Workforce training is needed to boost jobs in WMass

BOSTON (WWLP) – State lawmakers met with leaders in business and education Tuesday to explore ways to get people back to work. Many of these jobs require a specific skill set and state funding to build a qualified workforce.

“If companies are going to look at western Mass. or Massachusetts in general, one of the key things they’re going to look at is making sure we have a trained workforce,” said Holyoke Democrat Aaron Vega.

Information technology and advanced manufacturing are two sectors that are expected to flourish, especially in the Pioneer Valley. In order for businesses to want to move to Massachusetts, the state must develop a skilled workforce to fill the jobs. In the midst of budget cuts, Labor Committee Chairman Joe Wagner (D-Chicopee) says investments for job training will pay off in the long run.

“There are investments we should make which may in fact add to some areas of the budget, but which will in the long run more than offset the cuts we’ll make today in the name of a stronger economy tomorrow.”

CNR Changchun Railways and MGM Springfield is expected to create thousands of jobs for western Massachusetts. State Rep. Wagner says more needs to be done to meet the needs of future employers.

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