Northern Essex Shares $4 Million Federal Training Grant

George Moriarty, Northern Essex Community College’s executive director of workforce development.

Northern Essex Community College is among a consortium of four Massachusetts community colleges to share a $4 million federal TechHire grant to provide workforce training in advanced manufacturing beginning next January.

Led by Mount Wachusett Community College in collaboration with Northern Essex, Middlesex Community College and North Shore Community College, the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing TechHire Consortium (MassAMTC) has the support of major regional industry association partners, including the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, which represents 13 different advanced manufacturing employers.

With this four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, MassAMTC will provide training, work-based experiences, support services and job placement assistance in advanced manufacturing to 300 young people and 100 other unemployed, underemployed or dislocated workers.

“Advanced manufacturing is one of the cornerstones of the Merrimack Valley economy,” said George Moriarty, the college’s executive director of workforce development. “We’re excited about preparing more local residents for jobs in these fields.”

Under the Tech Hire grant and working in partnership with Whittier Regional Vocational School and Greater Lawrence Technical School, Northern Essex Community College will train 102 young adults, unemployed workers and under-employed individuals for good-paying jobs in three in-demand advanced manufacturing careers: quality technician, electronics technician and CNC machine technician. The programs are noncredit and will likely be offered in the evening.  The first program, Quality Technician, will be approximately six-weeks long and the second two, Electronics Technician and CNC Machine Technician, will run approximately 25 weeks. Upon successful completion, trainees will receive job placement assistance from the ValleyWorks one-stop career center.

Other partners include North Central Workforce Investment Board (WIB), Greater Lowell WIB, Metro North Regional Employment Board, North Shore WIB and Merrimack Valley WIB, Lowell Technical High School, Lynn Vocational Technical High School, Essex Technical High School, Whittier Regional Technical High School and Greater Lawrence Technical High School.

“I congratulate Mount Wachusett, Middlesex, North Shore and Northern Essex community colleges on receiving a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to accelerate their advanced manufacturing training partnership program,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “Boosting American manufacturing and increasing educational opportunities are two essential components to our nation’s future, and this funding will allow Massachusetts to continue to lead in both areas by providing top-tier training and credential programs that also bolster our local manufacturing companies and workforce.”

More than $150 million in the H-1B TechHire grant program were awarded in July to 39 partnerships, providing training in 25 states across the country. More than 18,000 participants will receive services, with a focus on youth and young adults ages 17 to 29 with barriers to employment, as well as veterans and individuals with disabilities, limited English proficiency, criminal records, and long-term unemployment.