Workforce Training Fund Program – Massachusetts provides the opportunity for companies to apply for training resources to upgrade the skills of their workforce. The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board assists companies navigate through the grant, provides workshops on how to submit a quality application, and can assist with pulling the grant together. Learn more about the WTFP and contact us today!

Berkshire County Manufacturing – Nearly 5,000 jobs in Berkshire County are in the Manufacturing sector, making it the 5th largest industry in the region. Manufacturing is woven into the historical fabric of Berkshire County and represents a key industry base. Once dominated by a handful of large industries, the economic landscape of the county is now comprised of smaller, niche-manufacturers, who specialize in areas including paper, plastics, medical devices, and aeronautics. These industries represent the future of high-tech manufacturing in Berkshire County.

Manufacturing BRIDGE (2020) – The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board identifies workforce needs from our manufacturing industires and works with our education/training providers to develop solutions to their recruitment, retention and training needs. Contact us for more information.

Advanced Manufacturing Training 2020 – The MA Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development has received $178K to enhance career pathway opportunities in the manufacturing sector. Working with our employer partners, education and training providers, and community-based organizations, the MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board has developed and implemented a variety of training opportunities for unemployed, under-employed, and incumbent workers throughout Berkshire County. More information…contact Sara at 413.442.7177 x153.

Healthcare Collaborative – The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board convenes our healthcare partners twice annually to identify workforce gaps and establish initiatives to help train registered nurses, CNA/PCA, technicians, and behavioral therapists. Contact us for more information.

Berkshire Nursing Assistant Program – Workforce Competiveness Trust Fund (2019-2021) – Through a comprehensive partnership of Berkshire County’s healthcare employers, educators, workforce professionals, social service agencies, and career development agencies, the Berkshire Nursing Assistant program proposes to directly address the needs of our healthcare industry to develop 70 Certified Nursing Assistants throughout the 2-year, $218K grant. Populations served will include un/underemployed with emphasis on attracting younger and older workers, Veterans, persons with disabilities, and homemakers.

The DayTime Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide Program will utilize the current Berkshire Health Systems/Berkshire Community College evening program guidelines to provide a program that is accessible to those who do not have the ability to attend a night course. For infomation and to apply to our upcoming cohort click here.

Berkshire Healthcare Systems has researched and partnered with the American Health Care Association (AHCA)’s How to be a Nurse Assistant Program which is a blended online nurse assistant course. The didactic work is completed online with an online state approved instructor monitoring and assisting students. The lab and clinical hours are completed at a Berkshire Healthcare Systems facility. Students can access the course from their tablets, PC’s, or smartphones when connected to the internet. For more information and to apply to our upcoming cohort click here.

Berkshire Healthcare Hub – The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board has received a 6-month planning grant October 2020 to establish an action plan to address the workforce needs of our Berkshire Healthcare providers. Contact us for more information.

Connecting Activities High School Internship Program – Berkshire County’s 12 high schools have worked with the MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board to develop strong, structured work and learning experiences for their students. Approximately 500 students participate in internships each year, 2,500 students participate in career exploration activities; and educators participate in Teacher Externship and other professional development opportunities such as the Upper Housatonic River Valley Education Experience. Contact us for more information.

Berkshire County STEM Week October 19-23, 2020 – The Berkshire STEM Network established a variety of activities to help students, educators, parents and the community learn more about Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) in the Berkshires. The 2020 theme is “See Yourself in STEM”. Here is the week’s STEM-Week-Overview-2020. There are virtual tours, conversations with engineers and physcians, exploring the solar system, and many other engaging activites! Free and open to the public, the week will feature a virtual series of unique panels, workshops, speakers, virtual tours, and information about opportunities that exist in science, technology, engineering, and math in the Berkshires and beyond.

The Berkshire STEM Network (including the Berkshire Workforce Board) developed a series of virtual workshops, videos, and activities to highlight Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in the Berkshires. Click here for a series of 15 videos that our partners at Pittsfield TV helped to showcase!

MassHire Berkshire Career Center will have a virtual STEM Job Fair on October 21-23, and the Berkshire Museum will offer “Be a Chemist,” a live virtual event where students can conduct safe experiments with items in their kitchens. Hancock Shaker Village will offer a virtual tour, and General Dynamics has developed a website for students featuring 15 different at-home science experiments suitable for every grade.

The Massachusetts STEM Summit is an annual statewide event that attracts leaders and practitioners from the state’s education, business and government sectors, all dedicated to promoting a STEM-literate workforce and citizenry. With stimulating plenary speakers, diverse topical interest panel sessions, and opportunities for networking, the STEM Summit has grown into an annual opportunity for sharing innovative ideas, discussing groundbreaking policies and strategies, and celebrating the tremendous ongoing work taking place at all levels of education and workforce development throughout the state. Massachusetts has held an annual statewide STEM Summit since 2004.

Associated Links

Learn about the MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board’s key initiatives below.

Key Initiatives

Many regional efforts are underway through the Berkshire Workforce Board, working collectively with our employers, education/training providers, and community partners to assist in developing solid career pathways and recruitment and retention activities to help our companies thrive.

The Healthcare/Social assistance sector employs the largest number of employees (11,500) in Berkshire County, and includes a range of companies and non-profit organizations that provide diagnostic, preventive, curative, and therapeutic services through hospitals, doctor offices, medical groups, rehabilitation, and long-term care organizations.

Click here for pathways in healthcare: BRANCHES OF OPPORTUNITY HEALTH CARE final 4-19

The Manufacturing sector employs more than 6,500 people and is the fifth largest industry sector in the region. Advanced manufacturing services use innovative technology, high-precision equipment, and engineering methods to improve products and processes through production, engineering, advanced materials, defense, and medical and life sciences.

Click here for pathways in manufacturing: BRANCHES OF OPPORTUNITY ADVANCED MANUFACTURING Final 4-19

The Hospitality and Tourism sector is the region’s fourth largest industry sector in Berkshire County employing more than 6,00 workers. This industry consists of hotels/inns, restaurants and food service enterprises, recreation and attractions, and other supporting industries that attract visitors to the region.

Click here for pathways in travel/tourism: BRANCHES OF OPPORTUNITY HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM final 4-19

The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund will provide up to $500,000 to the Berkshire Region to develop a sectoral training strategy for critical industries in the region. The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board will be taking the lead in developing a strategy for the healthcare and applied technology industries in our regoin. The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board will also be partnering with Older Worker Community Based Organizations to apply for an older worker component to assit the travel/tourism and retail industries. For more information, please contact Heather Boulger at (413) 442-7177.

Berkshire Compact for Education – Raising the aspirations of young people for college and career readiness. Youth Programs include College Visits for 3rd & 6th graders; Eight grade North County Career Fair; Readiness Center; Wee Read Berkshire County; 1Berkshire Youth Leadership Program; and Berkshire United Way’s You First! Day of Caring.

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