WORCESTER The Baker-Polito Administration has awarded $12 million to 45 high schools, colleges and educational institutions, including Monty Tech, Ayer Shirley Regional High School and Mount Wachusett Community College, that will be used the grant to acquire the newest technologies to educate students and expand career education opportunities.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy and Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta made the announcement at Worcester Technical High School last week
“It is encouraging to see schools that are awarded Skills Capital Grants put the funds toward career pathways to give Massachusetts students experience and expertise in industries that are expanding in the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “These beneficial programs will give thousands of students a head-start on prosperous careers and we look forward to seeing their progress.”
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School received a grant of $384,258 for its Health Career and Automotive Technician Training programs
With Monty Tech working to close skills gaps in the healthcare sector and automotive technician workforce in central Massachusetts, the high school will purchase virtual learning technologies that will add a new virtual component to the program, providing lessons in dissection, human body systems, anatomy and physiology. The automotive technician program will be supported by adding high-tech trainers and simulators aligned with NATEF requirements.
Ayer Shirley Regional High School was granted $82,951 STEM Pathway, which it recently established.
In the program students receive training and certification in industry design software such as SolidWorks and AutoCad. Students will have opportunities to enroll in new courses that engage them in work tasks using new equipment, software and the engineering design processes such as 3D modeling, prototyping, structural analysis and quality control.
Mount Wachusett Community College received a $55,643 Healthcare workforce grant that will equip a Certified Nursing Assistant learning and simulation lab at the Leominster campus that will expand capacity of the adult education program that also provides English Language instruction, while students gain knowledge to take the state CNA exam.
With the announcement, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $65 million to 233 different programs over the past four years. Through Skills Capital Grants, schools have expanded their enrollment capacity in high-demand occupations, enabling more than 12,500 additional students to enroll in these educational programs that are a priority for employers across the commonwealth.
The goal of the Skills Capital Grants, which range from $50,000 to $500,000, is to help high schools, colleges and other workforce training organizations invest in the most up-to-date equipment to give their students an advantage when they continue in their chosen field or area of study. These grants cover a broad array of fields, from construction and engineering to healthcare and hospitality.
The Skills Capital Grants are awarded by Governor Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, which was created in 2015 and brought together the Secretariats of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development to align education, economic development and workforce policies, and to strategize how to meet employers’ demand for skilled workers in every region of the state.
The competitive grants are awarded to educational institutions that demonstrate partnerships with local businesses, as well as align curriculum and credentials with industry demand in order to maximize hiring opportunities in each region of the state. The 2018 Economic Development Bill, filed by the Governor and passed by the Legislature, established an additional $75 million in Skills Capital Grant funding.
This round of Skills Capital Grants is funded through money the state received from the sale of General Electric’s headquarters. Last month, the administration also committed $86 million to expand MassHousing’s Workforce Housing Initiative using money from the GE sale.