The COVID crisis has had devastating effects on many workers, particularly those who are younger, female, Black, Latinx, and/or earning low wages – including the population of ABE students. According to the MA Executive Office of Labor and Workforce, more than 1.9 million Massachusetts residents have experienced an employment interruption due to COVID. While it is common for economic downturns to be more severe for the most vulnerable in a society, the specifics of the present crisis have exaggerated that imbalance.

A broad coalition of business, workforce development, community-based organizations, training, philanthropy and research groups developed this report to elevate the importance of workforce development and training in state and federal economic recovery public policy discussions. It was shared with us via the Massachusetts Workforce Association.

The report reviews the gaps in the existing workforce system and the effects of the current crisis and outlines five focused policy recommendations for ramping up a rapid reemployment strategy.