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HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College is launching a free training program for individuals who want to get started in the manufacturing industry.  


HCC’s free Introduction to Manufacturing Techniques program begins Feb. 28, with options for both morning and afternoon sessions over two or three weeks. Group 1 classes meet Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon until March 10; Group 2 meets Monday through Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. until March 17. 


All classes meet in person at HCC’s downtown location, the Picknelly Adult & Family Education Center (PAFEC) at 206 Maple St., Holyoke.  


A second round of two- and three-week classes (Groups 3 and 4) begins March 28.


The program, designed in collaboration with area businesses, will provide entry-level knowledge and skills for employment in the manufacturing sector in the Holyoke area. Classes are geared for students already employed by area companies or those looking to gain entry into the industry. 


The course will cover general manufacturing processes and principles, math skills for manufacturing, problem-solving strategies, quality-control standards such as Lean and ISO 9000, and career expectations and professional behavior.


A $50,000 allocation in the state budget provided the seed money for the program. 


“Holyoke employers need a trained workforce and Holyoke constituents need career-track jobs,” state Rep. Pat Duffy (D-Holyoke), who advocated for the funding, said last year. 


According to labor and workforce data, 9.7% of jobs in Holyoke are in manufacturing compared to 6.7% statewide. 


Participants will also be connected to area employers and receive job placement assistance through HCC and MassHire Holyoke.


“We believe the program will benefit jobseekers, incumbent workers, and businesses of Holyoke and the region alike,” said HCC President Christina Royal. “Ultimately, the goal is to help lift individuals out of poverty and meet the needs of the business community.”


Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend on-campus classes at HCC, including those held at PAFEC.


For more information or to sign up, please contact Paul Sheehan at [email protected]; (413) 437-0062, or fill out the inquiry form online at hcc.edu/manufacturing