By: Ian Abreu

The SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce recently announced that it has signed on as the newest Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) “Affiliate,” signaling the Chamber’s commitment to driving statewide educational improvements that will ensure all students get the education they need to in pursuit of their “college and career readiness.”

The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Concord Chamber of Commerce, Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce, Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Business Leaders for Education and TechNet have also recently joined this coalition.

“We never want to see our local employers having to outsource for its talent,” said SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce Business Development & Public Policy Manager, Ian Abreu. “By working closely with all of our local area high schools, vocational high schools, employers in the private sector, and our new partners over at the MBAE, we hope to help create a more streamlined workforce ‘pipeline’ which can help not only meet the hiring needs of these companies, but additionally, help get these students a little more ‘college and career ready.'”

Groups that have joined are responding to their members’ concerns on education and the workforce expressed through their responses to a recent statewide employer survey.  72% of Massachusetts employers say the schools need major or moderate change.  Employers believe that there is much room for improvement in preparing our youth for success in postsecondary education and the workforce. Deep inequities in education that leave far too many students on the economic sidelines and a widening skills gap that makes it difficult for employers to find qualified candidates to fill open positions, must be addressed.

Education is emerging as a key policy issue this year. The Massachusetts business community has played a significant and successful role over the past three decades in calling for improvements in education.  With efforts underway to roll back education reforms that have made Massachusetts number one in the nation in student achievement and with a need to better prepare all young people for a competitive economy, business groups are joining with MBAE to have a greater impact on that debate.

MBAE is finalizing its legislative priorities and positions and looks forward to working with its Affiliates to be effective advocates in the years ahead.

About the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education
The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education was founded in 1988 by employers concerned about the educational attainment and skills of graduates entering the workforce.  Driven by the business community’s commitment that all students graduate high school prepared for success in college, career and citizenship, our core work is influencing state education policy to improve the quality of all public schools in Massachusetts.