Bringing Together Leaders from Across the City to Build an Equitable Workforce

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu with other representatives at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Workforce Initiative
Mayor Michelle Wu joined Massachusetts Secretary of Labor, Lauren Jones, along with representatives and leaders of the Life Sciences Industry for a press conference announcing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Workforce Initiative. (Boston Mayor’s Office Photo by Jeremiah Robinson)


Boston Mayor Michelle Wu knew that the city needed to hire thousands of workers to meet growth demands in the life sciences industry. But Black and Brown residents and those without college degrees historically have been excluded from the sector’s wealth and prosperity, exacerbating persistent inequity.

Mayor Wu and her team were committed to addressing the challenge, but wanted to ensure the plan they developed was tailored to Boston and built to scale.

$4.7 million

Allocated to training and hiring Boston residents in life sciences

As part of her participation in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, Mayor Wu brought the project into the program’s Collaboration track, sending an eight-person team with representatives from her city hall, local nonprofits, educational institutions, and the biotech industry to the classroom to work together. The team followed a deliberate approach, diagramming major issues and considerations toward reaching the goal and evolving a plan that fit the city.

Their experience in the program helped them identify entry points, determine stakeholder buy-in needs, and understand where additional authorization was needed to move forward.

In June 2023, Mayor Wu announced the new city workforce initiative, with a goal of training and hiring 1,000 Boston residents into the life sciences industry by the end of 2025. In a follow up announcement in February 2024, Mayor Wu named the recipients of $4.7 million in funding, including partners in industry, training providers, and institutes of higher education.

With tremendous support from industry, training providers, and higher education partners, this initiative will change the way companies hire in our region by connecting them with the talented workforce that lives in our neighborhoods. Mayor Michelle Wu
Boston, Massachusetts

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