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Grant Funds Management Training for Local Employers

Submitted by on November 3, 2016 – 7:48 pm

wtf-logoWhen local business leaders spoke with frustration of the lack of qualified, managerial-trained employees, Northern Essex Community College not only listened, but found an answer – a $120,750 Massachusetts Direct Access Training Grant to create a supervisor/management training program.

The program will launch in February 2017 under the direction of NECC’s Center for Corporate & Community Education. The center applied for the Workforce Training Fund after an employer-needs survey was conducted by The Training Consortium of The Lawrence Partnership this past summer. The results revealed a desperate need for a supervisor/management training program for existing staff.

“This grant will address the ‘skills gap’ that exists here and throughout the Commonwealth and the country,” said George Moriarty, NECC’s executive director of workforce development. “Local, small employers want to promote from within their company, and now with this grant, employers  will be able to send selected employees to be trained in these important skills.”

The survey was sent to 1000 Merrimack Valley employers with 50 or more employees. A total of 94 employers responded to the survey with many company leaders expressing concerns over lost productivity and competitiveness because of the lack of supervisory and management skills among their current workers.

Leadership was identified as the number one soft skills challenge while middle management was also shown to be an area of need, according to the survey.  As one company leader wrote, “We cannot grow our business without great staffing.”

The 10-course, 30-hour noncredit training program will be offered free to the employees of local companies who qualify. The companies will pay their employees to attend class. Classes will begin in February and be held at NECC’s Riverwalk location in Lawrence, 360 Merrimack St. There will be 15 students per cycle. Each cycle will last approximately 10 weeks. The program will be available for six cycles over the next two years.

Each of the courses in the training program will focus on the 10 elements common to the job of a manager including effective supervisory skills, understanding behavior styles, managing personnel issues, training and evaluations, leading a team, creating a climate for motivation, using technology, fostering public relations, developing administrative skills, and budgeting.

“Our administration is working hard to find innovative ways to help workers receive the training they need to advance their skills,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “These grants are a fantastic way to give workers new skills, while meeting the smaller-scale training needs of Massachusetts businesses.”

“Continued training and skill development is vital to our state’s continued economic success,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These grants will help businesses and workers become more prosperous and competitive, improving the Commonwealth’s overall economy.”

Companies interested in learning more about the Direct Access Training Program should contact Moriarty at or Kathryn Ronaldson at