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Ec Dev Bill signingGovernor Deval Patrick today signed in to law “An Act to Promote Economic Growth in the Commonwealth”–legislation that builds upon his strategy to grow the Massachusetts economy by investing in education, innovation and infrastructure.  Among the tools and initiatives in the economic development package is a new fund to support training for middle skill jobs in advanced manufacturing, technology and hospitality, with an appropriation of $12.3 million.

Commonwealth Corporation, working with the Executive Offices of Labor & Workforce Development, Housing and Economic Development and the Department of Higher Education, will administer the program, launching it with a competitive bidding process that will start in the fall of 2014.

The funding will support partnerships between education and training organizations and businesses to ensure their training and education programs are geared toward specific job opportunities for graduates of the programs.  This initiative builds upon efforts to develop a pipeline of skilled talent ready to work productively in these key industries and ensure Massachusetts workers have pathways to good jobs in advanced manufacturing, technology and hospitality.

The new law also includes funding for the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund, which was created in an economic development bill in 2006, recapitalized in the economic development bill of 2012 and now recapitalized with $2.5 million.  Of the $2.5 million, $1 million will be directed toward the Department of Higher Education to encourage “stackable credential” programs at public higher education institutions.

The other $1.5 million will support regional sector partnerships across the state to prepare Massachusetts workers for good jobs in industries that are actively hiring.  The regional partnerships include education, training and workforce organizations, along with two or more employers with a common hiring need.  The funding from the 2012 law is currently supporting fifteen partnerships that are training 868 individuals for jobs in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, health care, financial services, construction, hospitality, logistics and early childhood education.  The new funding will increase opportunities for training and employment by supporting new regional sector partnerships.

For more information on Work Force Training Grants and Programs please visit:  www.comcorp.org.

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