Ben Sommer
Economic Development Specialist


(617) 625-6600  ext 2513


[email protected]


93 Highland Ave
Somerville, 02143

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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

  • Strategic Plan

  • Jobs Linkage

  • Skill Building

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

One way we recognize employers that provide quality jobs is through our Best Places to Work Award. The winner for 2017 will be announced shortly. This employer has been recognized by its 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

Employees believe in and support company mission and values

The vision of the Workforce Development Strategic Plan is to empower Somerville residents to thrive in an ever-changing world and workplace.

The Plan’s goals are to:

  1. Build economic opportunity and support meaningful careers for at-risk youth and underserved residents, and
  2. Establish partnerships with Somerville businesses that support decisions to hire local, quality talent and retain and develop these workers

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 15,000 square feet. Half will be paid with the building permit while the other half will be paid with the certificate of occupancy.

Skill UP Somerville

Skill 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. Check back soon for more details.

Somerville High School FabLab

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.


BuildCorps is a program to both place high-achieving youth in new technology internships and to assist local Somerville startups in filling summer job openings.

Primarily focused on hardware startups, BuildCorps seeks qualified applicants, ages 18 to 21, from high school to college, with interest in engineering, manufacturing, or design related fields to apply.

Interns will receive $12 an hour for 24 hours a week for 10 weeks during the summer. Interns will also receive $500 in class credit for skill-building courses at local makerspace Artisans Asylum prior to or during the internship period. Learn more here.

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