For Immediate Release - July 11, 2014


Program Will Train Unemployed Individuals for Careers in Advanced Manufacturing

Workforce Development Program Announcement
Governor Patrick makes an announcement relative to training workers in the Pioneer Valley for careers in the 21st century economy at the Smith & Wesson Center inside Springfield Technical Community College. (Photo: Eric Haynes / Governor’s Office)

SPRINGFIELD - Friday, July 11, 2014 - Governor Deval Patrick today announced the launch of a joint advanced manufacturing training program between Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) and Holyoke Community College (HCC) to train unemployed individuals for entry level jobs as production technicians at local manufacturers. This new program will help train the region’s workforce with the skills needed for careers in advanced manufacturing and prepare them to a much-need skills gap identified by the Commonwealth’s employers.

“Massachusetts’ competitive edge lies in our exceptional academic institutions, cutting-edge private companies, highly-skilled workforce and above all, our willingness to work together to connect workers with employment opportunities,” said Governor Patrick. “This program is an example of how we are choosing growth and enhancing the competitiveness of our advanced manufacturing industry, for today and the future.”

The joint program will prepare approximately 30 under- and unemployed participants to take the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certification Exam; those who are successful will be certified as Production Technicians. Individuals in the program will also be able to explore career pathways through career assessments and counseling and access support and tutoring services. Additionally, the colleges will work with the Regional Employment Board, One-Stop Career Centers and area manufacturers to place the graduates in employment. The Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., Suffolk Construction and Smith & Wesson contributed a total of $90,000 to support the development and implementation of this program.  

Some employment partners will include: Gulf Stream, Hoppe Tool, RR Leduc, Marox Corporation, Savage Arms, Smith & Wesson, Tel Tool, Universal Plastics, US Tsubaki and Westside Finishing. The joint program is part of Training and Workforce Options (TWO), a one-of-a-kind collaboration between STCC and HCC that provides affordable custom contract training for businesses.

“Programs like this provide our workforce with the skills they need to compete, and are a critical reason why Massachusetts is leading the nation in growing a 21st century advanced manufacturing sector,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. “We remain committed to supporting this vital industry and ensuring a strong manufacturing workforce for our future.”

“This is exactly the kind of private/public collaboration that is going to help prime the pipeline to good paying jobs and a ticket to the middle class,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian. “Springfield Technical and Holyoke Community Colleges and their program funders should be commended for answering the Governor’s call to scale up the workforce for the jobs of tomorrow in Advanced Manufacturing and IT.”

“This type of collaborative effort bridges career and education, allowing the Commonwealth to lead the nation in career development,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “This vital combination of skills will give our students the competitive edge they will need to succeed in the global workforce.”

In order to meet the growing demand for skilled workers in the advanced manufacturing field, education and employer partners have been working to scale the talent pipeline by adding more intense and contextualized training for individuals in need of Adult Basic Education and English Language Learners. Together, STCC and HCC have capitalized on the strengths of their respective campuses by developing a joint program to address Adult Basic Education, English for Other Languages, career readiness, basic math and English and mechanical aptitude.

"This manufacturing training program is a perfect example of how our Commonwealth can expand opportunity to more of our fellow citizens -- through smart, effective investment and collaboration,” said Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse. “I thank Governor Patrick for launching this initiative, and applaud HCC and STCC for partnering in this worthy endeavor."

“My thanks to Governor Patrick and our corporate sponsors for their continued generous efforts,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “This is a wonderful investment in our people and will help meet the existing demand in our workforce. These continued efforts recognize not only the need but more importantly that Springfield, Western Mass and Northern Connecticut are ‘hot beds’ for precision manufacturing.”

“The Pioneer Valley is home to a large number of manufacturing firms looking for talented, qualified employees in order to expand their businesses,” said Senator Gale D. Candaras. “These are high-quality, good paying jobs with potential for advancement. HCC & STCC, along with their funding partners, continue to lead the way in providing educational and workforce development programming tailored to the needs of our local economy.”

“The manufacturing industry is a large part of our economy in Western Massachusetts,” said Senator James T. Welch.  “We need skilled workers to fill these jobs. Programs like this are important as we work to address the high unemployment rates in Hampden County.”

This announcement builds upon the Commonwealth’s commitment to the expansion of education and a continued increase in workforce development for middle skill jobs as a key element of improving our state’s economic competitiveness. The Patrick Administration is committed to supporting the growth of advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts, an industry that is expected to fill 100,000 jobs in the next decade and offers careers in a sector with an average annual salary of $75,000. In 2012, the Governor’s Jobs Bill created that Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC).The AMC too promotes manufacturing and helps regions throughout the state improve the ability of manufacturers to find the workers they need to compete, and for people to get the training they need to get started.

The Patrick Administration, through the AMC, is implementing this new program in order to immediately address the education and innovation needs of the state’s manufacturers. There are regional manufacturing partnerships across the state in the Northeast, Southeast, Northern and Central Worcester County, Northern Berkshire County, Franklin-Hampshire County and Hampden County. These partnerships are working together to produce hundreds of skilled workers annually for manufacturers statewide.

A second major part of the AMC’s strategy is to provide streamlined access to state resources to meet the immediate training and education opportunities. The FY14 budget supported $2 million to extend immediate assistance to region’s throughout the state with similar training needs to Hampden County and awarded four new grants.

In June of 2013, the Patrick Administration announced the launch of the Advanced Manufacturing Regional Partnership Academy (AMRPA), a first in the nation effort to improve the effectiveness of regional manufacturing sector strategies by providing education, tools and peer learning to regional leaders.

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