MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board prepares to search for new executive director

  • Patricia Crosby, executive director of the MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board, is preparing to step down after 19 years at the helm. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 4/16/2020 1:54:23 PM

GREENFIELD — The executive director of the MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board is preparing to step down after 19 years at the helm.

“No matter how much you feel you’ve done a good job at something, you know somebody can bring a fresh perspective,” Patricia Crosby said of her decision to step down. “So, I think it’s a good time for (the board) to experience that change and have somebody new at the helm.”

Crosby informed her team of her decision in January. She said she is excited for somebody else to have the opportunity to step into the role.

“Nineteen years is a long time to be at a job,” she said. “It’s a great job. … I’m a mission-driven person, and it’s a mission-driven job. It’s about looking ahead and planning ahead for job seekers and employers.”

The Greenfield-based 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.

The board met on Monday afternoon to discuss a hiring process for the next director.

The board hopes to have the job posted on May 1, according to Executive Assistant Jennifer Droesch. Candidates will have 30 days to apply.

“Assuming we have enough qualified candidates, we’re looking at interviews in June, possibly early July,” Droesch said.

Final interviews, then, would take place at a public meeting in July or August.

However, before that timeline can be solidified, the board must finalize the job description and salary range, and confirm the makeup of the search committee. Those items will be discussed at meetings later this month, she said.

Ultimately, the board hopes to have someone ready to begin in September.

Crosby came to the Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board from Springfield Technical Community College, where she served as the director of special projects. She said her interest has always been in connecting youth — and more recently, adults — with career and education opportunities.

Her greatest recent accomplishment, she said, was working to establish the Manufacturing Skills Initiative, a manufacturing training program that connects Greenfield Community College, the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board and the Franklin Hampshire Career Center at Franklin County Technical School.

“It’s a good example of … looking down the pike at what is going to be the growing issue, growing challenge, in terms of the workforce,” she said. “How can these folks on the board band together to fashion a response … and address it?”

Allowing for the transition of a new hire, Crosby expects to be out of the position before the new year.

As for what’s next, she says she’s “moving on,” rather than retiring.

“I like to think of myself as leaving my options open when it comes to next steps,” she said.

Although Droesch has only known Crosby since she started with the Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board two years ago, she said Crosby has brought a breadth of knowledge to her position as executive director.

“I’ve learned a lot in the time I have worked with her,” Droesch said.

Reach Mary Byrne at 413-772-0261, ext. 263 or mbyrne@recorder.com.


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