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Workforce and Talent Development

The City of Somerville's Workforce and Talent Development Department works with the private sector and public agencies to create and retain jobs. The department offers a wide range of resources for job seekers and businesses looking to hire workers for open positions, as well as help in applying for grants to improve job training and employee retention. 

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

Contact Information
Jennifer Mancia and William Blackmer

Senior Planner and Workforce Development Coordinator

Monday - Wednesday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Phone Number

93 Highland Ave
Somerville, 02143
United States

Employee Directory

Job Seeker Education

The City of Somerville's Workforce and Talent Development Department offers a wide range of training program to help job seekers get training for new careers or upgrade their skills as they look for new career opportunities. Explore the programs listed below. 

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.

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.

Quality Jobs For Somerville 

Workforce and Talent Development is committed to creating quality jobs, which improve employee and company performance. Management can make choices that empower and value their employees. 

The City of Somerville prides itself as a national leader in creating quality jobs. Quality Jobs practices are outlined in the Talent Equity Playbook, including: 

  • Predictive Scheduling: Companies and employees should build schedules that set upfront expectations for work and allow employees to plan. 
  • 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 are crucial components of Quality Jobs. 
  • De-standardizing Tasks: Promoting opportunities for employees to participate in continuous improvement tasks to improve customer experience and service. 
  • Supervisory Training: Working with supervisors to support career choices and training among front-line employees 
  • Retention Services: Hiring and training workers is expensive. Companies can improve employee retention by establishing employee assistance programs that help navigate workplace conflict, address employee health and wellness, and offer child care, transportation and financial literacy solutions. 
  • 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 City of Somerville’s Talent Equity Playbook helps Somerville residents thrive in the ever-changing 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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