Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards $9.5 Million in Skills Capital Grants to Support Vocational Equipment and Programs

Skills Capital Grants will help 32 educational institutions improve and expand their career training programs
For immediate release:
  • Governor Charlie Baker | Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Jim Peyser, Education Secretary
  • Jay Ash, HED Secretary
  • Rosalin Acosta, LWD Secretary
  • Workforce Skills Cabinet

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $9.5 Million in Skills Capital Grants to Support Vocational Equipment and Programs

William Pitman

Governor Baker at Nashoba Valley  Technical High School

WESTFORD — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $9.5 million in Skills Capital Grants to 32 high schools, community colleges and educational institutions that will use the funds to purchase equipment, modernize operations, and boost enrollment capacity in career training programs. With today’s awards, the Administration has awarded more than $36 million in Skills Capital Grants to 78 different educational institutions over the last two years.

“These Skills Capital Grants will help boost our economy and equip students with new skills, knowledge and experience with state-of-the-art equipment across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to continuing our work with these 32 institutions and previous awardees to enhance their programs and develop a skilled workforce ready to meet the needs of the Commonwealth.”

“In order to maintain our skilled workforce, we want to ensure our high schools, colleges, and other educational programs have the ability to train students on the latest equipment that meets current industry standards so when they are ready to enter the workforce, they have the knowledge and best possible training to get a job,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.  “The awards we are funding today will help open up new economic opportunities, from the Berkshires to the South Coast and Merrimack Valley.”

Governor Baker, Education Secretary James Peyser and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta announced the awards today at Nashoba Valley Technical High School, which has received a total of $1 million in Skills Capital Grants. Prior to the announcement of new awardees, Nashoba Valley Technical High School administrators and students gave Governor Baker a tour of the Engineering Academy, which was upgraded this year using Skills Capital Grants.

The competitive grants are awarded to educational institutions that demonstrate partnerships with industry, as well as align curriculum and credentials with businesses’ demand, in order to maximize hiring opportunities in each region of the state.   Economic Development legislation proposed by the Administration and passed by the Legislature last year authorizes $45 million in program funding over the next three years.

“While Massachusetts has the most highly educated workforce of any state in the nation - with 50 percent of our workforce holding a bachelor’s degree or higher – there is a skills shortage that needs to be addressed to support future business growth and economic success,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. “With these Skills Capital Grants, we are ensuring our education and workforce investments meet current and future industry growth in the Commonwealth by requiring schools that receive grants partner with local businesses.”

“Meeting the demands of today’s employers takes a highly skilled workforce and these grants will bring us one step further to closing the skills gap,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash. “Training the next generation of workers using modern, state-of-the-art equipment prepares them for the future and ensures the Commonwealth will remain competitive."

"These grant awards are the outcome of private, public, and educational partners coming together to fill pressing skills gaps in the economy,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta. "By utilizing this collaborative approach, the Skills Capital grant program helps to ensure that the next generation of Massachusetts workers has the training necessary to access high demand jobs."

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 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 received Workforce Skills Capital Grants:

Assabet Valley Regional Tech - $499,388: The school will modernize lathe training offered to all students who enroll in the Advanced Manufacturing day or evening program. The equipment will give students the opportunity to learn Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Lathe concepts.

Berkshire Community College - $54,524: BCC will enhance training for Allied Health and Science programs, including respiratory care, physical therapy, massage therapy, and nursing with the purchase of an Anatomage Table. This 3-D, state-of-the-art computerized table will provide access to a highly-sophisticated visualization system for anatomy and physiology education.

Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce Central Massachusetts Center for Business and Enterprise - $456,320: The Chamber is partnering with Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester State University’s Center for Business and Industry and Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology to implement a vocational/technical training program for the manufacturing industry. This will include CAD computers and software, 3D printers and the creation of a mini-Fab Lab.

Bristol County Agricultural High School - $493,729: The high school will build on its Natural Resource Management program and Environmental Sustainability by incorporating drone technology, 3D design, mapping and modeling. Bristol Aggie students will become proficient in using research as an effective predictor for their businesses and the economy.

Brooke High School - $128,779: The high school’s computer science and robotics program prepares students for jobs in technology and robotics sectors. The new space will have CNC tools, mechanical fabrication tools, electronic prototyping supplies, benchtop tools, and computer workstations to support four years of instruction in computer programming, robotics, and engineering.

Bunker Hill Community College - $247,566: The school will purchase two new ultrasound machines to enhance learning in cardiac sonography and general sonography associates degree programs. Students will get hands-on experience and up to date training with industry standard equipment.

Center for Technical Education Innovation - $492,823: With the purchase of new equipment in machine tool and drafting, students will be trained on all stages of manufacturing. The center will provide training for unemployed, incumbent workers and those with barriers to employment.

Dartmouth High School - $500,000: Dartmouth High renovated a space into a biotechnology lab. With this grant, the school will purchase a Z Space Lab, CNC machine, laser and plasma cutters, Anatomage Table, microbits, centrifuges, thermal cyclers and gel electrophoresis apparati.

Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School - $500,000: Diman’s Innovation Laboratory will focus on automated machinery/robotics and technical services. Students will learn to design, build and repair the tools and machines used across the manufacturing industry. Equipment includes computer numerically controlled CNC mills, lathes, 3-D printers and VEX robotics kits. After school hours, the laboratory will be open for adult education programs offered in partnership with the Bristol Workforce Investment Board.

Franklin County Technical School - $495,000: The school will revamp its welding and metal fabrication program to meet new industry demands, and provide a pipeline of students prepared to enter the workforce. A new CNC press brake forming machine will allow students to be well-trained with brake, tooling, CNC and drawings.

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department/York Street Industries - $115,706: Through its subsidiary York Street Industries, the Sheriff’s Department will upgrade and modernize its manufacturing program by purchasing state-of-the art computerized machinery. Inmates will be trained as computerized machine operators, and receive preparation towards certification in MACWIC Level 1 manufacturing and the National Career Readiness Certificate. The program works collaboratively with Springfield Technical Community College to provide students with a career pathway.

Holyoke Community College - $229,500: HCC will purchase equipment for the Culinary Arts and Hospitality programs that will better prepare students changing workforce needs. The purchase of the new equipment will increase the number of seats available in the program, as well as improve the skill level of students based on the needs of local employers.

Lawrence Family Development Inc. - $152,995: Lawrence Family Development launched a pilot culinary arts program in 2015. This grant will enable the program to purchase equipment for an industrial kitchen to allow students more space to prepare food for a larger group, as well as earn their ServSafe Certification.

Marlborough Public Schools - $343,376: The Marlborough Advanced Pathways Program provides students with the opportunity to learn and apply transferable skills while in high school in the growing industry sectors of advanced manufacturing, electronics, robotics, and information technology. The program will purchase 3D printers, a computer-integrated manufacturing cell system, a CNC mill, a CNC lathe, a sensor training system and electrical drive training system. 

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School - $50,000: Martha’s Vineyard High will install a 23 foot by 84 foot Industrial Greenhouse and related technology. The new greenhouse and conferencing technology will allow students an opportunity to learn in a facility capable of interacting in a global way.

Massachusetts Bay Community College - $500,000: Mass Bay Community College will purchase advanced cybersecurity and biotechnology equipment to upgrade the college’s laboratories. The equipment will prepare students for industry standard certifications such as Network +, CompTIA+, as well as create on-the-go labs for teaching concepts in Internet of Things, mobile and device security. New biotechnology equipment will enable students to learn advanced laboratory protocols and conduct advanced analysis for biopharmaceutical applications.

McCann Technical School - $196,315: McCann Technical focuses on precision manufacturing for the aerospace, defense, commercial, medical device, plastics, mold-making and power generation markets. It is critical for those industries to have a workforce of well-trained electricians capable of installing and sustaining complex manufacturing equipment and software. McCann Tech will provide industry advanced manufacturing Programmable Logic Controllers, PLC, and fiber optics training programs that can be increased incrementally as students’ progress, as well as diagnostic and retraining for incumbent workforce.

Mount Wachusett Community College - $50,600: Mount Wachusett will offer both a paramedic technology certificate and continuing education certification for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Paramedics. The college is addressing a demand by local fire chiefs, ambulance companies and local hospitals for qualified paramedics. In addition, the program will expand to provide EMT and Paramedic Continuing Education courses in the areas of pre-hospital life support, advanced medical life support, geriatric emergency medical services, and pediatric advanced medical support.

North Shore Agriculture and Technical School District - $500,000: The school will expand its current machine tool technology program to incorporate engineering, metal fabrication, robotics/automation and programming. The current lab will be renovated and the evening adult education advanced manufacturing program will offer career guidance and advisement in partnership with Essex Tech.

North Shore Community College - $264,906: North Shore Community College’s greenhouse will support both the Agriculture and Food Services career pathways. The fully-equipped greenhouse includes planning beds, irrigation, lighting and heating systems, aquaponics, rain catchment, composting, sorting tables and lab test kits. Health and Science students will conduct lab experiments and view real time applications of sustainable ecosystems. Culinary arts students will grow and experiment with specialty vegetable and herbs for serving in their Café, while small business entrepreneur students will experience the process of bringing a product to “market.”

Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School - $214,319: Old Colony’s electrical program and electronics engineering technology programs will purchase clean energy training equipment, a residential grid-tied and off-grid solar system, and a mock roof for installation training. The school will acquire new mobile robotics educational bundles, PCL automaton and monitoring equipment, mechatronics training lab, FANUC Industrial robot training and certification.

Quincy Public Schools - $138,224: The Quincy school district will create an engineering technology program at North Quincy High School. North Quincy High will train students over three years to enter jobs as mechanical, civil, biomedical, agricultural, and electrical engineers. With this grant, the school will purchase tilt chairs, monitors, 3D printers, Mimio Teach interactive software suite, and Project Lead the Way equipment for hands-on instruction and experimentation. The new equipment will allow students to work on the same software and equipment that is used in manufacturing and engineering design. This program is supported by business partners Boston Scientific Corporation and General Dynamics/Bluefin Robotics.

Quinsigamond Community College - $431,900: Quinsigamond will partner with Worcester Technical High School to serve as a site to expand its HVAC certificate program. This expansion will double the program’s enrollment capacity and offer a second start date during the spring semester.

Ralph C. Mahar Regional School - $66,246: Mahar will create a student-led IT help desk course with training provided for multiple certifications through CompTIA, Cisco, Microsoft, Google and others. The school will purchase UAV’s, PC workstations, CNC machinery, collaborative touch screen monitors, high-definition and infrared cameras, microphones and 3D printers, as well as prototyping in augmented reality/virtual reality.

ROOT NS Inc. - $500,000: Root will outfit a professional-grade teaching kitchen within its training facility in Salem, including purchase and installation of a large cooking range, ovens, hood ventilation, fire suppression system, walk-in refrigeration units and classroom equipment. 

Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational School District - $382,830: Shawsheen Valley Regional Voc will expand its Culinary Arts program and add a hospitality management program. Through a partnership with BACC, Mass Restaurant Association and Middlesex Community College, Shawsheen will provide secondary and post-secondary training program.

Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School - $175,000: Smith will expand its Horticulture program to include greenhouse management and floriculture concentrations. The current greenhouse will be upgraded and retrofitted with modern aquaponics, propagation systems, coolers, instructional aides, and floriculture equipment.

South Shore Vocational Technical High School - $124,093: The school will purchase advanced manufacturing equipment for its Manufacturing Engineering Technologies Academy, including four ProtoTrak milling machines.

Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School District - $319,824: Southeastern’s machine technology program will upgrade manufacturing equipment identified by employers on the school’s Machine Technology Advisory Committee. The new equipment will make the Advanced Manufacturing program one that will meet regional workforce needs of the 21st Century. The equipment will also be used to launch new evening and weekend a Southeast Advanced Manufacturing training program for adults, in partnership with the Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board, the Metro South Chamber of Commerce, and other industry partners.

Tantasqua Regional Vocational High School - $270,000: Tantasqua Regional will update its Manufacturing program to provide training using CNC equipment. The school will partner with two local high schools to provide students after-school training opportunities, as well as two local employers to provide incumbent worker training programs.

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School - $119,326: After finishing one phase of its engineering technology plant expansion, Tri-County is now remodeling a third shop area to expand Advanced Manufacturing, as well as enhance it adult manufacturing courses offered through a partnership with Wentworth Institute of Technology. New equipment will broaden students acquisition of industry recognized skills by exposing them to more complex hardware and software applications.

Westfield Public Schools – Westfield Technical Academy - $500,000: Westfield Technical Academy is completing the Hangar 2 project at Barnes Regional Airport. Completion of the hangar will benefit all students in the program, grades 9 to 12. The grant will be used to pay for components of construction including the HVAC, fire protection, plumbing and electrical systems that will allow the building to be usable by students.


Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $9.5 Million in Skills Capital Grants to Support Vocational Equipment and Programs

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito 

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and members of their administration are committed to making Massachusetts the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

Executive Office of Education 

EOE oversees early childhood education and care, elementary and middle schools, high schools, and higher education.

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.

Help Us Improve with your feedback