The Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce said it has launched a foundation that will offer grants to smaller Massachusetts manufacturers that provide on-the-job training for skilled positions.
Companies with up to 200 employees are eligible for the grants, said the chamber, which was previously know as the Massachusetts Chamber of Business & Industry.
‘‘We’re asking business leaders to step up and give contributions of any size to our Foundation to help assure a bright future for manufacturing here,’’ Massachusetts Chamber president Debra A. Boronski said in a statement.
Daniel Burack, a real estate investor and owner of the Tekoa Country Club in Westfield, was elected president of the Foundation.
Last year in Massachusetts, only health care had a greater need for workers than manufacturing, according to an analysis of job advertising by the University of Massachusetts’ Donahue Institute. Manufacturers advertised nearly 73,000 openings in 2011, compared with about 76,000 in health care.
Many of those manufacturing jobs require a high level of skill because workers are asked to make advanced products for the technology, medical, aerospace, and defense sectors.
According to a Globe story in March, several manufacturers in the state reported having trouble finding people to fill skilled positions.