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BOSTON — Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, along with members of their Skills Cabinet, today awarded $2.2 million in Skills Capital Grants to 10 high schools, community colleges and educational institutions that will use the funds to purchase updated equipment and expand skills training programs for careers in growing industries.
Created last year, the Administration awards Skills Capital Grants 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.
“Our administration’s Skills Capital Grants will help vocational students at various educational levels become successful through enhanced training and teaching experiences related to high-demand sectors across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Lt. Governor Polito and I created the Workforce Skills Cabinet shortly after coming into office to help Massachusetts meet the growing needs of our economy and this grant program will help us remain a leader in both innovation and education.”
The announcement was part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing education series, as state officials highlight various education programs, initiatives and funding opportunities from early education to college level, all aimed at providing a quality and affordable education for every student in the Commonwealth.
The 10 awardees received the grants at the State House Friday afternoon from Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, Education Secretary James Peyser, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II.
“The opportunity for job growth across the Commonwealth is in sectors that demand highly skilled workers, often related to STEM,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said. “The administration’s Skills Capital Grants broaden the reach of STEM-focused career education by developing more early college pathway programs and expanding the number of students who graduate from high school with real work experience.”
The Baker-Polito has awarded more than $26 million in Skills Capital Grants to 67 different institutions. Some schools have received multiple grants since the program’s launch. The Economic Development legislation, proposed by the Administration and passed by the Legislature last year, authorizes $45 million in funding to award over the next three years.
The goal of the grants is to update capital equipment at educational institutions that create career pathways for young people and adults, which meet the demand of employers in each region. The grant application process places weight on connecting regional planning objectives with industry.
“The Skills Capital Grants are an example of the work the Baker-Polito Administration is doing to coordinate state resources in order to align economic development and workforce strategies with educational policies,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “We are increasing opportunities for skill development and credentialing for Massachusetts residents so they can compete for jobs and meet the talent needs of the Commonwealth’s employers.”
“These grants will build a better, and more skilled workforce by putting new equipment in the hands of young people who are learning today what it takes to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace. Our students will be competitive and prepared to work in evolving industries because of the investments that are being made now,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash.
“The future of the next generation of Massachusetts job seekers relies upon being able to train on next generation equipment,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II. “These Capital Grants are instrumental in developing job training pipelines for good paying in-demand jobs.”
Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito created the Workforce Skills Cabinet in 2015, bringing together Secretary Peyser, Secretary Ash and Secretary Walker to align education, economic development and workforce issues, and to strategize around how to meet employers’ demand for skilled workers in each region of the state.
The following schools received grants:
Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Marlborough - $244,510: The school will construct a new greenhouse that will provide hands-on learning in biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, computer programming and web development.
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Boston - $200,000: The school will use the grant funds to support training in automation and interoperability, used in construction management, HVAC, mechanical engineering and automotive.
Chicopee High School, Chicopee - $100,000: The grant will support the culinary arts program to prepare students for post-secondary education in culinary arts, or prepare them for entry-level positions at restaurants, clubs and other hospitality venues.
Greater Lawrence Technical High School, Andover - $250,000: The grant will support the sustainable horticulture program with construction of a new greenhouse, and purchase of landscape construction equipment.
Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, New Bedford - $250,000: The grant will be used by the Robotics and Automation Project to support students in the Engineering Technology Department, as well as those in the school’s Adult Education program.
Marlborough Public Schools, Marlborough - $239,679: The grant will support the advanced precision manufacturing and electrical engineering lab in order to help students earn OSHA 30 General Industry certification and MACWIC Level 1 certification.
Methuen Public Schools, Methuen - $174,331: The grant will help create an Innovation Lab at Methuen High School. The lab will engage students in engineering, robotics, and computer programming. Students in grades K-8 will also use the lab for community-based programs before and after school.
Somerville Advanced Manufacturing Training Collaborative (SAMTC) - $195,111: Students in Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and Architecture will be able to be certified as manufacturing production technicians and industrial robotics technicians, giving them the ability to set up, maintain, and program industrial robots.
South Shore Vocational Technical High School, Hanover - $250,000: The grant will support the precision machine technology program, and the horticultural and landscape construction programs.
Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, Bourne - $300,000: The school will purchase equipment to support the HVAC program, to educate high school students as well as adults who are currently unemployed or underemployed and need apprentice-level training.