Industry 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.

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.

handsaroundearthThe 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. Green 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 57 participants in 2012.

The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund will provide up to $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. will be taking the lead in developing a strategy for the healthcare and applied technology industries in our regoin. The BCREB will also be partnering with Older Worker Community Based Organizations to apply for an older worker component to assit the travel/tourism and retail industries. For more information, please contact Heather Boulger at (413) 442-7177.

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.