Business groups giving MBTA $500,000
Head of CEO group says 7 organizations have pledged money
A COALITION OF BUSINESS GROUPS plans to give the MBTA $500,000 on Monday to help pay for initiatives to recruit, train, and retrain workers.
MBTA officials announced a series of human resource initiatives on Monday that they hoped to launch with the help of a prominent business group, but they gave no indication of how soon the money might arrive.
Dan O’Connell, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, which is made up of the CEOs of some of the state’s largest companies, said on Wednesday that the money will probably be available on Monday. He said the MBTA, its lawyers, and the State Ethics Commission had all given a greenlight to the plan. O’Connell was interviewed Wednesday at a transportation event hosted by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
O’Connell said John Fish, the chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction and a member of the Competitive Partnership, put together three meetings with a number of business groups, including the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce; the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council; the Massachusetts Business Roundtable; and the Springfield, Worcester, and South Shore Chambers of Commerce.
Future donations to the T are likely, O’Connell said. “We’re going to look at metrics, look for change,” he said. “If the metrics are there and the change is there, I think we’ll try to continue this funding effort going forward.”
O’Connell said the funding will go for things like relocation pay, which is common in the private sector but somewhat unusual in the public sector. He said the money would also pay for professional licensing costs. He said the Massachusetts Port Authority and the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority pay licensing costs, but the T does not.The companies also plan to allow employees to leave their jobs to go to work for the MBTA for a year and share their expertise. O’Connell said he thinks companies and their employees will embrace the concept.
“Every one of our CEOs says exposure to the public sector is a plus,” he said. “It helps round [the employee] out. It helps them become a better member of the community. This would be a reward for the best. The companies think employees will view it that way.”