Baker-Polito Administration Awards $11.8 Million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants
20 educational institutions receiving first-time awards for equipment upgrades, expanded career and skill-building programs
LOWELL – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $11.8 million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants to 32 vocational schools, community colleges, and traditional public high schools, which will use the funds to purchase vocational technical equipment and expand skills training programs for careers in growing industries. Twenty institutions are first-time recipients of the Workforce Skills Capital Grants.
“These investments have a major impact for the educational institutions training our workforce and the students who stand to benefit from enhanced skills and career paths,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Strengthening relationships between educational institutions and local industry as this program seeks to do is crucial to the success of our communities and Commonwealth as a whole.”
The Workforce Skills Capital Grants program was created by the Baker-Polito Administration last year to assist educational institutions in demonstrating partnerships with industry and aligning curriculum and credentials with local businesses’ demand, maximizing planning objectives and hiring or internship opportunities regionally.
“We are pleased these investments are already benefiting students and adult learners across our Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The training students receive on the most up-to-date equipment purchased with these grants makes all the difference to them when they go into the workplace.”
To date, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $24 million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants to 63 different institutions, improving programs that impact more than 7,100 students per year. The economic development bill signed by Governor Baker last year includes $45 million for the awards over the next three years to increase the capacity and quality of vocational educational programs.
Governor Baker today visited Greater Lowell Technical High School to announce the latest round of grant awardees. Greater Lowell Technical received $466,000 to create an Agile Digital Fabrication/Maker Space where high school and adult education students will engage in technological experimentation, hardware development, and idea prototyping.
The Governor was joined by the Workforce Skills Cabinet he established shortly after taking office, consisting of Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II, Education Secretary James Peyser, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. The Cabinet, which seeks to align education, workforce and economic development strategies and improve job opportunities, worked to establish the Workforce Skills Capital Grant Program.
“In the Workforce Skills Cabinet, we are focused on making sure residents have access to education and training that aligns with industry demand so all Massachusetts residents have an opportunity to be successful,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II. “These grants enable educational institutions to partner with local businesses to give their students a jump-start on careers.”
“The goal of these grants is to update capital equipment, expand capacity, and launch new programs at educational institutions in order to create high-quality career pathways for more people across the Commonwealth,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “These grants give students and adult learners more opportunities to be successful through training, education and experience in fields that are growing and in-demand.”
“The best way to support our local and regional economies, and to grow our companies, is to foster a workforce that is ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “These grants will help us to continue training the nation’s most competitive workforce, by training students on industry-standard equipment and processes, and creating new employment opportunities for students and adult learners throughout the Commonwealth.”
Workforce Skills Capital Grant Awardees:
Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District: $500,000 - The school will upgrade equipment used in 12 programs, including health services, manufacturing, and multi-media communications.
Brockton High School: $495,674 – The school will purchase equipment for computer aided design, 3-D printing, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
Bunker Hill Community College: $386,540 - The College will create a new laboratory dedicated solely to engineering. The new laboratory will make it possible to expand the program’s academic offerings, including the Engineering Transfer Option Associates degree program.
Cape Cod Community College: $350,059 – Cape Cod Community College will expand the Nursing and Allied Health Learning Center in partnership with Cape Cod Health Care, including $1.15 million in a private match funding.
Center for Manufacturing Technology: $167,296 - The Center for Manufacturing Technology will purchase a new milling machine and add upgrades to existing equipment. The new machinery will provide capacity to increase enrollment and will ensure students gain experience with state-of-the-art equipment during training.
Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School: $492,519 - The school will expand a “green” lab instructional space. This lab space will contain a variety of “energy” centers that allow students to manipulate interior and exterior climate environments, and these relationships, to a variety of building materials, surfaces and outdoor environments.
Essex Technical High School: $244,219 - The school will provide capacity to expand enrollments in the EMT/CPR day and evening programs. The equipment will support students to obtain industry recognized certifications that prepare them for jobs as nursing assistants, dental assistants, as well as post-secondary educational opportunities.
Franklin County Technical School: $55,000 - The school will upgrade its welding program to industry standard by purchasing digitalized readout and gauges, safety technologies, and instructional equipment. The funds will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the schools’ member towns.
Gloucester High School: $499,634 – Gloucester High School will revamp its machine technology program by updating equipment to industry standards. The equipment will also be integrated into computer science, CAD, robotics, and engineering classes.
Greater Lowell Technical High School: $466,000 – The school will create an Agile Digital Fabrication/Maker Space where high school and adult education students will engage in technological experimentation, hardware development, and idea prototyping. This space will provide high production, finish level, and product design 3D printing capability.
Greenfield Community College: $496,113 – The college will upgrade its Manufacturing and Engineering Science, Engineering Technology, and Computer Science and Networking programs. New equipment will be purchased for the advanced manufacturing computer lab, acoustic engineering lab, as well as a coordinate measuring machine, electrical controls, materials testing, and CNC simulation and 3D printing equipment.
Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative: $410,230 - The educational collaborative will integrate the Graphics and Visual Design programs, allowing students to explore and understand the entire industry continuum from design to press and online production.
Lynn Vocational Technical Institute: $333,293 – The school will modernize its current Advanced Manufacturing-Machine Technology program, as well as create a new Information Technology program. These new high-level skills training programs will be offered to high schools students and adult learners. Additionally, the programs will serve as a resource to introduce younger students in middle school to career pathways.
MassBay Community College: $318,547 – Mass Bay Community College will purchase equipment to train students in engineering, advanced manufacturing, nursing, emergency medical services, and automotive technology career fields. Students in these programs represent not only traditional college-aged students, but are also unemployed and underemployed adult workers, career-changers, and others seeking new skill sets.
Massasoit Community College: $500,000 - The College will purchase equipment for an updated engineering lab that supports four engineering degree options: chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical program tracks.
McCann Technical School: $131,976- The school will upgrade equipment for the carpentry, electrical, and machine programs. The equipment will support students to prepare to take the MACWIC Level I certification examinations.
Medford Technical High School: $500,000 – The school will expand the existing Culinary Arts, Engineering, Robotics, and Metal Fabrication programs and add a Hospitality program. As part of this expansion, the Culinary Arts and Hospitality program will double the size of its space and add a full-service dining room, executive conference center, café, and commercial kitchen.
Middlesex Community College: $489,750 – The College will increase capacity and improve equipment in computer science, engineering, and engineering tech/CAD programs. Students prepare for Certified Computer Examiner (CCE) exams, and graduates may transfer to bachelor degree programs.
Minuteman High School: $500,000 – The high school will increase machining and ancillary training simulator capacity used to teach Advanced Manufacturing. The new equipment will support student instruction in bio-manufacturing, digital fabrication, precision measurement, and quality control.
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School: $435,857 – The school will build upon its existing machine technology program capacity by adding two certificates, outfit a quality control lab, and offer evening courses. The equipment will support the school in becoming one of the first NC3 Manufacturing Certification Centers in Massachusetts.
Mount Wachusett Community College: $340,781 – The College will purchase equipment needed for a simulated veterinary technician training laboratory. Students will benefit from simulator-based instruction, and the discipline of a sterile classroom environment focused on animal anatomy and physiology prior to interacting with live animals during their clinical and internship rotations.
Nashoba Valley Technical High School: $500,000 – The school will create an innovative training environment with a specific focus on collaborative robots (collabots) for students in the Robotics & Automation program. Equipment will also serve as an instructional resource for students in the Engineering, Biotechnology, and Manufacturing programs. New equipment will provide capacity for students to become certified in the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council production technician program as well as Fanuc’s collaborative robot system.
North Shore Community College: $111,455 - The College will purchase equipment to create a health care technical education program, including a universal health lab at the Lynn campus. The lab will be used for various degree, and workforce training health care certification programs, such as Certified Nurse Assistant/Home Health Aide, Dental Assistant, EKG Technician, and Phlebotomy.
Northern Essex Community College: $500,000 – The College will launch a new Advanced Manufacturing program in Mechatronics and a new Culinary Arts program. NECC has developed a partnership with Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School in manufacturing and with Endicott College to offer a hospitality and culinary arts career pathway.
Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School District: $362,860 - The school district will upgrade both the Machine & Tool Technology and House & Mill Carpentry programs. The equipment includes both in classroom and portable equipment for use on remote job sites.
Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School: $235,000 - The school will purchase new equipment for the Machine Technology program, and will offer a new evening training program to provide instruction to the unemployed and underemployed individuals in three countries. The evening classes will prepare students to take the MACWIC Level 1 certification exam.
Plymouth Public Schools: $52,844 – The school district will purchase medical assisting and health assisting instructional equipment including a 'Nursing Anne' patient simulator. With the equipment, the school will be able to provide instruction to award eight types of industry credentials.
Quincy Public Schools: $74,712 - The school district will establish a new Information Technology Program. New equipment will help train students for entry-level computer repair, technical and help desk support, and network associate careers. Students will be prepared to pass the CompTia A+ Certification Edam, OSHA General Safety, and CISCO CCENT industry certification exams.
The Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical: $500,000 - The school is conducting a major modernization of its Machine Technology program. The equipment includes 3D printers, and vertical machining centers each equipped with simulators.
Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School: $401,116 – The school will continue modernization of its Advanced Machine Technology Program, and support upgrading its electrical program. Smith Vocational continues to expand its Adult Community Education (ACE) Evening Program, relaunched in March 2016, after a 20-year hiatus. The program targets adults who want to improve skills within their field, change careers, or complete training programs begun at an earlier point in life.
South Regional Technical School District-Keefe Technical High School: $397,150 - Keefe Regional Technical School will roll out a new Dental Assisting Program, purchasing dental chairs, panoramic X-ray technology, including development capability, Sterilizers and autoclaves.
Whitter Regional Vocational Technical High School: $500,000 - The school will transform its current Machine and Tool program into an Advanced Manufacturing program to better support regional workforce needs. The school is partnering with Northern Essex Community College, and with the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, for evening adult programs.