Barrett Applauds Budget Increase for Career Centers
State Rep. John Barrett III is particularly happy that there is extra money in the state budget for MassHire career centers and he's hoping to expand on a pilot program for on-the-job training.
iBerkshires.com reports Barrett had received money for the Berkshire career center last year to pilot a workforce development program at McCann Technical School. The program engaged General Dynamics and is eyed to line up the job training programs with the needs of the company.
He hopes to see additional funding for career centers statewide be used to continue that program. While there isn't a specific earmark for it, the centers are receiving an increase. Barrett said he doesn't want to see "bureaucratic jobs being created" but instead hands-on training.
"We are the only county in the state of Massachusetts that has to import people to fill open jobs here. We have an available workforce. We need to have a trained workforce," Barrett said.
Education also received a boost, but Adams and North Adams ended up not getting nearly as much as other districts. Barrett said the update to the Education Reform Act completed in 2007 significantly hurt places like North Adams because it changed the calculations for estimating the ability to pay in the foundation formula.
On the local level, Barrett said he tried to earmark money for de-weeding on Cheshire Reservoir but was told that would be wrapped into the Department of Conservation and Recreation's budget. He also secured money to assist with the Susan B. Anthony Park in Adams and funding to help the operations of Gallery 51 in North Adams and the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition.