The Franklin Hampshire Workforce Investment Area Labor Market Blueprint is a comprehensive review of the local industry employment structure, along with recent industry trends at the broad industry and detailed industry level. The FH Workforce Investment Area (WIA) includes not just Franklin and Hampshire counties, but also nine towns in the North Quabbin region. As there is quite a bit of industry variation within the Franklin Hampshire WIA, an examination of sub-areas including Franklin County, Hampshire County and the Athol NECTA is included. Some tables illustrating Hampden County are offered for comparison.

The Blueprint is a companion piece to the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board's Strategic Plan. The Blueprint shows us the here-and-now reality of the employment picture in our region and identifies some of the trends. In each section, some workforce development implications of the data, synthesized from the workforce board member, staff, and partner discussions, are noted. The strategic plan builds on the strengths and tackles the challenges that the Blueprint points toward.

This 2012 document is the first update of the Blueprint since 2008, and it will inform and inspire new goals for the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board for an update of its five-year Strategic Plan. Accomplishments of the 2007-2012 Plan appear in the Appendix.

It is the intent of this report to assist the Regional Employment Board as well as local employment, education, and training organizations in developing effective workforce strategies. A better understanding of the labor market factors outlined in this report should help target resources that best match the needs of job seekers and program graduates with the hiring needs and requirements of local employers.

The document is more appropriate for planning than for job placement purposes. However, understanding the trends and major industries can help job seekers understand where employment opportunities may be more likely to exist. For education and training providers, knowing the key industries might assist employer outreach in developing new programs or modifying (or perhaps eliminating) existing programs. The employer size data calls both employers and job seekers that labor market and recruitment opportunities are not limited to the immediate Franklin/Hampshire Workforce Area.

We hope that you will find this updated picture for the Franklin Hampshire Workforce Investment Area informative and thought-provoking. Answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” appear at the end of the document, but we welcome additional comments and questions at the REB office at (413) 773-1835.

Click here to view/download the Blueprint as a PDF Document.

Click here for Appendices as a PDF Document.