SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be a special commission called the Massachusetts Future of Work Commission established to conduct a comprehensive study relative to the impact automation, artificial intelligence, global trade, access to new forms of data, and the internet of things are having on the commonwealth’s workforce, businesses, and economy, with the main objective of said commission being to ensure sustainable jobs, fair benefits and workplace safety standards for all workers in all industries, including, but not limited to, access to adequate and affordable health insurance, financial security in retirement, unemployment insurance, and disability insurance. The commission shall study and evaluate all aspects of the future of work in the commonwealth including, but not limited to (i) the current and future trends and drivers of transformation of industries and employment in the commonwealth and how they will impact workers; (ii) the identification of policies and practices to assist workers, businesses, and communities to thrive and maintain a robust economy while responding to rapid transformation of technology, workplace practices, environmental and security concerns, and global interdependence; (iii) the impact of industry transformation on worker access to affordable and robust healthcare, financial security in retirement, and adequate unemployment insurance, disability and other benefits; (iv) best practices on how to maintain cohesive and beneficial partnerships between workers and employers during growth and transformation in industries; and (v) and any other factors the commission deems relevant.
The commission, in conjunction with the executive office of labor and workforce development, shall (i) develop and maintain an inventory of the current and future trends and factors that will drive transformation of industries and work in the commonwealth over the next twenty-five years; (ii) research best practices from state, national, and international sources, and develop case studies and examples for the future of work; (iii) gather data and input from employers and workers from the major industrial sectors in every region of the commonwealth; (iv) work with organizations that engage in workforce training to identify both best practices and any obstacles that may exist to adequate workforce training during future industry transformation; and (v) recommend any other necessary steps the commission should take to carry out its responsibilities relative to the future of work in the commonwealth.
The commission shall consist of 17 members: 1 person who shall be appointed by the governor who shall have expertise in the future of work issues; 1 person who shall be appointed by the attorney general who shall have expertise in fair labor and workers’ rights; 1 of whom shall be the secretary of the executive office of labor and workforce development; 2 persons who shall be appointed by the president of the senate, 1 of whom shall serve as co-chair; 1 person who shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; 2 persons who shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall serve as chair; 1 person who shall be appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives; 1 person who shall have expertise in future of work issues; 1 person who shall have experience in workforce training and education; 3 members of the labor community with experience in future of work issues to be appointed by the co-chairs; and 3 members of the business community with experience in future of work issues to be appointed by the co-chairs. The task force may meet as appropriate, but not less than four times in different geographic regions of the commonwealth, and shall accept input from the public via at least two public hearings, as well as solicit expert testimony from individuals identified by the commission.
The commission shall, following the completion of the required meetings and hearings, file a report of its analysis, recommendations and any legislation necessary to advance said recommendations to the clerks of the house of representatives and senate, as well as to the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies and the joint committee on labor and workforce development. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the following legislative and policy recommendations: (i) how to ensure workers in the future secure access to affordable and robust healthcare, financial security in retirement, and adequate unemployment insurance, disability and other benefits (i) how to attain credentials that are portable, transferable, and cost and time efficient; (ii) how to support lifelong learning and talent development for workers at all ages; (iii) how to help workers maintain relevant skills or learn new skills for the careers and workplaces of the future; (iv) how to prepare young people to succeed in the careers and workplaces of the future; (v) how to ensure employers and workforce training entities are up-to-date on training needs for workers in current and future industries and careers; (vi) how to enable workers, businesses, and workforce training entities to simultaneously learn and incorporate new technologies into workforce training; and (vii) any other recommendations the commission deems necessary.
The commission shall convene its first meeting not later than September 1, 2019. The commission shall submit its final report and its recommendations, including recommendations for legislation, not later than August 31, 2020.
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