FITCHBURG — The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and its economic development affiliate the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) released a report entitled “Build North Central: Promoting the Industrial Heart of Massachusetts.”

The recommendations developed by a taskforce of the region’s premier manufacturers focuses on steps the region and state can take to address their workforce challenges and fuel economic advancement throughout the region.

The report highlights a mix of both programmatic and policy related recommendations and strategies focused around workforce and education, regional cooperation and regional promotion. In addition to manufacturers, the Chamber and NCMDC also sought input from education and workforce leaders to produce this report.

“Aligning and integrating our educational system with the needs of employers must be a priority if North Central Massachusetts is to compete and prepare the workforce of tomorrow,” said Ray Martino, president and CEO of Simonds International and Chair of the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation. “Too many manufacturers today are having difficulty finding the qualified and skilled workers that they need, and the problem will only get worse if we are not ready with new solutions for the coming years.”

Some of recommendations highlighted in the report include creating career pathways; a greater emphasis on both college and career readiness; expansion of career exploration programs into the middle schools; introduction of high school credentialing courses; increasing the labor pool by attracting more workers to the region; and expanding technical education in both vocational and conventional high schools.