Baker-Polito Administration Hits Milestone of Awarding More Than $200 Million in Skills Capital Grants to High Schools, Colleges, and Educational Institutions
DANVERS –– The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded nearly $51 million in Skills Capital Grants to high schools, colleges, and educational institutions, which marks a milestone of awarding more than $200 million total over the past eight years to upgrade technology and lab spaces for students, expand career programs for young people and adults, and increase capacity in workforce training programs across the Commonwealth. Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Education Secretary James Peyser, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, and Labor Secretary Rosalin Acosta visited Essex North Shore Technical High School today to announce the awards and tour the school’s new Agricultural Museum, which is being built by students.
The awards announced today include two separate rounds of grants. Approximately $39 million was awarded to nine organizations to undertake major building construction projects, funded through An Act Relative to Immediate Covid-19 Recovery Needs, passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, which included $100 million in state resources to provide capital improvement grants to vocational high schools and public schools operating career and technical education programs. The second round of grants totals $11.7 million to 38 organizations for technology equipment upgrades, and is funded through the 2018 Economic Development Bill, which established $75 million in Skills Capital Grant funding over five years.
“We created the Skills Capital Grants to ensure young people and adults in every region of the Commonwealth could learn and gain skills on the most up-to-date technologies and equipment so they would be well-prepared for in-demand careers,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud of these investments in vocational technical education and their long-term impacts that will positively affect thousands of Massachusetts residents for decades.”
“Our goal with the Skills Capital Grants was to align valuable state resources, build better educational opportunities, and increase access to workforce development training, and we have successfully accomplished those goals,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Since taking office, we expanded access to career training for both high school students and adults, launched the Career Technical Initiative - turning vocational schools into three shifts-a-day training facilities - and expanded STEM education opportunities for young people.”
Since 2015, 538 grants totaling $204 million have been awarded through the Skills Capital Grant program.
The Skills Capital Grants are awarded by Governor Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, which was created in 2015 to bring together the Secretariats of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development to align education, economic development, and workforce policies in order to strategize around how to meet employers’ demand for skilled workers in every region of the Commonwealth. The competitive grants are awarded to educational institutions that demonstrate partnerships with local businesses, as well as align curriculum and credentials with industry demand to maximize hiring opportunities in each region of the state.
“These grants are all about expanding access for more students,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “The funding awarded today for major expansion projects will have a significant impact on the spaces that are available to teach and train people and will enable new programs to open in communities and regions that currently do not have a program, giving more students opportunities that didn’t exist before.”
The Skills Capital Grant program has evolved into a crucial component of local workforce training efforts by expanding the number of young people and adults trained and experienced with the newest technologies used by local employers. Approximately 80,000 students across the Commonwealth will directly benefit from all the grants awarded over the past eight years. Investments made through the Skills Capital Grant program helped establish the Career Technical Initiative at 25 vocational-technical schools, as well as early career Innovation Pathways at 60 high schools.
"This continued investment in our vocational-technical schools and colleges has a direct impact on young learners and adults, opening up more opportunity for equitable access to the best equipment possible for training in high-demand industries," said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. "Together, Skills Capital Grants and the Career Technical Initiative are creating more workforce training pathways for constituents across the Commonwealth, while helping employers address staffing shortages."
“Employer demand for skilled workers is high, and the $51 million in Skills Capital Grants we’re announcing today will help us support the space and equipment needed to expand training opportunities for young people and adults across Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “The Baker-Polito Administration’s Workforce Skills Cabinet has provided an avenue to align policies and investments, like this one, to develop the skilled workforce needed to drive our economy forward.”
About two-thirds of the investments made with the grants are directly aligned to reduce skills gaps in high priority industry sectors, including health care, manufacturing, IT, and skilled trades. A percentage of the funding, about 5 percent, has been invested in multi-year strategic projects in manufacturing, healthcare and energy training programs which are projected to have significant regional impact.
The following nine organizations received facility awards totaling $39 million:
Greater Lawrence Technical School, Andover - $4,000,000, Aviation Maintenance, Healthcare Assisting, Fiber Optics, and Robotics – The high school is planning a 7,900-square foot two-story addition to launch a new aviation maintenance technician program. The school will also enhance its existing healthcare assisting, robotics, and fiber optics programs by adding capacity to educate an additional 648 students over the next five years. The school’s industry partners include Straumann, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, EDI Telecommunications, Air Bear Aviation, and Northern Essex Community College.
Bristol County Agricultural High School, Dighton - $2,500,000, Horticulture and Landscaping – The high school will invest to modernize Keith Hall, a 10,000 square-foot facility, as well as update equipment, including refrigeration systems, operator simulators, and forestry equipment. The school plans to increase enrollment by approximately 100 students next year. Industry partners include MA Farm Bureau, Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce, and the town of Dighton.
Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, Fall River - $5,000,000, Automotive Collision, Culinary, and Metal Fabrication – The funding will support the lab expansions for the automotive collision, culinary, and metal fabrication programs. The new facilities will be used by traditional high school students during the day and support the Career Technical Initiative (CTI) adult training program. Industry partners include MassHire Bristol Workforce Board, TACO Comfort Solutions, Bristol Community College and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
McCann Technical High School, North Adams - $ 3,110,000, HVAC – The high school will construct a 5,580 square-foot HVAC building to provide training to an estimated 100 students each year. Currently there is no HVAC technician training program in the county, and HVAC was identified by the Berkshire County Workforce blueprint as a critical workforce need. The new instructional labs will be used by traditional students as well as adult CTI students after hours. Industry partners include MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board, Berkshire Career Center, Laureyns United Contractors, and Adams Plumbing and Heating.
Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, Northampton - $5,000,000, Agricultural Mechanics, Automotive Technician and Horticulture – The school will rebuild the horticultural building, which was heavily damaged during a fire in May 2022. The funding will also provide a full spectrum of welding, hydraulics, diesel and gas engine equipment for instruction. The school’s Agricultural, Mechanics, Automotive Technician and Horticultural programs work with MassDOT’s pre-apprenticeship program to help train students for careers with MassDOT. IUOE Local 98 is another key industry partner providing training and career advisement to students.
Southeastern Regional School District, South Easton- $4,000,000, Electricity, Electronics/Mechatronics, Precision Machining, Robotics and Automation Technology – The school is planning a 6,800 square-foot expansion to support electricity, electronics, advanced manufacturing, and robotics programs. The school expects to serve additional students during the day as well as expand its current CTI adult training program. Industry partners include MassHire Greater Brockton Workforce Board, AccuRounds, Machine Inc., and Integra Life Sciences.
Franklin County Technical School, Turners Falls - $ 4,158,500, Aviation Technician – The high school plans to build a 12,000 square-foot instructional lab to launch a new Aviation Maintenance Technician program that will educate approximately 100 traditional day students and adult students each year. The school will meet FAA criteria to become an approved AMT Airplane Maintenance Technician. Turners Falls Airport Commission is one of the primary partners along with Gulfstream Corporation. The program will also create alliances with the Bridgewater State Aviation Science program and the newly established UMass Aviation & Research Center.
Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational Technical School, Wakefield - $7,499,922, Biotechnology, Medical Assisting, Robotics and Culinary Arts -The high school is in midst of an expansion project that will serve 320 additional students, and launch new programs in Biotechnology Medical Assisting, Robotics, and Culinary Arts. Industry partners include North Shore Community College, Winchester Hospital, Whidden Memorial Hospital/Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), Glen Ridge Nursing Center/Genesis Healthcare, Fantini Bakery, The Produce Connection, Boston Conveyor & Automation, SMC Corporation of America, Amazon Robotics, and Boston Dynamics.
Nashoba Valley Technical High School, Westford - $3,750,000, Advanced Manufacturing, Robotics, Programming-Web Development, and Engineering – The school will undertake an expansion and modernization project to add 8,750 square feet to the building to create a state-of-the-art manufacturing, robotics, and design training facility that will train more than 200 traditional day students and adults in the CTI program. Industry partners include Insulet Corporation, TÜV Rheinland, Keystone Precision, TRAK Machine Tools, RedHat, Middlesex 3 Coalition, Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (NAMC) and Central/North Central Region Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, Mt. Wachusett Community College, Middlesex Community College and three MassHire Workforce Boards.
The following 38 organizations received a total of $11.7 million for capital equipment technology upgrades:
Agawam High School, Agawam - $146,690, Manufacturing and Information Technology - Funding will provide technology and equipment to support Agawam High School’s Manufacturing Innovation Pathway and Information Technology Innovation Pathway.
Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Marlborough - $250,000, Healthcare - Funding will provide technology and equipment to support updating Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School’s Cosmetology instructional lab.
Attleboro High School, Attleboro - $250,000, Healthcare - Funding will provide technology and equipment to updated Attleboro High School’s Medical Assisting vocational program and launch of a new Environmental Science and Technology vocational program.
Bellingham High School, Bellingham - $150,000, Manufacturing/Healthcare - Funding will provide technology and equipment to support Bellingham High School’s Manufacturing Innovation Pathway and Healthcare and Social Assistance Innovation Pathway.
Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional High School, Upton - $1,250,000, Skilled Trades - Funding will provide Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional High School technology and equipment to support modernizing the Construction Technology programs to meet regional employer demand for carpenters, electricians, and electronics technicians.
Boston Community Technical School, Braintree - $100,000, Healthcare - Funding will provide Boston Community Technical School equipment to support home health aides and community health worker industry credential training programs.
Boston Dearborn STEM Academy / Boston Plan for Excellence, Boston - $150,000, Information Technology / Manufacturing - Funding will provide technology and equipment to support Boston Dearborn STEM Academy’s Information Technology Innovation Pathway and Manufacturing Innovation Pathway.
Bourne High School, Bourne - $150,000, Business and Finance/Environmental and Life Science - Funding will provide Bourne High School technology and equipment to support the Business and Finance Innovation Pathway and Environmental Life and Science Innovation Pathway.
Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical High School, Taunton - $500,000, Manufacturing - Funding will provide technology and equipment, including updating CNC machines to support Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical High School ‘s Advanced Manufacturing vocational program.
Brockton High School, Brockton - $75,000, Healthcare - Funding will provide Brockton High School technology and equipment including patient simulators to support the Health Care & Social Services Innovation Pathway.
Bunker Hill Community College, Boston - $135,799, Healthcare - Funding will provide Bunker Hill Community College technology and ultrasound equipment to support the General Sonography and Cardiac Sonography programs.
Cape Cod Community College, West Barnstable - $183,014, Skilled Trades - Funding will provide Cape Cod Community College technology and equipment to support the growth of the Marine Service Technology industry certification training program.
Carver Middle High School, Carver-$75,000, Environmental & Life Science/Manufacturing - Funding will provide technology and equipment to support Carver Middle High School’s Environmental & Life Science Innovation Pathway and Manufacturing Innovation Pathway.
Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School, Hathorne - $499,999, Skilled Trades - Funding will provide Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School technology and equipment to support updating of the Groundskeeping and Equipment Operator vocational program.
Gloucester High School, Gloucester - $117,000, Manufacturing/Skilled Trade - Funding will provide technology and equipment to support updating the high school’s Advanced Manufacturing and Construction vocational programs as well as the Engineering afterschool “Maker Space.”
Gould Construction Institute, Woburn - $489,893, Skilled Trades - Funding will provide Gould Construction Institute, the training affiliate of Associated Builders and Contractors, technology and equipment including construction simulator learning systems to support updating the Plumbing, HVAC, and Construction Craft Laborer industry certification training programs.
Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, New Bedford - $212,333, Medical Assisting - Funding will provide diagnostic, treatment, and technology/training equipment to support Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School to update the Medical Assisting vocational program.
Haverhill High School, Haverhill - $150,000, Environmental and Life Science/Manufacturing - Funding will provide the high school technology and equipment to support the Environmental and Life Science Innovation Pathway and the Manufacturing Innovation Pathway.
Integrated Electronics and Photonics Advanced Manufacturing Consortium – Springfield Technical Community College/Western New England University – Springfield, $250,000, Manufacturing - Funding will provide the Integrated Electronics and Photonics Advanced Manufacturing Consortium comprised of Springfield Technical Community College and Western New England University technology and equipment to support Electronics and Photonics Advanced Manufacturing training and degree programs.
MassBay Community College, Wellesley Hills - $500,000, Biotechnology - Funding will provide MassBay Community College instructional lab technology and equipment to support scaling of Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing high school partnerships, industry credential training, certificate, and degree programs.
Medford Vocational Technical High School, Medford - $319,989, Skilled Trades - Funding will provide Medford Vocational Technical High School technology and equipment to update the Metal Fabrication and Joining Technologies vocational program and to establish a new evening program for training adults.
Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School, Lexington - $500,000, Agriculture - Funding will provide the high school technology and equipment to support updating the Animal Science/Veterinary Science vocational program.
New Bedford High School, New Bedford - $500,000, Healthcare - Funding will provide the high school equipment and technology to develop a simulated health sciences laboratory to support current healthcare CVTE program and the development of Health Assisting vocational program.
North Shore Community College, Danvers - $1,000,000, Healthcare - Funding will provide the college technology and equipment to modernize a healthcare simulation center to support Medical Assisting, Allied Health, and Human Services high school partnerships, industry credential training, certificate, and degree programs.
Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School, Palmer - $491,905, Skilled Trades - Funding will provide the high school technology and equipment to modernize the HVAC vocational program instructional lab for highs school and adult training programs.
Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, Peabody - $240,836, Hospitality - Funding will provide the high school technology and equipment to modernize the Culinary Arts program.
Quincy High School, Quincy - $145,500, Skilled Trades - Funding will provide Quincy High School technology and commercial grade equipment and simulators to support updating of the Electrical Technology vocational program.
Salem High School, Salem - $169,000, Information Technology - Funding will provide the high school technology and equipment to support updating the Programming & Web Development vocational program laboratory.
South Shore Regional Vocational Technical High School, Hanover - $250,000, Manufacturing /Transportation - Funding will provide technology and equipment to support the high school updating Advanced Manufacturing and Automotive Technology vocational programs for high school and adult training programs.
Tantasqua Regional Vocational High School, Fiskdale - $131,454, Manufacturing - Funding will provide the high school technology and equipment including CNC machines to support updating the Advanced Manufacturing vocational program.
Taunton High School, Taunton - $500,000, Skilled Trades - Funding will provide the high school technology and equipment including and excavator, skid steer, forklift simulator to support updating the Construction Craft Laborer vocational program.
Tech Foundry, Springfield - $100,000, Information Technology - Funding will provide technology and equipment to support updating Tech Foundry’s Information Technology adult industry certification training programs.
Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical School, Franklin - $500,000, Hospitality - Funding will provide commercial restaurant technology and equipment to update Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical School ‘s Culinary Arts vocational program.
Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, Bourne - $250,000, Skilled Trades - Funding will provide Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School technology and equipment to update the Electrical and adult training vocational program instructional lab.
Uxbridge High School, Uxbridge - $75,000, Innovation Technology - Funding will provide the high school technology and equipment including IT hardware, simulators, and lab equipment to support the Information Technology Innovation Pathway.
West Springfield High School, West Springfield - $150,000, Healthcare/ Manufacturing - Funding will provide technology and equipment including instructional simulators and VR equipment to support the high school’s Healthcare & Social Assistance Innovation Pathway and Manufacturing Innovation Pathway.
Westfield State University, Westfield - $250,000, Healthcare - Funding will provide the university technology and equipment to support elancing foundational Skills training for Healthcare Professionals including nurses, nursing assistants, community health workers, and physician’s assistants.
Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, Haverhill - $499,461, Healthcare/Transportation - Funding will provide technology and equipment to update the Automotive Technology and Health Assisting vocational programs.
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