GetMassWorking.org is an organization dedicated to solving the trade labor shortage crisis in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by reforming existing laws and regulations and expanding trades training and licensing opportunities.
With 30% of licensees approaching retirement age in the next 5-7 years and with each Journeyman or Master tradesperson only able to train 1 apprentice every 5 years on average, it is mathematically impossible to replace retiring licensees at a fast enough rate to support the demand.
Currently, and as a result of this shortage, graduating vocational students in Massachusetts, who are expecting to become apprentices, are unable to be matched with licensed counterparts. Every year fewer and fewer of those qualified to apprentice are able to find an apprenticeship. Even though the government has made vocational training a priority and funneled millions of dollars into education and training, they have failed to balance the other side of the equation with common sense licensing that gets people working. We aim to change this.
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We seek to build a broad coalition of trade workers, government and industry associations, political leaders, state boards, trade unions, educators, economic development professionals, consumer interest and affordable housing advocates, wholesalers, manufacturers, developers and real estate professionals, as well as the general public; to identify solutions that will expand the available licensed trade labor and apprenticeship opportunities for a new generation of replacement workers.
We will have a comprehensive overhaul of the licensing and apprentice standards that will provide a sufficient quantity of adequately trained trade professionals to employers. We will increase the opportunities for employment of graduating vocational students who have demonstrated commitment in a board approved vocational training program.
Our economy will be strengthened and will expand with the accelerated growth of licensed trade professionals, their wages, and the associated support staff. In addition, we expect to see corporate revenue growth, an increase in payroll and corporate tax collections, as well as all the benefits associated with an expanding economy.
We expect to see greater employment opportunities for graduating vocational students who want to become apprentices, reduced student debt for those that have chosen career paths that don’t require college degrees, stabilization of union pension funds through a higher number of younger plan participants and a stabilized construction and service environment for industry, developers and consumers whom count on dependable and timely delivery of services. We also expect to see expanded growth in local manufacturing, wholesale and distributed building materials and retail finished goods for new homeowners who will occupy an expanding housing stock.
This will reduce the cost of affordable housing as well as commercial and industrial development projects, by providing a larger licensed trade labor supply in a sufficient quantity to provide the built environment that our modern economy and citizens need and expect.
Building a stronger tax base will contribute to a vibrant and larger economy with greater economic growth opportunities for the communities, employers and citizens of the commonwealth..
Governed by its Board of Directors, GetMassWorking.org is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit corporation, qualified under Section 501c(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Get Mass Working relies on the private financial support of the general public for its income, and accepts no government funds and performs no contract work. Donations are not tax-deductible consistent with IRS Section 170(c).
GetMassWorking Chair Person:
As the 4th Generation owner, president and CEO of Rodenhiser Home Services, as a Master Plumber and Master Sheet Metal Worker, and with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, I have seen first hand the challenges facing our skilled trades in Massachusetts.
The issues facing new grads are daunting. It is hard to find an apprenticeship, when you do find one there aren’t enough hours, and the cost of living makes it hard to support a family without steady full-time work.
Employers are having trouble too. There aren’t enough licensed trades to do the work, and jobs that should be done here in Massachusetts are being given to out of state workers or whole projects are being sent out of state.
The unions are also feeling the pinch. With an aging and retiring workforce, it is harder to keep pensions funded, putting hard earned retirements at risk.
GetMassWorking was created to help solve these problems. By working together and finding solutions that work for everyone, we can find new grads quality, stable, good paying jobs, address the shortage of workers, help strengthen our unions, and build a stronger economy with strong licensed trades.