The City of Somerville has the opportunity to establish a municipal system in 2017 that has the ability to fully commit to and support workforce development in a sustainable way. Jobs for Somerville has been working over the past four years to make sure the City of Somerville establishes an ordinance that creates a Jobs linkage fee and a Jobs Trust Fund to support workforce development. Right now these two initiatives are being discussed in the Legislative Matters Committee of the Board of Aldermen, and as soon as the committee makes their final recommendation, the City will have a public hearing and enact the ordinance as part of the zoning regulations.
These initiatives will provide better support to job seekers who usually have barriers to employment. But it will take years before the trust fund has enough resources to invest in a strong workforce development vision. For that reason, Jobs for Somerville believes that we must allocate resources now through the City budget.
Overcoming Barriers to Finding Work
We encourage the city, specifically the Economic Development Department, to propose a new budget item for the upcoming fiscal year. It is important to allocate city funds to establish programs and training that help people overcome barriers to finding work. Many of those with barriers to employment are part of the immigrant community, which the City of Somerville has committed to support despite federal policy. We hope that the administration will take this as an opportunity to concretize this vision and support some of our most vulnerable residents.
If you want to be part of the work that Jobs for Somerville is doing, join us at our next meeting on Monday, February 8, 2017, 6:00 p.m. in SCC’s offices.