Young man in classroom

Project Catapult

Investing in next-generation workforce solutions

New: With the publication of "Tapping the Untapped Workforce," all four installments of the Catapult Papers series on the future of workforce development are now available. Click here to see the list, and review the takeaways from invited business, workforce, academic and public sector leaders.

Today’s unprecedented tight labor market, anticipated attrition due to baby boomer retirements, and growth of high demand and skilled jobs, has created a never before seen tension between the demand to fill jobs and the lack of supply ready to fill those jobs.

That tension requires a more robust workforce development solution that can launch our untapped talent into new opportunities at a much faster, more direct and sustained rate while also supporting and leveraging the long term success of workers and their employers via advancement, retention, and strong employment practices.

The goal of Catapult is to invest in the exponential growth of Greater Boston’s most effective, market-driven training and education organizations in partnership with the region’s most savvy businesses in order to leverage the region’s potential for sustaining talent via the workforce system.


 

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Project Catapult: Investing in Next-Generation Workforce Solutions

The Boston Foundation, SkillWorks, JVS, Resilient Coders and JP Morgan hosted a forum to highlight the release of the new Catapult Papers series of essays on the next generation of workforce development, and to discuss new initiatives to accelerate change in policy around workforce training.

Watch the video of the forum

Pillars

Our new model will focus on the success of the jobseeker and employer equally, built upon six pillars:

  • Catapult Venn Diagram
    Invest in What Works: Greater co-investment for greater returns.
  • Emphasize the role of business: Create space and value for business engagement and ownership of outcomes for their workers.
  • Incentivize and Value Strategic Coalition-Building: Build systems that financially incentivize collaboration and ownership equally among workforce providers and employers and support the true cost of getting jobseekers through training and into good jobs.
  • Reward Risk: Place a premium on innovation and taking chances.
  • Continuous Improvement: Iterate relentlessly for ongoing enhancement and increasing capacity to deliver core services to jobseekers and employers as the primary customers.
  • Appropriately Finance Capacity: Invest in staffing and other organizational capacity building across business services, HR, technology and other needs to achieve more scale and greater impact. 

Catapult will create a new way of doing business that is at the convergence of social/economic mobility, business needs and job seeker opportunities.

The Catapult Papers

The Catapult Papers are a series of essays on the future of workforce development and the kinds of workforce organizations that need to be created to expand opportunity for lower-income individuals and create competitive advantages for businesses in need of workers.  These "Next Gen Workforce Organizations" will not only require different structures, they will require accompanying investment by philanthropy and government that can make Next Gen workforce development a reality.  

Based on the innovative and field-proven practices of JVS Boston's own transition experience and produced as a partnership between JVS Boston, SkillWorks and the Boston Foundation, these four papers tackle the key features organizations will need to embrace to succeed in the changing economy.

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Paper 1: Next Generation Workforce Development Organizations for Our Time: How JVS Is Re-Tooling for a New Economy

In the first paper, JVS Boston President and CEO Jerry Rubin calls for and describes a new, or “Next Generation,” model for workforce organizations. The essay is based on the innovative and field-proven practices of JVS Boston’s transition to a “Next Gen” workforce organization.

Read the paper online
Catapult Paper 2 cover image
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Paper 2: Scaling Up: Lessons from the Front Lines

In paper 2 of the four-part series, we look at the importance of scale for Next Gen workforce organizations, the challenges of scaling, and issues that the Next Gen workforce organizations and the broader field need to consider as they scale up their efforts.

Read the paper online
Catapult 3 cover
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Paper 3: Not Just Any Job: How Next Generation Workforce Organizations Can Help Improve Job Quality for Workers and Competitiveness for Employers

In this third essay, we look at the issue of job quality, and how the current tight labor market can provide an opportunity for workforce development organizations to better align the interests of employers and the needs of workers. 

Read the paper online
Training session
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Paper 4: Tapping the Untapped Workforce: How Next Generation Workforce Development Organizations Can Help Employers Recruit and Retain the Talent They Need

In the final paper of the series, Jerry Rubin and Rouguiatou Diallo, the Chief of Staff of Resilient Coders, lay out five key strategies for Next Gen workforce development organizations seeking to attract immigrants, young adults, and others who are being missed in the current paradigm.

Read the paper online