Workforce Training Fund Grant – 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.

Advanced Manufacturing Training (2018-19) – 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 – statewide initiative to help train registered nurses, CNA/PCA, technicians, and behavioral therapists. Contact to learn more.

Healthcare Partners Achieving Career Enrichment – Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (2013-2016) – The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board has received $350K to enhance career pathway opportunities in the healthcare field. Working with our partners: Berkshire Health Systems, Berkshire Healthcare Systems, Northern Berkshire Healthcare, Berkshire Community College, McCann Technical School, Mildred Elley School for Careers, MassHire Berkshire Career Center, Adult Learning Center, and Berkshire Community Action Council, we will implement CNA and LPN training programs to develop a pipeline of workers and enhance the current healthcare workforce. More information….contact Sara at 413.442.7177 x153.

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 for more information.

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.

Associated Links

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

Key Initiatives

Berkshire Workforce Area Industry Employment Trends 2017 Third Quarter – 2018 Third Quarter

Sector/Sector Title No. of Establishments Third Quarter Employment 2017 Third Quarter Employment 2018 Yr/Yr Employment % Change
31-33 Manufacturing 156 4,307 3,696 -7.8%
62 Healthcare and Social Assistance 1338 12,830 12,805 -0.2%
71-72 Leisure & Hospitality 597 9,170 9,106 -0.7%
44-45 Retail 610 7,894 7,526 -4.7%
61 Education 101 7,533 7,480 -0.7%

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; Eighth 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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