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MA Community Colleges Receive $20m Federal Grant

Submitted by on September 27, 2011 – 3:10 pm

The Massachusetts Community College System, including Northern Essex Community College, has received a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor that will provide skills training to the unemployed, especially those whose jobs have moved overseas.

The award is part of a nationwide $500 million grant program that was announced yesterday as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants program. 

“We will partner with community colleges across the state to help eligible unemployed workers attain degrees, certificates, and industry recognized credentials in high growth fields,” said Dr. Lane A. Glenn, president of Northern Essex. “Our preliminary plans at Northern Essex include providing more advising, career coaching, and tutoring on campus and in conjunction with the Workforce Investment Board at the Merrimack Valley Career Center.”

The grant will focus on developing new programs and expanding existing programs in several targeted industries including life sciences & biotechnology, information technology, health care, advanced manufacturing, financial services & entrepreneurship, and clean energy, all of which have been identified as high-need and high-growth industries in Massachusetts.

Funding from the grant will help provide a seamless pipeline of supports and activities from the moment individuals are notified of their lay-off; to their completion of education/training; to their achievement of a new job or career.  “It will transform the way we deliver services in Massachusetts, benefiting unemployed individuals and local employers,” said Glenn.

Thirty-two awards were granted nationally, and the Massachusetts’ award was one of the highest.  The Massachusetts Community College Consortium worked in partnership with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Executive Office of Education to apply for the federal funding.