Berkshire Community College (BCC) has received a $4,000 grant from Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) to support the enrollment of 20 students in BCC’s Certified Manufacturing Associate Credential program.
The virtual training, spanning four to six weeks, comprises 25 courses taught in English or Spanish. Participants gain an excellent introduction to the field of manufacturing and, in turn, significantly increase their chances of securing entry-level positions. After completion of the coursework, students must pass an exam in order to earn a Certified Manufacturing Associate credential from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).
The SME Certified Manufacturing Associate provides great foundational training to help people gain entry into the exciting manufacturing industry in the Berkshires,” said Paul Mattingly, BCC Director of Workforce Development: Advanced Manufacturing. “The Berkshire Community College Workforce Development team is excited to partner with the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation to help make this opportunity available to more people.”
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Director of Workforce Development - Advanced Manufacturing
According to the Berkshire Economic Development Corporation’s “Berkshire Blueprint,” the manufacturing industry adds the highest value to the regional economy, with a gross regional product of $917 million. With an aging workforce within the industry, the replacement need will be 45% in the next three to five years.
"Manufacturing has a venerable tradition in Berkshire County’s economy and the sector is growing, with a strong multiplier effect for every new job created," said Peter Taylor, president of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. “We hope this grant from our Community Fund will create opportunities for economic mobility and a high quality of life for BCC students as they pursue work in an area with great career prospects.”