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Healey-Driscoll Administration to Explore Shared Campus Model for Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School and NECC

Submitted by on April 4, 2024 – 5:07 pm

Boston, MA (April 4, 2024) – Today, the Healey-Driscoll administration announced initial steps to explore a shared campus model for Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School (WT) and Northern Essex Community College (NECC) on NECC’s Haverhill campus, a collaborative effort with state and local partners that aims to meet the evolving educational needs of the region’s students and communities, efficiently and affordably.

This partnership with NECC and WT will explore ways to create a new, modern facility for Whittier Tech, allow for expanded access to postsecondary education across northeastern Massachusetts, and increase enrollment capacity at both institutions and make them more affordable. It will also open up new avenues for potential additional funding sources beyond cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley.

The Hartleb Technology Center on NECC’s Haverhill Campus

“Our administration knows that a new, modern facility is needed for Whittier Tech, but we also understand the communities’ concerns about cost,” said Governor Maura Healey. “This potential collaboration between Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School and Northern Essex Community College aims to meet the needs of our students and communities in an efficient, affordable and innovative way. In the coming weeks, our administration will be engaging with local officials to provide information about this vision and receive their feedback. We’re grateful for the leadership of NECC President Lane Glenn and Whittier Tech Superintendent Maureen Lynch and look forward to our continued partnership as we work toward a solution that will benefit our students, educators, communities and economy.”

“This is a pivotal moment for education and workforce development,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “This effort is intended to generate a shared commitment across the district to develop a plan that will meet the demands of our students in an ever-changing economy while also accounting for the financial demands of municipal budgets.”

“NECC and Whittier Tech have similar missions and have been successfully collaborating on Early College and adult vocational programs for years,” said Lane Glenn, President of Northern Essex Community College. “With better-paying jobs requiring some kind of postsecondary education and training, exploring an innovative shared campus model has tremendous potential for students, families, communities, and the regional workforce needs of the Merrimack Valley.”

“Whittier Tech is excited about the possibility of working with NECC and exploring opportunities to combine our resources to support our students and our workforce,” said Whittier Tech Superintendent Maureen Lynch. “We’re grateful to the Healey-Driscoll administration for their leadership on this innovative proposal that has the potential to be truly transformative for our school and our economy.”

“We know that the spaces that our students and educators spend time in can facilitate or inhibit learning,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Patrick Tutwiler. “I look forward to working with NECC President Lane Glenn, Whittier Tech Superintendent Maureen Lynch and our state and local partners on this innovative collaboration and shared commitment that centers student and educator experiences and sets them up for success, while also supporting the local community and economy.”

The Healey-Driscoll administration will work collaboratively with Northern Essex Community College and Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School to convene legislators, municipal officials, and other regional stakeholders to discuss this initiative, obtain feedback, and foster collaboration to explore the possibility of a new high school building and site proposal for Whittier Tech.

In collaboration with NECC and Whittier Tech, the administration intends to engage the communities of Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Ipswich, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury, and West Newbury to address previous challenges, drive innovation for our students, and garner excitement across the district.

For more information, contact NECC Chief of Staff Chris Sicuranza. You can view the full press release from the Healey-Driscoll administration here.