Four workforce development consortiums will train more than 700 unemployed and under-employed residents in advanced manufacturing.

On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Quinsigamond Community College President Luis G. Pedraja, regional workforce leaders and state and local officials to announce $2.5 million to four regional consortiums through the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program to address the skills gap by creating a fully coordinated manufacturing training system to connect residents to full-time employment and meet the needs of regional industry.

The Advanced Manufacturing Training Program enables regional partnerships to develop, coordinate and maintain regional, comprehensive manufacturing workforce development systems that effectively meet the needs of manufacturers. Regional systems will provide workforce development services in advanced manufacturing, including recruitment, job training, placement, and supportive services.

“Advanced Manufacturing continues to be a key industry here in Massachusetts, and we are committed to supporting an industry that creates high-paying, full-time positions for residents with different skill levels,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This program, which aligns with our relaunch of MassHire, builds on our administration’s investments in classroom infrastructure, industry innovation and regional coordination to connect residents to jobs, and address employer needs for skilled workers. Congratulations to these four regional consortiums for creating strategic, thoughtful planning efforts that will move our Commonwealth forward.”

“I am thrilled to announce these awards, which represent nearly 140 community-based organizations, employers, educational institutions and career centers, working together to tackle existing challenges facing unemployed and underemployed individuals,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We believe this collaborative, regional and place-based approach is an exciting step forward in effective workforce development that matches residents with high-growth industries. Today’s awards are an important part of that approach, and focus on connecting underrepresented populations, including minorities, women, and veterans to these opportunities in manufacturing.”

Manufacturing represents 10% of the Commonwealth’s total economic output, and the Baker-Polito Administration has committed significant energy towards supporting the future of this sector in Massachusetts.

“When we look at the future of work in Massachusetts the data shows that advanced manufacturing jobs are going to be in high demand and that we need to better adapt our employment strategies to meet that demand,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. “These grants, and the coordinated efforts between our state, federal, non-profit, and business communities, will go a long way towards helping us ensure that this critical piece of our economy continues to thrive in the Commonwealth.”

“It is an economic imperative that we significantly increase the number of people with post-secondary credentials in technical fields, especially manufacturing,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “By partnering with community colleges and vocational and technical high schools, the consortiums receiving these grants will provide students and workers with affordable opportunities to gain knowledge, skills, and credentials in advanced manufacturing.”

“QCC works closely with manufacturers to ensure a strong and solid pipeline of workers are available to help them grow and prosper”, said Quinsigamond Community College President Luis Pedraja, Ph.D. “We thank the Commonwealth and the Administration for the funding to continue our efforts to be able to train our students for the jobs of today, and tomorrow.”

“The manufacturing sector is imperative to the success of Gateway Cities like Worcester and to the economy of the Commonwealth as a whole,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “With over two-hundred thousand employees statewide, it’s imperative that we continue to invest in the next generation of workers.”

“I’m happy to see our Commonwealth investing in expanding opportunities within manufacturing in Central Massachusetts,” said Representative Jim O’Day. “This investment will drive employment, grow our economy, and keep us competitive.”

“It is vital to prepare our workers for the jobs of the future and to offer them the training and new skills they will need. Manufacturing is changing, it’s more reliant on technology and computer programming to operate complex machines, but it is here to stay. Making the proper investments, like this MassHire grant, will keep those high-paying jobs in our communities and will keep manufacturing the necessary backbone of our regional economy,” said Senator Eric P. Lesser, who serves as Senate Chair of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus.

"The Baker-Polito Administration has shown an unwavering commitment to advanced manufacturing initiatives in the Commonwealth,” said MassHire North Central Workforce Board Executive Director Jeff Roberge. “Through this grant, the Central and North Central region consortium partners will work in concert to increase access to training opportunities, improve employment outcomes in this state's cornerstone industry and help to strengthen the economic stability for the people and families in our region."

“This grant is exactly what our region needs to deliver a pipeline of well oriented, trained job prospects to the manufacturing community,” said MassHire Greater New Bedford Chairman Dave Slutz. “I further commend the partnerships established among our participating Workforce Boards with each of their respective Vocational schools and Community Colleges. The training offered is the right mix and is tailored to each local area’s needs.”

“The 2019 Advanced Manufacturing Training Program presents a unique opportunity not only to respond to the immediate workforce needs of employers for competent and dependable new employees, but to develop a five year manufacturing strategic plan that will strengthen the industry’s competitiveness, create opportunities for market expansion, drive job creation, and accelerate the economic development of the West Hub Region,” said MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board President & CEO David M. Cruise.