T develops wish list for biz group funding

10-20% performance bonuses part of hiring, retention initiative

MBTA OFFICIALS, looking to one of the state’s business groups for help in hiring and retaining staff, unveiled a wish list of initiatives on Monday that could end up costing between $750,000 and $1 million a year depending on participation.

The Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, a group of high-powered CEOs from some of the state’s top companies, offered last year to help the MBTA recruit, train, and retain top executives. MBTA officials on Monday unveiled eight different initiatives, some of which are in place now and others they would like to do in the future.

Jessie Saintcyr, the chief administrative officer and assistant secretary of human resources at both the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation,aid the T intends to continue using specialized recruiting firms ($477,000 cost last year to hire about 10 employees) and paying out signing bonuses ($20,000 to $30,000 per person) and relocation fees ($8,000 to $10,000 per person).

To retain workers once they are hired, Saintcyr said the T would like to issue performance bonuses and to pay the cost of employees obtaining or retaining professional licenses or certifications. She said the performance bonuses would be 10 to 20 percent of the individual’s salary, while the certification expenses could run to $1,000 to $1,500 per person.

The T would also like to launch professional development and leadership training initiatives, each of which would cost between $8,000 and $20,000 to set up. There would also be per-person costs for the two initiatives.

The T also wants to hire an executive to oversee a program that would recruit companies to loan executives to the transit authority to serve as a “resource/coach/mentor” for existing staff.

Saintcyr’s presentation to the T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board said “the majority of our initiatives will center around one-time expenses that drive change while having minimal or no longer-term recurring costs.”

State Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said the next step is to work with the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership to develop funding for the initiatives. “Now that we have a framework and a menu of investments, we’re going to be working with the Competitive Partnership to help raise money and hopefully their members will step up to the plate and we’ll be able to fund as many initiatives as possible,” she said.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

The board of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership includes the chief executives of Raytheon Corp., Fidelity Investments, Suffolk Construction, State Street Corp., Eversource Energy, Partners HealthCare, Liberty Mutual, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Robert Kraft, the CEO of the Kraft Group and the owner of the New England Patriots, is another member of the board. Kraft is working with the T already and providing some funding for a pilot program that would extend the existing Fairmount commuter rail line to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.