workforce training

DOL grants Press Conference Group

Celebrating new workforce training programs funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, from left, Jackie Belrose, MWCC Vice President of Life Long Learning & Workforce Development; Melissa Ahola; District Director for Senator Jen Flanagan; Martha Chiarchiaro, Vice President of Human Resources, Clinton Hospital; Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong; State Representative Jennifer Benson; Congresswoman Niki Tsongas; Congressman James McGovern; Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke; Tim Sappington, Executive Director, North Central MA Workforce Investment Board; Theresa Kane, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer, Polus Center and Social Economic Development; Jeff Turgeon, Executive Director, Central MA Workforce Investment Board; Susan Templeton, District Director; and Kaitlynn Bilodeau Legislative Aide for Representative Jonathan Zlotnik.

Congressman James McGovern and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas visited the North Central Chamber of Commerce on July 21 to announce new federal grants to support workforce training programs in North Central and Central Massachusetts. Mount Wachusett Community College is a key partner in the grant programs as a provider of training programs.

“Investing in strong workforce training programs is key to helping our local economy and community thrive,” Congressman McGovern said.

“I’m proud to join Congresswoman Tsongas and all of our local leaders to celebrate this new funding and the opportunities it will create for our local manufacturing companies and workforce, especially people with disabilities. This partnership will open new doors to members of our community who have the skills to succeed and are eager to work. I am grateful to the U.S. Department of Labor for being a strong partner and investing in our community.”

The North Central and Central Massachusetts Workforce Boards will receive $534,154 for a Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant as part of the state’s $3.2 million dollar grant award from the U.S. Department of Labor. The boards will partner on the training with Mount Wachusett Community College and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP). MWCC will offer its new Industrial Readiness and Quality Control trainings and MassMEP will offer its CNC (computer numerical control) operator training. The goal of the two-year grant is to train 80 eligible unemployed individuals in advanced manufacturing skills to meet the local industry demand.

The North Central and Central Mass Workforce Boards also recently received $1,140,000 in Disability Employment Initiative grants from the DOL. The grants will provide training funds and support for eligible individuals with disabilities interested in full-time employment. The North Central Workforce Board received $640,000 and will be offering training in healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality and finance for this three-year project. The Central Mass Workforce Board received $500,000 for its initiative and will offer training for career pathways in human services, healthcare, and customer service.

The Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant will allow both regions to provide a skilled workforce for local manufacturing companies that meets local demand, and the Disability Employment Initiative grants will allow the boards to provide enhanced services to people with disabilities under the new Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act. The grants also connect employers to this untapped talent source of qualified, skilled individuals who happen to have a disability, said Workforce Board Directors Tim Sappington and Jeff Turgeon.

MWCC’s Summer Business Luncheon Series returns this year with a variety of professional development, supervisory and management sessions. The college’s Division of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development has bundled several of its popular course offerings for entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits as well as corporate staff.

The next session,” The Art of Giving a Performance Appraisal,” will take place on Friday, July 18. The workshop will provide new and seasoned middle managers with tips to constructively and effectively inspire greater involvement, innovation, and business results from staff members Participants will learn about “the management by objectives process” as one example to support the appraisal process. Other upcoming topics include “Making the Transition to Management” on Aug. 1, “Negotiating to Win: Persuasive Communication” on Aug. 15, and an information session on obtaining grants through the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund on Aug. 22.

All sessions take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in the North Café at MWCC’s Gardner campus, 444 Green Street. The cost for each session is $15 when pre-registered or $17 at the door and includes a complimentary lunch. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Register for one or more sessions online at, by phone at 978-630-9575, or