Massachusetts gives McKinsey $1.6 million to advise on 'future of work'

06 April 2021 2 min. read

The Massachusetts governor’s office has awarded strategy firm McKinsey & Company a $1.6 million contract to study how the pandemic will affect the “future of work” in the state.

The report, which is expected to be completed in seven weeks, will help the state government modify its policies in sectors ranging from housing to transportation to respond to shifts in how people will work as a result of the pandemic.

Though it’s unclear how many consulting firms bid on the contract, McKinsey cited its experience working with the Massachusetts government as one of the reasons it won the contract. The New York-headquartered firm has worked with Massachusetts agencies on over 30 projects in the past five years, granting the consultancy “insight into the broader political, regulatory, labor relations, infrastructure, and public relations environment in Massachusetts,” the bid document noted.

Nav Singh, McKinsey senior partner and director of client services for Massachusetts, will oversee the project, while Gayatri Shenai, a partner in New York, is the project’s day-to-day point of contact.

Massachusetts gives McKinsey $1.6 million to advise on 'future of work'

Legislators and the state’s attorney general criticized Gov. Charlie Baker’s contract award to the consulting firm, which has been under fire for its role in the opioid crisis.

Sen. Jo Comerford in an oversight hearing on vaccination efforts raised concerns about awarding state contracts to McKinsey. Attorney General Maura Healey, meanwhile, called the contract award “outrageous.”

McKinsey in February agreed to pay $573 million to settle an investigation from 47 state attorneys general into its role in helping opioid companies boost sales. The firm’s work included a marketing plan for Purdue Pharma to help “turbocharge” OxyContin sales.

Massachusetts will receive $13 million from McKinsey as part of the settlement deal.

Healey said the consulting firm has been paid $7 million for coronavirus-related projects since the opioid-related settlement, and $17 million since July 2020. The firm has advised the state on various pandemic-related issues, including reopening elementary and secondary schools.

"The Administration should not be enriching a company that has profited from the devastation of our communities," Healey said on Twitter.