LYNN, MA (STL.News) Thursday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, Labor and Workforce Secretary Rosalin Acosta, Congressman Seth Moulton, Lynn Mayor Thomas McGee, Senator Brendan Crighton, Representative Peter Capano, GE President of Global Government Affairs Mo Cowan, Lynn Public Schools Superintendent Patrick A. Tutweiler and other officials announced investments in the advanced manufacturing workforce on the North Shore during an event at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute (Lynn Tech).
A $2 million grant from the Baker-Polito Administration to Lynn Tech and a complementary $2.5 million grant by GE Foundation to create an advanced manufacturing training program will help close the skills gap and fill workforce needs on the North Shore by expanding instructional capacity at Lynn Tech, supporting and coordinating manufacturing training for high school students and adult learners, and connecting residents to full-time employment.
“Our administration has made expanding workforce training and career education a priority through the efforts of our Workforce Skills Cabinet, and we are pleased that our investment in Lynn Tech will be amplified by the complementary funding from the GE Foundation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The new Advanced Manufacturing Training Center at Lynn Tech, coupled with GE’s training program, will help to close skills gaps on the North Shore in high-demand positions.”
“Part of our administration’s strategy to introduce more students to opportunities in STEM has been to develop and expand career and college pathways, and Skills Capital Grants like this to Lynn Tech are a key way we can do just that,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, co-chair of the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. “We are excited about all that is possible from the ongoing collaboration between the Commonwealth, private partners like GE, and our local officials and educators.”
GE Foundation’s $2.5 million grant will launch the Advanced Manufacturing Training Expansion Program (AMTEP) focused in Lynn and the North Shore. The new five-year program complements the Baker-Polito Administration’s Workforce Skills Cabinet and will triple the region’s training footprint, reaching more than 900 high school students and adult learners by 2024.
The Baker-Polito Administration’s $2 million Skills Capital Grant, a program of the administration’s Workforce Skills Cabinet will support an Advanced Manufacturing Training Center at Lynn Tech to address manufacturing sector workforce skill gaps prioritized by the Cabinet’s Northeast Regional Blueprint. This collaboration between Lynn Tech, North Shore Community College, North Shore Advanced Manufacturing Consortium and the MassHire Northshore Board, will provide new instructional capacity to close technician, machine operator, machinist, robotics, QC techs and engineer skills gaps in the region.
A regional resource, the Center will support students enrolled in the high school’s advanced manufacturing technology programs, as well as individuals enrolled in early college programs, postsecondary certificate and degree programs, and short-term training programs. Additionally, the Center will be a resource to support the development and expansion of pre-apprentice and apprentice training in the region, serving as a model for adoption in other regions of the state.
“Tackling the skills gap in industries like advanced manufacturing is key to ensuring that the Commonwealth’s economy continues to grow, our residents continue to find great jobs, and our employers find the workers they need,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy. “I am proud of the level of collaboration that went into making this center and program possible. This partnership with the GE Foundation to create a future workforce that will strengthen the regional economy on the North Shore stands as an example of what is possible when state government and private partners work together.”
“These grants highlight the importance of aligning data and strategies across our education, economic development, and workforce spheres,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta. “By identifying and filling skills gaps in critical industries across the Commonwealth, we are better preparing employees for the job demands of the 21st century and allowing employers to meet their economic potential through access to workers whose training matches their growth needs.”
“This center will create opportunities for hundreds of students to earn postsecondary certificates, take part in short-term training programs, or study in early college courses that will provide them skills and knowledge for successful futures,” said Secretary of Education James Peyser. “We are very appreciative of the collaboration between Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, North Shore Community College, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell to develop higher education pathways for students, and partnering with the MassHire North Shore Workforce Board and Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium to engage employers to expand registered apprentice programs in the region.”
The state funding will also be used for the purchase of much needed equipment at Lynn Tech, increasing the number of machines housed within the program and updating outdated equipment in order to provide the ability to enroll more students into the program, and the opportunity for students to program, learn and practice on industry-rated machines resulting in more trained, skilled machinists for the field. Additionally, Lynn Tech plans to expand the square footage of their advanced manufacturing program to offer much needed space between equipment to increase safety and machine efficiency, as well as expand after school and adult education programs.
Collaborating grant partners include General Electric, Paradigm Precision, Synventive Solutions, YMCA, E-Team Machine Training, UMass Lowell, Salem State University and MassHire North Shore Career Center.
“With support from the Baker-Polito Administration and Congressman Moulton, the GE Foundation and our partners are building a diverse, well-trained workforce that will accelerate advanced manufacturing across the North Shore,” said Linda Boff, President, GE Foundation, and Vice President for GE. “This new initiative will help address the region’s skills gap by supporting and coordinating technical training for residents while meeting the talent needs of manufacturing employers.”
The GE Foundation program will focus on priming high school students from Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School, and Gloucester High School, as well as support underemployed, unemployed and underrepresented adults such as veterans, minorities and women, to enable diverse community members to enter the advanced manufacturing workforce. The program will train additional educators to deliver advanced manufacturing curriculum and increase the number of enrolled students across the North Shore’s vocational schools, including launching the first-ever adult program in Gloucester. The North Shore Community College will offer foundational literacy and mathematics training to better prepare adult learners for the program.
“This program is a great opportunity for students and adults to have access to a 21st century training facility to build a career path in the manufacturing industry,” said Mayor Thomas M. McGee. “It is a great day for the City and for the students who will benefit from these opportunities. I would like to thank Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary Mike Kennealy, Secretary Rosalin Acosta, Secretary James Peyser, the GE foundation, the state delegation and Congressman Seth Moulton for all of their work on behalf of the City of Lynn.”
“There is profound commitment from GE and the Commonwealth to providing the space, equipment, and expertise to deserving high schoolers and adult learners alike who wish to pursue a career in advanced manufacturing,” said Patrick Tutwiler, PhD, Superintendent, Lynn Public Schools. “Equally, there is a timely response to close the gap in a field where the skilled labor needs are notably unmet at present. As learners, educators, leaders, organization and industry representatives we are moving toward one another in service of young people and in service of solving problems.”
“Lynn Vocational Technical Institute is very excited to be hosting the Governor in partnership with GE for the North Shore Workforce training announcement,” said Carissa Karakaedos, principal of Lynn Vocational Technical Institute. “This event also provides the students of Lynn Tech to showcase their skills and learning. We are so pleased to be part of this opportunity and look forward to what the future brings.”
“It was clear that with new advanced manufacturing work flowing into the North Shore, like the $500 million GE ITEP program I helped secure through Congress, we would need to train up a high-skilled workforce to remain competitive,” said U.S.Representative Seth Moulton. “The investment we are announcing today is informed by years of hard work and will help anyone on the North Shore who wants to get the skills they need to land a good paying job. It will pay massive dividends for Lynn and the North Shore.”
“There is a dire need for skilled workers in advanced manufacturing and this funding will go a very long way in enabling students to obtain the skills necessary not only to fill these positions but also to transform and advance their lives,” said Senator Brendan Crighton.
“This funding announcement is a great opportunity to match the community’s need for living wage jobs with the demand for skilled labor by area businesses,” said Representative Peter L. Capano. “Thank you to Governor Baker and everyone involved for recognizing the importance of manufacturing to the economy of the North Shore and the Commonwealth.”
Today’s announcement builds on more than $700,000 in Skills Capital grants awarded to Lynn Tech to modernize its current Advanced Manufacturing-Machine Technology program and to launch a new HVAC program to support the North Shore region’s construction trade industry’s heating and energy system workforce needs. In the Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School District, more $1.2 million in Skills Capital grants have purchased equipment across multiple programs, including HVAC, construction, health care, and veterinary science, while Gloucester High School used $500,000 in Skills Capital funds to revamp its machine technology program by updating equipment to industry standards.
The goal of the Skills Capital Grants 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.
With today’s announcement, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $67 million across over 230 different programs. 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. The most recent rounds of awards, $12.5 million announced in Worcester last August, were funded through money the state received from the sale of General Electric’s property in Boston’s Seaport District. In July, the administration also committed $86 million to expand MassHousing’s Workforce Housing Initiative using money from this sale.
The Skills Capital Grants are awarded by Governor Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, which was created in 2015 and brought together the Secretariats of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development to align education, economic development and workforce policies, and to strategize how to meet employers’ demand for skilled workers in every region of the state.