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Massachusetts high schools, community colleges, sheriff offices receive over $32 million in grants to modernize equipment, expand training



Photo courtesy of Governor Charlie Baker

LEXINGTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded more than $32 million in grants to modernize equipment at career technical programs and expand training opportunities for young people and adults as part of the administration’s multi-year effort to address skills gaps so more residents can pursue careers in growing industries and employers can hire qualified workers to grow their businesses.

Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, along with Secretary of Education James Peyser, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta, and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy, visited Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Lexington to meet with middle school students who are exploring different career technical programs this summer.

The Governor announced $22 million in Skills Capital grants awarded to 70 educational institutions, and an additional $10 million awarded to 23 vocational schools to expand programs for both young people and adults as part of the Career Technical Initiative (CTI). This round of CTI grants will help train more than 1,600 people for new careers in construction, manufacturing and other trades with growing workforce demands.

“Since our administration launched these critically important programs, high schools, colleges and other educational institutions throughout the Commonwealth have created and expanded numerous training programs with Skills Capital Grants and developed new training opportunities for young people and adults with the Career Technical Initiative,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are very proud of the lasting impact these grants will have on the Massachusetts workforce and the future of the Commonwealth as they prepare the next generation of innovative leaders in cutting-edge industries.”

“Skills Capital grants and the Career Technical Initiative have enabled more young people and adults to pursue rewarding careers they may not have had opportunities to pursue and have helped break down barriers to entry and success,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Importantly, these significant investments have changed the career trajectory for many adults seeking employment or credentials by providing training and skills in industries that may not have existed when they were in school.”

Skills Capital grants and Career Technical Initiative 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 to strategize around how to meet employers’ demand for skilled workers in every region of the Commonwealth.

“Skills Capital grants fund technology and equipment that reflect what students will see in the workplace, giving them hands-on applied learning experiences that are valuable to them and employers,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “Students gain knowledge and confidence in growing industries and employers are able to hire employees ready to be productive from the day they start.”

More recently, Skills Capital grants have focused on the launch and expansion of the Career Technical Initiative, which enables vocational-technical schools to expand their impact by operating programs in the afternoons for local high school students and in the evenings for workers and adult learners.

“The goal of CTI is to meet the needs of both jobseekers and employers, by training young students and adults for careers in high-demand and high-growth sectors,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. “CTI helps create career pathways for people from underserved and underrepresented populations, which is critical in our efforts to address and help close equity gaps.”

“Employers across the Commonwealth are looking for skilled workers in order to grow their business, and career technical programs have proven key to positioning our students to pursue jobs in in-demand industries and hit the ground running on day one,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “Today’s grants will expand these important programs to both grow our workforce and create economic opportunity for young people and residents of all backgrounds.”

“Minuteman is tremendously grateful for the $2.6 million of support we have received from Governor Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet since 2020,” said Dr. Kathleen A. Dawson, Superintendent-Director of the Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District. “This funding is invaluable if we are to be leaders in the fourth industrial revolution. Our students are gaining highly technical skills necessary to meet the demands of the labor market and setting them and their families on a trajectory for economic mobility.”

As part of today’s announcement, 70 educational institutions received $22 million in Skills Capital grants to update equipment and expand student enrollment in programs that provide career education.

The Skills Capital grant program was originally launched in 2015 with the goal of replacing outdated equipment and technology, mainly at vocational technical high schools and community colleges. Since then, the 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.

Since 2015, 477 grants totaling approximately $129 million have been awarded to 194 different schools and educational institutions across the Commonwealth, with many organizations receiving multiple grants over the years. Approximately 50,000 students across the Commonwealth have directly benefitted from Skills Capital grants. 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.

In 2020, the Administration began awarding larger multi-year grants, allowing educational institutions to apply for either one or two years of funding. In the awards announced today, Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) in Boston received $1,286,348 to launch a new healthcare and life sciences career institute at the site of the former Boston Center for Adult Education.

Initially launched in 2020, the Career Technical Initiative aims to train an additional 20,000 skilled workers over the next four years to help close skills gaps and meet the needs of businesses across the Commonwealth. The program provides more Massachusetts residents access to career technical training by 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.

The $10 million in grants announced today will fund new CTI programs or expand existing programs at vocational high schools in partnership with MassHire Career Centers and Workforce Boards. Each school awarded funds was required to include at least three Massachusetts-based employers that would potentially employ graduates. The grant funds were included in the Fiscal Year 2022 state budget passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

Skills Capital Grant Awards July 2022

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. SheriffJohnBrown

    July 22, 2022 at 4:53 pm

    What do the struggling small businesses do? Let the government keep printing money and inflation will become hyper inflation! Modernize, we’re headed back to the stone ages under the leadership of the Great Brandon…

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