UPTON – Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School is one of 45 high schools, colleges and educational institutions to receive a portion of $12million in grants aimed at acquiring the newest technologies to educate students and expand career education opportunities.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy and Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta announced the recipients on Aug. 29.
This grant marks the sixth out of the seventh Workforce Skills Capital Grant that BVT has received from the Baker-Polito Administration. In total, this administration has awarded over $1.6 million to BVT through this program.
“Skills Capital Grants were originally designed to help students in vocational programs learn about the most up-to-date equipment. However, it has since evolved to help a broader population of students be ready for our Commonwealth’s knowledge-based economy,” said Polito.
“Reinforcing the district’s commitment to finding additional funding, the Skills Capital Grants helps us to invest in the most up-to-date equipment to give our students an advantage when they continue in their chosen field or area of study,” said BVT Superintendent-Director Michael F. Fitzpatrick. “The School Committee and our public at large expect us to compete for grant funds which complement local tax investments. We remain eager to respond to that expectation. These grant opportunities support our programs and initiative, as they cover a broad array of fields, from construction and engineering to healthcare and hospitality.”
BVT will use this $375,000 grant to create a series of innovation labs. These labs will be used by our engineering and manufacturing students to develop their skills further using state of the art equipment and training systems.
“It is encouraging to see schools that are awarded Skills Capital Grants put the funds toward career pathways to give Massachusetts students experience and expertise in industries that are expanding in the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “These beneficial programs will give thousands of students a head-start on prosperous careers and we look forward to seeing their progress.”
To date, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $65 million to 233 different programs over the past four years. Through Skills Capital Grants, schools have expanded their enrollment capacity in high-demand occupations, enabling more than 12,500 additional students to enroll in these educational programs that are a priority for employers across the Commonwealth.
The competitive grants are awarded to educational institutions that demonstrate partnerships with local businesses, as well as align curriculum and credentials with industry demand to maximize hiring opportunities in each region of the state. The 2018 Economic Development Bill, filed by the Governor and passed by the Legislature, established an additional $75 million in Skills Capital Grant funding.
This round of Skills Capital Grants was funded through money the state received from the sale of General Electric’s headquarters. Last month, the administration also committed $86 million to expand MassHousing’s Workforce Housing Initiative using money from the GE sale.