MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board selects new executive director


Staff Writer
Published: 9/15/2020 2:17:34 PM

GREENFIELD — A new executive director is stepping into the role that Patricia Crosby will leave behind when she steps down from her position at the MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board.

The board has hired Rebecca Bialecki, who previously served as director of the North Quabbin Community Coalition for 14 years, and more recently as vice president of community health and chief agent of change at Heywood Healthcare, to take Crosby’s place when she steps down on Sept. 30.

Bialecki, meanwhile, began on Sept. 8.

“I’m really excited,” Bialecki said. “I think it really allows me to work on economic development, which I think absolutely is where our whole region needs to focus, especially given the pandemic.”

The Greenfield-based MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board serves Western Massachusetts as the policy-making authority on workforce skills, according to its website. It also coordinates and oversees the region’s publicly funded workforce training and placement programs.

According to a press release from the MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board, Bialecki has an “extensive background” in community needs assessment, community partnership and project development. She also chairs the Athol Selectboard.

“(The position) will allow me to use all of my skills,” Bialecki said.

She earned a doctorate in counseling psychology from Harvard University, and previously studied both nursing and social work, according to the board.

In the past, Bialecki has partnered with the board on projects including manufacturing training for the L.S. Starrett Co. and the School to Career Connecting Activities program.

“I had worked previously with the board as a partner in the community, and knew Patricia really well and thought she was amazing,” she said. “(This role) was the right fit at the right time.”

Crosby, who will have served as executive director for 19 years when she steps down at the end of the month, said in a statement “it’s been a great job.”

“It’s all about partnership and collaboration and making the region a better place to live and work,” Crosby said. “And the new director will have the support of a very engaged business-led board in taking our work to the next level.”

Sue Surner, chair of the MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board, said Bialecki’s knowledge of the region, understanding of issues unique to rural areas, and legislative savvy were many of the attributes the board was looking for in a candidate.

Surner noted Bialecki, as she steps into Crosby’s position, will have “to fill some very big shoes.”

Mary Byrne can be reached at or 413-772-0261, ext. 263. Twitter: @MaryEByrne

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