Commonwealth Corporation: Meeting the Needs of Businesses & the Workforce

February 8, 2022 9:02 am

Part of the goal of the North Shore Alliance is to advocate for regional economic development, transportation and infrastructure, planning and education, and workforce issues. One of the ways that we can do this is by making the regional community aware of the opportunities out there that can help small businesses, employers, and employees, alike. 

In a recent broadcast of our radio show, North Shore Conversations, we had the opportunity to speak with Christine Abrams, the President and CEO of Commonwealth Corporation or CommCorp, for short. 

She spoke to us at length about CommCorp’s mission and current programs available that can help the unemployed and underemployed in traditionally underserved communities. While these issues have always been here, they became even more pronounced during the pandemic and the organization has specifically shifted to provide support and programs with these groups in mind. 

commonwealth corporation

What is the Mission of Commonwealth Corporation? 

Abrams explained that due to the pandemic the strategic planning process of the organization became very intentional in outreaching to communities that are underserved.

With that in mind, the mission of Commonwealth Corporation is to foster workforce equity in Massachusetts by delivering innovative professional development solutions that help both diverse communities and employers succeed. The ultimate goal is to help those in need find meaningful employment that can lead to upward mobility. 

Who Does CommCorp Serve? 

Abrams explained that CommCorps supports and has programs across the entire workforce ecosystem. They assist employers, small business owners, employees, the unemployed and underemployed, and workforce members who want further training. 

In addition to these groups, CommCorp provides a wide variety of programs for youth looking to expand their skills, learn entry level skills, or explore future career paths. It is Abrams’ hope that these youth programs will become a pipeline feeder for the other workforce development programs they provide. 


Signature Programs & Resources 

During our conversation, Abrams discussed many of the signature programs that CommCorp offers. Please feel free to explore all that they offer on their website. We will touch on a few below, but know that there are many more that can assist you and your business find future success. 

The Workforce Training Fund 

This training program is divided into a general and express format. The general program is available to businesses of any size. They can apply for funding up to $250,000 for up to two years for workforce training. 

The express program was designed in July 2021, after meetings and feedback from communities showed that they needed easier access to training. The express program is a more streamlined application process that makes training more accessible to all. The results of this program have been phenomenal. Small businesses, defined as companies with under 100 employees have received 100% rebates and the applications for this particular program have increased by 300%! 

For more resources and information on this fund click here.

The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund

This program was launched to meet the complex needs including training and wraparound support to train and place unemployed and underemployed workers. This program supports training with funding to develop new and existing programs to train adults who have been underemployed or unemployed during this economically turbulent time. 

For more resources and information on this program click here

Career Technical Assistance Program 

This initiative, announced by Governor Baker, seeks to address the persistent need for skilled labor in construction, trades, and manufacturing. The goal is to merge the availability of trade school in the afternoon and evenings to train and support underemployed workers to learn a trade in an area that has job openings. Over 200 hours of training is given over the course of a year to help underemployed and unemployed workers gain new skills in priority occupations that pay well and have job availability. 

To learn more about this program visit the CTI page on the CommCorp site. 


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