Wu Announces Cabinet for Worker Empowerment

Special to The Times

Mayor Michelle Wu announced the creation of the Cabinet for Worker Empowerment led by Trinh Ngyuen who will serve as the City’s Chief of Worker Empowerment. The Cabinet, equipped with oversight and resources, is charged with advancing the well-being of all working Bostonians in both the public and private sectors. The Mayor also announced that Jodi Sugerman-Brozan and Rashad Cope will both serve as the cabinet’s Deputy Chiefs. 

“Boston can do so much more to advance and empower workers across all of our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Our economy is at a turning point, and as we work to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, we’ll support one of Boston’s greatest strengths: our workforce and people. When we make Boston a city for everyone, every family and business benefits from our growth. I am thrilled for Trinh, Jodi and Rashad’s leadership, and look forward to collaborating with this new cabinet on policies and programs that drive this crucial work forward for all Boston workers and their communities.”

The Cabinet will advance the Mayor’s work to enhance and strengthen Boston’s workforce and economy by:

• Bringing together related roles and functions that were spread across several city departments and agencies under a single, unified cabinet

• Setting the City’s future policy and vision for workers with an immediate focus on implementing Boston’s Green New Deal 

• Regulating, overseeing and improving workplace conditions and health for workers

• Expanding economic opportunity for workers through access to quality jobs, skills trainings and career pipelines  

“I am excited, honored and humbled by this great opportunity to serve the City and its residents,” said Trinh Nguyen. “Boston has recently experienced tremendous economic growth and prosperity, however, the future promises even greater opportunities if we prioritize equal access to quality jobs and skills training for all Bostonians. We look forward to engaging with employers, workers and public and private stakeholders towards this collective vision.”

Trinh Nguyen is the current Director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD), an affiliated division of the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA). As Director of OWD, she has launched such initiatives as the Tuition-Free Community College Program, the Greater Boston American Apprenticeships, and various career pathways for the healthcare, clean energy and construction sectors. Prior to her role at OWD, Nguyen was the Chief of Staff at the Boston Housing Authority.

Nguyen has nearly 25 years of experience in operations, programs, resource, and budget management. She has worked in executive management for various community non-profits and public sector agencies. She is currently Chair of the Neighborhood Jobs Trust, a Trustee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council, and a Trustee of Bunker Hill Community College. Nguyen holds dual graduate degrees and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and was a community fellow at MIT’s Department of Urban Planning. 

Deputy Chiefs Jodi Sugerman-Brozan and Rashad Cope will work with Chief Nguyen to execute  the Cabinet’s key priorities, such as workplace safety and workforce career pipelines respectively.  Deputy Chief Sugerman-Brozan will focus on improving oversight of labor standards as well as strengthening and building a culture of workplace safety and health across the city. Recently, the City of Boston has continued to see a range of preventable workplace incidents and fatalities, particularly on construction sites across the City. The Cabinet will play a major role in understanding what is causing these incidents and developing and implementing prevention strategies.

Deputy Chief Cope will primarily coordinate and build on the work of the City’s workforce employment initiatives. He will focus on constructing crucial career pipelines between the City and Boston’s educational institutions, and ensuring workers are connected with job opportunities and skill programs. 

“I am beyond excited to step into this role to advance the Mayor’s priorities around workforce empowerment,” said Rashad Cope. “Thank you to Mayor Wu, and Chief Nguyen for your commitment to training and pathway development for workers. Boston has a thriving community of current and emerging professionals that will truly benefit from reskilling and upskilling opportunities to support their growth and success in the workplace. I appreciate the tremendous moment to serve our city in this capacity.” Wu has been a consistent and equitable champion for Boston workers through uplifting the work of critical labor unions, advocacy organizations and ensuring that Boston is a city for everyone.

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