For Immediate Release - April 29, 2016

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2 Million for Regional Competitive Workforce Partnerships

BOSTON, MA – Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald L. Walker II today announced that the Baker-Polito Administration awarded more than $2 million in grants from the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) to support 14 regional partnerships between businesses, educational institutions, community-based organizations, and workforce development groups, helping prepare more than 370 unemployed and/or underemployed Massachusetts residents with additional skills and job training for in-demand occupations.

“The key to the success of Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund is active involvement between local businesses, community-based organizations, education and workforce development professionals,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “These partnerships create opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth and work to strengthen regional economies.”

Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund grants were last distributed in 2013, and Governor Baker’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposal would for the first time, award WCTF grants in two consecutive years. The governor’s budget proposal includes $4 million for WCTF, with $2 million allocated to WCTF grants and $2 million dedicated to a new Economic Opportunity Fund - housed within the WCTF – to award organizations who assist residents facing chronically higher unemployment rates than the statewide average.

“The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund grantees create partnerships with local employers to ensure participants gain skills that match the employers’ workforce needs, and lead to job opportunities,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said.

“The training opportunities provided through the WCTF invest in the future and economic prosperity of individuals in need,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker II said. “Statewide, 75 percent of the people receiving training through WCTF partnerships are unemployed, with a majority classified as low-income or receiving a high school diploma or less.”

The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund is administered by Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public state agency that fosters partnerships between industry, education and workforce organizations to strengthen skills for youth and adults to enable them to thrive economically. The WCTF funding facilitates job training partnerships that bring together community-based organizations, workforce investment boards, career centers, vocational technical schools, and community colleges and businesses to respond to the regional needs of employers and job seekers.

The Baker-Polito Administration has previously announced a series of new initiatives to support career vocational technical education, including $83.5 million to significantly expand access to high quality career education programs aligned with workforce needs. In addition, the Administration announced in February the recipients of $9.3 million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants for vocational-technical equipment investments to improve the quality of education and vocational training to increase capacity so more students can participate.

Grant Recipients:

  • Asian American Civic Association - $157,000 to train for jobs in finance and insurance
  • BEST Corp. Hospitality Training Center - $135,002 to train for jobs in hotels
  • Boston University - $99,986 to train for jobs in life sciences
  • Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board - $179,992 to train for jobs in transportation and warehousing
  • Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board - $160,473 to train for jobs in advanced manufacturing
  • Community Learning Center, City of Cambridge - $149,133 to train for jobs in healthcare
  • Holyoke Community College - $190,000 to train for jobs in culinary arts
  • Lawrence Community Works - $190,000 to train for jobs in educational services
  • Madison Park Technical Vocational High School - $64,344 to train for jobs in automotive technology
  • Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board - $190,000 to train for jobs in transportation
  • MetroNorth Regional Employment Board - $160,000 to train for jobs in hospitality
  • Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce - $186,902 to train for jobs in retail
  • Tech Foundry - $123,808 to train for jobs in information technology
  • YouthBuild Boston - $60,000 to train for jobs in construction