For Immediate Release - May 12, 2014

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANCE CENTER AT QUINSIGAMOND COMMUNITY COLLEGE

New Center will create pipeline of skilled workers to Worcester manufacturing community

Innovation Technology Assistance Center Announcement

Governor Patrick announces funding for a new Innovation Technology Assistance Center (ITAC) at Quinsigamond Community College. The new center will prepare the school’s students with the skills for careers in advanced manufacturing. (Photo: Eric Haynes / Governor's Office)

CHARLTON – Monday, May 12, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced $2 million in advanced manufacturing equipment grants to the Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) to support the creation of a new Innovation Technology Assistance Center (ITAC) that will prepare the school's students with the skills for careers in advanced manufacturing.

“We are committed to choosing growth and enhancing the competitiveness of the state’s advanced manufacturing industry, for today and the future,” said Governor Patrick. “By providing our students with proper skills and training, we are supporting opportunities in this critical industry and ensuring a strong economic future for our Commonwealth.”

The ITAC will advance the growth of specialized training in advanced manufacturing and photonics to support and expand the regional and statewide advanced manufacturing workforce.

“Quinsigamond's Southbridge campus is helping to revitalize South Worcester County," said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. "In just a short period of time, the campus has helped improve the lives of residents from the 14 communities it serves by providing greater access to higher education in the region and providing business with high quality talent. The new Innovative Technology Acceleration Center is going to accelerate our efforts to provide local advanced manufacturing companies with a new talent pipeline and help better connect students to jobs."

The ITAC will enable local and regional high schools and colleges to utilize shared curricula, provide professional development and function as a research and development simulator for advanced manufacturing, especially in the optics and photonics sectors. The Center will be overseen by QCC and its partners, including Fitchburg State College (FCC) and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP). Together, they will develop and deliver courses to approximately 600 new students.

"The support of the Quinsigmond Community College's Southbridge expansion is the latest in a series of systematic  initiatives undertaken by the Department of Housing and Economic Development, that addresses  the education and training of our workforce, which is the largest challenge facing the manufacturing sector today," said Jack Healy, Director, MassMEP.

“QCC is pleased to be in collaboration with public and private partnerships to provide access to advanced training in the innovative technology fields that are in high demand in our area,” said Quinsigamond Community College President Gail Carberry. “This strategic investment will help us continue our mission to ensure that people in our community have access to the education and training they need to get good jobs and that employers have access to an educated workforce.”

“This initiative to enhance the growth of specialized training to support the regional advanced manufacturing labor supply provides a glimpse of how schools, colleges, universities and businesses will operate in the future,” said Fitchburg State University President Robert V. Antonucci. “Success will be achieved through multi-tiered collaboration, and Fitchburg State, as always, stands ready to embrace innovation.”

"INCOM's workforce is highly skilled in advanced manufacturing, which enables us to provide the world's most innovative solutions for emerging technologies," said Michael Detarando, President and CEO for Charlton-based INCOM USA. "Maintaining that knowledge is critical for our growth, as well as the industry's future. The ITAC program fosters educational excellence and practical application, to further employer and employee opportunities, throughout the Commonwealth."

"Quinsigamond Community College has been a great asset to central Massachusetts for 50 years. Thousands of graduates have learned the skills necessary to begin successful careers in the local workforce,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “With the creation of the new Innovation and Technology Center, students at QCC will get the specialized education and training that the state's growing advanced manufacturing industry requires. I believe this new center has the potential to be a game changer for the school and the region.”

“I am pleased that Quinsigamond Community College has been awarded this grant,” said Senator Brewer.  “The Innovation Technology Assistance Center will help create jobs and keep the Commonwealth competitive in emerging industries.”

"I'm very pleased the Patrick Administration is funding the Innovative Technology Assistance Center at Quinsigamond Community College,” said State Representative Paul K. Frost. “This will be a win-win for those looking for good paying jobs and for area companies in advanced manufacturing to have a well trained work force so they can continue to expand and grow their businesses in Massachusetts, especially right here in Central Mass."

"This grant award, and the ITAC at QCC, is among the most exciting things I've been a part of in my time in the legislature," said Representative Peter Durant. "I've visited many manufacturing companies, and they always request help finding additional employees with the appropriate levels of education and training. Now, QCC will be able to provide that training right here in South Central MA, with the help of the Commonwealth and countless local partners. This is good for MA, good for the businesses, and good for the local communities."

Last month, Governor Patrick filed An Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity, which provides $20 million for an Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology Training Trust Fund to train 4,000 workers for middle-skill careers in manufacturing and information technology fields, that will address shortages in these industries and help employers continue to grow and innovation. The legislation creates tools and training so our workforce is prepared to meet the needs of employers, invests in our Gateway Cities to promote economic development across the entire state and provides incentives to create jobs and stimulate the economy. The bill furthers the Administration’s proven growth strategy of investing in education, innovation and infrastructure that has led to record job creation in Massachusetts and has made the Commonwealth a global leader in key innovation economy sectors.

For more on the bill, please visit www.mass.gov/compete.

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