1. EDC and REB Host Health IT Roundtable

    EDC and REB Host Health IT Roundtable

    On Wednesday, the EDC and Hampden County Regional Employment
    Board (“REB”) hosted David Bryant, the newly appointed eHealth Economic and
    Workforce Director for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (“MTC”).
    David shared news about the MTC’s programs in this field, including a paid
    internship program for IT students, but he was more interested to find out
    about the strength of the Health IT cluster in western Massachusetts. We
    invited representatives from companies, colleges and agencies involved
    in the field, who shared their individual stories, as well as their overall
    perspective of our cluster.

    Data and anecdotal evidence support the fact that Health
    IT is a growing sector in the region. Many firms are adding employees and we
    have some exciting new initiatives, highlighted by the recently funded Baystate
    Health IT Center of Excellence. We talked about matching State programs and university
    and community college course work to the needs of industry and focused on
    hiring and training needs of the IT industry. Often these discussions get
    around to workforce, which is always a key to future industry growth. Many ideas
    and recommendations were shared, including a fledgling training operation proposed
    for Springfield.

    The REB has had training programs in the Healthcare industry
    for some time, which includes Health IT. One of the programs provides On The
    Job Training with the REB paying for one half of the employee’s salary while
    he/she is being trained up for the new position. For information about that
    program or other workforce or training questions, please contact Kelly Aiken of
    the REB at 413-755-1369 or kaiken@rebhc.org.
    For economic development or business opportunity questions, please contact Mike
    Graney at the EDC, 413-755-1300 or m.graney@westernmassedc.com.

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