Strategic Plan

The MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board Strategic Plan outlines our goals and related actions over a six-year plan (2020-2025). Check out our PowerPoint for some highlights of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. For a PDF version, click here.

Final Report: Performance in Relation to Strategic Plan Goals 2013-2018

I. Increase frequency and depth of contacts and relationships with priority industry sector employers

Strategies

  • Engage more employers directly in education/training initiative
  • Track and support growth of jobs/training in areas critical to regional identity
  • Expand staff specialist/coach roles in priority industry areas
  • Intensify use of OJT

Impact

  • Developed and sustained significant employer support in manufacturing training. Established a quarterly Manufacturers Roundtable as an on-going venue.
  • Successful Creative Economy Summit & BUZZ Networking events for arts entrepreneurs./business with help from REB Special Projs.Coordinator.
  • Even without grant funding, sustained and utilized Healthcare and Clean Energy/Green Jobs networks as needed.  
  • Established Special Projects/Industry Coach position and proved its effectiveness in providing industry-specific job coaching, placement and retention.
  • Secured funding for and succeeded at variety of industry sector partnerships: green jobs, healthcare, homecare.   
  • Helped to prompt expansion of Healthcare options, e.g. in Medical Office and Medical Assisting.
  • Mass Workforce Alliance Food Systems study completed and released with FHREB support.

 

  • Insufficient progress in developing OJTs, although did support 4 OJTs at Kennametal with EOHED $ as part of strategy to encourage expansion.

II. Refine/expand our ability to work effectively with community partners to serve homeless and ex-offenders, among other special populations.

Strategies

  • Document current practice/partners and identify potential improvements/enhancements
  • With or without grant funding, build on strong working relationships to implement creative and effective approaches to working with key populations
  • Seek funding to work collaboratively with partners to address persistent weaknesses or gaps

Impact

  • Strong Career Center and WB support of successful Secure Jobs Connect and Western Mass Homeless Network activities.
  • Leadership role in designing and implementing Community College Transformations initiatives.
  • Developed effective Bridge programming in Healthcare and Manufacturing with the assistance of community partners.
  • Secured multiple grants in past five years successfully addressing gaps between educational/career pathways.
  • Significantly increased the number of WIOA-eligible participants in the Manufacturing Skills Program.
  • Increased connections to Houses of Correction in Franklin and Hampshire counties. Working with Greenfield Community College on re-entry program Manufacturing Training, both pre- and post-release.
  • Increased partnership with Holyoke Community College, benefiting Hampshire Co. participants.

III. Draw on Board member expertise and contacts to increase visibility of REB and impact of services.

Strategies

  • Increase the visibility of the REB in Hampshire County & other areas
  • Engage REB members personally in new member recruitment, program review and analysis, advocacy & other areas
  • Ensure every REB member contributes to youth employment goals through either a donation, a youth work experience, or assistance in engaging an additional business in youth employment activities.

Impact

  • Implemented a variety of activities in Ware region for the first time: office hours, manufacturing event, recruitment, training, Youthspeak.
  • REB members conducted visits to Rep. Scibak, Kocot, Mark and others to highlight need for increased Connecting Activities funding (achieved).
  • REB members able to effectively review/analyze training outcomes through use of improved tools.
  • REB Youth Component in Just Roots/FCCDC “Growing Together” USDA grant.
  • Youth placed in internships at REB member businesses including Northeast Solar and Atalasoft.
  • REB members directly and successfully assisted with   transition to WIOA, senior staff transitions at FHCC, and One Stop Career Center procurement.
  • West County REB meeting to Focus on West County issues and potential activities, leading to active participation in workforce initiatives by Superintendent/Mohawk Regional.
  • Established WIOA partners group, including sev’t Board members.
  • Leadership team for Hampshire Co. Strategic Agenda
  • Leadership team for Pioneer Valley Regional Planning

IV. Improve the quality, not just the quantity, of business relationships.

Strategies

  • Solicit employer input; hone employer engagement
  • Increase focus on employer workshops/seminars
  • Increase direct referral of job seekers to employers
  • Establish a local, collaborative “rapid response” strategy for projected lay-offs that complements and enhances state Rapid Response program.

Impact

  • Completed REB database of employers, sortable by industry sector and engagement activity
  • Legislative advocacy secured inclusion of Northampton as eligible city for Youthworks funding – first of many summer projects implemented.
  • Youth Career Services Fair in Northampton continued: 18 employers; 76 youth; 10 schools/programs
  • Completed updated vacancy survey of area manufacturers
  • Wake Up Wednesday Concept developed by Career Center
  • The Manufacturing Skills Initiative (MSI) has graduated over 150 participants from its 12-week CNC Operator program and maintained an 84% job placement rate over 6 years of operation, vigorously supported with donations and legislative advocacy by business community.
  • Multi-year AMP IT UP initiative prompted wide variety of business tours, school presentations, Celebrate Manufacturing events, billboards, and publicity.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness of Industry Coach/Direct Referral activities.
  • Worked with COG and WBs in Vt and NH to mitigate effects of Vermont Yankee closure.

V. Engage a variety of partners in helping youth in transition develop a focus, gain skills, and achieve goals. 

Strategies

  • Provide a diverse mix of career development/transition activities for out-of-school youth
  • Ensure every youth completing a program has a Next Step Plan and Back-Up Plan.
  • Increase the level of awareness and utilization of Youth Service Council education/employment resources in area high schools

Impact

  • YSC meeting established a baseline for measuring School Engagement in School to Career
  • Developed expertise in STEM internship and externship through partnership with Collaborative Educational Services.
  • Researched Career Planning tools and approaches and integrated into partners school with increasing success.
  • New and improved youth website.
  • Transitioned WIA Youth Council to WIOA Youth Career Connections Council with strong partner support.
  • Established annual youth events such as Youthspeak and other opportunities such as Youth Career Day.
  • Secured first FHWB USDOL grant ever (1 of 10 in the country) and implemented highly successful Summer Jobs & Beyond project with Community Action helping 250 youth into college or career.

Goals and Action Steps 2013-2018

Updated 6/30/2017

I. In collaboration with community partners, increase frequency and depth of contacts and relationships with priority industry sector employers.

  • Engage more employers directly in education/training program development
  • Intensify use of OJT, paid internship and other on-site opportunities to incentivize hiring and enhance training
  • Maintain/expand staff specialist/coach role in at least 3 priority areas: e.g. manufacturing, healthcare, and educational services
  • Track and support continuing growth and development of jobs and training in industry areas key to our regional identity: e.g. agriculture, green jobs, and the creative economy.

II. Refine and expand our ability to work creatively and effectively with community partners to serve homeless and ex-offenders, among other special populations (e.g. Adult Learners, Veterans, people with disabilities, the long-term unemployed, etc.)

  • Document current practice/partners and identify potential improvements/enhancements
  • With or without grant funding, build on strong working relationships to implement
  • Seek funding to work collaboratively with partners to address persistent weaknesses and gaps.

III. Draw on Board member expertise and contacts to increase visibility of REB and impact of services.

  • Increase the visibility of the REB in Hampshire County, including Ware, and in West County
  • Engage REB members personally in new member recruitment
  • Ensure every REB member contributes to youth employment goals through either a donation, a youth work experience, or assistance in engaging an additional business in youth employment activities.

IV. Improve the quality, not just the quantity, of business relationships.

  • Increase focus on employer workshops/seminars
  • Increase direct referrals of jobs seekers to employers
  • Establish a local, collaborative “rapid response” strategy for projected lay-offs that complements and enhances state Rapid Response program.

V. Engage a variety of partners in helping youth in transition develop a focus, gain skills, and achieve goals.

  • Provide a diverse mix of career development activities that afford out-of-school and in-school youth the opportunity to move from awareness, to exploration, to immersion
  • Ensure every youth completing a program has a Next Step Plan and Back-Up Plan.
  • Increase the level of awareness and utilization of Youth Service Council education/employment resources in area high schools.