Workforce Development Programs

CES partners with school districts to plan and implement a variety of workforce and career development programs for students, including programs for skills training, career development, and internships, to support students who are ready to pursue their career aspirations.

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Perkins Consortium

The Collaborative for Educational Services, under its Workforce Development Programs office, acts as the Hampshire County Perkins Consortium Lead, coordinating Perkins efforts with five school districts (Amherst, South Hadley, Easthampton, Gateway Regional, and Quaboag). Perkins funding is focused on programs that build vocational skills and develop the student workforce.

Each school receives specific allocations for PD assistance, equipment, and non-expendable supplies to support career / vocational / technical education (CVTE) programs in the school.  CVTE programs also aim to help improve performance in Mathematics, Language Arts and high school completion and graduation. Perkins CVTE programs receive assistance to set goals; measure competencies in occupational skills; upgrade programs; develop new programs; develop entrepreneurship opportunities; understand high skill/high demand/high wage opportunities in Western Massachusetts; develop local support and advisory boards; and develop internship, mentorship, and work study opportunities for students. Contact Matt Rigney if your school is interested in joining the Consortium.

STEM Internships

Our STEM@Work Paid Internship Program operates as a stand-alone internship program specializing in placements in which students are exposed to advanced STEM skills available only in high-tech settings.

Our partnership with our Hampshire County school partners is the reason we recruit as successfully as we do: we have established relationships with administrators, guidance counselors, and instructors in each of the districts, and work with them to identify student candidates for inclusion in the STEM@Work program. 

You have consistently kept members informed, have kept us appraised of state meetings and important new developments at the state policy level, and have assisted with student field trips, internships, job fairs, and more. I want to highlight your work that truly makes a difference!

— Gail Canon, Easthampton Public Schools

Matt Rigney

Matt Rigney is the Director of the STEM@Work Paid Internship Program, the CES Perkins Consortium, and CES Connecting Activities. He has acted as the Director of the Hampshire County School-to-Career Partnership for over nineteen years, where he supervises and assists nine school-to-work team members in the development of internship programs, career development workshops, and use of funds for career skill development. As the regional Perkins Consortium Director, he works with four schools to deliver non-Chapter 74 Perkins programming in disciplines ranging from engineering to early childhood, welding, graphic design, and culinary. As Director of the STEM@Work Paid Internship Program, he places high school students in paid, cutting edge STEM internships in biomed, chemical engineering, neuroscience, biophysics, and other STEM fields. In all of these CES programs, Mr. Rigney partners with community members and colleagues to develop essential career skills in youth.

Position: Director, Workforce Development Programs

Email: mrigney@collaborative.org

Phone: 413.522.8322

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