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Posted by Nancy L. Snyder, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development

My name is Nancy Snyder, and I have the pleasure of serving as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet as Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development.  I oversee a set of agencies that works day in and day out to link workers and businesses with training and opportunities to enter a 21st century workforce, protect workers facing job loss and/or injury and promote workplace safety and a strong partnership between labor and management in the public sector.

In times like these, I know that people face daily struggles and challenges as a result of the economy – and I’m proud of the work that the Governor, Lt. Governor and our team at the Executive Office do each day to make sure we have programs to assist struggling working families to cope with these challenges and prepare for the better times we know are ahead.

Even in difficult times we remain committed to building the kind of community that we all want our state to be – and I hope that you will agree with me that the Governor’s continued commitment to unprecedented openness and public dialogue in how state government functions is a reflection of that commitment.

To that end, the Governor and my colleagues in the cabinet and I have been holding a series of forums and hearings on the fiscal year 2011 budget across the state to ensure that you have a say in how money gets spent here in Massachusetts.  I would like to tell you a little about the budget forum I held in Springfield last week.  This was my first forum (I held a formal budget hearing in Boston earlier in the week) and I was excited to be able to sit with a group of Massachusetts residents who care about their state, and who are ready to help us think through the challenges facing us given our projected budget shortfall of nearly $3 billion for 2011.

At the session, I noted that the Governor, despite challenging economic times, demonstrated his commitment to workers and businesses by proposing an additional $11 million for the Workforce Training Fund and by leading the way on youth employment by combining state and federal resources to provide summer jobs for over 11,000 young people this summer.   I’m proud to be a part of an administration that recognizes that targeted investments in important programs like these are a vital part of the business of government, especially in challenging budgetary times.

I want to take a moment to recognize the great suggestions provided by folks who attended the forum. One theme that came out from several participants was the need for we in state government to continue to look for ways to find efficiencies in our work by working together.  For one, Terry from Springfield offered a great suggestion that we coordinate transportation related services provided by state agencies as a way for us to get the most out of our resources.  In our conversation, I mentioned that I serve on the Governor’s Regionalization Advisory Commission and would bring that suggestion back to that group.  We at Labor and Workforce Development often work in regional partnerships, and the executive office has invested significant time in efforts to support regional labor markets as a way to drive economic growth.

My staff joined me at the session to note feedback for the record.  I will provide the information to the Governor, Lt. Governor and our partners in government to help us develop the FY 2011 budget, and I want to thank everyone who attended again for helping us.  We simply can’t get to where we all want to be without joining together, sharing ideas, and working towards a common goal.  I’m proud that we were able to do this at this session, and I don’t want the conversation to end with that forum, so if you have any other suggestions on ways we can better do our work, please share them.  Please use these comments pages to provide feedback on my Executive Office’s programs – and thanks for reading!

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