Ward Hill Business Among 87 Companies Sharing $8.9 Million in Grants

A Ward Hill business is among 87 companies statewide to receive a total $8.9 million in Workforce Training Grant funds to “encourage economic growth in the state by allowing companies to invest in their workforce with additional training.”

Alfa Aesar, which merged into Thermo Fisher Scientific of Waltham in September, was awarded $221,680 to train 112 workers. Eight additional jobs are expected by 2017, according to a statement from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Other businesses in the Merrimack Valley area to benefit include Mersen USA Newburyport-MA, Newburyport; and RPP Corporation, Lawrence. Mersen was awarded $150,600 to train 61 workers and 12 additional jobs are expected by 2017. RPP was awarded $96,200 to train 100 workers; eight additional jobs are anticipated by 2017.

“Employers tell us all the time they cannot grow as quickly as they would like to because they cannot find enough skilled workers to fill their job openings. This funding for training helps companies improve the skills of their existing employees, and create new job opportunities,” Labor Secretary Ronald L. Walker said.

Last July, Thermo Fisher Scientific said it planned to acquire Alfa Aesar Research Chemicals, including the latter’s U.S. hub, based in Haverhill. Alfa Aesar employs nearly 500 between its Haverhill and Stoughton, Mass., operations and one in Sparks, Nev. Heysham, U.K.-based Johnson Matthey said it has agreed to sell the division for about $400 million.

The grants will help train more than 7,500 workers across the state, a spokesperson said.

“With each opportunity to provide more training, skills and education, we are providing our residents and companies located here the ability to remain competitive in a global marketplace,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As we work to close the workforce skills gap and ensure our workforce remains among the strongest in the nation, these grants will provide an important level of support and training.”

The Workforce Training Fund is a program of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development administered by Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public state agency that “fosters partnerships between industry, education and workforce organizations to strengthen skills for youth and adults in order to help them thrive in the state’s economy.”

“The fund provides grants up to $250,000 to companies of any size in Massachusetts to pay for workforce training over a two-year period,” a spokesperson said. “Grants are awarded to projects that will upgrade workers skills, increase productivity and competitiveness of Massachusetts businesses, and create additional jobs. Grants are matched dollar-for-dollar by the recipients.”

2 thoughts on “Ward Hill Business Among 87 Companies Sharing $8.9 Million in Grants

  1. I know they are not involved in our local tech schools such as Whittier and Lawrence Tech. They should be on advisory boards letting the schools administration know what type of technical skills are required for their job openings. Seems a shame 2 tech schools are a stones throw away and are not being utilized.

  2. If these businesses are so good, why are they not hiring, training, and fully investing in their own company with their own capital? I’m sure the government will hold all these companies accountable in exchange for the taxpayer based economic heroin they received.