For Immediate Release - November 21, 2013


Grant partnership, involving local businesses, to benefit at least 50 job seekers

LOWELL – Thursday, November 21, 2013 – Patrick Administration officials joined regional workforce organizations and state and local officials in Lowell today to highlight a $500,000 Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund Grant recently awarded to the North Shore Workforce Investment Board. As part of this grant, the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium will partner with the region’s community colleges and academic institutions, career centers and workforce investment boards, local employers and others to provide training that will meet the needs of local businesses and assist participants in finding jobs with local employers and within the manufacturing industry.

The North Shore Workforce Investment Board, the lead applicant for this Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund Grant, was one of 15 regional recipients awarded grants by the Patrick Administration in July through Commonwealth Corporation’s Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund. All awarded grant projects are designed to improve the competitive stature of Massachusetts businesses by improving the skills of current and future workers.

“By partnering with the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, we are engaging the region’s stakeholders to help job seekers obtain the education and training that is critical for supporting the future of Massachusetts’ manufacturing industry,” said Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) Secretary Joanne F. Goldstein. “With close to 100,000 jobs needing to be filled in this industry over the next decade, it is imperative that we invest in building a strong pipeline of highly skilled workers so that this industry remains vibrant and competitive.”

As part of this collaborative grant, EOLWD is working alongside the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development which convened the industry-led Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative whose purpose is to improve the competitive conditions for Massachusetts manufacturers. Major studies by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northeastern University show that advanced manufacturing is unrivaled, but cannot continue to compete without the kind of sustained collaboration between industry, academia and government that have been critical to grow so many of our key industry clusters.  Efforts by the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium are an example of the new initiatives launched by the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative with the support of Governor Patrick and the state legislature to promote manufacturing and help regions throughout the state improve the ability of manufacturers to find the workers they need to compete, and for people to get the training they need to get hired.

“Massachusetts is on the cutting-edge in terms of what states are doing to grow 21st century manufacturing,” said Secretary Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. “By collaborating with industry leaders and academia, we can help ensure our next generation is equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary for careers in advanced manufacturing.”

“By including businesses in the partnership that train workers, we are ensuring that there are real jobs at the end of the training program and that the skills of the graduates help businesses meet their talent needs,” said Nancy Snyder, President of Commonwealth Corporation.

The Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium will work to align training curricula with business skill demands and help promote an updated image of manufacturing as an industry that has jobs with a future. 70 adults will enroll in one of three cycles of training at a regional community college of their choice. Training will include a math refresher (if needed) and core manufacturing courses including OSHA, Microsoft, and Manufacturing Fundamentals. Students will have a choice of participating in vocational training for machining or electronics. At least 53 individuals will find employment with local business partners or with other companies within the industry.

In addition, the college partners will work to provide college credit for courses that provide a stepping stone to an Associate’s Degree. Course content will continue to be vetted with business partners to ensure that skills learned are appropriate to business needs.

Across government, academia, workforce organizations, and the private sector, this regional partnership includes:

Executive Office Partners

Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Commonwealth Corporation

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Career Center Partners

Valley Works Career Center

Career Source

North Shore Career Center

The Career Place

Employer Partners


Thermal Circuits

Fitz Machine

Bomco, Inc.

Applied Materials/Varian

Mills Machine Works

TRU Corporation

Arwood Machine Corp.

Fleet Machine Company

MCS Laser Services, Inc.

Ideal Tape Company

Straumann Manufacturing

Boston Centerless, Inc.

United Electric Controls

Crystal Systems/GT Solar

American Biltrite

GE Aviation


New England Die Cutting

The Custom Group

Other Partner

John Adams Innovation Institute

Boston Tooling & Machining

Public Education Partners/Training Vendors

North Shore Community College

Northern Essex Community College

Middlesex Community College

Vocational Technical High School Partners

Greater Lawrence Technical Vocational High School

Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School

Essex Agricultural School

Greater Lowell Technical High School

Lynn Vocational Technical Institute

Nashoba Valley Technical High School

North Shore Regional Vocational High School

Shawsheen Valley Technical High School

Northeast Metro Tech

Workforce Investment Board Partners

North Shore Workforce Investment Board

Metro North Regional Employment Board

Greater Lowell Workforce Investment Board

Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board


"Middlesex Community College is honored to have launched the first cohort for the Advanced Manufacturing Training program,” said Dr. Carole Cowan, President of Middlesex Community College. “This grant has provided a tremendous opportunity for community colleges to offer the hands on machining and electronics training necessary to the future workforce."

"Our manufacturing industry is in many ways the backbone of our economy," said Eastern Bank's Nancy Stager, Chair of the North Shore Investment Board. "We are so grateful for this opportunity to develop and sustain training programs that will support this industry well into the future."

In August 2012, Governor Deval Patrick signed “An Act Relative to Infrastructure Investment, Enhanced Competitiveness, and Economic Growth in the Commonwealth,” which appropriated $5 million to the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund to support partnerships between employers, educational institutions and workforce organizations to train and upgrade the skills of new and incumbent workers.

The Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund grants will support 15 partnerships between employers and education and workforce organizations ranging from community colleges and vocational technical schools to career centers and workforce investment boards. Together, the 15 regional partnerships are dedicating resources to support initiatives that will train more than 850 individuals, mostly job seekers, in a variety of industries including healthcare, manufacturing, construction trades, hotel and hospitality, early education and financial services.