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APRIL 2021



Dear Roundtable Members,

Now over a year since the start of the pandemic, it is still apparent that the future of work is continuing to evolve. Nonetheless, a recent Roundtable Open Forum proved positive that as we experiment in these times, members benefit from learning from peers and sharing best practices and new approaches.

Thank you to everyone for joining and contributing to a very engaging Open Forum on April 21st featuring preliminary results from the Roundtable’s Future of Work & Competitiveness survey conducted and presented by McKinsey & Company. A special thank you to Lucy Perez, Roundtable member and Senior Partner at McKinsey, and her team for leading on this work. The conversation throughout the Open Forum was so engaging and demonstrated the value of these convenings for our members as well as staff—taking data to determine how we can shape and influence policy to make it easier for employers to grow and residents to thrive in Massachusetts.

Now the work is just getting started! As we finalize the data, MBR staff will be engaging the Competitiveness Task Force to identify and develop public policy recommendations as we strive for achieving to renewed opportunity, improved equity, and enhanced competitiveness by working collaboratively with members and stakeholders to strengthen the state’s economy.

Best,
JD

MBR Co-Sponsors Upcoming STEM SummitMBR joins the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council and the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute for the annual STEM Summit scheduled for Thursday, May 6th. This year’s theme is “Inspire a STEM Start,” featuring remarks by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and live panel discussions on exciting STEM topics for employers to engage with STEM leaders from across the Commonwealth. The virtual platform will also feature OnDemand content and toolkits for employers and all attendees to access. Throughout the day, attendees will have the opportunity to hear inspiring perspectives and stories from individuals across the Commonwealth—including some Roundtable members!—who have persevered through the past year while continuing to promote STEM opportunities. For questions and general information about the event, please contact StemSummitInfo@donahue.umassp.edu.

REGISTER and get more information

Google and MBR Co-Author Op-Ed on Closing Digital Skills Gap

After more than a year since the start of the pandemic, it has become increasingly clear that closing the digital skills gap needs to be a continued priority of the Roundtable and across the Commonwealth. JD Chesloff of MBR joined Elizabeth Schwab of Google to co-author an op-ed featured in the Boston Business Journal to underscore the inequities that long existed prior to the pandemic yet uncovered even more significantly as a result of the pandemic and new school and work environments. Calling for both public and private sector solutions, the op-ed highlighted examples by member companies including Google, Comcast, Verizon, and General Dynamics. MBR is actively engaged on this topic through its leadership in the Workforce Solutions Group and serving on the Board Directors and Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education.

READ the op-ed in the Boston Business Journal.

Joint Statement by MBR Staff following the Minnesota v. Chauvin verdict
Following the announcement of the Minnesota v. Chauvin verdict, MBR released a joint statement from staff on the news:

“We hope that this verdict is a step towards bringing justice for the late George Floyd and his family, nearly a year after the world witnessed his horrific killing. We also hope this powerful moment in history sends a message that Black lives do matter and injustices against Black lives will not be tolerated.

This verdict is pivotal and hopefully a turning point in our country, but it does not put an end to the work that needs to continue to fight discrimination in all its forms. Over this past year, far too many incidences have sparked a much needed and long overdue awakening following centuries of racial injustice and discrimination in our country. We have all been reminded to look inward and be receptive to learning and understanding; we must continue to build on this and do better, holding ourselves and each other accountable. The Massachusetts Business Roundtable is committed to staying engaged in standing up for justice, against discrimination, and being Anti-Racist allies within our workplaces and communities.”

MBR Convenes Open Forum in Support of AAPI Community
As part of the Roundtable’s bi-weekly Open Forum series for member companies, MBR convened a session dedicated to understanding the pervasive and deep-rooted discrimination the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has faced for centuries. A special thank you to: Dr. Paul Watanabe, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute for Asian America Studies at UMass Boston; Representative Tackey Chan (D-Quincy) of the Massachusetts House of Representatives; Sam Hyun, Chair of the Massachusetts Asian American Commission; Grace Lee, Roundtable Member, and Senior Vice President and Director of Government Banking at People’s United Bank; and Karan Dyson, Roundtable Member, Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force and Vice President of Global Process and Engineering at Procter & Gamble. In case you missed this, Katelyn Hamilton recaps the session in this blog post.

READ Open Forum blog

MBR Joins Massachusetts Coalition on Skills
The Massachusetts Business Roundtable joined over 20 business organizations this month for the release of the Massachusetts Business Coalition on Skills Agenda. The agenda captures recommendations from the business community to advance job training and cultivate talent, especially in support of long-term workforce development strategies.

READ the full agenda.

Roundtable Highlights New Members
MBR is excited to introduce new Board Members and highlight changes and additions in Board leadership among some existing members. Please join us in welcoming these new members to the Roundtable! You’ll see their names in future virtual meetings, but in the meantime, consider making connections on LinkedIn (hyperlinked below). MBR staff would also be more than happy to facilitate introductions upon requests as well.

Company

Board Member

Title

Alkermes Katie Joyce Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Amazon Christina Fisher Public Policy Manager, Northeast
Berkshire Health Systems David Phelps CEO
Care.com Bryan Jamele Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy
Citizens Bank Lisa Murray Senior Vice President & Team Leader Northern New England Professionals and Not for Profit
Global Atlantic Financial Group Justin MacNeil Managing Director
Greylock Federal Credit Union John Bissell President & CEO
Hollister Institute Kip Hollister Founder & Chief Executive Officer
MassDevelopment Dan Rivera President & CEO
National Grid John O’Brien Interim VP Corporate Affairs New England
New Balance Joe Preston President & CEO
Unistress Perri Petricca President
     
     

 

Next Roundtable Open Forum to Feature Policy Discussion with BECMA
Join us on May 5th for MBR’s next Open Forum featuring the Executive Director of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA), Segun Idowu. Building on MBR’s Principles and Priorities for the 2021–2022 Legislative Session, this Open Forum will be an opportunity to learn more about BECMA, its policy agenda, and opportunities to collaborate in elevating shared priorities. BECMA’s mission is to advance the economic well-being of Black businesses as well as organizations that serve the Black community and Black residents of Massachusetts. In case you missed the email and calendar invite for May 5th from 12:00–1:00 PM, you can RSVP directly to Katelyn Hamilton.

 
Interested in Supporting Women’s Advancement in the Workplace? MBR Is Looking to Hear from You!
The Roundtable is collaborating with The Commonwealth Institute (TCI) for the launch of their Women’s Leadership Development in Massachusetts Impact Study. As you may recall, TCI originally launched its research in 2020 but due to the pandemic, we are re-launching this effort on May 5th at 9:00 AM to hear directly from employers to gain a broader baseline of data for the initiative moving forward. The study relies on an anonymous survey of companies focused on efforts to support and provide professional development opportunities for women. TCI will then use the survey responses to assess program effectiveness and better understand what’s working (and how it can be scaled or reinforced), what’s not working (so that more impactful solutions can be implemented), and what the gap is in areas that need to be addressed. If you’re interested in joining us for the launch on May 5th from 9:00–10:00 AM, please email Katelyn Hamilton for more details.
 
EY Boston Announces Program to Attract Neuro-Diverse Talent
During Autism Acceptance Month, Roundtable member EY announced the expansion of their Neuro-Diverse Centers of Excellence (NCoE) to Boston. With approximately 85% of autistic adults unemployed or underemployed in the U.S., EY has designed these centers to reduce the significant employment roadblocks faced by people experience neurodiversity while also enhancing workforce ability and supporting clients in accelerating technology processes and solutions and meeting the changing demands for jobs, tasks and skills—such as intelligent automation, blockchain, cybersecurity, cloud optimization, true data science and analytics. As part of the launch in Boston, Executive Committee member Jane Steinmetz shared that “the Boston NCoE will not only transform the way we help our clients across New England, but it underscores our deep commitment to diversity, inclusiveness and opportunity for all.” READ more about EY’s launch in the Boston Globe.
 


MBR and Roundtable Members Celebrate Earth Day
MBR along with Roundtable members celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd by participating in events and sharing commitments on investing in a clean future for the Commonwealth. Lauren Jones of MBR joined a panel hosted by the Environmental League of Massachusetts on Climate & the Economy. Many member companies also shared statements to celebrate Earth Day! For examples, check out statements shared by members companies including Ørsted, National Grid, Eversource, Siemens, Avangrid, and First Light Power. VIEW panel discussion.

Comcast announced it has equipped 28 nonprofits across Massachusetts with WiFi-connected “Lift Zones.”
The free WiFi coverage provided by Comcast at these community centers is expected to help hundreds of low-income students get online and do their schoolwork. This announcement marks Comcast’s continuation of their commitment to connecting low-income families to the internet so that they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy. READ more about Comcast’s Lift Zones. READ more about Comcast’s Lift Zones.

Care.com CEO Emphasizes Caregiving and Mental Health Among Employee Benefits in Harvard Business Review
Increasing employee supports on mental health and behavioral health services in the workplace was among priorities presented in MBR’s Principles & Priorities for the 2021–22 Legislative Session. Roundtable member Care.com has provided evidence to exactly why the mental health of employees should be a priority within the business community. Tim Allen, new CEO of Care.com, announced in April the release of The Future of Benefits, sharing what employee benefits companies plan to keep, get rid of, add, and expand as a result of lessons learned during the crisis. Among takeaways? Mental health of employees and their families is essential. ACCESS the full report.

MAY 5
Open Forum: 
Join Roundtable members for the next Open Forum on May 5th from Noon–1:00 PM featuring the Executive Director of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA), Segun Idowu. Building on MBR’s Principles and Priorities for the 2021–2022 Legislative Session, this Open Forum will be an opportunity to learn more about BECMA, its policy agenda, and opportunities to collaborate in elevating shared priorities. BECMA’s mission is to advance the economic well-being of Black businesses as well as organizations that serve the Black community and Black residents of Massachusetts. In case you missed the email and calendar invite for May 5th from Noon–1:00 PM, you can RSVP directly to Katelyn Hamilton.

MAY 5
TCI 2021 Study Launch: The Commonwealth Institute originally launched its research in 2020 but due to the pandemic, TCI in collaboration with the Roundtable, Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, and AIM, is re-launching the Women’s Leadership Development in Massachusetts Impact Study on May 5th. This is an opportunity to anonymously share how your company is supporting and providing professional development opportunities for women. If you’re interested in joining for the launch on May 5th from 9:00–10:00 AM, please email Katelyn Hamilton, for more details.

MAY 6
STEM Summit: Join MBR on May 6th for the Annual STEM Summit! Co-sponsored by the Roundtable in collaboration with the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council and the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute, this year’s theme is “Inspire a STEM Start” and will include live panel discussions on exciting STEM topics, OnDemand content and toolkits, and the opportunity to engage with STEM leaders from across the Commonwealth. Throughout the day, attendees will have the opportunity to hear inspiring perspectives and stories from individuals across the Commonwealth who have persevered through the past year, while continuing to promote STEM opportunities. For more information and to register, view event site. For questions and general information about the event, please contact StemSummitInfo@donahue.umassp.edu.

MAY 19
Open Forum:
 Save the Date! MBR will host another Open Forum on May 19th from Noon–1:00 PM with more details to come. 

MAY 26
Kids in Tech Webinar: MBR is co-sponsoring the fourth webinar on “The Future of Work” as part of the “Beyond the Microscope” STEM/ STEAM series hosted by Kids in Tech on May 26th from Noon–1:30 PM. This session will explore how advancements in technology are shaping the future of work and how STEAM education can equip us to exist and advance in this new environment. Learn more and and register.

Massachusetts, other states need to increase spending for preschools, report says. Boston Globe. Featuring JD Chesloff of MBR (April 18, 2021)

Greylock FCU Joins Chamber’s Supplier Diversity Program. Banker & Tradesman. Featuring Roundtable member John Bissell of Greylock Federal Credit Union (April 16, 2021)

The Future of Work: Telecommuting will make Boston share the wealth. Boston Globe. Featuring JD Chesloff of MBR and data and insights from Roundtable members including MITRE, Northeastern University, McKinsey & Company, Loomis Sayles (April 16, 2021)

Op-ed: Making digital resources accessible for all. Boston Business Journal. Co-Authored by Roundtable member Elizabeth Schwab of Google and JD Chesloff of MBR (April 15, 2021)

Quality child care key to America’s economic recovery. Boston Herald. Authored by Nancy Huntington Stager of Eastern Bank and Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation.

Boston employers are embarking on a grand experiment by shifting their offices to a hybrid modelBoston Globe. Featuring JD Chesloff of MBR (April 28, 2021)

BRT Statement on White House Call to Action on Vaccination

BRT Statement on Minnesota v. Chauvin Verdict

 

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