Daily News

GCC Awarded Grant to Improve Post-incarceration Workforce Outcomes

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Community College (GCC) has been awarded $17,000 from the Commonwealth Corp. as part of an Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development initiative to improve workforce outcomes among individuals returning to their communities after incarceration. The Program Design Capacity Building Grant is part of the Commonwealth Corp. Re-Entry Workforce Development Demonstration Program.

The goal of the grant is to design a manufacturing workforce pipeline in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties that helps meet unmet manufacturing labor needs. The project aims to prepare returning citizens for careers in manufacturing by addressing systemic barriers to gainful employment for individuals post-incarceration. In order to achieve this goal, GCC will partner with manufacturing businesses, state and community agencies, and Holyoke Community College.

“GCC is proud to lead these efforts to build on and expand our strong tri-county partnerships to reduce recidivism through educational programs and pathways that lead to employment with sustainable wages,” said Alyce Stiles, dean of Workforce Development and Community Education.

Grant partners include four manufacturing businesses; Peerless Precision Inc., Sisson Engineering Corp., Deerfield Packaging Service Inc., and Sanderson McLeod Inc. Partner agencies include the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office and House of Corrections, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center, MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board, MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board, Community Action Pioneer Valley, and Holyoke Community College.

“Advanced manufacturing is booming and showing no signs of slowing down,” said Kristin Carlson, president of Peerless Precision. “We are growing and consistently seeking skilled individuals to bring in to our team. Peerless Precision Inc. is proud to support GCC’s efforts in growing the pipeline for skilled workers in manufacturing in the Pioneer Valley.”

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