Whittier Tech, Northern Essex, Other Schools Share $11.7 Million in Skills Capital Grants

Gov. Charlie Baker and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. Front row, left to right: Whittier Tech Principal Chris Laganas, Superintendent Maureen Lynch, Health Occupations Teacher Jane Moskevitz and Curriculum Coordinator Kelly Fay at the ceremony at Lynn Tech in 2018, where Gov. Baker presented Whittier with a Capital Skills Grant. (Courtesy Photo Whittier Tech.)

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, Northern Essex Community College, Greater Lawrence Technical School and Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School are among schools sharing in $11.7 million in state Skills Capital Grants.

The grants enable schools to update equipment and expand enrollment of students learning skills in high-demand occupations. Beginning last January, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded multi-year grants, allowing educational institutions to apply for either one or two years of funding. Those that receive two-year awards require a local matching contribution of $1 to every $3 of state resources.

“At a critical time in our Commonwealth, these Skills Capital Grants will increase flexibility and support for schools and educational institutions to launch new programs and help more students develop important technical skills and prepare them for high-demand industries,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “As our economy moves forward, it will be crucial for young people to develop the important technical skills that local employers need to grow their businesses.”

Whittier Tech in Haverhill is receiving $300,000. It is working with Northern Essex Community College to create a STEM-based program at the Haverhill campus that will give high school students and adult learners experience in engineering and CAD drafting.

Northern Essex Community College in Lawrence is also receiving $400,000 to support traditional students in the college’s Health Professions and Dental Assisting programs, as well as workforce training programs for high-demand micro credentials, including Advanced Cardiac Life Support; Pediatric Advanced Life Support; Neonatal Resuscitation Program; and Emergency Medical Services. The college developed the COVID-19 Health and Economic Response Program to provide high-demand micro credentials in the health professions.

Greater Lawrence Technical School, Andover, was awarded $400,000 to upgrade training labs with robotics equipment, computer workstations, network design technology and optic and laser equipment to support students in the traditional day programs as well as students in the Lawrence High School Afterschool Program. The school also partners with Northern Essex and offers adults evening workforce development programs to train residents to meet employers’ demand for talent.

Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School, Hathorne, received a multi-year grant of $1.25 million. The grant is aimed at improving and expanding career and technical education opportunities to students on the North Shore and Cape Ann in the Machine Tool Technology, Advanced Manufacturing and Plumbing programs. These programs will be expanded to provide space and equipment for additional students during the day and after school, and adults in the adult education program. The grant must be matched with $500,000.

“Skills Capital Grants give schools the ability to upgrade equipment and increase enrollment, which over the last five years has given thousands of students the skills and knowledge they need to be competitive in the job market,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “Now more than ever, we need to continue this commitment to ensure students are ready for careers that are growing in our 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.

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