Governor Patrick Announces $1.2 Million Grant to Create Advanced Manufacturing Academy
LAWRENCE – Wednesday, April 30, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced $1.2 million in advanced manufacturing equipment grants to the Greater Lawrence Vocational Technical High School to support the creation of a new Advanced Manufacturing Academy that will prepare the region’s workforce with the skills for careers in advanced manufacturing. The equipment grant will support a partnership between Greater Lawrence Vocational Technical High School, Northern Essex Community College (NECC) and the manufacturing community.
“Advanced manufacturing is an area of critical focus, one that can help us put people to work now and prepare our workers for the jobs of the 21st century global economy,” said Governor Patrick. “By providing our students with proper skills and training, we are supporting opportunities in this important industry and ensuring a strong economic future for our Commonwealth.”
The new Academy will create a pipeline of entry-level skilled workers to meet the growing demands of the local manufacturing industry, the Merrimack Valley’s third largest employment sector. The $1.2 million from the Commonwealth has helped leverage nearly $500,000 in matching and in-kind grants from Greater Lawrence Vocational Technical High School, NECC and several local manufacturers, including FlowServe Lawrence Pumps, HAAS, Raytheon, Mills Machine, Gould Construction, DesignWerks, and JamLab. These additional funds will help cover equipment and training costs. The Governor made today’s announcement following a tour of FlowServe Lawrence Pumps.
“Boosting American manufacturing and increasing educational opportunities are two of the most critical components to job growth and a healthy economic future,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “With this support, Northern Essex Community College and Greater Lawrence Vocational Tech will provide the Merrimack Valley with top-tier training and education programs, sending positive ripple effects through our manufacturing companies and workforce. There exists a real need for skilled workers and programs like these help meet that need and provide career opportunities for young people. Massachusetts has long been known for its strong manufacturing history, and today’s announcement is yet another example of how the Commonwealth is a national leader for innovation and progress.”
To help address youth unemployment, the Academy will target recruitment efforts to students from the Lawrence area by offering an education and training model for a successful career in the industry. It will also develop an educational bridge leading to certificate programs and Associate Degrees in Science, Technology and Engineering, as well as a planned Associate Degree in Advanced Manufacturing Technology at NECC.
With this new Academy and resources, Greater Lawrence Vocational Technical High School will add 100 new day time seats in the next five years and NECC will expand its evening offerings to an additional 30-45 students. NECC will also plan to utilize the facility when it establishes its Associate Degree offering in Manufacturing for an additional 15 students.
“I have visited Greater Lawrence and have seen firsthand the great work they do to prepare students for college and career,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “By reestablishing the machine shop, Greater Lawrence and their higher education partner at Northern Essex Community College are setting the right tone for the region’s manufacturers that they are responding to industry needs and preparing students with critical 21st century skills.”
“Manufacturing is enjoying a significant rebound in Massachusetts and across the nation. Low-paying factory jobs have been replaced by careers with competitive wages,” said NECC Preisdent Lane Glenn. “This generous grant will help create a regional training facility where Greater Lawrence Technical School and Northern Essex Community College can prepare Merrimack Valley residents for these high demand jobs.”
“Graduating machinists from the Greater Lawrence Technical School have been playing a significant role in the success of the company over the last 45 years and we are excited to see the machinist program re-vitalized providing the local youth with the opportunity to learn a much needed skillset in the workplace,” said Tom Fournier, Operations Manager, Flowserve Lawrence.
“The new Advanced Manufacturing Academy at Greater Lawrence Technical School will allow us to effectively respond to the growing demand for skilled manufacturing workers in the Merrimack Valley and put people to work,” said Senator Barry Finegold. “I applaud Governor Patrick and his administration for making good on their commitment to meet the workforce needs of the advanced manufacturing sector through this grant and am proud of the collaboration that is going on in the region between Northern Essex Community College, Greater Lawrence Technical School and our local manufacturing businesses.”
“I want to congratulate Governor Patrick, Greater Lawrence Vocational Technical High School Superintendent Lavoie and NECC President Lane Glenn for their diligent work in securing this grant that will yield more jobs for Lawrence residents and surrounding communities,” said Representative Marcos Devers. “One of the main reasons Lawrence has maintain a high unemployment rate is due to lack of trained laborers. With this partnership together with the vocational school and NECC, we will be able to train more people for jobs that are seeking workers in the growing manufacturing sector.”
“I join my colleagues in the Lawrence legislative delegation in celebrating the announcement of these advanced manufacturing equipment grants, which will prove invaluable in our efforts, alongside the Greater Lawrence Vocational Technical High School and NECC, to target youth unemployment and create new skilled workers in the area,” said Representative Diana DiZoglio.
Earlier this month, Governor Patrick filed An Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity, which provides $20 million for an Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology Training Trust Fund to train 4,000 workers for middle-skill careers in manufacturing and information technology fields, that will address shortages in these industries and help employers continue to grow and innovation. The legislation creates tools and training so our workforce is prepared to meet the needs of employers, invests in our Gateway Cities to promote economic development across the entire state and provides incentives to create jobs and stimulate the economy. The bill furthers the Administration’s proven growth strategy of investing in education, innovation and infrastructure that has led to record job creation in Massachusetts and has made the Commonwealth a global leader in key innovation economy sectors.
For more on the bill, please visit www.mass.gov/compete.