Governor’s budget includes $200M for workforce development

The statewide unemployment rate in December fell to 2.8%

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BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts employers are having a tough time finding qualified people to fill open jobs. Governor Charlie Baker and state lawmakers are taking steps to help the unemployed, the disabled and veterans update their skills.

Governor Baker’s budget calls for a $200 million investment for workforce training and programs that connect vocational schools with businesses. The statewide unemployment rate fell to 2.8% in December, but many populations are still struggling to find jobs. Changes in technology are making it even harder for the unemployed, the disabled and vets to land well-paying careers.

State lawmakers are exploring ways to boost workforce training programs to those who need it the most. “Especially around youth, people with disabilities, people recently incarcerated,” Rep. Aaron Vega explained. “They have much harder time getting jobs. If we don’t have these training programs for them, they’ll be continually unemployed or back in prison.”

Many of these open positions are in the advanced manufacturing industry.

Related: Governor Baker announces state’s $40 billion budget proposal