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Standing before hundreds of leaders and managers from the Commonwealth’s manufacturing industry, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor both spoke to the strong future the industry has here with a hat tip to Massachusetts’s long history of “making things.” On the occasion of the third Advanced Manufacturing Summit, Governor Baker also announced the opening of the next round of grants available to high schools, community colleges, and nonprofits for training equipment.

“This room is a testament to the strength, and resilience, of manufacturing here and an opportunity to highlight the intersection of manufacturing and technology,” Governor Baker told summit attendees. “I’m bullish on our manufacturing future because we’re pioneering technologies redefining it and leading the nation in adopting and commercializing this new technology.”

During his remarks, Governor Baker announced that the next round of the successful Workforce Skills Capital grant program was now open, with at least $12 million in matching funds available to high schools, community colleges and nonprofit organizations. The program seeks to increase the capacity and quality of vocational training and education by providing funds for the purchase and installation of new equipment. The new grant round builds on $12.4 million in grants awarded this year, and the Economic Development legislation signed by Governor Baker in August commits up to $45 million towards the program.

Two days after the summit, Lt. Governor Polito visited Haverhill High School, a recipient of a Workforce Skills Capital grant in January. Not only has the new equipment been purchased, but students are already learning from it, better preparing themselves to enter the workforce after graduation.

“This Administration is invested in the future of manufacturing, from the product design stages to the printing, casting, and weaving of final goods,” said Lt. Governor Polito during her remarks in which she read a Proclamation declaring October to be Manufacturing Month.

Eight regional workforce development teams from across the Commonwealth were also awarded $1.45 million in Advanced Manufacturing Training Program development grants. These grants will equip unemployed and underemployed individuals with the skills to enter the advanced manufacturing field. Training emphasizes outreach to veterans, demographic groups that experience chronically higher rates of unemployment, and groups that are historically underrepresented in the manufacturing sector. In Fiscal Year 2015, these grants provided workforce training to 335 individuals.

The Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, created in 2011 to develop and implement the Commonwealth’s manufacturing agenda, is being tasked by Governor Baker to spend the next few months crafting a new strategic plan for Helping Massachusetts manufacturers bake innovation into their supply chain.

“They’ll create a blueprint for forging deeper connections between large manufacturers, smaller suppliers, academic researchers, and the startup community, to accelerate the pace of innovation, and drive greater value in our manufacturing ecosystem,” said Governor Baker.

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