BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s a booming industry. Top lawmakers want to expand manufacturing businesses and jobs to Western Massachusetts.
Maybury Material Handling President John Maybury said the manufacturing industry has “completely changed from heavy lifting and dirt to more sophistication, computers, robots.”
It’s no longer that dirty, labor-intensive industry that it once was. It’s become more advanced over the years. On Friday, top state leaders kicked off “Manufacturing Month” in hopes of bringing more of these businesses and jobs to the Pioneer Valley.
“We will extend the circle of opportunity from Boston to the Berkshires,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop).
The emphasis on Western Massachusetts is critical because the region’s unemployment rate continues to be in the double-digits. And it’s not because there aren’t jobs there. Maybury told 22News he’s having a tough time finding qualified employees. “Getting a worker to come in that has the talent and skill, workforce training that we’re looking for is becoming more and more demanding.”
It all boils down to education and training. State leaders will spend October connecting eager job seekers with the training needed to fill these manufacturing jobs.
“One of the big points of today is to say, ‘let’s get our workers trained. Let’s connect our students and our employees with the available jobs,'” said State Sen. Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow).
Nearly ten percent of Massachusetts residents work in the manufacturing industry.