Workforce and Talent Development

Our goals are to make Somerville a regional employment center with a mix of diverse and high-quality jobs, support a business-friendly environment to attract and retain a diverse mix of businesses, and invest in the talents, skills, and education of people to support growth and provide opportunities to residents of all social and economic levels.

  • Skill Building Programs

  • Quality Jobs

  • Talent Equity Playbook

  • Job Creation and Retention Trust

  • Reports

The Application Developer program offers its students the opportunity to advance their coding skills by learning advanced concepts and gaining hands-on experience with HTML, CSS, Java, data structures, and algorithms - the skills many employers are searching for most in today’s job market. 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.

Over 15 challenging weeks, students learn to think and build, like software engineers. In each 4-week curriculum module, students develop key skills through interactive labs, lectures, and close collaboration, showcasing progress through Portfolio Projects. 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 program begins in January of 2021. Register for an information session here.

Just-A-Start’s Information Technology (IT) Careers Program is a free educational and career skills program that prepares individuals for Computer User Support Specialist positions in a business environment. The program is ideal for people who are looking for a new career or are entering the job market for the first time. Through this training module, students are able to obtain stackable industry-recognized credentials and certificates (i.e. CompTIA A+ and Network+). The program begins in January of 2021. 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/engineer. 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. The course includes 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. That means that you will learn exactly what you need to know to make a good impression, be successful, and land that dream job in the banking and financial services industry. The 12-week course includes presentations by major banks, bank operations and regulations, customer service and sales, computer skills, and resume writing and interviewing techniques. Find out more information here.

Bunker Hill Community College and The Welcome Project are offering no-cost English as a Second Language classes this fall for customer service-oriented positions. All English levels welcome. Find out more information here.

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)

One way we have recognized employers that provide quality jobs is through our 2017 Best Places to Work Award. We are pleased to announce that six businesses were nominated as quality employers

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2017 Best Places to Work Award: The Nominees

Click on the nominees below for more information.

Somerville Cambridge Elder Services

Somerville Media Center

Smiles by Rosie

Off the Beaten Path Food Tours

Winter Hill Brewing Co.

Zen Dog Training

 

These employers have been recognized by their employees as exemplifying the following four attributes:

  1. Provides great service to customers and/or great products
  2. Provides great service to customers and/or great products
  3. Employment benefits are generous and support a work-life balance
  4. Employees believe in and support company mission and values  

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 what the Talent Equity Playbook aims to do. You can also view the TEP embedded below, or click here to download a PDF version.

 

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, target industry sectors and resident demographics of interest for job training programs, solicit project proposals, and funding workforce development training programs.

The JCRT Board of Trustees is be 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 creation of the Jobs 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 Nexus Study detailing jobs linkage calculations.

Digital Literacy Survey