Manufacturing Going Strong

October 12, 2017

Manufacturing is alive and well in our community, thanks to the commitment and engagement of area employers who have partnered with Greenfield Community College to provide training opportunities responsive to their workplace needs. GCC’s training programs in manufacturing and engineering technology are helping many area residents join the manufacturing renaissance in western Massachusetts. Across the country, National Manufacturing Month is being celebrated in October to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.  Locally, GCC will be holding an Information & Application Session on Monday October 16, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Franklin/Hampshire Career Center located at One Arch Place in Greenfield, MA.  The information session will allow you to apply and learn more about available training funds and scholarships. The next round of trainings begin in January and applicants are encouraged to start early.

GCC is helping to develop and train individuals for the growing number of local machinist jobs through a partnership with the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board, Career Centers, Franklin County Technical School, and manufacturing partners. In the past four years, over 100 Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinists have been trained through this collaborative program using the revamped state-of-the-art Machine Shop at Franklin County Technical School. Over 85% of students who have completed the CNC training through GCC are employed in manufacturing. This month, GCC is starting its 9th cohort with fourteen students who will receive instruction from technical school teachers and trainers from local manufacturing companies. GCC’s federal statewide Department of Labor Guided Pathways to Success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (GPSTEM) grant has been extended through March 31, 2018. It provides partial funding for GPSTEM programs including those in manufacturing and engineering technology.

Alyce Stiles, Dean of Workforce Development & Community Education, highlighted that “we are focused on providing opportunities for students in all stages of their careers – whether someone is seeking an entry-level position or looking to upskill into a field like precision manufacturing. Based on employer feedback, we have developed online and hands-on trainings to provide pathways for students to expand their skills and obtain industry-recognized credentials.”

One of GCC’s new programs is the Engineering Technology Certificate which provides students with the fundamental skills to enter the industrial field of Advanced Manufacturing and/or Industrial Applications of technology in the manufacturing of goods. These positions require a technical background in processing, machining, measuring, and control of machinery. The program can also benefit those who are presently employed in these fields who wish to upgrade their skills and knowledge. Learn more at:

Test the waters and take a class. There’s still time to sign up for a non-credit course in Robotics Control that starts October 24.  Robotics Control will provide students with the skills and knowledge to control robotic machines, using mechanical structures and programming techniques. Learn more at:

Intrigued but still not sure what career you’d like to pursue?

 GCC is the place to learn more. Catherine Seaver, GCC’s Chief Academic and Student Affairs Officer, points out, “There are an endless number of paths students can take with an education in manufacturing or engineering technology. These programs give students foundational knowledge that prepares them to work in many different industries doing many different kinds of jobs. National Manufacturing Month gives us a chance to highlight the opportunities available to the community who want to explore a future in manufacturing or engineering technology.”

To learn more about Manufacturing and Engineering Technology programs at GCC, and to register for an upcoming information session, visit or contact Jon Kallio, or 413.775.1642.

By Mary McClintock, 82

# # #