Workforce Development Project

An Action Project to Address Income Inequality and Economic Opportunity

The MetroWest Workforce Development Project will focus on income inequality that persists in the MetroWest, and provide a path to financial stability for under resourced youth and underemployed or unemployed adults.

This Project will create increased access to often overlooked vocational opportunities by connecting MetroWest residents with training, mentorship, and guidance in fields that will ultimately lead to earning higher wages and meaningful benefits.

These neighbors will truly have a career and not just a job to support themselves and their families, and businesses will have greater access to skilled, diverse workers.

Read Our Year One Update (PDF)  

MetroWest Workforce Development Digital Brochure (PDF)

Data Driven & Issue Focused

This project is aligned with the mission of the Community Foundation for MetroWest. In 2019, the Foundation in partnership with Middlesex Savings Bank launched Impact MetroWest, a comprehensive community needs assessment of over 60 indicators that increases awareness around the strengths and challenges facing the 30+ communities of MetroWest.

Credible and independent data is vital to inform decisions and determine priorities, so we can collectively take action to improve the quality of life for all residents.

Based on the data and collaborative conversations, the Foundation has determined that addressing workforce development is a community priority and will concentrate efforts to move the needle on specific indicators, allowing opportunities for Foundation donors and fundholders to join the effort as investors and partners in the work.

Styled map of MetroWest area. White background with orange lines representing highways 95, 93, 90, and 495 as well as routes 2, 128, and 3. Cities are represented with text labels, including Carlisle, Action, Lexington, Harvard, Boxborough, Concord, Stow, Maynard, Lincoln, Hudson, Sudbury, Wayland, Waltham, Boston Marlborough, Southborough, Weston, Westborough, Framingham, Wellesley, Needham, Ashland, Natick, Dover, Sherborn, Dedham, Hopkinton, Holliston, Westwood, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Walpole, and Milford.

Why Investing in Workforce Development is Critical

The Project will immediately benefit the MetroWest region and will also be instrumental in addressing the economic opportunity gap that has long been present. Systemic racial inequities in education and employment systems have created disadvantages for marginalized populations, and we see that through data. Minority families in our region disproportionately struggle in regards to poverty rates, median income levels as well as graduation and homeownership rates.

Finding ways to enhance career opportunities and financial stability for all our region’s residents will lead to a better workforce and a stronger community.

We will focus on the ultimate outcome of renewed economic opportunity by studying the data, partnering with experts, evaluating our programmatic investments, and pivoting when necessary.

Key Data

By looking at median household income, poverty rates, and homeownership rates, inequality becomes clear. For example:

  • Hispanic/Latino households average $52k in annual
    income, compared to White households at $92k
  • Asian, African American, and Hispanic/Latino households
    have higher rates of poverty than White households
  • 35% of African Americans own a home in MetroWest,
    compared to White households at 68%
Bar chart titled "Median Household Income". Y axis represents 2017 Median Household Income in dollar amounts up to $125,000. X axis represents four racial groups "Asian", "Black or African American", "Hispanic/Latino", and "White". The Asian population has the highest median household income according to this data, followed by White population, and then Black or African American population followed by Hispanic/Latino with the least Median Household Income of these groups. Source:
Bar chart titled "Poverty Rates". Y axis represents percentages from 0 to 30%. X axis represents four racial groups "Asian", "Black or African American", "Hispanic/Latino", and "White". Generally, Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino populations have the highest level of poverty. Source:
Bar chart titled "Homeownership". Y axis labelled "Total Occupied Units" with percentages from 0 to 75%.. X axis represents four racial groups "Asian", "Black or African American", "Hispanic/Latino", and "White". Generally, Asian and White populations have the highest percentages of homeownership, and Black or African American and Hispanic/Latino populations have the lowest. Source:

Target Population

Ages 10-14

Enable low-income and minority students to gain access to vocational education at the high school level. Address any barriers that exist and increase awareness about these options. 

Ages 15-18

Position building and medical trades, and life sciences careers as viable paths for students for whom traditional four-year college is not an interest or current option. 

Ages 18+

Position careers in building and medical trades and the life sciences industry as viable paths for students for whom traditional four-year college is not an interest or current option.


Phase One Discovery

  • Evaluate workforce development needs in MetroWest
  • Build partnerships with leading experts
  • Determine outcomes for funded programs

Phase Two Implementation

  • Invest in priority programs for short-term impact
  • Analyze long-term impact

Phase Three Evaluation

  • Assess program sustainability
  • Expand scope of programs and funding priorities as needed
Middlesex Savings Bank Logo with tagline "Right there with you"

Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation Corporate Gift Match

Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation will match, dollar for dollar, gifts from any new corporate partner greater than $1,000 up to $ 250,000—doubling the impact of investments made to this project. We look forward to partnering with you to strengthen our workforce, improve the lives of our MetroWest residents, and help our businesses thrive.

Inquire Now

To learn more about our Action Projects and how you can support them, contact Matt Jose, Senior Program Officer, Action Projects.