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.

  • Quality Jobs

  • Talent Equity Playbook

  • Jobs Linkage

  • Skill Building

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.

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.


The jobs linkage fee will help Somerville meet the SomerVision goal of fostering 30,000 new jobs by providing a fund to train existing residents to help them compete in the local job market and combat effects of displacement. The jobs fee will start at $2.46 per square foot of commercial development over 15,000 square feet. Half will be paid with the building permit while the other half will be paid with the certificate of occupancy. To learn more, read the Nexus Report below.

Skill UP Somerville

Skill Up Somerville logoSkill UP Somerville is a City run collaborative online platform to coordinate and support the out-of-school and adult lifelong learning programming happening, primarily in the areas of digital and science literacy. This platform allows for micro-credentialing through digital badging; a training provider validated indicator of accomplishments that allows badge earners to share the skills and competencies learned and projects completed in a course, program, or workshop. Badges are created by independent partner organizations offering aligned programming. The affordable and accessible digital and science literacy programming offered by partner organizations build strong skills in digital tool use, creative problem solving, and the critical and computational thinking. Students becoming literate in these tools will be well equipped to understand, access, and navigate an ever-changing world. Visit for more details.

Somerville High School FabLab

FabVille logo

What is Fabville? Fabville is a fabrication space in Somerville High School that focuses on engaging people in creative processes to design and implement projects through the use of light industrial, high tech equipment like 3D printers, laser cutters, and a CNC router. It is meant to complement professional and non-professional makerspaces already existing in the city and is designed to engage an entrepreneurial mindset and approach and provide the fabrication tools needed to solve all types of projects and problems. Click here to learn more.

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