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Employment Opportunity

Workforce Research Specialist

Official Job Title: Workforce Research Specialist

Reports To: Associate Commissioner for Research, Planning and Information Systems

Salary: $34.52 to $42.78 Hourly

Notes: This is a contract position which is funded through September 2014.

Application Deadline: March 18, 2013


Position Overview

The Workforce Research Specialist will work for the Associate Commissioner for Research and Planning and will also work with the Associate Commissioner for Economic and Workforce Development to generate in-depth assessments of the Commonwealth’s workforce needs and the effectiveness of our public higher education institutions in meeting those needs. The individual who fills this position will be responsible for producing a variety of reports that will be based on analyses of data from our in-house data system as well as proprietary and other state agency data sources related to Massachusetts jobs and employment. The individual will also manage the data collection, analysis and reporting related to the evaluation of the MCCWDTA, a community college initiative focused on transitioning workers. It is important that this position is filled by someone who is comfortable working with relational databases and generating concise practical research reports.

Essential Job Functions

  • Drafting and refinement of data documentation.
  • Review/error checking of comprehensive flat file submissions from campuses.
  • Investigations of potential data submission errors.
  • On-going communications with data providers.
  • Flat file processing and preparation for collaboration with Division of Career Services for wage record match.
  • Maintenance of technical documentation and privacy/FERPA protection implementations for the merged data. General support for all aspects of the MOU with the Division of Career Services.
  • Support with establishing the architecture and maintenance of Workforce Database schema
  • Investigation of alternative proprietary data sets related to workforce needs in the Commonwealth.
  • Analytic support for all workforce-related reporting requirements.
  • Generation of all Grant required spreadsheets and reports related to the success of community colleges students in the workforce.
  • Review reports with DHE data analysts, CommCorp and Campuses for potential errors or issues of concern prior to final submission.


  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 3 years experience working with workforce or labor data.
  • Demonstrated ability to write concise and practical research reports based on varied workforce analyses.
  • Experience working with data providers to enhance the quality of data submissions
  • Professional experience in the assessment of workforce issues.
  • Facility with analytic software tools (e.g. Cognos, Excel, SPSS, SAS).
  • Experience with the visual presentation of data analyses.
  • Ability to effectively and efficiently manage multiple tasks.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Proven ability to meet deadlines.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with Oracle databases.
  • Experience using SQL.
  • Familiarity with the higher education databases and data definitions.
  • Experience providing data and analyses to state and national education authorities.
  • Knowledge of FERPA laws and campus policies regarding the use of student-level data. 
  • Familiarity with employment and labor market data from state and federal data sources including the American Community Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
  • Experience extracting and analyzing data from the Public Use Microdata Sample files (PUMS) produced by the Census.
  • Master’s degree in public policy, economics or related field with a quantitative emphasis.

Application Instructions

Please send cover letter, résumé, and writing sample of research reports by e-mail to:

Jonathan Keller
Associate Commissioner for Research, Planning and Information Systems

Applications will be accepted through March 18, 2013.

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer.


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