DANVERS – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $2.1 million in new funding to 10 vocational technical high schools as part of its Career Technical Initiative, to support additional training programs for students and adults. The funds will support training and skill-building programs in the construction, trades and manufacturing spaces across 23 different career pathways. Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito made the announcement at a visit to Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School alongside members of the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, students and school staff.
“As we vaccinate our residents and reopen our economy, our Administration remains focused on supporting businesses and workers to power our recovery, and the Career Technical Initiative will be a crucial part of that effort,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration was committed to expanding these training opportunities for students and adults across the Commonwealth before the pandemic, and now this initiative takes on added importance as a crucial tool to connect people with new job opportunities and meet the needs of our employers.”
“The Career Technical Initiative is an important component to our economic recovery, because it helps connect people with career pathways in high-demand fields and expand our skilled workforce so our businesses can grow and thrive,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Congratulations to today’s recipients on these new awards, and we look forward to seeing these programs provide valuable training opportunities for people in growing STEM fields across the Commonwealth.”
Initially launched in January 2020, the Career Technical Initiative aims to train an additional 20,000 skilled trades workers over the next four years to help close skills gaps and meet the needs of businesses across the Commonwealth. The program aims to provide more Massachusetts residents access to career technical training using the state’s existing resources at vocational high schools, while simultaneously helping businesses grow by increasing the population of skilled workers able to be employed in trade and construction jobs.
“Getting people back to work is fundamental to our strategy for economic recovery, and the Career Technical Initiative represents a major component that helps address skill gaps across the Commonwealth and opens doors to new career paths for students and adults looking to join the workforce,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “I want to congratulate all of the CTI grant recipients for their willingness to play a key role in maintaining the strength of the Commonwealth’s talent pipeline and wish them the best as they embark on their careers in key industries powered by a skilled, growing workforce.”
“As we look towards re-employment with a collective mission of fixing inequalities in the workforce, CTI will not just help people get jobs, but help them secure jobs in sectors that will remain in high demand for decades to come,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta. “CTI could be a pivotal difference maker for eliminating opportunity gaps and helping all communities in Massachusetts access resilient good paying jobs.”
“CTI is part of a larger strategy to ensure more students have access to career and vocational technical programs,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “Students in career and technical education gain not only academic knowledge and technical skills, but they also see how what they are learning applies to the needs of employers, which gives them an advantage in their future careers.”
The Career Technical Initiative takes a multi-pronged approach to increase student enrollment and includes new state funding to help adults pay for classes, boosts business involvement in program development and credentials, and reduces licensure barriers to incentivize mid-career professionals to become vocational teachers. The initiative – developed by the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet – has the support of school leaders and industry stakeholders. The Baker-Polito Administration has proposed $17 million in its Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) budget for this initiative.
An additional $1,480,000 in FY21 funds are also currently available to continue to support the Career Technical Initiative. Vocational technical schools may also apply for funding available to new and existing Career Technical Schools to support additional career pathways and retraining for adult workers or for funding for planning and program design. Learn more about applying.
Since its inception five years ago, the Workforce Skills Cabinet has awarded more than $92 million in Skills Capital Grants to high schools, colleges and other educational institutions to purchase new capital equipment and it has launched early college and early career programs at 60 high schools for over 7,000 students. To address the need to upskill workers and meet talent demand of employers, the WSC has worked across Secretariats to align funding that collectively trained 2,500 workers needing support and training for jobs in health care, finance, IT, and other high demand occupations at more than 700 companies through the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund and the Learn to Earn Initiative. In addition, the Administration prioritized growth in manufacturing by aligning manufacturing training resources under the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development to train 2,004 individuals since 2016. To support companies’ growth, the Skills Cabinet has invested grant dollars in companies to upskill their workforce through more than $20 million in Workforce Training Funds grants to train existing workers at companies for more than 16,000+ existing employees working at 700+ different businesses in FY20.
Local Career Technical Initiative Grant Recipients include:
Southeastern Regional School District, $150,000: Southeastern Regional School District will be using these grant funds to provide training and placement services to prepare unemployed and underemployed participants for Welder, CNC Machine Operator positions. Their grant partners include: MassHire Brockton Career Center and Workforce Board and the following employer partners: DeAngelis Iron Works, Pine Hill Equipment, Rens Welding & Fabricating.
Greater Fall River Vocational School District, $100,000: Greater Fall River Vocational School District will be using these grant funds to provide training and placement services to prepare unemployed and underemployed participants for Carpenter, Welder positions. Their grant partners include: MassHire Bristol Workforce Board and Career Centers and the following employer partners: Davico Manufacturing, Dartmouth Building Supply, North Atlantic Corporation.