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On Thursday, February 25, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced $9.3 million in workforce skills equipment grants to 35 high schools, community colleges and vocational training providers across the Commonwealth during a press conference at the State House.

The funding will be applied to vocational-technical education and training equipment purchases that connect Massachusetts students and residents to economic opportunities in high-demand industries.

“Workforce skills education and training plays an enormous role in economic and personal development by helping residents acquire the skills they need to connect with promising careers,” said Governor Baker. “These vocational-technical education equipment grants will help build stronger communities and a more competitive business environment that ensures more residents have the skills they need to succeed in and support the Commonwealth’s economic future.”

The Workforce Skills Capital Grant Program is a new initiative of the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet with the goal of aligning education, workforce and economic development strategies across the Commonwealth.

“These workforce development grants will build bridges between residents seeking careers to build a future on, and the employers who need a skilled workforce to grow the state’s economy,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “Today, too many good-paying jobs are going unfilled, because employers are struggling to find skilled employees. This investment in training equipment will enable high schools and community colleges across the Commonwealth to equip students with the skills they need to secure a bright future.”

The inaugural round of the Workforce Skills Capital Grant program received 68 applications, requesting a total of $18 million in funding.

Winners of the 2016 Workforce Skills Capital Grant Program include:

  • Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Marlborough – $213,040
  • Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School, Charlton – $295,500
  • Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield – $465,119
  • Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District, Upton – $407,517
  • BMC Durfee High School, Fall River – $110,820
  • Brockton High School, Brockton – $336,596
  • Cape Cod Regional Vocational Technical High School, Harwich – $312,500
  • Center for Manufacturing Technology, Woburn – $91,832
  • Dean Technical High School, Holyoke – $393,156
  • The English High School, Boston – $137,888
  • Essex North Shore Technical and Agricultural School District, Danvers – $144,186
  • Franklin County Technical School, Montague – $52,500
  • Greater Lawrence Technical School, Andover – $316,514
  • Greater Lowell Technical High School, Tyngsborough – $493,395
  • Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, New Bedford – $495,000
  • Haverhill High School, Haverhill – $218,671
  • Leominster High School, Leominster – $227,236
  • Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative, West Springfield – $257,100
  • McCann Technical School, North Adams – $121,128
  • Middlesex Community College, Lowell – $117,086
  • Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School, Lexington – $500,000
  • Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School District, Fitchburg – $136,412
  • Murdock High School, Winchendon – $86,166
  • Nashoba Valley Technical School, Westford – $500,000
  • New England Center for Arts and Technology, Boston – $51,163
  • North Bennet Street School, Boston – $85,545
  • Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, Springfield – $441,500
  • Somerville High School – $355,500
  • South Shore Vocational Technical High School, Hanover – $231,419
  • Southeastern Regional Vocational School District, South Easton – $100,911
  • Springfield Technical Community College – $499,785
  • Tantasqua Regional Vocational High School, Fiskdale – $98,899
  • Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical School District, Franklin – $242,627
  • Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, Bourne – $422,907
  • Worcester Technical High School, Worcester – $347,882

The funding will be used in a variety of different ways, including the purchases of computers, 3D printers, manufacturing equipment, robotics, HVAC training, and protective services programming. A full list of each school’s projects can be found here.

“We are leveraging our resources to take the public dollars that are available and funneling them into places that can provide the skills and job training that residents need for the jobs that are available,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II. “The goal is to have all our resources integrated around meeting the talent needs in a particular region.”

Secretary Walker is joined by Education Secretary James Peyser and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash on the Workforce Skills Cabinet, chosen by Gov. Baker to work together to develop policies to improve economic and job training opportunities for residents of the Commonwealth.

“These grants will immediately transform the quality of vocational programs and cutting edge technological opportunities,” said Secretary Peyser. “They will also enable deeper partnerships between vocational schools, community colleges, and employers.”

“A competitive economy demands a competitive, highly skilled workforce,” said Secretary Ash. “Through the Workforce Skills Cabinet’s coordinated efforts to close the skills gap, we are equipping residents with the skills needed to fill the jobs of today, and tomorrow, and setting the stage for future economic growth.”

The Baker-Polito Administration has recently filed economic development legislation that requests an addition $75 million in capital authorization for additional training equipment grants. Funding programs like these will strengthen the state’s workforce and create strong employment pipelines in constantly-growing industries.

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