-ed: In 2020, Mass. Latinos grew in visibility, influence as part of the new majority. But for our economy to recover & thrive, our leaders must prioritize Latino representation & full economic participation. bizjournals.com/boston/news/2021/01/04/op-ed-mass-latinos-grow-in-influence-as-part-of.html via  @BosBizJournal & @elplanetaboston  READ more

We're excited to share that we've signed on to be a business association partner of the @bostonchamber #Pacesetters program! Join us as we help close the racial wealth gap & eliminate systemic barriers to wealth building opportunities.

 

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