GCC, NE-XT Mark Milestone with Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship

April 11, 2024

Greenfield Community College will soon celebrate graduating the first class of apprentices in a collaboration with precision manufacturer NE-XT Technologies, located in Greenfield’s industrial park.

“At GCC, we see Registered Apprenticeships as the next frontier in Workforce Development, which is ironic given that apprenticeships are in fact one of the oldest forms of Workforce training,” said Kristin Cole, Vice President of Workforce Development at Greenfield Community College. “It’s an exciting time for employers who are interested in exploring Registered Apprenticeships as there is much support both at the state and federal level, including financial incentives for employers, both in terms of tax credits as well as funding to offset the training costs,” Cole said.

The graduation of the NE-XT apprentices is a significant milestone for the individuals, the company, Greenfield Community College, and the manufacturing industry in the region. The nine NE-XT Technologies apprentices graduating in this first cohort have completed a year-long apprenticeship preparing them to advance into roles as front-line supervisors. The graduation ceremony, scheduled for April 17, 2024 at Greenfield Community College, will celebrate the hard work and dedication of these apprentices, who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and aptitude throughout their year-long training program. The graduation will also serve as a platform to honor the contributions of their mentors and trainers who have supported them over the last year.

Apprenticeships are a structured form of paid worker training that combine on-the-job learning and classroom instruction. This cohort of individuals has completed a comprehensive training curriculum, combining a year of on-the-job training/mentoring with 150 of Related Technical Instruction (RTI) at Greenfield Community College. Some of the apprentices have already moved into front-line supervisor roles at NE-XT and the others will either be moving into supervisor/training positions or continuing to develop their leadership skills.

"Embracing apprenticeships at NE-XT isn't just about enriching our workforce; it's about shaping the very fabric of our company's future. By investing in apprenticeships, we empower NE-XT to not only thrive in the present but to chart a course towards unparalleled growth. It's the synergy between our commitment to talent development and the aspirations of our employees that propels NE-XT towards ever greater heights of success and innovation." said NE-XT President and CEO Steve Capshaw.

"For NE-XT, investing in apprenticeships isn't just about training individuals; it's about nurturing the future leaders of our company. Our partnership with GCC to bring apprenticeships into Franklin County is going to help develop a future workforce that not only embodies our values but also drives innovation, propelling NE-XT to new heights of success while fostering economic growth within our community," said Katie Szelewicki, Director of Human Resources at NE-XT Technologies.
Cole said that NE-XT is pioneering Registered Apprenticeships in Advanced Manufacturing for our region. “I think most people think of traditional skilled trades like electricians and plumbers for apprenticeships but honestly many jobs, across diverse industries, can translate into Registered Apprenticeships. We’re grateful for the forward-thinking leadership of NE-XT for making this investment in their workforce and look forward to continuing to work with them and other employers in our region to build a robust Apprenticeship network throughout Western Mass.”

NE-XT makes precision machined parts and assemblies for partners in aerospace, defense, and other industries. The company, founded as Valley Steel Stamp in Greenfield in 1971 by Capshaw’s father, William Capshaw, was acquired by Jefferson River Capital in 2022 and rebranded as NE-XT Technologies in 2023.

Greenfield Community College was founded in 1962 and is one of the 15 Massachusetts community colleges. GCC’s Workforce Development division works closely with regional employers and community-based organizations to develop effective training programs awarding industry recognized credentials for careers in health care, manufacturing, clean energy, outdoor recreation, and education. Information for prospective employer partners and students can be found at train.gcc.mass.edu.