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Northern Essex Awarded Portion of $15 Million Workforce Training Grant

Submitted by on July 13, 2022 – 3:22 pm

Haverhill and Lawrence, MA (July 12, 2022) – Northern Essex Community College will receive $735,000 to support workforce training programs. The funds are part of a $15 million grant Governor Charlie Baker awarded to the state’s 15 community colleges this week.

el hefni building at dusk

The Northern Essex Dr. Ibrahim El-Hefni Allied Health & Technology Center

The grant will fund training programs for high-demand industries, such as healthcare, education, manufacturing, information technology, and cybersecurity.

“These grants complement our administration’s ongoing work to address the skills gap by building additional training capacity at all the Commonwealth’s community colleges, so people have opportunities to gain hands-on skills and knowledge in growing industries,” said Governor Baker.  “It is crucial that we provide more residents with quality training options and eliminate the gaps between what skills the Massachusetts workforce has and what skills employers need.”

Northern Essex President Lane Glenn noted, “I want to thank Governor Baker and the members of the legislature for this funding, which will have an enormous impact on preparing the workforce here in the Merrimack Valley.”

Specific programs are being finalized at Northern Essex and will include in-demand entry-level healthcare career fields such as Emergency Medical Technicians, Phlebotomists, and Certified Nursing Assistants. Director of Corporate and Community Education Linda Schildkraut said the funds would be used to create, develop, and build capacity around existing healthcare offerings. “Using these funds, we can also include additional wrap-around services such as paying for the testing, transportation, and a refresher course prior to certification testing,” said Schildkraut.

The training programs will also prioritize unemployed or underemployed and those who have faced barriers to employment.

three nursing students fill out paperwork, all three are wearing blue scrubs

Northern Essex students pursuing healthcare careers

“One of the goals of these grants is to help address shifting economic conditions that occurred for many residents brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, and persistent racial inequities and workforce challenges that existed in the Commonwealth before the pandemic,” remarked Education Secretary James Peyser.

According to Schildkraut, at Northern Essex, training will include support for non-native English speakers. “We are looking to incorporate a contextualized ESOL component to give non-native English speakers the vocabulary, phrases, reading and writing skills to excel in the program and take the certification exams that are given in English and have better overall English skills going into the workplace.”

The Workforce Training Grant will complement existing plans at Northern Essex to create a comprehensive healthcare pathway program. The newly created, grant-funded Tomforhde Executive Director of Healthcare Pathways role will oversee the program to provide healthcare providers with a talented and trained workforce pool, while job seekers would be on a pathway to careers with sustainable wages and employment stability and a mapped-out ladder of advancement opportunities.

The Workforce Training funding was included in An Act Relative to Immediate COVID-19 Recovery Needs, which Governor Baker signed in December 2021. Additional funds could be awarded based on program enrollment. Learn more about workforce training opportunities at Northern Essex by visiting the website.