Each year, we draft MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board key initiatives based on funding received from the state, grants earned from state and federal agencies, and input from our Board members and community partners. We always welcome input from all businesses in our service area, especially businesses in our priority industries. If you’d like to provide feedback, you can contact us here.

Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board Initiatives FY21     As of 9/1/20

Franklin Hampshire Healthcare UP (HUP) – Year II

This Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant addresses the needs of four targeted healthcare employers to hire and retain CNAs/HHAs by linking them with job-ready, credentialed workers prepared for entry-level work and advancement. Businesses include a leading acute care health system, and leading institutions in regional extended care. A major goal is to develop, pilot, and refine customized long-term solutions to endemic hiring needs. Among the four targeted employers alone, over 100 jobs are expected to be available in the next two years. Training for 50 participants will consist of 100 hrs. of CNA/HHA training provided by Greenfield Community College, preceded by at least 20 hours of pre-training in the MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center Job Readiness Lab.

Contact: Executive Director, Rebecca Bialecki,, 413-773-1835 Ext. 310.

Summer Teacher Externship Planning Initiative

A grant from the Executive Office of Education makes it possible once again for the FHWB to place 3 Perkins Program teachers from Connecting Activities Partner Schools in paid summer externships with regional industry partners currently experiencing skill gaps. These teachers are gaining knowledge of contemporary practices in those industries and are developing new contextualized lessons for their classes. The teachers will also be able to support student career awareness about these industries and organizations and better assist students interested in respective career paths. Furthermore, teachers will share what they have learned and developed during their externship with other educators in the region and state. We hope to see this grant continued in Spring 2020.

Contact: School to Career Coordinator, Matt Allen,, 413-773-1835.

STEM Focused Internships for High School Students

A grant from the Executive Office of Education specifically focused on the development of employer-paid STEM internships for in-school youth in the Franklin Hampshire region.  The Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board was one of five in the state to be funded.  Services are coordinated through the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton, the FHWB’s partner agency, who implement this grant in both Hampshire and Franklin counties. First funded in FY18, the project has been highly successful, last year placing 34 students with 19 different employers.

School-To-Career Connecting Activities Program

Funded through a Connecting Activities/Department of Elementary and Secondary Education grant, this program bolsters the career development education of over 500 students across 16 schools and 50 communities in the region each year. FHWB and Collaborative for Educational Services collaborate with Partner Schools and employers to provide students with career exploration and work readiness activities, as well as opportunities to engage in work-based learning experiences.

Contact: School to Career Coordinator, Matt Allen,, or 413-773-1835.



Along with Hampden and Berkshire Workforce Boards, the FHWB will participate in a federally-funded program (U.S. Dept. of Defense) called MassBridge over the next two years, to develop a state-based training and career pathway model that meets the talent needs of Manufacturing USA Institutes and can be deployed nation-wide. Overseen by Mass Tech Collaborative, activities include an inventory of existing training programs; Regional Training Innovation Forums with advanced manufacturing companies; assistance with design/implementation of a 10-hour non-credit Awareness Module; and a Branding/Marketing campaign to attract youth, women, and minorities into manufacturing.

Contact: Special Projects & Business Outreach Coordinator, Andrew Baker,  413-774-4361 x375.

Expected to Be On-Going….

The Manufacturing Skills Initiative (MSI)

In partnership with an array of private-sector manufacturing businesses, Greenfield Community College, and Franklin County Technical School, this multi-year project is providing a series of 80 and 160-hour training sessions in foundational and advanced CNC manufacturing.  The FHWB plays a key role in engagement of employer partners, and recruitment, assessment, interviews, coaching, and job placement of candidates. To date, nearly 40 employers and over 160 job seekers have been served through this program, with an overall placement rate of over 83%. Current fund sources include grants from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and WIOA Training funds for eligible participants.

Contact: Special Projects & Business Outreach Coordinator, Andrew Baker,  413-774-4361 x375.

Pioneer Valley Regional Workforce Planning Initiative – Workforce Skills Cabinet

As led and supported by the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, the Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board has been working with the Hampden County Workforce Board and a core team of diverse partners to develop and implement a Regional Workforce Plan for the Pioneer Valley. One of 7 such initiatives statewide, the completed plan includes an agreement between Education, Economic Development, and Workforce sectors on priority industries, priority occupations, and joint strategies for creating effective career pathways that serve job seekers and businesses.

Contact: Executive Director, Rebecca Bialecki,, 413-773-1835 Ext. 310.