Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3.3 Million in Skills Capital Grants

Administration has awarded more than $52 Million to high schools and colleges in the Commonwealth
For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Education
  • Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
  • Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Workforce Skills Cabinet

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3.3 Million in Skills Capital Grants

Colleen Quinn, Communications Director, Executive Office of Education

Governor Baker at Shawsheen Regional Technical High School to announce Skills Capital Grants.

BILLERICAThe Baker-Polito Administration today awarded nearly $3.3 million in Skills Capital Grants to 31 high schools and educational institutions, enabling the schools to acquire the newest technologies to educate students and expand programs. 

The Governor and his three Cabinet secretaries on the Workforce Skills Cabinet made the announcement at Shawsheen Regional Technical High School, which has received more than $1 million in Skills Capital Grants over the past three years. 

With today’s announcement, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $52 million to 188 different programs over the past three years. Through the grants, schools have been able to expand their enrollment capacity, adding more than 10,000 additional students in educational programs across the Commonwealth.

This round of Skills Capital Grants aimed to give funds to educational institutions which focused on helping residents with barriers to employment, including those who are unemployed or underemployed, lack English proficiency, or residents who do not have degrees or certificates and need new skills to obtain good-paying jobs. 

Along with awarding the new grants, Governor Baker announced an additional $12 million is available for schools to apply for now. The 2018 Economic Development Bill, filed by the Governor and passed by the Legislature, established an additional $75 million in funding for Skills Capital Grants. The grants range from $50,000 to $500,000.

The goal of the Skills Capital Grants is to help high schools, colleges and other educational institutions invest in the most up-to-date training equipment to give their students an advantage when they continue in their chosen field or particular area of study. The Skills Capital Grants cover a broad array of fields, from construction and engineering to healthcare and hospitality.

“Skills Capital Grants impact the education of thousands of young people across the Commonwealth and give them new opportunities and skills for a successful future,”Governor Charlie Baker said. “We are proud of the 10,000 new seats that have been added to these programs across Massachusetts and we look forward to continuing our work with schools and teachers to give more students the experience and knowledge that employers demand.” 

“Skills Capital Grants create important career pathways for both students and adult learners across the Commonwealth to support key industries,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said. “Each program we visit is full of inspiring students excited to work with new equipment, so we look forward to this next round of grants and what it will mean for Massachusetts schools.”

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.  

“These grants awarded today will be particularly impactful to residents who have barriers to employment. They will now be able to learn and gain new skills in programs that offer residents career opportunities,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. “Across the Commonwealth, we are working to develop college and career pathways for both students and adult learners.”

“Meeting the demands of today’s employers requires a highly skilled workforce, experienced with the right tools and technology,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy. “These grants provide an important upgrade in classrooms and training centers, giving the next generation the edge they need to compete for the exciting jobs available in our nation-leading innovation economy."     

“These grants give students and adults the tools and training they need to access some of the Commonwealth’s highest growth and highest wage job sectors,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta. “By matching these training programs to the real time needs of employers we are closing skills gaps and ensuring that businesses across Massachusetts continue to have access to the country’s best trained labor pool.”     

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

The following schools and educational institutions received Skills Capital Grants today:

Barnstable High School, Hyannis - $100,000 Environmental Science and Technology Pathway

Barnstable High School is developing an Environmental Science and Technology Pathway for students to develop skills in environmental, marine and bioscience industries, which are in high demand in the region. The grant will help the school purchase equipment to create a small scale water treatment plant simulator, fit with water tanks and computer technology, so students can conduct tests and analyze how to keep living organisms alive and healthy.

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Boston - $99,838 Audio Visual Technology Technician Program 

Ben Franklin Institute of Technology is establishing a new Audio Visual Technology program to give students knowledge in audiovisual system installation. The funding will purchase tools and components typically used during AV system integration. Students will gain knowledge of electrical circuits, signals, and safety, audio and video cables and connectors typically found on the jobsite. With these real-world job aids, students will learn best practices for optimal system performance, proper documentation, and basic troubleshooting to be prepared for workplace challenges. 

Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District, Upton - $125,000 Diesel Engine Technician Pathway          

Blackstone Valley will incorporate a diesel mechanic technician course into the existing auto technology program. Students will learn basic diesel machine maintenance and service, hydraulics, diagnostics, and large wheel/tire maintenance training. The equipment purchased with the grant includes elevated exhaust system, air brake simulator, run stand & rebuild kit for diesel engines, and rear heavy duty truck differential.

Central Massachusetts Center for Business and Enterprise, Whitinsville -$125,000 Blackstone Valley Education Hub eVoke Manufacturing Network 

The Blackstone Valley Education Hub "eVoke Network and Performance Center" initiative will use grant funding to provide collaborative education, industry and workforce partners virtual learning communities to manufacturing and engineering equipment, in order to support student projects and prototyping. Grant funding will support purchase of a CNC/Milling unit, manual lathe, coordinate measuring machine and virtual reality welders. 

Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School - $125,000 Construction Craft Laborers Program

Essex North Shore Agricultural Tech will create a Construction Craft Laborers Program, designed to improve and expand career opportunities for high school students and adults with barriers to employment. The school will renovate to create a laboratory space, and purchase equipment students will find the workplace. Students enrolled in the construction programs can earn the 30-hour OSHA Construction and Hot Works certifications.

Everett High School, Everett - $124,528 Advanced Manufacturing Career Program

Everett High will give students more opportunities to study advanced manufacturing to be ready for high-demand career opportunities. The high school recently launched a new Innovation Pathway in advanced manufacturing and expanded vocational programs for adult learners to provide retraining and skill building programs. Funding will support a CNC Hass Tool room Lathe, CNC Hass Mini Mill, Stratasys uPrint 3-D Printers, and an Epilog Zing Laser Engraver.

Greater Lawrence Technical High School, Andover- $125,000 Health Career Program

Greater Lawrence Tech is expanding its health careers program to meet regional demand, as advances in healthcare and industry credentialing have raised entry-level requirements. The grant will support purchase of an electric hoyer lift, CPR feedback mannequins, practice management software and electronic health record systems, a virtual dissection program. Greater Lawrence Tech is partnering with Lawrence High School to provide instruction to high school students, as well as unemployed and underemployed adults in the area. 

Greater Lowell Technical High School, Tyngsborough - $68,504 Computer Programming, Web Development and Cyber Security 

Greater Lowell Technical High School plans to teach more students skills in information technology/programming and web development, hoping to meet local demand for information technology professionals specifically in cyber security. Students will have the chance to earn industry recognized credentials. The grant will fund a new computer lab with training stations for computer networking, security and cyber operations. Adult learners will have opportunities for training through the evening school and local workforce training programs. 

Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, New Bedford- $125,000 Carpentry CNC Teaching and Learning Center

Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School will create a carpentry CNC teaching and learning center. Students who graduate from the carpentry program will be employable in a variety of home construction jobs. The grant will support the purchase of a CNC Router that is used to cut wood, composites, aluminum, steel and plastics. The center will also provide training for adult residents of the Southeast region.

Greenfield Community College, Greenfield - $83,764 Medical Assistant Program

Greenfield Community College will expand its Medical Assistant Certificate (MAC) program by offering MAC training at its existing satellite training location, on the campus of Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School in Northampton.  The training will attract recent high school graduates entering college, incumbent workers looking to gain new skills, and displaced workers training for new careers in health care. The grant will help purchase portable examination tables, patient simulation anatomical trainers, and medical instrument sterilization equipment. 

Haitian Multi Service Center, Dorchester - $37,268:  Health and Social Services Workforce Training

The Haitian Multi-Service Center adult education program, specifically its ESOL for Human Services program, is designed to meet the needs of workers and employers in the health care and social services sectors. For unemployed and low-wage working adults, the program provides skills training in sectors that have job openings with room for advancement within established career pathways. The grant will fund equipment required for instruction to earn credentials and certificates in the healthcare industry. 

Holyoke Community College, Holyoke - $35,000 Hospitality Industry Workforce Training

Holyoke Community College (HCC) will create a new “hotel laboratory” in the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute to support front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house operations training programs, requested by employers in the region. The lab will give student’s the ability to learn in a model hotel room, gain knowledge about key card access systems, work at a model reception lobby desk, and understand point of sale technology.  HCC is working with local employers and community partners to offer training to people looking for jobs in the hospitality industry, and those that need other educational services such as English as a Second Language and Adult Basic Education courses.

Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, Oak Bluffs - $50,000   Horticulture Program

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) will modernize its horticulture vocational program by giving students hands-on learning in technical courses and industry credentials required by employers in the industry. Grant funding will help to purchase a mini front-loader, raking, bucket, and back hoe machinery, all which are not currently available to students on the island. The equipment will be a resource for training and industry credentialing for high school students, out-of-school youth (18-24 years-old), and adults.

Massachusetts Bay Community College, Wellesley - $75,536 Information Technology: Comp TIA+/End User Training Program

MassBay will launch a MassHire/MassBay Workforce Training Center that will offer entry-level, non-credit, Comp TIA+ and computer end-user training programs to people looking to enter the information technology field. Students will participate in internships with local employers, including Towerwall and Summit Healthcare.  In addition, students will take part in soft skills workshops, career advisement, job seeking assistance, and other support services.  The grant will purchase IT workstations, as well as hardware and software troubleshooting simulation equipment. 

Massasoit Community College, Brockton - $122,347 -   HVAC Building Systems Energy Management

Massasoit Community College will launch of a new HVAC- Building Systems Energy Management that will target unemployed and underemployed adults, including veterans and ex-offenders seeking employment or a career change; recent high school graduates seeking career training in a high-demand technical occupation; and incumbent workers seeking advanced skill training. The funds will support the purchase of HVAC, oil burners, gas splitters, refrigeration controls, furnace controls, and steam boiler training and simulation systems. The equipment will also support students enrolled in the college’s current Diesel Technology courses.

Mattapan/Greater Boston Technology Learning Center, Mattapan -$74,600 Information Technology on Wheels

Mattapan/Greater Boston Technology Learning Center provides a 12-week hands-on program designed to prepare low-skilled workers, who are seeking to enhance their computer skills, for data entry and general computer-related office positions.  Students are provided basic computer training, MS Office courses, help desk ticket training, career coaching, resume and job interview coaching. Students participate in work-based learning experiences with local employers. The grant funds will support a mobile learning lab to expand programs access to public schools, community centers, MassHire/Career Centers, and workforce development center partner locations.

Middlesex Community College, Lowell Campus - $124,262 - Dental Hygiene Clinic

Middlesex Community College will upgrade its dental hygiene clinic in downtown Lowell.  Students are able to complete an Associates in Science, and gain the skills and knowledge required to take the National Dental Hygiene Board and Commission on Dental Competency Assessment (CDCA) examinations.  The clinic will be re-configured to meet accreditation standards, and purchase 24 new operatories, which will allow the clinic to apply for a special license to accept MassHealth and other insurances.

New Bedford High School, New Bedford - $125,000 Finance Services Simulation Laboratory

New Bedford High is launching a finance services simulation laboratory for students in the Business and Finance pathway program. Funds will support the creation of a lab complete with stock tickers, LCD market data walls, and collaboration stations similar to technologies used in the financial industry. The lab will prepare students for jobs in financial services, customer service, and insurance careers.

Northeast Metropolitan Vocational School, Wakefield - $106,320 STEM Occupation: Drafting, Design, Computer Opportunities

Northeast Metropolitan Vocational School will create an eight-week program to increase access to STEM-related industries through the use of advanced computer applications. The Drafting and Design program will serve as the base for this program with the long-range goal to develop design programmers. The district will also introduce night school classes to serve non-vocational students including individuals who are unemployed, underemployed, veterans, and those who are disabled. Additionally, 900 grade 9 vocational students will take a one-week exploratory course. The school partners include the Shark Ninja and i-robot corporations. 

Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School, Rochester - $125,000 Automotive Technology; Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Skills

Students enrolled in Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School’s NATEF Master Automotive Technology Program learn how to diagnose, service and repair both domestic and foreign automobiles.  Students will learn how to troubleshoot problems of all kinds, using the latest engine analyzers, hand-held scan tools, and other computerized diagnostic equipment. Students gain hands on instruction with basic engine systems, computerized fuel injection, anti-lock brakes, computerized engine control, air conditioning service and chassis, and front-end repair.  Funding will support hybrid and electric technician skills training requested by employers and purchase of electric as well as hybrid auto engines, electronic systems, vehicles, generators, troubleshooting scan tools, and tool repair sets.

Quincy High School, Quincy - $114,200 Metal Fabrication and Joining Technologies

Quincy Public Schools will enhance the Metal Fabrication and Joining Technologies program to provide students a pathway to careers as metal fabricators, certified welders, CNC and DHC robotics technicians, and quality insurance inspector occupations in welding trade and manufacturing industries.   Funds will support the purchase of multi-process welders, welding booth, portable ventilation systems, hand-held power threading machine, drill press, and computer systems. 

R. L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, Springfield - $125,000 Sheet Metal and Fabrication

R. L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy will enhance the Sheet Metal/Metal Fabrication vocational program that provides pathways to employment in the construction and manufacturing fields. The funding will the support purchase of new equipment and technologies so students can gain additional technical skills, including heavy metal welding. Night classes will be held at Putnam's facility, in partnership with the Hampden County Workforce Board and the City of Springfield, to provide welding and metal workforce training programs for unemployed and underemployed adults. 

Roots North Shore, Salem - $99,042 Culinary - Youth Workforce Development Program

Roots North Shore is a non-profit social enterprise founded in 2015 that uses culinary arts as a tool for teaching workforce readiness and life skills to young people ages 16-24 with barriers to employment. Root’s twelve-week, 200-hour intensive hands-on kitchen and classroom training helps young people transform their lives and futures through technical and experiential education in the culinary arts, leading to employment and financial self-sufficiency.  Funding will help purchase equipment to complete the outfitting of a professional-grade teaching kitchen, including a tilt-skillet, ice machine, planetary mixer, a cooking range and additional ovens.

Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational School, Billerica - $125,000 Advanced Manufacturing

Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational School will modernization and update the drafting program and new engineering curriculum. The funding will enable the school to enroll a greater number of students and to offer new adult training programs in drafting and engineering design, as well as related advanced manufacturing courses to meet local employer demands. The grant funding will support purchase of collaborative display computer workstations capable of running the latest industry-standard software. Also, the addition of bench model technology will reinforce software training with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities.

Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, Northampton - $124,700 Advanced Manufacturing

Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School will modernize its advanced manufacturing program and rollout an adult evening training program, beginning in the fall of 2019. The funding will purchase a new CNC machine, lathe, and upgrade software used with the machines. 

Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School, Easton - $100,380  Sheet Metal and Fabrication Program

Southeastern Regional School will purchase and install hydraulic shear and ventilation equipment that will be used collaboratively by students enrolled in advanced manufacturing, welding, and HVAC programs. The school will also launch an adult evening sheet metal training program.  The adult training program will be administered by Southeastern’s post-secondary Technical Institute and expected to open in May, 2019. Southeastern will continue its successful partnership with MassHire Greater Brockton Workforce Board, and has the support of business partners Brockton Furnace and Duct, Weiss Sheet Metal, Inc., and U.S. Sheetmetal.

Taunton High School, Taunton - $124,945 - Commercial Kitchen Renovation/Tiger Cafe Restaurant

Taunton High School (THS) will upgrade its culinary arts program, which prepares students for careers in food preparation and service.  Funding will allow the school to increase instructional capacity, and enhance the quality of the program by purchasing industry-standard equipment for the commercial kitchen. The center of the THS culinary arts program is the student-run Tiger Café.  Grant funds will also be used to modernize equipment and the furnishings to give students front-of-the house experience that is required to be successful in the workplace. 

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, Franklin - $123,115 Engineering and Metal Fabrication Expansion

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School will boost enrollment capacity in its Engineering and Metal Fabrication programs, and enhance hands-on technical instruction to provide students with the knowledge needed for manufacturing jobs in the region. Funding will upgrade the training facilities with industry-standard equipment and give students access to a power roll, an ironworker, and an industrial sanding belt, and two virtual welders. The program will support adult students enrolled in evening training courses, offered in collaboration with the region’s MassHire board.

UMass Lowell Francis College, Lowell- $116,000 Advanced CNC Control and Programming Partnership

UMass Lowell Francis College will partner with Minuteman Technical to purchase 4th and 5th axis control CNC milling machines to offer new technical training programs, in order to support local manufacturing workforce needs. The partnership will allow the equipment to be used by both organizations to teach advanced technical skills to day students and adults in evening training programs. Students will have the opportunity to earn college credits, an associates’ degree in mechanical engineering technology, or a certificate in Advanced Manufacturing. 

Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, Bourne - $106,735 Culinary Arts Training

Upper Cape Cod will upgrade equipment for its culinary arts students, both day and evening students, to prepare them for careers in the region’s growing hospitality industry. The school will purchase hot and cold mobile serving counters that are used to create cafeteria/buffet stations in restaurants, hotels, schools and healthcare facilities. Culinary Arts students gain experience by preparing food for the school’s cafeteria and dining hall, support community events, and participate in work-based learning experiences offered by local employers. 

Uxbridge High School, Uxbridge - $119,489 Manufacturing Innovation Pathway

Uxbridge High School enrolls students in a Manufacturing Innovation Pathway in collaboration with the Blackstone Valley Ed Hub. The program merges learning, post-secondary planning, and industry-related experience aligned to manufacturing and engineering careers. Students gain real-world experience in internships and/or research-based projects. The grant funding will enhance instruction, and allow for the purchase of design software, CNC equipment and 3-D printing technology.


Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3.3 Million in Skills Capital Grants

Executive Office of Education 

From pre-school to post-secondary education, the Executive Office of Education works to connect all Massachusetts residents with an education that creates opportunities.

While Massachusetts' students rank first in the nation on many educational measures, the Executive Office of Education strives to strengthen the foundations of education reform, empower schools and educators, and develop pathways to college and careers so all students in the Commonwealth can succeed, regardless of their zip code.

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development 

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development promotes vibrant communities, growing businesses, and a strong middle class.

Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development  

EOLWD manages the Commonwealth’s workforce development and labor departments to ensure that workers, employers, and the unemployed have the tools and training needed to succeed in the Massachusetts economy.

Workforce Skills Cabinet 

The Workforce Skills Cabinet aligns the Executive Offices of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development to support a comprehensive economic growth agenda to benefit all corners of the Commonwealth.