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Leominster High School CTEi gets $227K state grant

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito have announced $9.3 million in workforce skills equipment grants to 35 high schools, community colleges and vocational training providers across Massachusetts for vocational-technical education and training equipment purchases that connect students and residents to economic opportunities in high-demand industries.

Among the recipients was Leominster High School’s Center for Technical Education Innovation, which received $227,236 to revamp its machine technology and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration programs by purchasing new advanced milling machines, and by purchasing simulation systems to support education in clean energy technologies, including solar and geothermal energy.

The Workforce Skills Capital Grant Program is a new initiative of the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, which seeks to align education, workforce and economic development strategies across the state. Baker tapped Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II, Education Secretary James Peyser, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash to work together to develop policies to improve economic and job training opportunities for residents of Massachusetts.

As part of the Workforce Skills Cabinet’s efforts to align resources to better meet common goals, the Workforce Skills Cabinet consolidated two separate capital grant programs — the former Manufacturing Training Equipment grants (administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development) and the former Vocational Opportunity Challenge grants (administered by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance) — into one unified, integrated, and expanded workforce development capital grant program.

The inaugural round of the Workforce Skills Capital Grant program received 68 applications, requesting a total of $18 million in funding.

The governor’s recently filed economic development legislation requests an additional $75 million in capital authorization for additional training equipment grants that strengthen workforce skills, and create strong employment pipelines.