As part of the 2019 Berkshire Advanced Manufacturing Program, 28 un/underemployed participants received certificates of completion for their participation in the Introduction to Basic Advanced Manufacturing Skills Training (120 hours) held at Taconic High School in Pittsfield and McCann Tech in North Adams; and Welding (95 hours) held McCann Tech. Training included blueprint reading, shop math, computer aided drafting, CAM, machining, and mill and lathe programming which are the skills companies are requesting. All trainees received OSHA training and cards; as well as classroom work in work readiness and resume building. Students also attended tours of local manufacturers including Boyd Technologies, ProTech-Safariland, and Apex Resource Technologies.
Additionally, 23 individuals, participated in a one-day Hoisting training which prepared them to take the State licensure exams in 1A and 3C hoisting. These skills combined with classroom work in resume building, interviewing skills and work readiness give students the ability to seek employment in the Manufacturing sector.
Participants in all trainings are invited to attend a Career Fair at the MassHire Berkshire Career Center on June 12, 2019 with manufacturing employers who are actively looking to fill positions. Participants in the past have successfully gained employment at such companies as: Apex, LTI Specialty Glass, Onyx Specialty Paper, Lenco, Data Flute, Unistress and General Dynamics.
These trainings are part of a $178K state grant awarded to the Berkshire Workforce Board for FY2019 to support the education and training of individuals with entry-level skills needed to enter and/or advance within the Advanced Manufacturing workforce in Berkshire County. Funding was provided by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and administered by the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County. This is the fifth year of providing this training. Past program participants boast a 70% job placement rate in manufacturing companies such as: Apex, LTI Glass, T&A Tool, Lenco Armored Cars, RIBCo., Data Flute, Unistress, Covanta LLC, Onyx Specialty Papers, Lansen Mold, and Modern Mold and Tool.
The Berkshire Workforce Board is the grant recipient and partners in the grant include area manufacturing employers Apex, Cavallero Plastics, Crane & Co., Covestro, Interprint, Onyx Specialty Paper, and Sinicon; Berkshire Community College, McCann Technical School, MassHire Berkshire Career Center, and Pittsfield Public Schools.