First published by Jim Kinney at, October 25, 2017. 

Baystate Health has 12,000 employees and makes about 1,400 new hires a year of folks from outside its system, said President and CEO Mark Keroack.

And as the city’s largest employer, Baystate’s gotten used to creating its own pipelines, or dedicated training programs to fill its need for workers, Keroack said.

That’s changing with Springfield Works and SkillSmart, an online portal for job seekers that tells them what skills they need for the job they want. It also helps them identify the skills they have already — either from school, the military or just from living their lives — and helps them find places that offer the training they need.

Baystate is one of 20 local employers that have posted a total of 100 jobs in the new SkillSmart portal, accessible at It’s a project of Springfield Works and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts. Springfield Works and the EDC rolled it out Wednesday with an event at the UMass Center at Springfield in Tower Square after 18 months of tinkering.

MGM Springfield already uses SkillSmart to evaluate job seekers for the roughly 3,00 jobs it pledged to create when its $960 million resort casino opens 11 months from now in September 2018.

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