And happy National Support Your Chamber of Commerce Day!
Gov. Maura Healey’s announcement this week that the state’s migrant shelter crisis is weeks away from the breaking point also included news about two programs to help some new arrivals transition out of shelters by helping them find jobs so they support themselves and their families. First, the MassHire career centers will begin directly matching migrants with work permits to open jobs, starting with 1,500 families across 14 shelter sites.
The program is already showing results, Healey said.
MassHire South Shore is working with Dunkin Donuts to fill 30 employment openings and coordinating with Plymouth Area Coalition shelter provider to connect shelter residents to jobs.
Healey also announced the start of a new job skills training program with Commonwealth Corporation Foundation that would connect businesses to individuals in shelters who are still waiting for their work authorization but looking to gain on-the-job training and skills.
That new program is beginning as a pilot in Salem with plans to expand to other shelters and communities over time.
Massachusetts is currently sheltering 23,000 people. That's nearly the population of Wellesley.
The state also only has 92,049 workers available for 243,000 vacant jobs. That's 47 workers for every 100 job openings.
More would need to be done on the national level to grant work permits to really move the needle on either problem.
How to connect with MassHire
MassHire offers a number of programs that aim to connect job seekers with employers.
New Rep to cease operations
For 40 years the New Rep Theater has been entertaining and often challenging local theater goers, first at the Congregational Church in Newton Highlands and, since 2005, at the Mosesian Center Theater in Watertown.
Now after more than 300 productions -- and a valiant attempt to relaunch after a pandemic shutdown -- New Rep is closing. “New Repertory Theatre’s Board of Trustees has determined that it is not possible to sustain the company going forward,” the nonprofit said in a statement posted yesterday on Watertown News.
“Audiences and critics have responded enthusiastically to the company’s relaunch, but fundraising with major donors has fallen short of the company’s goals for a sustainable path. New Rep takes great satisfaction in the company’s history and in particular the 2023 season, however it is subject to the same converging realities that have impacted so many theater companies throughout the country.”
Another reason why it's hard to lure great employees here
If you own a home in one of our west suburban chamber communities, you’re in luck.
But if you’re an employer hoping to lure an outstanding job applicant from another state to move here, you may be out of luck.
That's because there's a good chance your new potential hire may very well turn down your offer -- even if you offer a nice salary bump and moving expenses -- once they start house hunting.
Low inventory, high interest rates and record-high prices have pushed the sales of single-family homes to a 13-year low,
Inside the I-495 corridor, single-family sales dropped 30.2 percent, while the median single-family sale price in that region rose 3.3 percent. Condo sales slumped 9.7 percent while the median condo sale prices rose 6.9 percent, according to Banker & Tradesman citing Warren Group data..
Now try and convince a job applicant from Ohio to come and work for you when they can't find a place to live here. Even with a sizable raise, that job candidate could basically buy a house with a moat back home for the price of starter house (if they can find one) around here.
Today's grab bag
- CrepeBerry Cafe in Wellesley Hills is closing Oct. 28. "This was not a decision I made lightly and there were many factors to consider,” said owner Amelia Childs Schwartzman. “We emerged the other side of the pandemic with record inflation, skyrocketing labor costs, and a staffing shortage which has been nothing short of frustrating. (Swellesley Report).
- Also in Wellesley Hills, the developer of the proposed multi-family transit-oriented development at the corner of Cliff Road and Route 9 have created a website explaining the benefits of the project at 489 Worcester Street, a proposal that's drawing substantial abutter opposition.
- The Friends of The Newton Free Library are hosting a mini-golf fundraiser inside the library this weekend. Saturday (Oct. 21) at 6-9:30 p.m. (for adults only, beer and wine will be served), and Sunday (Oct. 22) from 9:30 a.m.-noon for families.
- The dedication of Needham’s new Town Common will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. before the start of the Annual Spooky Walk.
- Greater Boston is one of several cities that has seen a bump in cycling since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Axios)
- If your small business registered for an energy exemption certificate in 2022, you’ll need to renew those certificates by Dec. 31, 2023. The renewal option will be available through MassTaxConnect beginning Nov. 1, 2023. Details
- The IRS granted relief for all Massachusetts taxpayers affected by Hurricane Lee. The tax relief postpones certain tax filing and payment deadlines that began Sept. 15, 2023, until Feb. 15, 2024. DOR provides guidance in TIR 08-19 for Massachusetts taxpayers on automatic extensions of time for "affected taxpayers" to file returns and submit payments of tax as the result of any disaster declaration. Specific relief guidelines will align with IRS relief
So laid back green and gray it will be
Following the wishes of an online poll, the MBTA announced the new color scheme (would you call that brushed nickel?) for the new Green Line "supercars" that are expected to begin making their way to our communities starting in 2027.
The new cars are 40 feet longer than the trolleys currently in service, will have wider doors, state-of-the-art communication systems and "the latest generation of crash-safety technology.
Michael Holley added to our fall breakfast lineup
Speaking of green, the Boston Celtics open their season one week from tonight amidst lots of optimism and plenty of questions too. (No Marcus Smart? No Robert Williams? No Grant Williams?)
Join us Nov. 3 when we’ll get a first-hand, early take on the season and the business of running the Celtics' business when team president Rich Gotham is the featured speaker at our Fall Business Breakfast.
And we’ve just added one of the best in the business -- NBC Sports Boston’s Michael Holley -- to the lineup to moderate our discussion with Gotham.
He didn't let his 'life dream' get squashed
Finally this morning, I leave you with a story of perseverance, a pumpkin and parents who weren’t particularly happy with their Harvard student son.
Oh and, it includes our favorite river.
One month after announcing on Reddit that it was his “life’s dream to row a giant pumpkin down the Charles River,” student Ben Chang fulfilled that dream.
Chang rowed, rowed, rowed his 500-pound pumpkin merrily merrily, merrily, merrily downstream, or at least to the other side of the Charles, WBZ NewsRadio reported on TikTok.
Chang told WBZ the wacky scheme was in an effort to raise money for a student-led lab.
But he added “my parents are not super happy this is happening.”
Be back on Friday.
Greg Reibman (he, him)