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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Workforce Development Programs

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.

Paid STEM Internship Program

The projected demand for STEM careers in the Pioneer Valley promises to be strong in fields ranging from IT and computer science to engineering and medical technology. The Paid STEM Internship Program provides area high school students with paid internships in STEM settings (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). These internships offer high school students an exceptional opportunity to gain valuable experience and connections in STEM fields and be paid for it.

The internships range from 100-240 total hours, depending on the placement. Students are paid the state minimum wage or better. They will learn an array of important career preparation skills like resume and cover letter writing, and gain professional experience in their field as well as an expanded professional network and references.

*Please note: only students served by school districts in Hampshire and Hampden counties in western Massachusetts are eligible for this 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

As Director of Workforce Development Programs, Matt Rigney focuses on the creation of opportunities for high school youth to advance their career skills and be ready for whatever comes after high school, whether college, a two-year degree, or the world of work.

The STEM Paid Internship program supports paid internships in any STEM field. Internships are a minimum of 100 hours. Depending on the topic, internships can go as high as 240 hours, all of which are paid.

Mr. Rigney also directs the CES Perkins Consortium, in which he works with five Hampshire County schools to deliver Chapter 74 and non-Chapter 74 Perkins programming in disciplines ranging from engineering to early childhood, welding, graphic design, and culinary.

Position: Director, Workforce Development Programs


Phone: (413) 522-8322

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