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Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards Grants to High Schools with New Programs that Help Students Gain Career Experience

For immediate release:
1/16/2020
  • Executive Office of Education

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Grants to High Schools with New Programs that Help Students Gain Career Experience

Colleen Quinn, Communications Director, Executive Office of Education

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito talks to freshman students at Brockton High School who are participating in the Biotechnology early career pathway program launched this past fall.

BostonThe Baker-Polito Administration today awarded more than $676,000 in grants to 14 high schools that have launched new early career programs for students, giving them experience in a specific high-demand industry through college coursework and internships with local employers.

Students are able to choose an area of study, such as information technology, life sciences or advanced manufacturing, and gain knowledge and insight as to whether the field is something they are interested in pursuing, as well as earn college credits at no cost to them prior to graduation.

The high schools that received grants today had their programs, known as Innovation Pathways, approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in Spring 2019 in preparation for fall enrollment. More than 1,000 students are expected to be enrolled in programs at these 14 high schools, and across the Commonwealth more than 1,500 students are enrolled in early career programs at 26 high schools.

“These early career programs provide students a head-start in learning and thinking about future career options so that they are able to make informed decisions about what they want to pursue in college and beyond,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to continue to invest in these important programs that can shape a student’s future success.”

“Innovation Pathways are designed to build strong partnerships between high schools and local employers to offer students the knowledge and experience in growing, in demand industries throughout in the Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “By providing more young people hands-on career experiences, we can increase their skills and engage with them in a new, innovative and exciting way.”

Lt. Governor Polito made the announcement while visiting Brockton High School with Education Secretary James Peyser. Brockton High School received a $50,000 grant to launch an Innovation Pathway in Healthcare that will serve 193 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with the MassHire Greater Brockton Workforce Board, area employers and the Forsyth Institute Student Scholars Program. Students will take courses at Massasoit Community College, Bay State College and Bridgewater State University.

“We are working to build career exploration and skill building opportunities to students at every high school in Massachusetts. We are committed to ensuring all students, regardless of where they live or go to school, have the skills and knowledge to be successful in college and careers,” said Education Secretary James Peyser.  

“Innovation Pathways help show students what is possible and why their academics matter,” said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley. “Congratulations to each of the programs receiving an Innovation Pathway grant today.”

"The Healthcare Innovation Pathways program at Brockton High School will provide students pursuing higher education with a head start on their studies while preparing students who plan to enter the workforce with the job skills and certifications required by our region's largest employers. We're grateful for this investment from the Baker-Polito Administration in both our students and our local economy," said Brockton Superintendent Michael Thomas.

Many of the early career programs at high schools are in STEM-related fields. Industry sectors include manufacturing, information technology, environmental and life sciences, health care and social assistance, and business and finance.

Schools that apply for state designation for career programs are required to follow five design principles:

  • Equitable access for all students
  • Guided academic pathway, which, in the case of Innovation Pathways, must relate to one of five specified broad industry sectors
  • Enhanced student supports
  • Relevant connections to career
  • Deep partnerships between high schools and employers or workforce development boards

The following high schools received grants:

Agawam High School, Agawam - $34,772 Agawam High School launched a Manufacturing Innovation Pathway that will serve 466 students when fully enrolled. The school partnered with the MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board and multiple employer partners, including the Western Mass. Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association, Peerless Precision, Governor's America Corporation, Mechanical Plastics, OMG Roofing Products, Ben Franklin Manufacturing, EBTEC Corporation, and DFF Corporation. Students will take courses at Springfield Technical Community College.

Atlantis Charter School, Fall River – $49,5000 Atlantis Charter School launched three Innovation Pathways, Manufacturing, Business & Finance, and Healthcare & Social Assistance, that will serve 368 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with the MIT Integrated Design and management Program - SLOAN, the Southcoast Autism Center, and the Centre for Business and Entrepreneurship.  Students will study Advanced Placement courses as well as have opportunities for job shadows, internships, and externships.

Brockton High School, Brockton - $50,000 Brockton High School launched an Innovation Pathway in Healthcare that will serve 193 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with the MassHire Greater Brockton Workforce Board, area employers, and the Forsyth Institute Student Scholars Program. Students will take courses at Massasoit Community College, Bay State College, and Bridgewater State University.

Burlington High School, Burlington - $50,000 Burlington High School launched an Innovation Pathway in Information Technology, with a computer science focus, that will serve 88 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with the MassHire Metro North Workforce Board, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Amazon Future Engineers, The MITRE Corporation, and Microsoft, as well as other area employers. Students will take Advanced Placement classes or courses at Middlesex Community College.

Danvers High School, Danvers - $50,000 Danvers High School launched five Innovation Pathways including Business & Finance, Environmental & Life Sciences, Healthcare & Social Assistance, Information Technology, and Manufacturing that will serve 480 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with the MassHire North Shore Workforce Board.

Dearborn STEM Academy, Roxbury - $50,000 Dearborn STEM Academy launched an Innovation Pathway in Information Technology that will serve 75 students when fully enrolled. The program will provide students with access to computer science education aligned to industry skills and standards, matched with dual enrollment and internship experiences. The school is collaborating with the MassHire Boston Workforce Board, Microsoft as its employer partner, and Wentworth Institute of Technology to offer college courses.

Lowell High School, Lowell - $50,000 Lowell High School launched Innovation Pathways in Environmental & Life Science as well as Healthcare & Social Assistance that will serve 140 students when fully enrolled. The school partnered with the MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Board to engage industry. 

Mashpee High School, Mashpee - $47,389 Mashpee High School launched a Manufacturing Innovation Pathway that will serve 22 students when fully enrolled. The school is working with the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod and coordinating with the MassHire Cape and Islands Workforce Board to engage industry partners.  Through dual enrollment opportunities at both Cape Cod Community College and Massachusetts Maritime Academy, students enrolled in the pathway can enroll in college classes in grades 11 and 12.

Monument Mountain Regional High School, Great Barrington - $50,000 Monument Mountain Regional High School is launching Innovation Pathways in Healthcare & Social Assistance and Manufacturing that will serve 108 students when fully enrolled.  The school is partnering with the MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board to engage industry. Berkshire Community College is collaborating with the school to provide students with college-level courses through dual enrollment. 

Norwood High School, Norwood - $49,995 Norwood High School is launching a Healthcare & Social Assistance pathway that will serve 75 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with the MassHire Metro South/West Board and Norwood Hospital as its employer partner.  Students in the pathway will have dual enrollment opportunities through partnerships with Quincy College, MassBay Community College, Middlesex Community College, Massasoit CC, and online courses through Brigham Young University Independent Study and GradPoint.

Quabbin Regional High School, Barre - $49,789 Quabbin Regional High School launched Manufacturing and Information Technology Innovation Pathways that will serve 147 students when fully enrolled. The school is working with L.S. Starrett as lead employer partner and collaborating with the MassHire North Central Workforce Board to engage industry partners. The school is providing students with industry recognized credentials, internship, and capstone course opportunities.

Shepherd Hill Regional High School, Dudley - $50,000 Shepherd Hill Regional High School launched Innovation Pathways in Healthcare & Social Assistance and Manufacturing that will serve 172 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with MassHire Central Region Workforce Board and Gentex Optics as lead employers. Dual enrollment opportunities will be offered through Quinsigamond Community College.

Uxbridge High School, Uxbridge - $45,750 Uxbridge High School launched two additional pathways in Environmental and Life Sciences and Information Technology that will serve 183 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce and the MassHire Central Workforce Board to engage local businesses. Students will earn industry-recognized credentials and internships.

West Springfield High School, West Springfield - $50,000 West Springfield High School is launching a Manufacturing Innovation Pathway in that will serve 171 students when fully enrolled. The school is partnering with the MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board and a number of employer partners, including Peerless Precision. Ben Franklin Design and Manufacturing, Advance Welding, International Laser Systems, and Universal Plastics, to support internship opportunities. West Springfield High is collaborating with Springfield Technical Community College to provide students college level dual enrollment courses.

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Grants to High Schools with New Programs that Help Students Gain Career Experience

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.
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