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The workforce training program concluded with the assembly of a video game console as the final project.
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Six trainees receive certificates Tuesday and the seventh was already placed in a job.
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Rep. John Barrett III and Melanie Gelaznik, executive director of MassHire Berkshire Career Center say the students were the first to go through this program and their feedback will be important to the program's future.
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Victoria Therrien is the only candidate who also is a McCann student. Therrien had to leave the event early so she could attend class night.
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Student Stan Prentice is one of seven to go through the pilot program.
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Trainee Tony Paligo receives a certificate along with other members of the class.
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Trainee Sam Fusini says he learned a lot from instructor Rick Bergendahl.
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Superintendent James Brosnan congratulates the students and thanked Barrett and MassHire for collaborating with the school.
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Instructor Rick Bergendahl outlines the program that he says went by fast.

Collaborative Program Provides on the Job Training in the Classroom

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Instructor Rick Bergendahl says the students went from learning about tools and fasteners to re-assembling an engine. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Seven people received certificates on Tuesday after completing a collaborative workforce development pilot training program at McCann Technical School.
 
They are ready to join the workforce after completing the pilot manufacturing training project through a joint MassHire Berkshire Career Center and McCann Technical program.
 
"We thought it would work and obviously you feel as though it did and this will prepare you for a job out there," state Rep. John Barrett III told the students. "There are a lot of jobs and boy they are going to be all over you like a cheap suit."
 
Melanie Gelaznik, executive director of the local MassHire center, said the partnership with General Dynamics and McCann was to develop a training program that aligns with skill sets General Dynamic requires for entry-level positions.
 
"When people have open positions, we don't want them stealing from other companies because they are looking for someone who is skilled," she said. "We want to employ people who are not working right now."
 
Barrett secured the $25,000 earmark needed to fund this program. He said the program provides people with specific training manufacturing businesses demand throughout the county. 
 
"You train them with the assistance of the employer who needs them. More of this is needed especially in Berkshire County," he said. "It is really on the job training."
 
The program first needed to be developed and staff from MassHire Berkshire Career Center and McCann took a tour of General Dynamics’ manufacturing facility to see the type of work that would inform their instruction. 
 
Mike Maloy from General Dynamics said programs such as this help create a pool of potential employees with specific needed skills.
 
"You never know when your opportunity to hire is going to come. Although we are going to grow we don't necessarily know how quick," he said. "We want to be able to fill that pipeline with candidates and provide that opportunity throughout the county." 
 
Students participated in 50 hours of instruction that was taught in six modules developed by McCann staff Rick Bergendahl. The training modules included basic math, working with small hand tools, learning how to read blueprints and wiring documents, disassembling and reassembling a motor, and applying basic wiring and soldering skills. 
 
"Over the past few weeks we went through a boatload of stuff," he said. "We started with a square one. This is a screw, this is a nut, and these are the tools used to put them together."
 
Bergendahl said they went over the basics in week one and went from building erector sets to taking apart and reassembling a small motor.
 
The next week they learned about technical drawings and documents they would encounter in the field. From there they trained on an electronic training kit.
 
Week three they took on the soldering gun and learned how to solder things together as well as take them apart.
 
The program concluded with the assembly of a small video game console that took the bulk of the last week of the program.
 
The training concluded with six-hour work readiness training provided by MassHire Berkshire Career Center staff. Topics included time management, technical ability, communication, initiative, and responsibility as well as the importance of attitude. 
 
The trainees said they felt prepared and took a lot away from the program.
 
"It was a good class I enjoyed it," Victoria Therrien said.
 
"It took patience," Tod Powers said. "Trying to hold things together while soldering so they don't pop apart."
 
"Rick was a wealth of information," Sam Fusini added. "I learned a lot."
 
"I learned a lot from it," John Gill said. "I had a background in some of the basic mechanical stuff but the soldering was all new to me but to do all of this and to get it done it time was good."
 
Bergendahl said he thought the program was a success but did note he wished he had more time to work with the students. He said with two more weeks they could have assembled all of the games and students would have the opportunity to work more collaboratively
 
Luckily McCann and MassHire Berkshire Career Center hope to continue this program and only improve it.
 
"This has a future life and this is iteration one," Superintendent James Brosnan said. "There are other companies, who shall be nameless at this point, who need the same skill sets."

Tags: General Dynamics,   job training,   McCann,   workforce training,   

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North Adams Happenings: Oct. 23-29

SAVE THE DATE
NOVEMBER 2nd - Masquerade at Greylock WORKS
On November 2nd, three weeks before FESTIVE, come to gWorks to dance in disguise at our MASQUERADE Halloween costume party! Doors open at 8pm !
Celebrate your costume ingenuity with DJ BFG spinning seamless upbeat dance music within immersive theatrical lighting choreographed by LJ McZawa.
Whether you're coming out in a dramatic mask + your favorite party clothes or a full-body transformation, our local friends are joining in on the fun to motivate your creativity with Costume Themes and PRIZES.
https://www.facebook.com/events/406993753316580/
Wednesday 10/23
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Terrific Tots Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  


10:30 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Parenting Workshop: Surviving your Adolescents nbCC Conference Room, 61 Main Street, Room 213, (413) 663-7588 More information.  


11:30 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Little Wonders Baby Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information. 

4:00 P.M. (FREE), FAMILY, Family Literacy Night Series The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  


6:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, Educator Open House North Adams Public Library, 64 Church Street, More information.

8:00 P.M. (FREE), GAMES, Trivia Night! Ramunto's, 67 Main Street, (413) 398-5152 More information.

Thursday 10/24
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Kids Safety of America: Child Abuse and Neglect nbCC’s Conference Room, 61 Main Street, Room 213 More information.

4:00 P.M. (FREE), TUTORING, After School Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

4:30 P.M. (FREE), CONVERSATION, Spaghetti Supper with Tom Bernard North Adams American Legion, 91 American Legion Drive More information.

4:30 P.M. (FREE), FAMILY, Dad and Family Time- Bowling and Pizza Night Valley Park Bowling, Curran Highway More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Octoberfest in The Airport Rooms TOURISTS Welcome, 915 State Road More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), BIKING, Halloween West End Bike Around Greylock School, 100 Phelps Ave More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), OPEN MIC, OPEN MIC The Parlor Cafe, 303 Ashland Street More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), INFORMATIONAL, Milton Hershey School Family Event: North Adams, MA Freight Yard Pub & Restaurant, 1 Furnace Street More information.

7:30 P.M. (FREE), WRITING, Fiction Writing Workshop [open house] Common Folk, 85 Main Street More information.

7:30 P.M. (FREE), BINGO, Musical Bingo at Mingo's Sports Bar and Grill 41 Roberts Drive More information.

8:00 P.M. ($15), COMEDY, Comedy Night w/ Andy Sandford HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.
Friday 10/25
10:30 A.M. (FREE), CONVERSATION, Coffee with a Cop MCLA Campus Center, 375 Church Street More information.

10:30 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Ages and Stages The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Drop-In Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

12:00 P.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

7:00 P.M. (FREE), MOVIES, Halloween cartoon movie night MCLA Freel Library, Blackinton Street More information.

7:00 P.M. (By Donation), CRAFTING, Knitting Nights with Common Folk Common Folk, 73 Main Street More information.

7:00 P.M. ($1 and up), GAMES, BINGO! North Adams Elks 487 Lodge, 100 Eagle Street, (413) 664-9039 More information.

7:00 P.M. ($12 adv, $15 at the door), CONCERT, Gregory Douglass LIVE at HiLo North Adams HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

9:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Karaoke Friday! State Street Tavern, 167 State Street, (413) 664-9152 More information.
Saturday 10/26
9:00 A.M. (FREE), CLOTHING DRIVE, Winter Clothing Drive First Baptist Church of North Adams, 131 Main Street More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), GARDENING, Gardening Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

12:30 P.M. (Child $5, Adults $8, Family $25), FUNDRAISER, AYJ Fund Children's Princess Concert MCLA Church St Center, 375 Church Street More information.

3:00 P.M. (Cost of Admission), ART, Opening Reception: Sarah Oppenheimer, Jenny Holzer, and ERRE MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), CONCERT, Fall Foliage Sunset Serenade - Jessica Gregory Wilson Wigwam Western Summit, 2350 Mohawk Trail More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

8:00 P.M. ($12 adv, $15 at the door), CONCERT, Misty Blues HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices Vary, see link for details), CONCERT, Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller’s Parlour Game MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.
Sunday 10/27
2:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

7:00 P.M. ($20 adv, $25 day of), CONCERT, Jeffrey Foucault HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.
Monday 10/28
5:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, ROOTS Volunteer Training ROOTS Teen Center, 43 Eagle Street More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), BIKING, nbCC Bike Collective The Armory, 206 Ashland Street More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, Communications Career Panel Bowman Hall - MCLA, 375 Church Street More information.
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