Off-Campus Programs

Though we are based at the largest worksite in western Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, we also provide workplace and community education programs throughout the Commonwealth.  Our off-campus programs and services include a diverse array of classes, workshops, workplace needs assessments, grant writing and research services to employers, unions, communities, organizations and institutions who are interested in upgrading the skills of their employees or members. Here is information and links to some of our current off-campus programs:


Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center (SHAEC)

The Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center (SHAEC) has been offering quality adult education programming in the Southern Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts for the past thirteen years.  Students can study math, science, reading, writing, social studies, computers and other subjects that enhance workplace skills and encourage leadership.  Most of our GED, Adult basic education, and computer classes are held at our computer lab, consisting of nine computers, housed in room 152, in the Gateway Regional High School Complex.  Our computer lab is open to the public, and available for use by appointment, arrangement, or during regularly scheduled class times.  Our core classes focus on work readiness, employment, job training, basic and intermediate computer skills, and are always free.  Contact Michele Kenney for more information or visit our website at:

Early Education Workforce Project

The Early Education Workforce Project provides promising educational approaches geared to the unique needs of pre-college, state-licensed early childhood educators. We recognize that licensed early childhood educators who hold a high school diploma are far more prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education if they are provided with education that integrates work-based adult basic education and English for Speakers of Other Languages with college-level occupational classes in the field.

In addition to providing classes for early childhood educators, we are currently seeking funding for a cutting edge Higher Education/Professional Development Model for the U.S. Pre-College Early Education Workforce that will raise the bar on U.S. early childhood educator teacher quality AND maintain vital early education workforce diversity. Click here for more details on this exciting project!

Since 2010, with funding and support from the Massachusetts Commonwealth Corporation’s Learn at Work Initiative, our team has developed, implemented and evaluated contextualized early childhood education models that capitalize on the considerable workplace skills of the workforce. Our models integrate basic skills education with workplace education training and college coursework. We support the educator to more effectively meet state and national early education professional development and credentialing standards while moving them to college entrance and beyond. To date we have developed and offered a contextualized Child Development Associate (CDA) course, contextualized Quality Rating Information System (QRIS) trainings and contextualized 100-level (Pre-Accuplacer) early education college coursework.

We have a special interest in serving dual language, Spanish speaking and under-prepared native English speaking early childhood educators. We’ve produced significant and positive adult learning outcomes for these populations. We baseline test the adult literacy and or English language competence of all learners. Test scores are used to place the individual learner in an appropriate level of coursework/training to meet their needs. Basic skills training is comprehensively integrated with contextualized early education and care professional development training and or college coursework curriculum. Instruction targets meeting state and national early education and care standards/competencies and common core state standards in English and in math.

The Early Education Workforce Project has received state and national recognition. Below are two articles written by Dr. Gilbert and published by The Washington Post.

Dr. Gilbert’s Famous Word Gap article was picked up and featured in Education Week, and on Harvard University’s Saguaro Seminar Strategies for Children: 

Strategies for Children journalist, Alyssa Haywood, wrote a feature article about the Early Childhood Education Project. 

The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation ( has actively supported the LMWE Early Childhood Education Porject over the past six years. 

Hillary Clinton’s Too Small to Fail Initiative ( and Next Generation ( have commended our work, as has the Teach Stone Training Group LLC. (

The New York Times Magazine is in the process of writing a piece about the plight of America’s under-educated diverse early educator workforce and this article will include information about the work of LMWE’s Early Childhood Project.  

For more information on the Early Childhood Educator Program at Labor/Management Workplace Education, please contact the Early Education Program Director, Dr. Elizabeth A. Gilbert: or at 413-687-1213.

Community Works 

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Community Works is a 6‐week adult workforce training program offered in Springfield and Holyoke to prepare qualified applicants for an apprenticeship in the building trades ‐ the pathway to a rewarding career in construction. Through Career Readiness and Occupational Skills Training, with classroom and hands‐on learning experiences, Community Works will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to apply for and enter into a state‐registered Building Trades apprenticeship program You will also receive coordinated case management and placement services to help you achieve your career goals. Learn more about Community Works.

Community Works was recently featured on Click here to read the article