Gov. Baker Visits Whittier Vo-Tech to Tour New Advanced Manufacturing Shop

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Workforce Department Secretary Rosalin Acosta and Northern Essex Community College President Lane A. Glenn attended Whittier Vo-Tech's ribbon cutting Thursday.

Gov. Baker meets the Whittier Wildcat, played by senior Dakota Walker.

Governor Charlie Baker celebrated students and staff at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School Thursday, touring the trade school’s new advanced manufacturing shop funded by a $500,000 Skills Capital grant from his administration.

More than 1,200 students, teachers and Vo-Tech staff heard Baker’s remarks in the school gym before he and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta toured the upgraded Advanced Manufacturing shop.

Gov. Charlie Baker visited Whittier Regional Vocational Technical School in Haverhill Thursday to celebrate its updated advanced manufacturing program.

“You guys will do anything to get out of class, won’t you?” Baker joked.

“This was a competitive bid,” Baker said. “You didn't get this unless you had an aggressive, comprehensive, strategic plan. The recommendations and commendations from local businesses were, 'if you help them, we will put their grads to work.' That's one of the big reasons why we put this together. I'm thrilled for you and your students who will now be able to play at a much higher level,” Baker added.

Last spring, when the grant was first awarded, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said, “The training students receive on the most up-to-date equipment purchased with these grants makes all the difference to them when they go into the workplace.”

Whittier’s funds went to transforming its machine and tool program. The Baker-Polito Administration grant, one of 67 presented across the Commonwealth, was issued in partnership with Northern Essex Community College and the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium.

Through the partnership, Northern Essex will work with Whittier to launch a new advanced manufacturing program in Mechatronics. The Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium intends to offer adult education programs at the Vo-Tech.

A new round of Commonwealth grants worth more than $10 million are expected to be announced next month.

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