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Jack Healy Honored for Youth in Manufacturing; Receives ‘Yankee Ingenuity’ Award

Text Box: From Left to Right - Stephen Willand, Director Central Mass. Regional Employment Board, Jack Healy, Award recipient, and Edwin “Ted” Coghlin, Chair Central Mass. Regional Employment Board

John J. “Jack” Healy, Director of Operations of the Worcester-based Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) and the Manufacturing Advancement Center (MAC), received the “Eli Whitney Award for Yankee Ingenuity” from the Central Massachusetts Regional Employment Board in recognition of his contributions to the critical industry cluster of Manufacturing. Specifically, last summer and again this year, he organized a unique program for out-of-school youth to introduce them to career opportunities in manufacturing.

Eli Whitney, born in Westboro, Massachusetts, refined and successfully applied the “Uniformity-System” of production using interchangeable parts. In 1798, Whitney single-handedly designed and built all machinery to produce 10,000 army muskets and had to convince President John Adams that his process worked. Until then, every rifle had been made by hand from stock to barrel.

Mr. Healy provided human, operational, and financial resources in collaboration with the Central Massachusetts Regional Employment Board (REB) to provide at-risk youth an opportunity to combine education and career awareness in manufacturing. A consortium of organizations including Y.O.U., Inc, Worcester Community Action Council, Mass Job Training, and Henckels & McCoy, were able to develop, coordinate, and implement work readiness skill seminars, plant tours, simulation workshops, and information sessions regarding occupational skills standards and competencies. Students were also featured at the Manufacturing Our Future Summit along with the area’s seven career and technical education schools. Guest speakers from the Central Massachusetts Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management were also provided.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, “$1 of a manufacturing product sold to a final user generates an additional $1.43 of intermediate output. This multiplier effect is greater than any other half of the sectors outside manufacturing, and far greater than that of the service sector which generates only 71 cents.”

Stephen R. Willand, Ph.D., Executive Director, said, “Jack Healy has been a very productive member of the REB for many years, and when I sat down with him to discuss this concept, he agreed immediately. Our School-to-Careers initiative has been solid, but out-of-school youth require more diligence in projects like this. Jack has been an outstanding advocate for all aspects of workforce development, but this effort is something special, and brings ingenuity and creativity in program design.”

Edwin B. “Ted” Coghlin, Jr., Chairman, commented “The REB is a Workforce Investment Board and that’s what we’re doing here, investing in the youth of this community. Manufacturing is a critical component in the economic viability and growth in this region, but so is our youth.”

City Manager Michael V. O’Brien said, “This is another example of creative workforce development provided by the Central Massachusetts Regional Employment Board. I’m proud that my office of Employment & Training, working with corporate citizens, continues to create innovative public/private sector partnerships that work for Worcester. I’m grateful to have community leaders like Jack Healy and Ted Coghlin so involved.”

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