Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joins students at Greater Lawrence Technical School on December 10, 2019

Today, Massachusetts announced $2.5 million toward the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program, which addresses the skills gap by creating a fully coordinated manufacturing training system to connect residents to full-time employment and meet the needs of regional industry.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy made the announcement at the Greater Lawrence Technical School, regional workforce leaders and state and local officials to announce $2.5 million to four regional consortiums, where Superintendent-Director John Lavoie joined them.

The Advanced Manufacturing Training Program enables regional partnerships to develop, coordinate and maintain regional, comprehensive manufacturing workforce development systems that effectively meet the needs of manufacturers. Regional systems will provide workforce development services in advanced manufacturing, including recruitment, job training, placement and supportive services. The consortiums expect more than 540 unemployed and under-employed residents to be trained in advanced manufacturing through this year’s funding. The awards represent more than 180 partner organizations.

Governor Charlie Baker called advanced manufacturing a key industry of the Commonwealth’s innovation economy, saying, “Our administration continues to support the pathways and skill-building necessary for residents to start successful careers. Manufacturing is increasingly reliant on advanced and emerging technologies, and today’s grants will help Massachusetts to create a workforce that positions the state and industry for future growth.”

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said the Administration “is proud of the strong regional manufacturing clusters that help anchor regional economies in Massachusetts and have been pleased to fund the purchasing of new, industry-standard equipment at schools across the Commonwealth.”

The event was held at Greater Lawrence Technical School, one of the partners for the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, and an academic institution which Lt. Governor Polito said “an exemplifies our commitment to career training and education, as well as pathways to success.”

Since 2015, the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program has invested more than $7.5 million in workforce development.

Manufacturing represents 9% of the Commonwealth’s total economic output, and the Baker-Polito Administration has committed significant energy toward supporting the future of this sector in Massachusetts.

In addition to the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program, the administration created a new funding mechanism, the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Institute (M2I2) to support projects convened under the federal Manufacturing USA effort. With a $100 million commitment to investing in product development and commercialization, Massachusetts research and educational institutes are currently playing leading roles in advanced textiles, photonics, flexible-hybrid electronics, and robotics. The state’s Economic Development Incentive Program also provides critical tax-credit incentives for the relocation or expansion of manufacturers in the Commonwealth.

Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy called partnership and collaboration is integral “to grow the Commonwealth’s economy, create jobs, and strengthen communities.  “The four consortiums receiving grants are bringing together career centers, community organizations, schools, employers, and other entities to meet the needs of manufacturers across the state.”

Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said, “The manufacturing sector accounts for 243,500 jobs in Massachusetts with a median wage of over $50,000 per year. We know from our regional planning process that demand for new talent with advanced manufacturing skills is going to accelerate in the coming years in all regions of the Commonwealth. These grants will help fill skills gaps in this critical economic sector and provide economic pathways to high growth middle class jobs in Massachusetts.”

Education Secretary James Peyser said, “One of the goals of the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet is to provide a platform for educators to work with employers to ensure what students learn aligns with the skills and knowledge needed for jobs that are growing in the Commonwealth. These Advanced Manufacturing Training Grants help fulfill that goal by bringing together regional teams of educators and workforce and economic development professionals to create growth strategies for every region of the Commonwealth, which in turn provides more opportunities for students and adult workers to gain skills, knowledge and credentials in advanced manufacturing.”

Superintendent-Director Lavoie said, “The training that people receive as a result of the workforce development grants provides them opportunities to obtain a liveable wage job, thus allowing time to be with their family and more active in their community,”

In 2015, Governor Baker convened the Workforce Skills Cabinet, comprised of the Executive Offices of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development to support a comprehensive economic growth agenda to benefit all corners of the Commonwealth. Since 2015, the Workforce Skills Cabinet has invested more than $67 million in training equipment and educational infrastructure through the Skills Capital Grant Program, providing students and adult learners access to state-of-the-art equipment for training.

The Baker-Polito Administration also announced a new apprenticeship tax credit in the 2018 Economic Development Legislation, to encourage the creation of registered apprenticeships with employers in high-growth industries, including advanced manufacturing. This more than $1 billion economic development legislation also included new funding to accelerate small business development, further funding for the Skills Capital Program, $75 million in additional funding for the Skills Capital Grant Program, and new funding for the M2I2 program.

Fiscal Year 2020 Advanced Manufacturing Training Program Awardees:

Central – Coordinated by MassHire North Central Workforce Board and 24 partner organizations

For the training and placement of 127 individuals in manufacturing the Central region in FY2019.

Northeast – Coordinated by MassHire Metro North Workforce Board and 66 partner organizations

For the training and placement of 142 individuals in manufacturing the Northeast region in FY2020.

Southeast – Coordinated by Greater New Bedford Workforce Board and 58 partner organizations

For the training and placement of 165 individuals in manufacturing the Southeast region in FY2020.

West – Coordinated by MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board and 36 partner organizations

For the training and placement of 111 individuals, and the retention of 131 incumbent employees, in manufacturing the Western region in FY2020.