Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards $12 Million in Skills Capital Grants

For immediate release:
  • Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Governor's Press Office
  • Executive Office of Education
  • Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
  • Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $12 Million in Skills Capital Grants

Brendan Moss, Press Secretary, Governor's Office

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $12 Million in Skills Capital Grants

WORCESTERThe Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $12 million to 45 high schools, colleges and educational institutions that will use the grant to acquire the newest technologies to educate students and expand career education opportunities.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy and Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta made the announcement at Worcester Technical High School, which has received more than $1.5 million in Skills Capital Grants over the last three years.

Schools can also now apply for an additional round of Skills Capital Grants, totaling $15 million, that will be awarded in the fall.

The goal of the Skills Capital Grants, which range from $50,000 to $500,000, is to help high schools, colleges and other workforce training organizations invest in the most up-to-date equipment to give their students an advantage when they continue in their chosen field or area of study. These grants cover a broad array of fields, from construction and engineering to healthcare and hospitality.

“It is encouraging to see schools that are awarded Skills Capital Grants put the funds toward career pathways to give Massachusetts students experience and expertise in industries that are expanding in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These beneficial programs will give thousands of students a head-start on prosperous careers and we look forward to seeing their progress.”

“Skills Capital Grants were originally designed to help students in vocational programs learn about the most up-to-date equipment, however, it has since evolved to help a broader population of students be ready for our Commonwealth’s knowledge-based economy,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.

With today’s announcement, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $65 million to 233 different programs over the past four years. Through Skills Capital Grants, schools have expanded their enrollment capacity in high-demand occupations, enabling more than 12,500 additional students to enroll in these educational programs that are a priority for employers across the Commonwealth. Four of the organizations awarded today received Skills Capital Grants for the first time.

Several schools plan to use the grant to launch new career pathway programs, which give students knowledge and skills in a particular industry sector such as health science, information technology, environmental science, engineering or manufacturing. In an effort to close the skills gap in certain industries, the state launched Innovation Pathways, a program to encourage high schools to give students exposure and experience in fields that are rapidly growing in the Commonwealth.

Through Innovation Pathways, high school students take college-level courses in an area of study, receive technical instruction and work at internships with local employers who partner with high schools. The Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education work together to help schools design programs, which must follow certain principles to receive official designation.  

“Across the Commonwealth, we are working to create effective pathways to college and careers for our students to ensure they have the relevant skills, knowledge and experience to succeed,” said Secretary of Education James Peyser. “These Skills Capital Grants are one more way we are trying to expand those opportunities to more students.”

“Massachusetts is consistently ranked as one of the most innovative and educated states, creating incredible economic opportunity,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy. “These grants will help promote a strong pipeline of talented workers throughout the Commonwealth, which is critical to our ability to attract employers to locate and expand here, and for adding great jobs now, and in the future.”

“Over the last five years, the Workforce Skills Capital grant program has been remarkably successful at aligning our technical educational programs with real time employer needs,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta. “These grants are bridging the skills gap in critical industries and helping thousands of students access the training they need to acquire a good paying career in some of the Commonwealth’s most high demand employment categories.”

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

The competitive grants are awarded to educational institutions that demonstrate partnerships with local businesses, as well as align curriculum and credentials with industry demand in order 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.

This round of Skills Capital Grants is funded through money the state received from the sale of General Electric’s headquarters. Last month, the administration also committed $86 million to expand MassHousing’s Workforce Housing Initiative using money from the GE sale.

The following schools and educational institutions received Skills Capital Grants in this round:

Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, $281,000 Culinary Arts Program

The grant will enable the school to expand the number of students who can study in the culinary arts program, as well as modernize equipment to better meet local market demand. The new equipment will help prepare students for careers in the food service industry.

Attleboro High School, $250,000 Manufacturing and Robotics

Students in the Advanced Manufacturing vocational program will be provided new opportunities for robotic and engineering instruction.

Ayer Shirley Regional High School $82,951 STEM Pathway

The high school recently established a STEM Pathway program where students receive training and certification in industry design software such as SolidWorks and AutoCad. Students will have opportunities to enroll in new courses that engage them in work tasks using new equipment, software and the engineering design processes such as 3D modeling, prototyping, structural analysis and quality control.

Barnstable High School - $250,000 Environmental Science &Technology Pathway

Students who participate in the Environmental Science and Technology Pathway will be able to gain industry credentials, including Waste Water Certificate/License and Drinking Water Operator. The grant will support the design and construction of a Water Quality Analysis Lab to conduct sampling techniques and analysis using industry specific equipment and demonstrate practices related to municipal waste and drinking water treatment.

Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District - $375,000 Engineering Innovation Labs

Engineering and manufacturing program students will gain critical skills by studying in the newly-created innovation labs, where they will gain experience with project-based experiences that simulate work environments.

Bristol County Sheriff’s Office - $300,000 Advanced Manufacturing

The sheriff’s office runs an adult basic education program that gives inmates an opportunity to earn their high school equivalency credential. The Advanced Manufacturing program will give inmates education and skills to enter the local textile manufacturing industry, through a partnership with Merrow Manufacturing that will provide hands-on training for students.

Dearborn STEM Academy, Boston Public Schools- $300,000 Computer Science Pathway 

Dearborn STEM Academy is launching a computer science Innovation Pathway. An Innovation Pathway gives students knowledge and work experiences in a particular industry sector, and must meet certain criteria before receiving official designation from the Departments of Higher Education and Elementary and Secondary Education. The grant will support a Brilliant Career Lab computer science and fabrication makerspace.

Bridgewater State University - $299,000 Aviation Programs

Bridgewater State University is an accredited baccalaureate flight training program that provides students with opportunities in high-demand private or commercial pilot and aviation careers. The grant funds will support new flight instruction simulators, and upgrade plane avionics to ensure new aircraft are FAA compliant. Bridgewater State is collaborating with local high schools to develop early college and career pathway programs.

Bristol Community College - $499,108 Offshore Wind Energy

Bristol Community College is launching a new associate degree in science in offshore wind energy. The program is geared toward students from vocational high schools and other local high schools, as well as unemployed and underemployed adult workers. Working with industry partners, the college is developing an offshore wind energy lab that focuses on training in electro-mechanics, fiber optics, photonics and high voltage integration.

Cape Cod Community College - $310,000 Engineering Prototyping and Training Center

Cape Cod Community College is launching an engineering prototyping and training center related to electromechanical devices, as well as traditional mechanical and electronic parts to support manufacturing in the region. The center will be a resource for multiple populations, including community college students, regional high school students, start-up companies, and local engineering and manufacturing companies.

Danvers High School - $150,000 Information Technology and Manufacturing Innovation Pathway

Danvers High is launching a new Information Technology and Manufacturing career pathway. Innovation Pathways, designated by the Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education, give students coursework and experience in a specific high-demand industry, such as information technology, engineering, healthcare, life sciences and advanced manufacturing.

EDCO Collaborative – $298,588 Healthcare

EDCO is establishing a Certified Nursing Aide (CNAs) Home Health Aide career program for at-risk youth. The program will give students the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma or G.E.D. along with certification in Certified Nursing Aide and Home Health Aide.

Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School District - $499,995 Veterinary Science Program

Through a partnership with MSPCA Angell Medical Center, the school is expanding veterinary science education for students by opening a full-service veterinary hospital.

Franklin County Technical School - $275,000 Veterinary Science Program

Franklin Tech is opening a new veterinarian science clinic that will educate high school students, adult learners, and local agricultural businesses in the Pioneer Valley. The program will provide career pathways in veterinary science, including Approved Veterinarian Assistants, animal care and service workers, groomers, and veterinary technicians and surgical technologists.

Greater Lowell Technical High School - $381,051 Health Science Expansion

The grant will help Greater Lowell Technical High purchase patient simulation centers in order to expand enrollment in the heath assisting and medical assisting programs. In addition, the high school provides a post-secondary practical nursing program.

Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School - $300,000 Welding Technology Automation

Many workers who possess welding skills are employed in the building and construction trades, as well as emerging wind energy sector. The grant will enable the school to enhance its technology with virtual welding simulators, vertical tilt bandsaws, press break, a hydraulic shear, and CNC Plasma Table.

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department - $168,940 Fundamentals of Food Service

The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department is launching a new food service training program to provide a pathway to employment in the hotel and culinary sector. The grant will help the sheriff’s department construct an industrial training kitchen and classroom. Students will prepare for the ServSafe industry recognized credential and OSHA-10 certification. The sheriff’s department is working with Holyoke Community College to align training with post-secondary culinary and hospitality career pathways. 

Holyoke Community College - $230,068 Health Science Program Expansion

With the grant, HCC will expand enrollment in the Medical Assisting program, and enhance curriculum in several healthcare training programs through the introduction of Telehealth technology. By increasing instructional capacity, the Center for Health Education will be accessible to local high school and vocational students, healthcare employers, and four-year college programs.

Madison Park Technical Vocational High School - $449,000 Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Training Lab

Madison Park is launching a new Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration vocational program. There is a strong demand for new workers in this highly-skilled occupation to fill both new jobs and replace retiring workers. Young people and adult learners will have career opportunities and postsecondary certification.

Mashpee Public Schools - $250,000 Advanced Manufacturing Lab

Mashpee High has partnered with Cape Cod Community College, Mass Maritime, and Quinsigamond Community College to develop a new Innovation Pathway in manufacturing. The program offers student credit-bearing college courses, campus experiences, and postsecondary options. The high school will also offer K-8 students on the Cape and Islands afterschool opportunities and summer STEM-related experiences.

Massasoit Community College - $250,000 Diesel Technology Program

New diesel engine equipment purchased with the grant will support the college’s existing programs, as well as introduce a new Alternative Fuels and Emissions certificate to complement its associate degree program, giving students an option to earn an entry-level credential. In addition, the college has partnered with the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department to pilot a program to train soon-to-be-released inmates to become diesel technicians.

McCann Technical School, $150,000 Advanced Manufacturing

Students in the advanced manufacturing program will be prepared for careers in precision manufacturing, metal fabrication, aerospace, defense, medical devices, plastics and mold making through the purchase of the newest equipment in the industry. Adult learners will also benefit from the equipment upgrades.

Middlesex Community College - $250,000 Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting

The college’s dental programs lead to a Dental Hygiene associates degree or certification in dental assisting. Students gain skills and knowledge to take the National Dental Hygiene Board and Commission on Dental Competency Assessment. Dental Assisting students prepare for the Dental Assisting National board exam.

Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School – $384,258 Health Career and Automotive Technician Training programs

Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School is working to close skills gaps in the healthcare sector and automotive technician workforce in central Massachusetts. With the grant, the high school will purchase virtual learning technologies that will add a new virtual component to the program, providing lessons in dissection, human body systems, anatomy and physiology. The automotive technician program will be supported by adding high-tech trainers and simulators aligned with NATEF requirements.

Mount Wachusett Community College - $55,643 Healthcare workforce

Mount Wachusett will equip a Certified Nursing Assistant learning and simulation lab at the Leominster campus that will expand capacity of the adult education program that also provides English Language instruction, while students gain knowledge to take the state CNA exam.

New Bedford High School - $275,000 Information Technology and Logistics Laboratory

Students will learn in a laboratory that includes conveyor systems, robotic arms, 3-D printers, and robotic automation training systems intended to support the automation of a supply chain system. Students will work toward industry-recognized certification in robotic automation as part of their National Academy Foundation pathway program in IT and Engineering.

Northampton Public Schools -$133,879 IT Innovation Pathway and Cisco Academy

Northampton High School students enrolled in the Innovation Pathway program have opportunities to gain college credits, internships experiences, and exposure to Information Technology careers. By the time they graduate high school, students can earn professional credentials and are better prepared to enter the workforce or college. The grant will help launch a training academy, in partnership with Cisco.

Northbridge High School - $225,000 Health Services and IT Innovation Pathway Programs

Students enrolled in Northbridge High School’s newly launched Innovation Pathways in health services and IT can earn college credits and industry credentials. The grant will purchase new equipment to enhance teaching in these programs.

North Shore Community College $385,684 Healthcare

North Shore Community College is establishing a funeral services program. The program will award an associate degree and Type Six Licenses for funeral directors/managers/embalmers.

Northern Essex Community College, $185,136 Robotics and Automation Technology

Northern Essex Community College (NECC) will launch a new program in Robotics and Automation Technology in collaboration with Greater Lawrence Technical School and Lawrence High School. The partnership will support adult workers as well as high school students enrolled in the engineering and Advanced Manufacturing vocational programs. 

Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School - $225,000 Healthcare and Biomedical Sciences

The grant will support new equipment in the Health Assisting program, as well as expand the number of students with access to related course offerings with the addition of Project Lead the Way biomedical science courses. Students will gain experience on industry-standard equipment that will give them skills to enter jobs as medical lab technicians, surgical technicians, and biomedical equipment technicians.

Per Scholas Greater Boston $51,444Information Technology

Per Scholas will train unemployed and underemployed Boston residents as IT professionals and connect them to employers. The primary course will be network support, a 15-week, full-time, tuition free training that leads students to dual CompTIA A+ and Network+ professional certification.

Quincy High School - $148,100 Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology

Quincy High School will enhance its radio and television broadcasting technology to train students for careers in broadcast, audio and video equipment technicians, producers, directors, editors, stage lighting, and sound engineers. The high school works with three community partners to give students internships, apprenticeships, employment or post-secondary education – Curry College, Carey Productions, and Quincy Access Television.

Quinsigamond Community College - $476,807 Dental Technician Workforce

Quinsigamond Community College is developing a Dental Materials Lab to train students to become dental hygienists and dental assistants. The new dental lab also supports the college’s onsite dental clinic, which provides experiential learning to students and more than 800 local residents each year.

Roxbury Community College - $300,000 Smart Building Technology Engineer Technician

The college is establishing a Smart Building Technology program as a specialized track within its engineering department. Smart buildings are about construction and operational efficiencies to enhance management functions for occupants. Students will learn core building systems and how to optimize the functionality of high-performance buildings. The Skills Capital Grant will be used to create a classroom and laboratory that provides hands-on work-based learning in physics and electrical engineering, allowing students to apply technical solutions and troubleshoot.

School of Reentry at Boston Pre-Release - $105,223 Information Technology

The School of Reentry will double the capacity of its information technology training program that provides inmates classroom instruction and structured workplace learning opportunities. The school has partnered with Roxbury Community College, Brandeis University, and MIT to offer courses at the school in Boston.

Somerville High School - $186,900 Welding and Metal Fabrication Technician

Somerville High School’s Welding Simulation project will use cutting-edge welding technology to enhance the learning experience of students entering the workforce and adult learners looking to reenter the workforce with new skills. Lincoln VRTEX Welding Simulators will be integrated into Somerville High School’s metal fabrication and welding program to teach students core welding techniques in a safe, controlled environment where they can work at a steady and personalized pace.

South Shore Vocational Technical High School -$298,000 Advanced Manufacturing and Precision Welding Technicians

By purchasing state-of-the-art equipment for the manufacturing engineering technology program and metal fabrication and welding programs, students and adult learners will develop skills in engineering, robotics, advanced manufacturing, and metal fabrication.

Southeast Middlesex Regional Vocational School – Keffe Tech, $150,000 Horticulture and Landscape Management

The school offers a vocational horticulture and landscape management program as well as night programs to provide professional development and industry training to meet local employer needs. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Natick Community Farm, and Framingham Parks and Recreation are industry partners, and the program also works with the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst.

Springfield Technical Community College – $500,000 Health Science and Electrical Engineering Technology

The college is growing its health science and electrical engineering technology programs to offer students strong career opportunities in industries that are growing in the region. New medical patient simulation training equipment will allow a larger number of students to enroll in the program, and robotic arms for the electrical engineering technology program will provide hands-on experience on equipment students will encounter in advanced manufacturing facilities.

Tantasqua RVHS - $260,000 Advanced and Adaptive Manufacturing Training

The school will introduce elements of additive manufacturing and mechatronics in three existing vocational programs, mechanical design, manufacturing, and electrical programs. Students will participate in a cross-training model to gain critical technical skills.

Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High School - $260,000 Marine Services Technician Program

The grant will modernize equipment in the Marine Technology program to better prepare students for jobs in the marine services workforce. The grant will support new engines and instrumentation control technology, fabrication and welding equipment, finishing equipment for fiber glass and epoxy, and equipment for moving engines and other devices. Students will be prepared to meet the needs of recreational and commercial boating industries.

Uxbridge High School - $175,000 Information Technology Innovation Pathway

Using industry-standard equipment and technology, students will be exposed to computer programming, digital media tools, large format 3D imaging and design, visual design, motion capture technology, and editing software.

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School - $409,225 Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration

Students will be prepared on residential, commercial and light commercial equipment to gain experience with gas heat, oil burner technologies, rooftop heating and cooling units, ice machines, refrigeration and freezer units, ductless high-efficiency heat pumps, and air conditioning systems.

Worcester Technical High School - $210,000 The One Health Initiative

The Allied Health Academy, located within Worcester Technical High School, will help to close the region’s skills gap in the healthcare sector by providing technical instruction to students in the healthcare vocational program, as well as other students in Worcester Public Schools enrolled in the new Healthcare Innovation Pathway, and adults enrolled in the training and professional development program.


Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $12 Million in Skills Capital Grants

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