At Vatican Climate Summit, Governor Healey Announces Climate Careers Fund to Grow Massachusetts’ Climate Workforce

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Karissa Hand
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Innovative partnership with nonprofit Social Finance will help learners access climate careers

VATICAN CITY — Massachusetts Governor Maura T. Healey today gave a keynote address at the Vatican Climate Summit, during which she announced the launch of the new Climate Careers Fund, an innovative cross-sector collaboration designed to support workforce training in climate. The Fund aims to fill climate workforce gaps, increase access to economic mobility for workers, and support a diverse clean energy workforce. 

The initial Climate Careers Fund pilot, which aims to reach $10 million, will add philanthropic resources to public funding for education and workforce programs to help participants access and succeed in high-quality training programs that prepare them for good-paying, in-demand skilled climate jobs such as Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration technicians, electricians, energy auditors, and electric vehicle mechanics, among others. 

Massachusetts has ambitious goals to achieve Net Zero by 2050. To reach the state’s greenhouse gas reduction mandates, Massachusetts needs to train an additional 34,000 workers for climate sector jobs by 2030. This is a once-in-a-generation call to build an expanded and inclusive workforce.  

“The heroes of the clean energy revolution are the train operators, farmers, electricians, heat pump installers, wind turbine technicians – the workers who make all of this possible. We need people who are skilled and ready to fill these jobs. That’s why we’re proud to announce the Climate Careers Fund, a first-of-its-kind social impact fund to support workforce training in this critical sector,” said Governor Healey. “In Massachusetts, we have a storied history and culture of mission-driven innovation. We are America’s state of firsts – and today we’re proud to add another first to that list with the launch of the Climate Careers Fund.”  

“The Climate Careers Fund is proof that we are all hands on deck for climate in Massachusetts and focused on creating high-quality clean energy jobs in every region of the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “The Fund will provide no-cost loans to support students in training programs in high-demand industries and to provide additional resources for the wraparound supportive services, like child care and transportation, that workers need to succeed. This nation-leading effort will bring more women, workers of color, and low-income residents into the clean energy revolution.” 

The launch of the initiative brings together public, private and nonprofit partners including the Executive Offices of Economic Development, Education, Energy and Environmental Affairs, Labor and Workforce Development, the Office of Climate Innovation and Resilience, Commonwealth Corporation, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Social Finance, a national nonprofit and registered investment advisor headquartered in Boston, is leading the design and will manage the Fund for impact over time. 

The Fund will accelerate work the administration is already doing to build an equitable clean energy workforce, including through MassCEC’s Equity Workforce Development ProgramsMass Talent, and the Clean Energy Innovation Career Pathway

“Here in Massachusetts, we are leaders in developing innovative solutions to address our toughest problems – and the Climate Careers Fund is proof of that,” said Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer. “Building a trained, skilled clean energy workforce is key to ensuring that we are one step closer to the green future we need, and this fund supports students as they seek training in jobs like HVAC technicians, electricians, energy auditors, and more. This is also the first Social Finance fund focused exclusively on creating climate jobs. We're setting Massachusetts up to be a global leader and we're thrilled to launch this program.” 

“The clean energy transition presents us with an opportunity to right past wrongs. One of the most important venues for environmental justice is through workforce development,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rebecca Tepper. “With the Climate Careers Fund, Massachusetts is leading the world in bringing good-paying jobs to the people most deeply impacted by climate change and environmental burdens. It’s exciting to bring this program to the world stage.” 

"The Healey-Driscoll Administration is committed to fostering an equitable workforce to fulfill in-demand jobs today and build a robust talent pipeline to meet our future needs,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Lauren Jones. “Our workforce strategy extends to the clean energy industry, and the Massachusetts Climate Careers Fund is an opportunity to collaborate with partners to prepare untapped, diverse talent and also upskill existing workers to support the state’s climate goals and job creation in regions statewide.” 

“In Massachusetts, we have been focused on transforming our education and training system to give students no-cost engaging opportunities to explore careers in high-demand industries and access to the training, skills, and wraparound supports needed to prepare for employment. As part of the Healey-Driscoll Administration's whole-of-government approach to addressing the climate crisis, these efforts have prioritized the climate sector,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Patrick Tutwiler. “The Climate Careers Fund will accelerate this work - significantly increasing the number of students prepared to build and enter a diverse clean energy workforce. That is a win for our students, schools, colleges, employers, and economy, making our state a place where families want to live, learn, and work now and into the future.” 

“Innovation and collaboration are among the things that we do best here in Massachusetts, and the new Climate Careers Fund is a unique cross-sector partnership that will help us build and mobilize the equitable, skilled clean energy workforce we need to achieve our climate goals,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Dr. Emily Reichert. "This initiative will support good-paying jobs that will lead to fulfilling clean energy careers that provide workers with opportunities to build wealth for themselves and their families.”  

“The Massachusetts Climate Careers Fund is designed to prepare local workers for the climate jobs that employers need to fill while extending the impact of each public and private dollar,” said Tracy Palandjian, CEO and Co-Founder of Social Finance, also an invited speaker at the Vatican Conference. "As practitioners with a track record of building workforce partnerships that deliver results, we believe that this recycling funding model can serve as a blueprint for the nation. We are excited to work with the Healey Administration to achieve the Commonwealth's climate goals while expanding economic opportunity."   

Governor Healey’s full remarks from the Vatican Climate Summit are attached. To learn more about the Climate Careers Fund, visit climatecareersfund.org.  

About Massachusetts Clean Energy Center 

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is a state economic development agency dedicated to accelerating the growth of the clean energy sector across the Commonwealth to spur job creation, deliver statewide environmental benefits and to secure long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since 2010, MassCEC has awarded over $650 million in programs and investments and attracted more than $2.5 billion in private and federal capital. The organization has connected nearly 6,000 college and vocational interns with over 600 clean energy and climatetech employers.  

About Social Finance 

Social Finance (SF Advisors, LLC) is a national nonprofit and registered investment advisor. We work with the public, private, and social sectors to create partnerships and investments that measurably improve lives. Our Impact Investment team designs, launches, and manages impact-first investments. Our Advisory team partners with government and philanthropy leaders to implement data-driven programs for social impact. And through the Social Finance Institute, we aim to build the field and change systems through actionable research, communities of practice, and educational outreach. Since our founding in 2011, we have mobilized more than $350 million in new investments designed to help people and communities realize improved outcomes in workforce and economic mobility, health, and housing. Learn more at socialfinance.org.