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 x118.

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 x144.

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 2016 First Quarter – 7 First Quarter

Sector/Sector TitleFirst Quarter Employment 2013First Quarter Employment 2014Yr/Yr Employment ChangeYr/Yr Employment % Change
31-33 Manufacturing4,6094,440-169-3.6
311 Food & Beverage Manufacturing165137-28-17.0
322 Paper Manufacturing959974161.7
323 Printing336357216.3
325 Chemical Manufacturing503488-15-3.0
326 Plastics Manufacturing631576-55-8.7
327 Glass, Clay and Cement Manufacturing4545277316.2
332 Fabricated Metals Manufacturing421407-14-3.3
3355 Metalworking Machinery261240-21-8.0
3344 Semiconductors & Electronics11777-40-34.1
3391 Medical Equipment Manufacturing991131414.0

Many regional efforts are underway through the MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board, Berkshire Community College, McCann Technical School, the companies that comprise the Berkshire Applied Technology Council, and MassTEC who are committed to promoting the many new and exciting educational and career opportunities that now exist in manufacturing.

Explore what manufacturing is all about:

  • Amp It Up – promoting opportunities in manufacturing
  • Click here for information about education options and career pathways in Advanced Manufacturing
  • Click here for the certificate and degree programs in Advanced Manufacturing descriptions.

handsaroundearthThe Northern Tier Energy Sector Grant initiative – Spearheaded by the Franklin/Hampshire Workforce Investment Board, the MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board partnered with Berkshire Community College and McCann Technical School to develop and implement entry-level photovoltaic training and weatherization programs. Green jobs span many economy sectors. Most of us have interests and skills that with exploration and support can be applied to create the innovative careers that this new economy depends on. Use the tools and information on this website to explore these green industry sectors. You’ll find career pathways, job descriptions and resources to start you on your journey. Berkshire County trained 57 participants in 2012.

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.

The Extended Care Career Ladder Inititiative (ECCLI) – Commonwealth Corporation works in conjunction with the Nursing Home Quality Initiative to enhance the quality of long-term care in Massachusetts.  We assist long-term care employers in the design of unique education opportunities, career ladders, and positive workplace practices which lead to improved patient care and employee retention rates in their facilities. Direct-care workers, managers, and supervisors receive occupational training.

The Berkshire Bay State Works Grant – provided 106 employees from 25 companies the opportunity to upgrade their skills in leadership development, CISCO, Applied Engineering and Business Services.

Employer Engagement – The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board has develeoped a strong marketing campaign to help encourage employers to provide work and learning programs for our youth.

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; Berkshire Chamber Youth Leadership Program; and Berkshire United Way’s You First! Day of Caring.

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