Workforce Development


Since its founding in 1999, the Dukakis Center has undertaken a range of studies related to the labor market and workforce development. Center staff coordinated a major international project with researchers from ten countries focusing on the measurement of unemployment and working time. This research, funded by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, considered whether differences in unemployment rates across countries was at least partly due to differences in country-specific measurement techniques.

From 2000 to 2002, the Center undertook a major study for the U.S. Department of Labor on workforce issues in older industrial areas in New England. With support from the MacArthur, Annie E. Casey, and the Century Foundations, research was completed on “Making Work Pay in the New Economy.”

The Center has also worked with the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to develop case studies of labor-management best practices and created the web-based FMCS Resource Kit for the agency’s field staff. The Center helped plan the agency’s 2002 National Labor-Management Convention. The Dukakis Center has also led, with the assistance of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the creation of the Labor Market Assessment Tool (LMAT), a software package that links a number of large Department of Labor datasets permitting an analysis of detailed workforce requirements covering education, training, and language skills for any specific industry or set of industries.

Most recently, Dukakis Center researchers have focused on the workforce needs of the manufacturing sector, one mistakenly thought to be irrelevant to Massachusetts’ future. Following the release of its 2008 report on manufacturing, “Staying Power: The Future of Manufacturing in Massachusetts”, the Dukakis Center has helped create the statewide Staying Power Taskforce devoted to helping foster manufacturing in the Commonwealth. One of the two working groups within the Taskforce is devoted to working with vocational high schools, community colleges, and vocational training programs to assure that their programs are aligned with the needs of the state’s manufacturers.

Workforce Development Research Team:

  • Barry Bluestone, Team Leader
  • Chase Billingham
  • Joan Fitzgerald
  • Marc Horne
  • Lauren Nicoll
  • Don Walsh

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