Baker-Polito Administration Awards $10.9 Million in Skills Capital Grants

Photo by William Zhang

Administration has awarded more than $48 million to high schools and colleges in the Commonwealth

The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $10.9 million in Skills Capital Grants to 33 high schools and educational institutions, enabling the schools to acquire the newest technologies to educate students and expand programs. The awards were announced as part of Governor Charlie Baker’s visit to Salem High School with Mayor Kim Driscoll. With today’s announcement, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $48 million to 157 different programs over the past three years.

Skills Capital Grants are designed to help high schools, colleges, and other educational institutions invest in the most up-to-date training equipment to give their students an advantage when they continue in their chosen field or a particular area of study. Skills Capital Grants cover a broad array of fields, from construction and engineering to healthcare and hospitality.

“The equipment purchased by high schools and colleges over the past three years through Skills Capital Grants has directly impacted the educational experience for thousands of Massachusetts students to better prepare them for the workforce,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “This program has had a positive impact on students in the Commonwealth and we look forward to working with the Legislature to include $75 million worth of funding for Skills Capital Grants as part of the Economic Development bill we filed in the spring.”

“By giving our students the opportunity to learn on the newest technologies, we are ensuring they will be better prepared to succeed when they graduate from high school,”Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said. “We look forward to continuing our work with these 33 high schools and previous awardees to enhance their programs and develop a skilled workforce ready to meet the needs 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, in order to maximize hiring opportunities in each region of the state.

“Schools that receive these competitive grants are giving their students a head start by creating relationships with local employers who provide input and expertise about the skills and knowledge they will need to be successful in the future,” Education Secretary James Peyser said.

“Massachusetts’ continued low unemployment rates, coupled with job and labor force gains, has also created a tight labor market in which more and more employers are finding it difficult to recruit workers with the skills necessary to fuel their growth needs,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. “The Workforce Skills Capital grant program has had great success in closing those skills gaps and ensuring that the next generation of workers in the Commonwealth has the training necessary to access our high demand job sectors.”

“Massachusetts is a national leader in life sciences, healthcare, technology, and manufacturing sectors,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “These grants will help ensure a strong pipeline of talented workers throughout the Commonwealth to support these key industries. A skilled workforce is essential for Massachusetts to have an edge in attracting employers in these sectors to locate and expand here, and for adding great jobs now, and in the future.”

“High schools and colleges within the 2nd Essex District have significantly benefitted from the Skills Capital Grant,” said Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem). “These funds give students the opportunity to excel their educational experience by training and using the latest technologies and equipment in the classroom.”

“I am very pleased Salem High School has received its first Skills Capital Grant, and would like to congratulate the school. The Skills Grant program has been incredibly beneficial to schools in the 7th Essex District and across the North Shore, and is crucial to the success of our students,” Representative Paul Tucker (D-Salem) said.

The Skills Capital Grants are awarded by Governor Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet. Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito created the Workforce Skills Cabinet in 2015, bringing together the Secretariats of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development in order to align education, economic development and workforce policies, and to strategize around how to meet employers’ demand for skilled workers in each region of the state.

The following schools and educational institutions received Skills Capital Grants today:

Assabet Valley Technical High School: $497,000 – Assabet Valley Tech will train adults for careers in metal fabrication and advanced manufacturing, with the purchase of six virtual welders, two CNC CO2 laser cutting/marking machines and one fiber laser marking machine. The high school partners with Quinsigamond Community College to expand post-secondary course offerings to more students in its evening program.

Barnstable High School: $50,000 – Barnstable High School will enhance its food service and hospitality career pathway. Students learn about the tourism and retail industry as well as business, entrepreneurship, and marketing through a ProStart curriculum. The grant will purchase a reach-in refrigerator and freezer, convection oven, and hot food well unit, along with stainless steel worktables and other commercial kitchen equipment. Barnstable Public School has partnered with many local businesses to help students learn entrepreneurship, and those who graduate from the BHS Food Service and Hospitality career pathway are encouraged to earn their hospitality certificate in culinary arts from Cape Cod Community College.

Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District: $234,149 – The high school will enhance its advanced manufacturing training using MACWIC Applied Manufacturing Technology Pathway concepts, and purchase four CNC lathes, a milling machine, as well as upgrade tooling, wiring, floor prep, machine rigging and pneumatics. Blackstone Valley partners with approximately 30 local businesses, and offers post-secondary evening courses for adults.

Bristol County Agricultural High School: $499,966 – The high school will expand its agricultural mechanics program. The equipment will be used in the Ready-Set-Go welding center that will house CNC equipment and a mechanical CAD design lab. The new equipment will also enable the school to expand its evening school and specialty workshop to include multiple levels of mechanical engineering, manufacturing, and service technician.

Bunker Hill Community College: $135,393 – The college will purchase equipment to maintain its state-of-the-art EMT and Paramedic laboratory. BHCC offers the only paramedic training program in the City of Boston, and one of only 15 paramedic training programs in Massachusetts. The college will purchase a defibrillator trainer, simulation manikins, a ventilator, and an infusion pump. 

Center for Manufacturing Technology (CMT); $367,676 – The Center for Manufacturing Technology plans to create a new welding and sheet metal program with increased square footage and fully equipped instructional workspaces to meet a regional demand. Students will have access to cutting-edge equipment and gain the skills required by the industry by training on two new ProtoTRAK mills, a Haas CNC lathe, and upgraded CNC software. The Center has multiple employer partners committed to participate in worker training and curriculum development.

Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School: $476,589 – The high school will expand its advanced manufacturing training to offer courses to students at neighboring Bristol Community College, as well as unemployed and underemployed adults across Bristol County. New equipment will expand the capacity of the advanced manufacturing program to include additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping and computer numerically controlled (CNC) digital machining coursework, which will be available to high school students during the day, BCC students in the afternoons, and adult learners in the evening.

Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School District: $253,000 – Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School District will expand its current Instructional Technology Systems (ITS) and Health Assisting programs. The ITS program will include robotics, informatics, programming/web development, and cybersecurity. The Health Assisting programs will include medical billing/coding and informatics. The grant will help renovate the existing ITS lab and purchase state-of-the-art equipment.

Everett High School: $494,842 – The grant will update equipment to better prepare students for careers in advanced manufacturing and healthcare industries. The school will purchase a Master Cam lab with software, three CNC lathes, three CNC bed mills, one CNC knee mill upgrade, and one CNC Bridgeport retrofit kit. For the health assisting program, the school will purchase eight hospital beds, three EKG machines, three spot vital sign instruments, four patient mannequins, and four patient simulators, one Hoyer lift, and a minibus to facilitate transporting students to and from healthcare clinical settings. Everett High School will establish the Adult Technical Institute (ATI) to serve the workforce training needs of underemployed and/or unemployed adult workers in the region during the evenings and on weekends.

Greater Lawrence Technical High School: $500,000 – Greater Lawrence Technical High School will expand its advanced manufacturing programs with increased access to both high school students and adults in the community. The school will purchase a HAAS CNC 5-axis milling machine, Cysta AS-544 coordinate, measuring machine, Torchmate 440 FC80 plasma cutting table, multi-material printer, CNC metal/additive printer, Multi-material laser cutter, and CNC tooling. A partnership with Northern Essex Community College will provide dual enrollment credits for students in advanced manufacturing programs, and will also continue to offer evening programs to unemployed/underemployed individuals.

Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School: $282,813 –Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School will strengthen healthcare training by expanding the Nurse/Health Assisting program and incorporating an EMT component beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. The new equipment will support training partnerships with Bristol Community College and UMass Dartmouth, as well as our many health services partner organizations in the Southeast region. 

Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative/Career & Technical Center: $399,352 – The Lower Pioneer Valley Career & Technical Education Center (CTEC) will purchase equipment to support the Machine Technology and Information Support Services & Networking (ISSN) programs. These programs provide training to both high school students and unemployed/underemployed adults, in partnership with the Hampden County Regional Employment Board. CTEC will purchase additional equipment to expand enrollment, which has reached capacity. The Information Support Services & Networking (ISSN) program prepares students for a variety of IT roles while articulating up to 12 college credits through a partnership with nearby Springfield Technical & Community College (STCC).

Massachusetts Bay Community College: $494,438 – Massachusetts Bay Community College will expand the Health Science division into a state-of-art certified simulation center and nursing skills lab. The center will be equipped with a family of simulators, from neonatal to geriatric, to teach students a range of skills applied in operating rooms, neonatal units, and assisted living facilities. The center will be used by MassBay students to earn an associate and certificate in Nursing and Practical Nursing, or certificate in Paramedicine programs. MassBay, in partnership with Keefe Regional Technical School, plans to launch a Summer Health Careers Academy as a bridge to a career pathways program. 

Massasoit Community College: $494,671 – Massasoit Community College will purchase equipment for a new Certified Nursing Assistant program, and upgrade its existing Nursing and Allied Health programs. The programs will provide training for adults seeking employment, a career change, or incumbent workers looking to advance their skills. The college will recruit unemployed and underemployed adults with barriers to employment by working with education and healthcare partners, community-based organizations, and career centers. The college will purchase pediatric and simulation manikins, instructional technology to record and assess student performance and replace outdated medical devices with current technology.

Mattapan/ Greater Boston Technology Learning Center, Inc.: $50,000 – Mattapan Tech specializes in IT vocational training, including PC repair, networking, and security. Basic computer training and English as a second language is also offered, as well as career building and college pathway assistance to graduates. Mattapan Tech will purchase a server, laptops, desktop computer components, tablets, software, robotics equipment and a 3-D Printer to deliver learning opportunities for adults, as well as STEM programs for children ages 8-15 in the summer, including coding, robotics, and electronics. Mattapan Tech recently developed partnerships with Mass Rehab, My Brother’s Keeper, and Mass Bay Community College which offers Mattapan Tech graduates college credits. 

McCann Technical School: $195,873 – McCann Tech will purchase new equipment to prepare students in advanced manufacturing, install the latest engineering and robotic generated technology and provide continuing education and training opportunities otherwise not available in Berkshire County. The school will purchase advanced manufacturing engineering workstations capable of supporting the five software packages required, a 3D printer/prototype system, and a robotic manufacturing center. McCann partners with several Pittsfield-area businesses, and offers evening programs to adult students.

Middlesex Community College: $499,254 – Middlesex Community College will completely renovate and upgrade its dental hygiene clinic and dental assisting lab. These healthcare programs lead to associate’s degrees in dental hygiene and dental assisting as well as a one-year certificate option in dental assisting. Funding will support twenty-four new operatories in the Dental Hygiene Clinic, and five new operatories in the Dental Assisting Lab will be re-configured.

Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School: $500,000 – Minuteman Voc Tech will modernize and expand its metal fabrication and joining technologies (welding) lab, allowing high school, “gap year” students, and adults to train on modern, safe, industry-standard equipment. Graduates will enhance their technical skills and more easily secure jobs as welders, metal fabricators, and machinists in the region’s defense, manufacturing, STEM/medical device, and power-generation industries.

Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School: $500,000 – Monty Tech will create a state-of-the-art A.R.M. (automation, robotics, and mechatronics) lab, replicating working environments in advanced manufacturing and automation. The A.R.M. Lab will include a variety of equipment and technology used to train students (both high school and non-traditional) interested in careers in advanced manufacturing and automation. Students will prepare to become manufacturing technicians, robotics technicians, automation technicians, moldmakers, and CNC machinists at local corporations. The high school will collaborate with Mount Wachusett Community College to provide education and training opportunities.

Mount Wachusett Community College: $439,850 – Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) will upgrade equipment in two of its simulated health science labs (SIMS Labs) which support the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), Practical Nursing Certificate (PN), Paramedic Technology Certificate (PAC), and the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) non-degree training pathway. By updating the two SIMS labs, MWCC Health Sciences students will have improved access to industry standard equipment and authentic learning scenarios. Each SIMS lab will receive functioning headwalls, IP cameras/microphones, MedDispensing software, EKG; and SIMMan simulators.

Nashoba Valley Technical High School: $500,000 – Nashoba Valley Technical High School will transform spaces for its Health Assisting and Dental Assisting programs into a mock ER, long-term care rooms, dental offices, and a pharmacy. The school will purchase an adult patient simulator for students to practice clinical nursing skills, medical charting software, updated EKG machines, a Pyxis MedStation training unit, and an Anatomage table for students enrolled in the Early College anatomy and physiology course with Middlesex Community College.

North Shore Community College: $226,130 – North Shore Community College’s Engineering Technology Lab project supports NSCC’s Engineering Science and Industrial Technology program including Computer Aided Design Certification (CAI), SOLIDWORKS Certification, Engineering Science Transfer (EST), Pre-Engineering (PET) and the development of a new associates’ degree in Engineering Technology. Students will gain project-based experiences through an application of engineering principles on updated equipment and software.

Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School: $489,871 – Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School will enhance the current HVAC program and expand to include plumbing and pipefitting. Skilled instructors will train students in grades 9 through 12 who attend Pathfinder, as well as incumbent employees in the region who need to upgrade skills. This program equips high school students with skills for plumbing apprenticeships and mechanical contracting and will provide them with a pathway to post-secondary education to study fields such as energy system technology, mechanical engineering technology, building construction management and technology, HVAC certification, and engineering. Pathfinder partners with Holyoke Community College, E2E, and Springfield Technical Community College to provide evening and day programs.

Plymouth South High School: $57,750 – The Plymouth Public Schools will purchase SimSpray for the Automotive Collision and Repair and Automotive Technology programs. SimSpray is a virtual reality spray painting and coatings simulator that produces a realistic experience in which students reproduce the body positioning, and muscle and joint movements required to create the ideal mil thickness on a finished piece. The SimSpray System will be available to industry and community partners that work collaboratively with the Auto Collision and Repair program outside of normal school hours.

Quincy High School: $132,700 – Quincy High School will enhance the engineering technology program by purchasing new industry standard equipment such as Dell computers/monitors, 3D printers, interactive whiteboards, CNC milling machine, and Project Lead the Way equipment for hands-on instruction and experimentation. The equipment will allow students to work on the same software and equipment that is utilized in manufacturing and engineering design.

Salem High School: $145,333 – Salem High School will build a certified CVTE Medical Assisting program, a certified Building, and Property management program and is planning Early College STEM programs. The school will purchase healthcare equipment for vital signs, room set-up, and patient transfer, phlebotomy, life support and electrocardiograms to support CPR, CNA, medical assisting and EMT training. It will also purchase virtual reality welding simulators to improve advanced manufacturing skills. The Medical Assisting program will work closely with Partner’s Healthcare to develop curriculum to ensure that students will be provided with the skills needed to either go directly into the career or continue on to post-secondary programs. The Building and Property Management program will also work with the local contractors, building management companies, and ironworkers to ensure curriculum is aligned to industry standards. 

Silver Lake Regional High School: $397,826 – Silver Lake Regional High School will modernize the Horticulture program by replacing a 40-year-old greenhouse. A new 30 x 60 industrial greenhouse will vastly improve the ability to both train students and provide access to necessary equipment and curriculum in a way that’s consistent with industry standards. Additionally, Silver Lake will purchase a new skid steer and sawmill for the program. The skid steer will allow our program to instruct students on a standard piece of commercial equipment to prepare them for landscape construction, material handling, and excavation jobs. The sawmill will allow the program to integrate forestry curriculum in the program.

Tantasqua Regional Vocational High School: $121,317 – Tantasqua Regional Vocational High School will purchase equipment to support the health assisting programs. The school will build a simulation lab and update hospital beds to more closely resemble the beds students use in both their clinical and internship placements. The equipment will strengthen courses and support an evening EMT program. Tantasqua will partner with Quinsigamond Community College to create an adult learners EMT program.

Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School: $236,516 – Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School will expand the existing health technology program training for physical therapist aides. The career path includes post-secondary education to become physical therapist assistants, and eventually physical therapists. Machines range from whirlpools, treadmills and exercise bicycles to strength training devices and others that help restore stability, balance, and agility. The equipment will be available outside normal classroom hours to support the new Continuing Education evening program. 

UTEC: $500,000 – UTEC will purchase Computer-Numeric Control (CNC) machinery used by employers for CNC operations in wood, metal and plastic production. UTEC will also purchase additional large-shop woodworking equipment to provide trainees with experience and skills that transfer to carpentry and skilled-trade employers. UTEC collaborated with both Middlesex and Northern Essex Community colleges, as well as various employers and the Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board.

Westfield Public Schools – Westfield Technical Academy: $108,000 – The Westfield Technical Academy will purchase equipment to support the electrical Wiring technology career-technical program at the school. The school will replace out-of-date equipment, including electrician’s toolkits, table tops, stools, lockers, a powered conduit bender, and a PVC conduit bender, a vacuum/blower fishing system, a powered cable puller and new motor control equipment. The adult education program through the Gould Institute will expand the program into the evening for the community.

Weymouth High School: $130,515 – Weymouth High will invest in a robotics and automation technology program to provide training to support growing demand in the manufacturing sector on the South Shore. Graduates will enter the workforce as qualified technicians or continue to post-secondary education in several STEM-related fields. Students will have the opportunity to gain nationally recognized credentials such as Revit, Inventor, FUNIC.

Worcester Technical High School: $495,575 – Funding will support Worcester Tech’s Robotics Automation Technology Program and provide a cybersecurity lab for web development and robotics automation programs. Students will be trained on new equipment, such as logic controllers and design software, specific cybersecurity, human robotics and robotics technology. The high school collaborates with Quinsigamond Community College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute for postsecondary courses. 

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