- Executive Office of Education
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Awards $2.5 Million to Expand Green Job Training in Massachusetts
Delaney Corcoran, Communications Director
BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced that the administration is awarding $2.5 million to expand green job training and education in Massachusetts. Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology is the first recipient of the administration’s Green Jobs Expansion Grant funding, which will go toward planning and support resources to significantly increase the number of students of color prepared to enter the green job workforce across Massachusetts.
“I am excited to see the first allocation of these funds to expand environmentally friendly job training and higher education opportunities, which have never been more important to meet the needs of our economy and drive crucial change in our fight against the climate crisis,” said Governor Maura T. Healey. “It’s great to deliver this investment to Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology, especially because of their dedication to advancing opportunities for their students of color. This is an important step toward expanding access to Massachusetts’ green economy.”
“By awarding this Green Jobs Expansion Grant, we are able to make critical progress on three of our administration’s priorities: increasing the credential and degree opportunities necessary to meet our state’s workforce needs, expanding equity and access to economic mobility, and training our future climate resiliency leaders,” said Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll. “I hope other colleges and universities are inspired to apply to expand these offerings at their own institutions.”
Five million dollars of the Green Jobs Expansion Grant remains available for other minority-serving higher education institutions that are interested in expanding their credential opportunities for students in related fields. The funding for this grant comes from federal ARPA dollars allocated to the state in 2021. The Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet is a cross-secretariat initiative led by the Executive Offices of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development, which awarded this grant as part of their efforts to develop and expand opportunities for competitive workforce training and educational options to meet the economic needs of the Commonwealth.
“Our higher education institutions and the students they serve are critical to meeting the Commonwealth’s workforce and innovation needs in our fight against the climate crisis,” said Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler. “This funding puts our state at the forefront of developing the pathways and credentials that will be instrumental to meeting the challenges of the climate crisis. And I believe that the strength of our colleges and universities and our students will not only drive innovations, but they will also help us meet employer demands and allow more of our current student residents to stay in this state that they love with good-paying jobs.”
“Our administration is committed to building a healthy economy that benefits everyone, including by cultivating a talented pipeline of workers and connecting them to good jobs in sectors that benefit the environment and advance the state’s ambitious climate goals,” said Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao. “Today’s announcement will provide students with vital resources and support while addressing the workforce needs of Massachusetts’ green economy to ensure that we’re building a thriving future for our state.”
“Equity must be woven throughout labor and workforce development efforts, and we have an opportunity to do so as we build clean energy workforce pipelines to meet employer needs,” said Lauren Jones, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development. “I look forward to collaborating with Benjamin Franklin Cummings Tech and partners in higher education and workforce training to expand career pathways for green jobs and our future talent.”
Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology will leverage these funds to achieve their goal of connecting at least 50% of their 250+ annual graduates to a green clean technology job by 2026, the end of the multi-year grant program. This $2.5 million investment will allow the institution to launch their Center for Energy Efficiency and the Trades by expanding certificate and degree programs in Automotive Technology with a focus on electric vehicles, Renewable Energy Technology with focuses in solar and wind, Construction Management with a focus on sustainable/net-zero building, Mechanical Engineering with a focus on clean manufacturing, and expanding the Electrical Technology options with a course in battery technology.
"We appreciate the Healey-Driscoll Administration for their investment of ARPA dollars to empower the Massachusetts’ green jobs workforce. In keeping with Franklin Cummings Tech’s long history of providing transformative technical and trade education, these funds will launch the Center for Energy Efficiency and the Trades, which was established to ensure all our educational programming incorporates the exposure to techniques and practices related to renewable energy,” said Dr. Aisha Francis, President & CEO of Franklin Cummings Tech. “From teaching automotive technology inclusive of hybrid and electric vehicles to embedding sustainable practices into our construction management degree, we are educating a skilled workforce qualified for clean tech careers that pay well and are in high demand. In this way, we are also supporting local companies advancing a clean and just energy transition.”
Across the Commonwealth, green job opportunities are booming, as Massachusetts is now home to over 104,000 clean energy workers, representing a 73% industry growth since 2010. Those career opportunities have not been equally accessible to all residents though, with less than 27% being held by people of color. This Green Jobs Expansion Grant is specifically targeted at increasing equity and accessibility to the green economy. As a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) since the 1980s, Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology is an engine of economic mobility for the of the student body who identify as people of color and will be able to leverage these funds to expand green job opportunities for their students.
This announcement is part of the Healey-Driscoll administration’s commitment to putting Massachusetts on a path to a better, healthier, more equitable future as we combat the climate crisis. Earlier this Earth Month, the administration also announced the creation of a new Clean Energy Innovation Career Pathway, a new Youth Climate Council, and a new climate resiliency program.