The Baker-Polito Administration awarded nearly $3.3 million in Skills Capital Grants to 31 high schools and educational institutions, enabling the schools to acquire the newest technologies to educate students and expand programs. Northeast Vocational School of Wakefield was included among the recipients.
The Governor and his three Cabinet secretaries on the Workforce Skills Cabinet made the announcement at Shawsheen Regional Technical High School, which has received more than $1 million in Skills Capital Grants over the past three years.
With the announcement, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $52 million to 188 different programs over the past three years. Through the grants, schools have been able to expand their enrollment capacity, adding more than 10,000 additional students in educational programs across the Commonwealth.
This round of Skills Capital Grants aimed to give funds to educational institutions which focused on helping residents with barriers to employment, including those who are unemployed or underemployed, lack English proficiency, or residents who do not have degrees or certificates and need new skills to obtain good-paying jobs.
Along with awarding the new grants, Gov. Baker announced an additional $12 million is available for schools to apply for now. The 2018 Economic Development Bill, filed by the Governor and passed by the Legislature, established an additional $75 million in funding for Skills Capital Grants. The grants range from $50,000 to $500,000.
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 Skills Capital Grants cover a broad array of fields, from construction and engineering to healthcare and hospitality.
â€œSkills Capital Grants impact the education of thousands of young people across the Commonwealth and give them new opportunities and skills for a successful future,â€ Gov. Charlie Baker said. â€œWe are proud of the 10,000 new seats that have been added to these programs across Massachusetts and we look forward to continuing our work with schools and teachers to give more students the experience and knowledge that employers demand.â€
â€œSkills Capital Grants create important career pathways for both students and adult learners across the Commonwealth to support key industries,â€ Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said. â€œEach program we visit is full of inspiring students excited to work with new equipment, so we look forward to this next round of grants and what it will mean for Massachusetts schools.â€
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.
Northeast Metropolitan Vocational School received $106,320 for STEM Occupation: Drafting, Design, Computer Opportunities. Northeast Metropolitan Vocational School will create an eight-week program to increase access to STEM-related industries through the use of advanced computer applications. The Drafting and Design program will serve as the base for this program with the long-range goal to develop design programmers. The district will also introduce night school classes to serve non-vocational students including individuals who are unemployed, underemployed, veterans, and those who are disabled. Additionally, 900 Grade 9 vocational students will take a one-week exploratory course. The school partners include the Shark Ninja and i-robot corporations.