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Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards $11.7 Million in Skills Capital Grants to Educational Institutions Across the Commonwealth

For immediate release:
12/10/2020
  • Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Governor's Press Office
  • Executive Office of Education

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $11.7 Million in Skills Capital Grants to Educational Institutions Across the Commonwealth

Sarah Finlaw, Press Secretary, Governor's Office

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $11.7 Million in Skills Capital Grants to Educational Institutions Across the Commonwealth

BOSTONThe Baker-Polito Administration today announced $11.7 million in Skills Capital Grants awarded to 47 educational institutions across the Commonwealth to update equipment and expand student enrollment in programs that provide career education. Twelve of the organizations are receiving a Skills Capital Grant for the first time, and one school, Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School, received a multi-year grant award for $1.25 million.

To date, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded approximately $92 million in Skills Capital Grants to nearly 300 different programs. Through Skills Capital Grants, schools have expanded their enrollment of students learning skills in high-demand occupations, enabling more than 16,200 additional students to enroll in educational programs that are prioritized by employers across Massachusetts.

For the first time, in January 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded multi-year grants, allowing educational institutions to apply for either one or two years of funding. Entities that receive two-year awards require a local matching contribution of $1 to every $3 of state resources.

“At a critical time in our Commonwealth, these Skills Capital Grants will increase flexibility and support for schools and educational institutions to launch new programs and help more students develop important technical skills and prepare them for high-demand industries,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As our economy moves forward, it will be crucial for young people to develop the important technical skills that local employers need to grow their businesses.”

“Skills Capital Grants give schools the ability to upgrade equipment and increase enrollment, which over the last five years has given thousands of students the skills and knowledge they need to be competitive in the job market,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Now more than ever, we need to continue this commitment to ensure students are ready for careers that are growing in our Commonwealth.”

The Skills Capital Grants are awarded by Governor Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, which was created in 2015 to bring together the Secretariats of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development to align education, economic development and workforce policies in order to strategize around how to meet employers’ demand for skilled workers in every region of the Commonwealth.

The competitive grants are awarded to educational institutions that demonstrate partnerships with local businesses, as well as align curriculum and credentials with industry demand to maximize hiring opportunities in each region of the state. The 2018 Economic Development Bill, filed by the Governor and passed by the Legislature, established an additional $75 million in Skills Capital Grant funding.

“Several schools awarded grants in this round will be able to expand their after-school and evening vocational programs, in alignment with the Governor’s Career Technical Initiative aimed at giving more people opportunities and education in the trades,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “The Career Technical Initiative provides additional career training opportunities for both young people and adults by operating three teaching shifts a day at vocational schools.”

Launched in January 2020, the Career Technical Initiative aims to provide more Massachusetts residents access to career technical training and certification using the state’s existing resources at vocational high schools, while simultaneously helping businesses grow by increasing the population of skilled workers able to be employed in trade and construction jobs. The plan takes a multi-pronged approach to increase student enrollment and includes state funding to help adults pay for classes, boosts business involvement in program development and credentials, and reduces licensure barriers to incentivize mid-career professionals to become vocational teachers.

“By strengthening our existing talent pipelines through Skills Capital Grants, we continue to create career paths for young people, address key skills gaps that could hinder our competitiveness, and reinforce the notion that the Commonwealth’s workforce makes Massachusetts a desirable location to locate and expand,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy. “As Massachusetts proceeds through the current economic recovery, we remain committed to making targeted investments in training a skilled workforce, forging new partnerships between employers, schools and workers, and getting people back to work.”

"The Skills Capital Grants help build resilient workforce skills through training programs and pathways that are the product of partnerships between employers and workers. These skill building programs are a vital tool in our re-employment strategies to help workers displaced from their jobs due to COVID-19," said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta.

The following organizations received awards in this round:

Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Marlborough - $358,741 Healthcare Technicians: The vocational school will purchase healthcare equipment to create several simulation labs to train students and adult learners in the skills needed for entry-level jobs in healthcare. The equipment will include “smart” hospital beds, EKG and modular lab equipment, Patient Communication Simulator, ADA compliant stethoscopes, sphygmomanometers, electronic thermometers, blood pressure arm simulators, and phlebotomy equipment.

Attleboro High School, Attleboro - $250,000 Metal Fabrication and Engineering Technicians: This grant will enable Attleboro High School to meet demand for adult and evening school training to residents in the community, as well as upgrade equipment for high school students. The new equipment will include virtual welding units, CNC plasma cutters, 3-D printers, vacuum forming machines, and laser cutters.

Berkshire Innovation Center, Pittsfield - $200,000 Robotics and Automation Technology: The Berkshire Innovation Center will introduce additional manufacturing and robotics training to support advanced manufacturers in the region.

Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater - $250,000 Manufacturing: Photonics and Optical Engineering: With the grant funding, Bridgewater State will increase capacity to train future photonics engineers, optical engineers, laser engineers, and meteorologists.

Bristol County Agricultural High School, Dighton - $250,000 Horticulture Program: The high school will expand its horticulture program with the addition of advanced technology and modernized equipment to support floriculture, arboriculture, and landscape design and contracting. The school will also modernize its greenhouse.

Brockton High School, Brockton - $200,000 Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management: The school’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Program operates in collaboration with surrounding businesses, restaurants, and educational partners. The grant will help the school expand its instructional capacity and ensure students are trained using industry standard equipment.

Bunker Hill Community College, Boston - $400,000 Associate of Science Degree in Registered Nursing: The grant will support a new nursing Innovation Pathway program for students from Madison Park Vocational Technical School, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Boston. The college will also make critically needed updates to its registered nursing program’s simulation labs. BHCC will install a networked web-based video capture system in all three laboratory classrooms, allowing faculty to view and evaluate student performance.

Cape Cod Community College, West Barnstable - $295,587 Hospitality Management and Culinary: The college will enhance and expand its Zammer Culinary Institute, which is used by students in the culinary certificate and business/hospitality degree programs. The expanded culinary and dining facilities will be available to businesses in the region which want to test or prototype food products and will also serve the community by serving meals prepared by the students participating in culinary courses.

Central MA Center for Business & Enterprise, Whitinsville - $253,500 Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing: The Blackstone Valley Education Hub will collaborate with education partners in the region to support middle school, high school and college students with training to meet the industry demands of advanced manufacturers in the area.

Dudley Charlton School District: Shepherd Hill Regional High Dudley- $100,000Innovations Pathway in Manufacturing and Environmental and Life Sciences: Students at Shepherd Hill Regional High School enrolled in Innovation Pathways in manufacturing and environmental life sciences will have access to industry-standard equipment in order to obtain certifications and credentials in these industry sectors. The school has partnered with UMass Medical, Harrington Hospital, and Quinsigamond Community College, as well as the Central Region Workforce Board, Blackstone Valley Educational Foundation, Project Lead the Way, Mass STEM Hub and AET Labs.

Edco Collaborative, Bedford - $110,000 Customer Service and Culinary Arts/ Training: The collaborative will utilize the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s cornerstone curriculum and career pathway program called PROSTART to train students in customer service and the culinary arts industries. Equipment purchased with the grant will also be used by the community in after-school and summer learning academies for young chefs and special dietary classes for adults.

Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School, Hathorne - $1,250,000Machine Tool Technology/Advanced Manufacturing / Plumbing: The grant will improve and expand career and technical education opportunities to students on the North Shore and Cape Ann in the Machine Tool Technology, Advanced Manufacturing (MTT) and Plumbing programs. These programs will be expanded to provide space and equipment for additional students during the day and after school, and adults in the adult education program. The grant is matched with $500,000 of local resources.

Everett High School, Everett - $85,000 Culinary Arts Program: The high school will open an onsite bistro to create an in-house experiential learning opportunity for students. The experience will build students’ real-world skills so they can meet the expectations of employers.

Franklin County Technical School District, Turners Falls - $200,000 Machine Technology Advanced Precision Machining: The school district will purchase Advanced Precision Machine Mills and a Coordinate Measuring Machine to support vocational students and adult workers in the Middle Skills Machine Program so they can meet the hiring needs of employers in the Pioneer Valley.

Gardner Public Schools, Gardner - $100,000 Manufacturing Innovation Pathway: The school district will purchase a 3D printer, Concept Mill, laser engraver, and robotic trainer to support high school students in the manufacturing Innovation Pathway, which operates in collaboration with the Central Workforce Board and local employers form the North Central region.

Greater Lawrence Technical School (GLTS), Andover - $400,000 Information Support Services and Networking (IT), Robotics and Automation Technology, Engineering: The high school will upgrade training labs with robotics equipment, computer workstations, network design technology and optic and laser equipment to support students in the traditional day programs as well as students in the Lawrence High School Afterschool Program. GLTS also partners with Northern Essex Community College and offers adults evening workforce development programs to train residents to meet employers’ demand for talent.

Greater Lowell Technical High School, Tyngsboro - $250,000 Electronics and Engineering Technology: The high school will purchase robotics equipment to upgrade the engineering STEM lab to support students, afternoon youth programs and adult evening students to meet the growing industry demand for skilled talent in electronics and engineering programs. The school collaborates with Middlesex Community College and Greater Lowell MassHire.            

Hampden County Sheriff's Department, Ludlow - $300,000 Sheet Metalworking for  Advanced Manufacturing: The sheriff’s department will train its incarcerated student population in drafting, blueprint reading, metal fabrication, basic welding technology, manufacturing math and metallurgy. The grant will support a sheet metalworking program to meet hiring needs in the advanced manufacturing sector.

Madison Park Technical Vocational High School - $180,000 Healthcare Programs: The high school will purchase equipment for its existing Health Assisting and Dental Assisting programs. The Health Assisting program provides a pathway for students interested in licensed practical nursing (LPN), nurses’ assistant (NA), medical assistant (MA), and registered nurse (RN). The school partners with Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School MedScience program, Whittier Street Health Center, Bunker Hill Community College, UMass-Boston School of Nursing, and Brockton Hospital School of Nursing.

Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, Oak Bluffs - $100,000 Carpentry/Building Trades Program: The high school will modernize its carpentry, which trains vocational students, afternoon students and adults seeking career changes.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston - $300,000: The CNC studio funded by the grant will benefit students enrolled in multiple undergraduate majors, graduate degrees, and continuing education programs by providing training on milling machines, CNC routers, and vacuum routers.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams - $250,000 Healthcare Workforce: Students will be able to study the human body by taking real X-ray images as part of their studies in the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program, and a new nursing program developed in collaboration with Berkshire Health systems.

Massachusetts Department of Correction Education Division, Milford - $125,000Culinary Arts and Industry Certification: Students are provided opportunities to work as employees in a restaurant setting, learning cooking skills, kitchen safety, communication skills within the workplace, presentation, dependability and teamwork. The grant will purchase learning tables to provide students with access to self-paced instruction in foundation skills, as well as upgrade hands-on training in the kitchen.

Massasoit Community College, Brockton - $250,000 Information Technology in Cyber Security: The college will use the grant to purchase equipment to support its stackable degree pathway program: A+ industry certification leading to Networking certification, leading to Network Risk Management Associate Degree. The college will provide adults who are unemployed and underemployed, recent high school graduates, and dual-enrollment high school students with hands-on, competency-based instruction.

McCann Technical School, North Adams - $188,800 Advanced Manufacturing: With the grant, the high school will be able to increase training capacity in its advanced manufacturing programs, as well as evening programs for unemployed adults, veterans, and incumbent workers seeking retraining.

Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District, Lexington - $300,000Robotics in Logistics: The school’s Robotics & Automation program will provide students with technical skills in robotics equipment used by employers involved in logistics activities. Minuteman High School is expanding its adult evening training programs and is partnering with Quinsigamond Community College to expand its ability to offer industry-recognized credentials in robotic logistics engineering, automation and supply chain management.

Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg - $323,160 Culinary Arts: The high school will replace food service equipment that was installed when the school opened more than 50 years ago, including kettles, fryers, griddles, ovens, and steamers. The kitchens will be substantially more efficient, allowing educators to revise curriculum to reflect more efficient service and preparation outcomes. In addition, the school will update the greenhouse, allowing the culinary arts program to include farm-to-table lessons and strong ties between agriculture and cuisine.

New Bedford High School, $250,000, Marine Manufacturing Technology: New Bedford High School is establishing a Marine Manufacturing Training laboratory to prepare students for careers in marine and maritime industries. The laboratory will be outfitted with welding training equipment, virtual welding and carpentry training equipment.

North Shore Community College, Danvers - $321,600 Computer Science Networking Services Lab: By upgrading its IT/Computer Science lab, the college will improve its existing programs for incumbent workers, high school and college students in order to supply local employers with skilled IT workers. The lab is critical for Cisco courses being developed to prepare students for the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) Routing & Switching and CCNA Security exams, as well as partnering with Cisco Academy to allow students and faculty to have access to Cisco virtual resources.

Northern Essex Community College, Lawrence - $400,000 Health Professions and Dental Assisting: The college developed the COVID-19 Health and Economic Response Program to provide high-demand micro credentials in the health professions. The grant will support traditional students in the college’s Health Professions and Dental Assisting programs, as well as workforce training programs for high-demand micro credentials, including Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS); Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS); Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP); and Emergency Medical Services.

Peabody Public Schools, Peabody - $175,000 Culinary Arts & Electronics Engineering:The school will modernize its kitchen by purchasing a chef refrigerator, proof boxes, gas stoves; and upgrade its electronics labs by purchasing fiber optic equipment, robotics arms, hot air soldering stations, drone kits and 3D printers.    

Quincy High School, Quincy - $141,200 Culinary Arts Program:  The high school works with local partners, including Quincy College, Bunker Hill Community College and Red Sky Restaurant to ensure students find internships, apprenticeships and employment opportunities. The high school will upgrade its facilities with convection ovens, reach-in refrigerators, convection steamers and grills.

Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, Springfield - $250,000 Health Assisting and the Machine Tool Technology: The Springfield Public School District is planning to launch a new after-school program that will provide 30 to 40 additional juniors an opportunity to enroll in the Health Assisting and Machine Tool Technology programs. The school will purchase workstations with interactive 3D anatomy and physiology software, as well as manufacturing lathes and coordinated measuring machine technology.

Salem High School, $100,000, Programming and Web Development: The high school will purchase equipment to set up a programming and web development program for students.

St. Mary's Center for Women and Children, Dorchester - $50,042 IT and Healthcare Workforce Training: The center will upgrade outdated equipment in the computer labs for St. Mary’s Center’s education and training programs that provide access to educational pathways and workforce skills development for women with significant barriers to success.  

Tech Foundry, Springfield - $181,786 IT Help Desk and Field Services Training: Tech Foundry strengthens the regional IT eco-system through industry partnerships, educational pathways, and work experience through a 16-week training program. The training is rooted in hands-on learning and a four-week internship. The grant will update the lab’s instructional equipment, workstations, furnishings, and network infrastructure.

The Loop Lab, Cambridge - $59,100 IT & Audio Video Tech apprenticeship program:The Loop Lab will launch a new AV tech apprenticeship program, the DAV (Diversity in AV) Initiative in Greater Boston. Apprentices will earn certifications in the AV industry to gain careers in broadcast, audio, and video equipment. The lab will purchase computers, studio cameras, video software, equipment installation tools, network switches, and editing workstations. Working with industry partners, WBUR 90.9 FM, Audible, and AVIXA, students are able to find employment opportunities or post-secondary education upon graduation from the program.

The Possible Project, Cambridge - $200,000 IT Network and Computer System Training Program: Students in the program build experience in customer service or network computer systems through project-based curriculum and then complete internship/apprenticeships with industry partners. With the grant, the program will upgrade technology tools, including large-format CNC cutters, high detail 3D printers and laser cutters) that will provide a wider range of training opportunities.

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, Franklin - $462,751 Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration: The high school will modernize its HVAC and Refrigeration lab and equipment to support students as well as adults in  evening certification classes.

University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell - $500,000 Advanced Manufacturing Simulation & Training Center: UMass Lowell is establishing an Advanced Manufacturing Simulation & Training Center that will support underemployed workers, as well as high school and post-secondary students with industry relevant manufacturing and engineering simulation systems.

Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, Bourne - $400,000 Veterinary Assistants Program: The high school will equip a new vocational/technical and training program for veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers. Both high school students and adult learners will train on the digital X-ray machines, ultrasound machines, heart monitors, and equipment to create a surgical environment.

Uxbridge High School, Uxbridge - $75,000 Innovation Pathways in Manufacturing, Information, and Environmental and Life Science: Uxbridge High School will purchase workstations, hands-on instructional kits, projectors, and 3D printers, that will support the school’s Innovation Pathways in Manufacturing, Information Technology, and Environmental and Life Science. Equipment will also support residents in Southern Worcester County through partnerships with other area high schools, including Blackstone-Millville, Sutton, Hopedale, and Northbridge.

Watertown High School, Watertown - $150,000 Engineering Technology: Students in the engineering program benefit from partnerships with MassBay Community College, Markforged, Analog Devices, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Boston Dynamics, and the Metro-North MassHire Board.

West Springfield High School, West Springfield - $63,376 Manufacturing Innovation Pathway: The high school will purchase an industrial 3D printer to complement the advanced manufacturing curriculum in the Innovation Pathways program. CNC machinist is one of the highest in-demand occupations in Hampden County. Students receive high-quality training and experience with high-demand skills on new technologies.

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, Haverhill - $300,000 Engineering and CAD Drafting: The high school and Northern Essex Community College are working together to create a STEM-based program at the Haverhill campus that will give high school students and adult learners experience in engineering and CAD drafting.

Woburn Memorial High School, Woburn - $100,000 Innovation Pathway Programs:  Manufacturing & Environmental and Life Sciences: The high school is launching two Innovation Pathway Programs - Advanced Manufacturing and Environmental and Life Sciences. The manufacturing pathway includes Project Lead The Way (PLTW) classes in engineering, computer science, AutoCAD, Drafting, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, and Electronics. With the grant, the Environmental and Life Sciences lab will be outfitted with new microscopes, incubators, orbital shakers, and conversion style tables to convert a classroom to a lab setting.

YMCA of Greater Boston, Boston - $217,648 Industry Certification Workforce Training: The YMCA of Greater Boston’s Training Inc. is a workforce development training program serving underemployed and unemployed adults with certificates in high-demand entry-level occupations that have a good pathway for career growth. The program collaborates with dozens of employer partners to recruit qualified candidates, and design and implement training curriculum that matches employers’ needs.  

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $11.7 Million in Skills Capital Grants to Educational Institutions Across the Commonwealth

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