New program expected to bring more jobs to WMass

Report: Jobless rate in Springfield is 8.9%

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Patrick hopes a new training program will help the area’s unemployed find jobs a little more quickly.

He estimates the manufacturing industry will fill 100-thousand jobs in our state over the next decade. And he hopes a new training program will help jobs seekers prepare.

On Friday, Governor Patrick announced a 10-week training program that will be offered at Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College. The aim is to prepare job seekers for entry-level manufacturing jobs.

The program targets people who are underemployed or unemployed. And the goal is to teach those people all the skills necessary to enter the growing manufacturing market. Welcome news for both job seekers and local manufacturers.

Renee Widor of Ludlow said, “I definitely think we are struggling, and I think it would be a great opportunity to have this. I’d really like to look into this and know a little more about it.”

David Cruise from the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County told 22News the training program, if carried out well, could help people find jobs right here in western Massachusetts.

He said “They have a significant number of employees who are retiring over the next five years. Coupled with that, they are struggling trying to find a workforce that are qualified employees coming in to the workforce.”

Governor Patrick said companies like Gulfstream in Westfield, and Smith & Wesson in Springfield will partner with the program, but career advisers told 22News this opportunity could also mean more  competition for those jobs.

Konrad Rogowski from Futureworks Career Center said, “Despite the fact that there are more jobs, there’s still people competing for those, so they really have to be on top of their game.”

The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that the jobless rate in Springfield is 8.9%, while the statewide rate is much lower, at 6%.

Cruise said with the help of the new training program, he expects over the next 3 to 5 years, more people will find jobs at manufacturers in the Greater Springfield area.


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