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HOME : ABOUT THE BCREB : KEY INITIATIVES

Key Initiatives

Healthcare Partners Achieving Career Enrichment - Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (2013-2016) - The Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Inc. 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, BerkshireWorks 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 Colleen at (413) 442-7177 x153.

Workforce Training Fund Grant - Massachusetts provides the opportunity for companies to apply for training resources to upgrade the skills of their workforce. The BCREB assists companies navigate through the grant, provides workshops on how to submit a quality application, and can assist with pulling the grant together.

Connecting Activities High School Internship Program - Berkshire County's 12 high schools have worked with the BCREB 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.

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.

Table 5

Berkshire Workforce Area Industry  Employment Trends

2013 First Quarter - 2014 First Quarter

Sector

Sector Title

First Quarter Employment

2013

First Quarter Employment

2014

Yr/Yr Employment Change

Yr/Yr Employment % Change

31-33

Manufacturing

4,609

4,440

-169

-3.6

311

Food and Beverage Manufacturing

165

137

-28

 -17.0

322

Paper Manufacturing

959

974

16

1.7

323

Printing

336

357

21

6.3

325

Chemical  Manufacturing

503

488

-15

-3.0

326

Plastics  Manufacturing

631

576

-55

-8.7

327

Glass, Clay and Cement Manufacturing

454

527

73

16.2

332

Fabricated Metals Manufacturing

421

407

-14

-3.3

3355

Metalworking Machinery

261

240

-21

-8.0

3344

Semiconductors and Electronics

117

77

-40

-34.1

3391

Medical; Equipment Manufacturing

99

113

14

14.0

Many regional efforts are underway through the Berkshire County Regional Employment 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.

Employer Engagement - The BCREB has devleoped 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.

Working Cities Challenge - Led by the Berkshire Regional PLanning Commission, our region is addressing the mismatch of long-empty jobs and unemployed residents by analyzing key job growth areas and employer needs. The initaitve will seek to impact the readiness and responsiveness of Pittsfield's workforce devleopment system by taking a close look at the top three barriers to matching potential employees to open positions. The initiatve will encompass hard skills training, job sconnectors, soft skills devlopment, on-the-job training for career advancement and professional placement centers and education providers. Partners include the Planning Commission, Berkshire Chamber, BCREB, and Berkshire United Way.

The Northern Tier Energy Sector Grant initiative - Spearheaded by the Franklin/Hampshire Workforce Investment Board, the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board partnered with Berkshire Community College and McCann Technical School to develop and implement entry-level photovoltaic training and weatherization programs. handsaroundearthGreen 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 67 participants in 2012-2013.

The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund has provided $500,000 to the Berkshire Region to develop a sectoral training strategy for critical industries in the region.   The Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Inc. has been taking the lead in developing a strategy for the healthcare industries in our region.  Project HEALTH (helping employers access labor talent in healthcare) has already trained 120 individuals in LPN, CNA, and Technician Training. 

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.

 

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 heather@berkshirereb.org
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