Bright Nights facility will help provide job skills training

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new training facility being built at Forest Park could soon help create jobs in western Massachusetts. State and local leaders broke ground Monday for the Bright Nights Technical Skills Training Facility, which will help students develop skills needed in the building trades.

The regional employment board will be in charge of the training aspect. Groups of about 33 students will use the center’s workshop area and classrooms for hands-on training. Local union members will teach them a variety of skills and trades, including carpentry, electrical, welding, and painting. Brian Santaniello, chairman of Springfield’s Parks Commission, told 22News that these skills will help local residents qualify for jobs that are in high demand.

“This is going to enable people to learn trades, to be productive in good paying jobs in the city of Springfield,” Santaniello said.

“We’re going to be using our parks as outdoor classrooms, so they can hone their skills,” said Patrick Sullivan, the city’s Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management director.

Sullivan told 22News that in addition to working on equipment used in the annual holiday lighting display, students will also be working on infrastructure projects at local parks, which could help save taxpayer money.

The City is spending nearly $2 million on the training facility, with another $1.29 million from a grant funded by federal tax money.

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