Southwick Apparel, Pentucket Bank Benefit from Training Grants

Southwick, maker of Brooks Brothers suits, is among several area businesses receiving state training grants.

Businesses in Haverhill, Methuen and North Andover are among 101 Massachusetts companies sharing nearly $8.5 million in funding from a Workforce Training Grant, awarded Friday by the Baker administration, which will enable the businesses to train current or newly hired workers.

Under the program from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Southwick Apparel, Haverhill, will receive $154,400 to train 56 workers “in the workplace” over a two year period, while Comfort Home Care, Methuen, was awarded $48,395 to train 167 workers and add two jobs by 2018, according to a statement. Also, under the Boston-based Massachusetts Bankers Association, Pentucket Bank of Haverhill is among six institutions to share a total $178,133 to train 158 workers with “four additional jobs expected by 2018.” Northmark Bank of North Andover is also listed as a local recipient from within the consortium. The Workforce Training Fund provides grants up to $250,000 to “companies of any size in Massachusetts to pay for workforce training over a two-year period.” Grants are awarded to projects that will upgrade workers’ skills, increase productivity and enhance the competitiveness of Massachusetts businesses. Grants are matched dollar-for-dollar by the award recipients.

“We know that a skilled workforce is key to driving economic growth in the Commonwealth,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “Companies constantly tell us they need more skilled workers and these grants enable businesses large and small to provide those training opportunities in-house.”

Statewide, more than 6,200 individuals will receive training at their workplace. The Workforce Training Fund is also a “vital resource to thousands of Massachusetts workers who wish to advance their skills to achieve promotional opportunities and higher wages.”

“Businesses’ investment in training is one of the best ways to grow and retain talent within an organization. As an added benefit, workers who receive additional training feel valued by their companies,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker II said.

The program is 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.”