WORCESTER — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $12 million to 45 high schools, colleges and educational institutions that will use the grant to acquire the newest technologies to educate students and expand career education opportunities.
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy and Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta made the announcement at Worcester Technical High School, which has received more than $1.5 million in Skills Capital Grants over the last three years.
Schools can also now apply for an additional round of Skills Capital Grants, totaling $15 million, that will be awarded in the fall.
The goal of the Skills Capital Grants, which range from $50,000 to $500,000, is to help high schools, colleges and other workforce training organizations invest in the most up-to-date equipment to give their students an advantage when they continue in their chosen field or area of study. These grants cover a broad array of fields, from construction and engineering to healthcare and hospitality.
“It is encouraging to see schools that are awarded Skills Capital Grants put the funds toward career pathways to give Massachusetts students experience and expertise in industries that are expanding in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These beneficial programs will give thousands of students a head-start on prosperous careers and we look forward to seeing their progress.”
“Skills Capital Grants were originally designed to help students in vocational programs learn about the most up-to-date equipment, however, it has since evolved to help a broader population of students be ready for our Commonwealth’s knowledge-based economy,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.
With today’s announcement, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $65 million to 233 different programs over the past four years. Through Skills Capital Grants, schools have expanded their enrollment capacity in high-demand occupations, enabling more than 12,500 additional students to enroll in these educational programs that are a priority for employers across the Commonwealth. Four of the organizations awarded today received Skills Capital Grants for the first time.
Several schools plan to use the grant to launch new career pathway programs, which give students knowledge and skills in a particular industry sector such as health science, information technology, environmental science, engineering or manufacturing. In an effort to close the skills gap in certain industries, the state launched Innovation Pathways, a program to encourage high schools to give students exposure and experience in fields that are rapidly growing in the Commonwealth.
Through Innovation Pathways, high school students take college-level courses in an area of study, receive technical instruction and work at internships with local employers who partner with high schools. The Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education work together to help schools design programs, which must follow certain principles to receive official designation.
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