Key Initiatives

Massachusetts WIOA Regional Workforce Development Planning

  • The Berkshire Workforce Blueprint has been approved by the Commonwealth. The final version can be uploaded here. Berkshire Bluprint final 3-30-18.  The Berkshire Regional Skills Team will continue to convene to discuss strategy implementation.
  • BCREB seeking Staffing/Consultant to implement 2018-2019 strategies. The Request for Funding Qualifications can be found here. RFQ 7-18. Questions will be accepted through August 20th at 12PM and Responses are due by 12PM on August 22, 2018 by emailing Questions and answers will be posted weekly here.


  • On behalf of the Berkshire Regional Skills Team, the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Inc. (BCREB) has prepared a DRAFT Berkshire Labor Market Blueprint for submission to the Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet as required by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Created by Governor Charles Baker, the Skills Cabinet is comprised of the Secretariats from the Executive Office of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development, and is charged with creating and implementing a strategy to ensure that individuals can develop and continuously improve their skills and knowledge to meet the varying hiring needs of employers across the Commonwealth.Following a prescribed template as outlined by the state, Berkshire Regional Skills Team, comprised of regional leaders representing the three executive branches and other community leaders, have drafted components of the Blueprint between May 2017-January 2018 The federal legislation requires that the document include a 30-day public comment period.Interested parties can obtain a draft of the Berkshire Labor Market Blueprint by visiting the website. Berkshire Blueprint 2018.  Paper copies are also available at the BCREB Office at 66 Allen Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201 between the hours of 8AM-4PM.Comments must be submitted in writing, no later than March 2, 2018 to:Heather Boulger, Executive Director

    Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Inc.

    66 Allen Street

    Pittsfield, MA 01201


    All comments will be reviewed and incorporated into the final Berkshire Workforce Blueprint and submitted to the Commonwealth by March 9th, 2018. Thank you in advance for your input.

State Strategy

Goal 1: Align economic, workforce, and education systems to coordinate systems based on skill needs in regions.

The Governor has designated a new set of regional boundaries that roll up existing workforce development areas into a smaller set of regions. The new configuration organizes the 16 Workforce Investment Areas into 7 regions.

MA WIOA Workforce Development Regions

The purpose of the regional planning under the Workforce Skills Cabinet (WSC) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is to use the same regional boundaries between economic development, workforce, education and key partners to identify business demand for skills, create regional strategies, and align existing resources to this process.   The goal is to ensure that regional employers, educators, economic development entities, regional planning organizations and workforce training officials are coordinated in a way that creates strong talent pipelines, for both middle-skilled and highly skilled jobs.  A Labor Market Blueprint with strategies will be developed as an end-product to this process.

Relevant Links:

Industry Initiatives

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.

Advanced Manufacturing Training (2016-17) – The MA Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development has received $138K to enhance career pathway opportunities in the manufacturing sector. Working with our employer partners, education and training providers, and community-based organizations, the BCREB 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 x144.

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 Sara at 413.442.7177 x144.

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


First Quarter Employment


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 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.