The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $15 million in workforce training grants to the Commonwealth’s 15 community colleges in support of the creation and expansion of training programs in high-demand industries, such healthcare, education, manufacturing, information technology and cybersecurity.
Approximately 1,500 individuals will receive specialized training at no cost. About one third of the grant funding will be allocated toward building capacity in training programs for the healthcare industry, which is in high demand across the Commonwealth. The funding was included in An Act Relative to Immediate COVID-19 Recovery Needs, which was signed by Governor Baker in December 2021.
“These grants complement our administration’s ongoing work to address the skills gap by building additional training capacity at all the Commonwealth’s community colleges so people have opportunities to gain hands-on skills and knowledge in growing industries,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “It is crucial that we provide more residents with quality training options and eliminate the gaps between what skills the Massachusetts workforce has, and what skills employers need.”
“We are so grateful to our community college partners who know that education is a lifelong journey and want to help provide individuals in our communities with the tools they need to achieve success in the Massachusetts’ workforce,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These grants will enable more people to transition to new jobs in high-demand occupations where employers are hungry for talent.”
Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) and the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges (MACC) will jointly administer the grant program with the Executive Office of Education and in consultation with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the regional Workforce Investment Boards.
The training programs will strive to help populations who have traditionally experienced higher rates of unemployment and barriers to employment identified by the Black Advisory Commission and the Latino Advisory Commission, with priority given to those who are unemployed and underemployed.
“One of the goals of these grants is to help address shifting economic conditions that occurred for many residents brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, and persistent racial inequities and workforce challenges that existed in the Commonwealth before the pandemic,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “We anticipate these new training opportunities will make it easier for more people to move into high-demand, higher paying careers.”
“Our partnerships with community colleges across the Commonwealth are so important to the work we are doing to train the unemployed and underemployed for meaningful, long-lasting careers,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. “These regional training programs in high-need sectors are a win-win for employers and jobseekers.”
“As House Chair of the Higher Education Committee, I know well the outstanding work our community colleges do to educate and prepare our residents for well-paying, high-quality careers,” said Rep. David Rogers, (D-Cambridge) co-chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education. “These grants will enhance that work, giving our residents access to training programs in high-demand industries such as healthcare, education, and cybersecurity. These programs are simply essential to succeed in our dynamic knowledge-based workforce; it is great to see them get a boost.”
The following Community Colleges received funding for Workforce Training:
• Berkshire Community College – $735,000
• Bristol Community College – $735,000
• Bunker Hill Community College – $735,000
• Cape Cod Community College – $735,000
• Greenfield Community College – $735,000
• Holyoke Community College – $735,000
• MassBay Community College – $735,000
• Massasoit Community College – $735,000
• Middlesex Community College – $735,000
• Mt. Wachusett Community College – $735,000
• North Shore Community College – $735,000
• Northern Essex Community College – $735,000
• Quinsigamond Community College – $735,000
• Roxbury Community College – $735,000
• Springfield Technical Community College – $735,000
MACC will collaborate with the Executive Office of Education to allocate the remaining $3.45 million to community colleges based on local student enrollment demand for the training programs.