Pittsfield, Mass. – The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board held its quarterly meeting on September 13th, 2019 at their offices in Pittsfield. As a state certified High Performing Workforce Board, the BWB highlighted several accomplishments including the college & career readiness programming, training in healthcare & manufacturing, employer outreach and engagement, rapid response services to assist those impacted by company closings, and more collaborative efforts in meeting the demand for more highly skilled workers.
The BWB recognized three outstanding leaders for their efforts:
Melissa O’Brien, HR Generalist at Interprint received the Employer of the Year award for her longstanding support of the region’s career readiness programming, STEM engagement, hosting teacher externships, and participation in the region’s Advanced Manufacturing training programs. Melissa volunteers as a judge for the Science & Engineering middle and high school fairs at MCLA, participates in a number of school districts’ career fairs, has hosted local educators for externships opportunities, has provided company tours and shadowing opportunities, and serves as a driving force to connect the community to Interprint.
Joshua Mendel, Director of Recruitment and Outreach for MCLA’s Graduate and Continuing Education Division received the Workforce Professional Award. Josh has lead the Berkshire Compact’s Aspiration and Access Committee and has developed an array of college and career readiness events and programming for our region’s youth in grades K-12. He leads the charge with MCLA’s annual 8th grade career fairs, the 10th grade career expo, 3rd and 6th grad college visits, the Dual Enrollment Summer Academy, and the development of certificate programs within our critical industry sectors.
Erik Ungewitter is a licensed insurance broker at Scarafoni Financial and received the Workforce Ambassador Award. Scarafoni Financial Group is a leading employee benefits expert, creating tailor-made insurance solutions that are delivered with premier customer services to meet the needs of their clients. For over a decade, Erik has provided outstanding customer service to both large and small clients and goes above and beyond to assist with our complex medical and benefit packages. We are a stronger organization thanks to the efforts of Erik and the Scarafoni Team.
During FY2019 the BWB leveraged over $2.8 million which convened 46 companies for human resource networking; evaluated 18 programs impacting 150 people; trained 50 individuals; placed 389 high school students in internships, assisted more than 3,174 students in college and career readiness activities; provided data to 120 organizations which generated $1.6M in new resources; convened the Berkshire Skills Cabinet generating $1.5M; assisted 3 companies in transition impacting 150 workers; and the MassHire Career Center provided employment services to 3,900 job seekers and 321 employers. This investment of public funds is a critical piece of the economic and workforce development strategy of Berkshire County.
The Board voted on the Workforce Business Plan for FY2020 which can be found on its website www.MassHireBerkshire.com. The Berkshire Workforce Board is a high performing workforce board that creates and sustains powerful connections between businesses, education providers and jobseekers. The Board addresses critical labor market issues and serves the oversight and policy-making body for federally funded employment and training services in the region.