Building Essential Skills through Training/ BayStateWorks

An Effective Practice


The Building Essential Skills through Training (BEST) Initiative was a two-year project designed to integrate adult basic education and job training for front-line workers in Massachusetts, while reducing persistent job vacancies. The program was a partnership of the Governor's Office, Commonwealth Corporation (a quasi-public organization providing a range of services to workers, businesses, youth, educators and the workforce development system), Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Department of Education, Division of Employment and Training, and Department of Transitional Assistance. BEST funds six Regional Industry Teams (RITs) selected through a competitive process. RITs bring together employers, education and training providers, local workforce investment boards (WIBs), and workers from firms or organized labor to develop and implement industry-driven education and training programs that promote career advancement and address skill needs.

Goal / Mission

The goal of this program was to improve the skills and productivity of the Massachusetts workforce.

Results / Accomplishments

Over 2,700 workers received education, training, and career guidance, which led to significant wage increases. Participating companies reported gains in quality, retention, workplace morale, literacy, and communications skills. Supervisors reported improvement in participants' confidence levels and overall job performance, and managers learned how to better manage and motivate a more highly skilled workforce.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Jane Saunders, Senior Program Consultant
Commonwealth Corporation
529 Main Street, Suite 110
Boston, MA 02129
(617) 727-8158 x 1228
Economy / Employment
Education / Vocational & Adult Education
The Commonwealth Corporation
Finance Project
Date of publication
Mar 2005
Date of implementation
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