Thousands of people need new jobs as the job market continues to recover in Massachusetts, creating a strong demand for skills training services. But like many other industries, these programs took a big financial hit during the pandemic.
Massachusetts has lost 250,000 jobs permanently, by some estimates. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people are now trying to make the transition to new jobs and even new fields, straining employment services and training programs.
Jewish Vocational Services employees said they responded head-on to the request and quickly had to turn to re-employment assistance. They found a significant increase in the number of people seeking help over the past year, with many looking to quit jobs in fields such as hospitality and the health sciences.
One woman said her job, which focused on event planning, had been cut. Gail Rogers is currently receiving vocational training as she tries to look for work and hone her skills.
“People have been out of jobs for over a year, so it really helps build your confidence as you develop these new skills,” Rogers said. “And I think it helps you prepare to go out there and seek the world of work.”
The employment services industry is pushing to ensure it receives the federal funding it needs to meet demand.
“There was a lot of help. P3 loans have been a lifeline, but frankly the financial challenges are still there, ”said Jim Klocke of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. get back on track.