For Immediate Release - December 03, 2015

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Advanced Manufacturing Training Grant Awards

Awards will fund workforce training for unemployed and underemployed individuals

LYNN - December 3, 2015 - Today, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $1.5 million in Advanced Manufacturing Training Program Workforce Development Grants to ten workforce development teams from across the Commonwealth.

These grants will fund programs providing precision manufacturing training to unemployed and underemployed individuals. The training grants will focus efforts on demographic groups that experience chronically higher rates of unemployment, and groups that are historically underrepresented in the manufacturing sector, including  veterans, African Americans, Hispanic or Latino Americans, and women. The grants were awarded by the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet.

“The Commonwealth continues to be a national leader in advanced manufacturing, and the sector is an important component of the state’s overall economic health,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants will create additional opportunities for training and growth, and will help connect residents to good-paying jobs, while meeting the increasing demand for a skilled manufacturing workforce.”

“Partnerships between educational institutions and the business community are important for successful workforce training programs,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The partnerships demonstrated by these grants will ensure the needs of those looking for work and the manufacturing community are aligned.”

“There are some populations – Latinos, African-Americans, Persons with Disabilities, Native Americans, and recently returned veterans - who face continued higher rates of underemployment or underemployment. At the same time, there are manufacturers in the state with jobs to fill, but they cannot find skilled workers,” Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II said. “With these grants, the Baker-Polito administration is making strategic investments so that unemployed and underemployed individuals can receive training to become highly skilled and prepared to compete in the manufacturing industry.”

“These training grants will be key to leveraging and scaling successful programs that align our education and business partners to meet both regional and statewide workforce needs in critical manufacturing sectors,” said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. “I am proud to support these initiatives that are making a real difference in the lives of workers and their families.”

“These workforce training grants are an important part of our work to grow key sectors of the Commonwealth’s economy,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “I am proud that this workforce development program will help retrain unemployed and underemployed individuals, giving residents the skills to help drive our economy forward.”

"The advanced manufacturing sector is critical to our Commonwealth's economic success, particularly in Western Massachusetts," said Sen. Eric P. Lesser, Senate Chair of the Joint Legislative Manufacturing Caucus. "I'm proud to champion efforts in the Senate to secure funds for these grants, which help close the manufacturing skills gap and allow more residents find stable and rewarding middle-class jobs."

“These grants will aide in the recruitment and expansion of Massachusetts’s advanced manufacturing talent pipeline, and help create new pathways and opportunities for countless people across the Commonwealth,” said State Representative John V. Fernandes, Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Manufacturing Caucus.  “It’s a solid investment in our state’s workforce, and a step in the right direction for the future of advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts.”

The Baker-Polito Administration’s Workforce Skills Cabinet aims to close the skills gap and connect citizens to jobs by making workforce development efforts more employer-centric, and by identifying and bringing to scale successful training and education models. The Workforce Skills Cabinet is chaired by the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Ronald L. Walker II, and comprised of the Secretary of Education, Jim Peyser, and the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Jay Ash. The Workforce Skills Cabinet will coordinate the implementation of these precision manufacturing training grants.

2015 Advanced Manufacturing Training Program Workforce Development Grant Award Winners
Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Pittsfield
Center for Manufacturing Technology, Woburn
City of Somerville
E-Team Machinist Training Program, Lynn
Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board, Greenfield
Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, New Bedford
Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Worcester
Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, Lawrence
Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Springfield
Tech Foundry, Springfield