Ten Massachusetts vocational schools were awarded $2.1 million in grant funding Thursday as part of the state’s Career Technical Initiative, a program that aims to strengthen and add workforce training programs for students and adults.
The initiative, first launched in January 2020, has a goal of training an additional 20,000 skilled trades workers over the next four years to both close skill gaps and meet business needs statewide. The funding announced Thursday will support programs in 23 different construction, trades, and manufacturing career paths.
“In many respects, this is one of the most important things we’re going to need to do, as we all get back to so-called normal, and that is find ways to make sure that people have the skills that they need to succeed in a 21st century economy,” Governor Charlie Baker said during a press conference Thursday, after touring Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School with members of the administration’s Workforce Skills Cabinet.
Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School, one of Thursday’s grant recipients, is receiving $540,000 from the state.
“We just need more people with skills to fill the jobs that we have,” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said after the tour. “And so when you’re graduating students here, you’re graduating students with abilities to work together, problem solve.”
She noted that some students, after obtaining a license or certificate, go on to receive two- or four-year college degrees, or even doctorates, in their fields.
“We need them all,” Polito said. “We need every part of that talent development to make sure that Massachusetts continues to succeed.”
Here are the 10 vocational schools awarded grants on Thursday:
- Greater Lawrence Technical School: $375,000
- Greater Lowell Technical High School: $100,000
- Madison Park Technical Vocational High School: $240,000
- Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District: $100,000
- Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School: $125,000
- Nashoba Valley Technical High School: $300,000
- Southeastern Regional School District: $150,000
- Greater Fall River Vocational School District: $100,000
- Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School: $540,000
- Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School: $90,000