Rosalin Acosta, Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development, at Lynn High School
This month the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $2.3 million in Skills Capital Grants to seven high schools that will use the funds to purchase new industry-standard equipment to make students better prepared for college and careers. This brings the total investment in this program to $38.2 million, reaching 124 different programs.
Governor Charlie Baker said the Skills Capital Grants “make an enormous difference in the education and training students receive at schools across the Commonwealth. These grants will have a lasting impact by ensuring more residents are able to move into rewarding careers and more companies have the skilled employees they need to grow.”
In announcing the awards at Lynn Technical School, Governor Baker said “these grants are targeted and focused and strategic with their capacity to make it possible for young adults to move forward with their careers and to do great things.”
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said the grants “impact students’ education and influence programs to meet the needs of employers across the Commonwealth seeking skilled employees. We are encouraged every time we visit a school that was awarded one of these grants and hear students talk about the difference the new equipment makes in their educational experience.”
The goal of the Skills Capital Grants is 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 particular area of study. The program covers a broad array of fields, from construction and engineering to healthcare and hospitality.
Education Secretary Jim Peyser said, “The number of educational institutions that compete for Skills Capital Grants with well-thought out business partnerships is impressive. Schools that receive these grants are ensuring their students are well-prepared for college and careers, making a difference in their students’ future successes.”
Secretary Peyser said that 80% of the grants are supporting programs in four areas: Manufacturing, IT and Engineering, Health Care and Construction in the Building Trades. “That’s where the opportunities are for individuals and that’s always where the great opportunity is for us as an economy.”
Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said, “Massachusetts is a national leader in life sciences, healthcare, technology, and manufacturing sectors. These grants allow us to build a strong pipeline of talented workers throughout the Commonwealth to support these key industries. A skilled workforce is essential to making Massachusetts increasingly competitive for the jobs of today, and of tomorrow.”
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 Economic Development legislation, proposed by the Administration and passed by the Legislature, authorized $45 million in funding to award over three years.
Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said the program “is helping to fill current and future talent gaps in the workforce that are vital to the Commonwealth’s economic outlook. By continuing to invest in our workforce, we will ensure that the citizens of Massachusetts have the skills necessary to remain the best trained and educated in the nation.”
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.
For list of high schools receiving the latest round of Skills Capital Grants read press release.