Not all jobs require a bachelor’s degree to be effective, and not all bachelor’s degrees teach the specific skills that each job requires. People switch careers later in life and need specific training to learn skills that will support that shift. The Plan for Progress recognizes that a robust pipeline to a skilled workforce involves training people at all levels of skill and experience for a wide variety of jobs. This indicator evaluates the level of participation in programs that train people with specific skills to prepare them for jobs in the workforce. Data includes the number of people who take part in job skills training programs through the Regional Employment Boards or one of the three community colleges within the region. The majority of these are non-credit courses through the community colleges.
Between FY2015 and FY2016, the number of participants in workforce training programs increased significantly across the region, from 6,230 to 8,078 – an increase of almost 30%. This trend was driven largely by Hampden County, which saw an increase of about 41% between FY2015 and FY2016. Franklin and Hampshire Counties experienced a lower but still considerable increase of 8.3% during this time.