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Workforce and Talent Development

Request for Proposals: Workforce Development Grant Programs (Due 1/31/23)

The City of Somerville, Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD) invites sealed proposals for programs that focused on addressing the wage gap for women in Somerville, particularly women of color.

Request for Proposals: Workforce Development Grant Programs (Due 2/17/23)

The City of Somerville, Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD) invites sealed proposals for industry specific training programs and other innovative programming.

Apply for funds to provide professional development opportunities to your workforce development practitioner employees.

Contact Information
Ben Sommer
Economic Development Specialist
Phone Number

93 Highland Ave
Somerville, 02143
United States

Employee Directory

City-Funded Education & Training Programs

Begin your IT Support career learning the fundamentals through hands-on instruction covering core concepts and technologies. Find out more and sign up here.

AWS re/Start is a full-time, classroom-based skills development and training program that prepares individuals for careers in the cloud and connects them to potential employers. Find out more and sign up here.

Learn the fundamentals of software engineering, computer science and best practices to prepare for one of today’s most in demand careers! Find our more and sign up here.

The Biomedical Careers Program at Just-A-Start was launched in 1992 to prepare local low- to moderate-income adults for careers in the biotechnology, life sciences, and medical research industries, and supply local employers with work-ready, diverse employees. This free, nine-month program provides instruction in biology, chemistry, medical terminology, and computer and laboratory skills. The next program begins in January 2022. Register for an information session here.

Just-A-Start’s Information Technology (IT) Careers Program is a free program that prepares individuals for roles including User Support Specialist and Helpdesk Technician This training is ideal for people who are looking to enter the tech field, regardless of previous work experience. The nextprogram begins in January 2022. Register for an information session here.

GAMS prepares you for a career as a diesel or fleet technician. In just 20 weeks of technical curriculum, you will learn engine principles, electrical engine systems, truck components, electronic diagnostics, and more. You will also be introduced to hybrid and electric vehicle (eV) systems. AACA will place you into 5-week internships after completion of classes and help place you in a job with one of our employer partners. Find out more information here.

The BEEMS Program trains participants for a career as a maintenance technician. It teaches the fundamentals of carpentry, plumbing, painting, electricity, and power and grounds equipment plus English, math, and computers. This course includes a “green” curriculum on energy efficiency and weatherization and concludes with a five-week internship. Find out more information here.

The Careers in Banking and Finance course has been developed in partnership with over a dozen banking partners, who tell us exactly what they expect from their employees. The free 12-week course includes presentations by major banks, bank operations and regulations, customer service and sales, computer skills, and resume writing and interviewing techniques. Graduates are prepared for roles including bank teller, customer service representative, and universal banker. Find out more information here.

Bunker Hill Community College and The Welcome Project are offering no-cost English as a Second Language classes to prepare Somerville residents for customer service-oriented positions. All levels of English learners are welcome! Complete an application here.

You don’t need to be an IT whiz to become a successful cybersecurity professional and future-proof your career. SCALE’s 10 week, free training will cover cyber security essentials including foundational learning of A+, network security, and defense mitigation techniques. For more information, please contact Loray at 617-629-5500.

HIT professionals are in demand. In this free, online course, you will learn the fundamentals to maintain information systems used by healthcare organizations, including Electronic Health Record, all while earning college credits. To sign up, call SCALE at 617-629-5500.

This fall, SWC and TWP will be hosting weekly workers’ rights workshops on topics including wage theft, domestic and temporary workers’ rights, the rights of immigrant workers, and hazards at work. For more information or to register please visit the link above or email Francisca at

Quality Jobs

Quality jobs improve employee performance, and thus company performance, through a series of management choices that empower and value employees.

As outlined in the Talent Equity Playbook, the City has identified Quality Jobs Practices that will help position Somerville as a national leader in providing quality jobs. They are:

  1. Predictive Scheduling - finding ways to allow company and employees to build schedules that enable employee planning and set upfront expectations for work
  2. Cross-training - Enabling employees to be familiar with full scope of products, stay busy with multiple company roles, and understand their personal contribution to company performance
  3. De-standardizing Tasks - Promoting opportunities for employees to participate in continuous improvement tasks to improve customer experience and service
  4. Supervisory Training - Working with supervisors to support career choices and training among front-line employees
  5. Retention Services - Deploying employee assistance programs that help navigate workplace conflict, address employee health and wellness, and offer child care, transportation and financial literacy solutions that get in the way of employee retention
  6. Skills and Benefits - Finding creative ways to promote employee access to and participation in credential attainment (tuition assistance, workplace sponsored learning) and benefits that build employee security (living wage, healthcare, family leave)

Talent Equity Playbook

The vision of the Talent Equity Playbook is to empower Somerville residents to thrive in an ever-changing world and workplace. Check out this presentation to learn more about the City’s community-developed workforce development strategic plan, the Talent Equity Playbook. You can also view the TEP embedded below, or click here to download a PDF version.

Job Creation and Retention Trust

The Job Creation and Retention Trust (JCRT) Board of Trustees' responsibilities include managing the "jobs linkage" funding, working with OSPCD staff to implement workforce development strategies outlined in the Talent Equity Playbook, targeting industry sectors and resident demographics of interest for job training programs, soliciting project proposals, and funding workforce development training programs.

The JCRT Board of Trustees is comprised of the following representatives:

  • Mayor of Somerville or designee;
  • Board of Aldermen President or designee;
  • Superintendent of Schools or designee.
  • Representatives of two workforce development non-profits for a period of three years;
  • Two Somerville residents for a period of three years, with a preference that such residents have participated in workforce development programs in the City of Somerville;
  • Representatives of two local businesses for a period of three years

The formation of the Job Creation and Retention Trust is the result of the City’s 2016 approved home-rule petition to institute a workforce development linkage fee to support additional training programs to prepare residents for and connect them to new job opportunities.

After an extensive evaluation of the commercial development landscape, incoming industry sectors, and resident educational and skill attainment, as well as exploration to further conceptualize the future JCRT Board of Trustees structure, the Somerville Board of Aldermen voted in December 2017 to approve a zoning amendment creating the JCRT fund and setting the jobs linkage fee at $2.46 a square foot on commercial development projects of more than 15,000 square feet.

See below for the 2017 Nexus Study detailing jobs linkage calculations.

2017 Somerville Nexus Final Report

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