Baker-Polito Administration invests in employment pipeline.
On March 3, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced Valley Tech as one of 32 high schools, community colleges, and vocational training providers selected by the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet (comprised of Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II, Education Secretary James Peyser and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash) to receive a portion of $11.8 million aimed at expanding opportunities and training programs for careers in growing industries.
“These investments have a major impact for the educational institutions training our workforce and the students who stand to benefit from enhanced skills and career paths,” said Governor Baker. “Strengthening relationships between educational institutions and local industry as this program seeks to do is crucial to the success of our communities and Commonwealth as a whole.”
The $500,000 grant will help prepare Valley Tech’s students for the modern, high-skilled workforce by providing training on specific pieces of equipment identified as “must haves” by the 300-plus business and industry advisors who make up the school’s Program Advisory Committees. The Health Services program will add a Mock Pharm Tech Lab, the Multimedia Communications program will be equipped with a 3D printer, Automotive Technology will purchase a scan tool work station, Construction Technology will learn new skills on a Festool Precision Finish Saw and other programs will be equipped with advanced technology as well.
This marks the second consecutive year Blackstone Valley Tech has been awarded the Workforce Skills Capital Grant. Last year, the school was awarded $407,517 for technological updates to its Manufacturing Technology, Automotive Technology, Construction Technology and Business Technology programs.
Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick reinforced the District’s commitment to finding additional funding and grant opportunities to support its programs and initiatives.
“The support of each of our 13 member towns has been proven invaluable once again. Thanks to the annual budgetary support by our member communities, BVT was able to capture a highly competitive state grant that will allow us to advance our programs and further give back to our community,” said Fitzpatrick.
According to Governor Baker's office, the equipment grant program is an initiative of the Governor's Workforce Skills Cabinet, which seeks to align statewide education, workforce, and economic development strategies. The Cabinet streamlined the former Manufacturing Training Equipment grants and the former Vocational Opportunity Challenge grants into the new Workforce Skills Capital Grants Program.
To date, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $24 million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants to 63 different institutions, improving programs that impact more than 7,100 students per year. The economic development bill signed by Governor Baker last year includes $45 million for the awards over the next three years to increase the capacity and quality of vocational educational programs.