SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Roger L. Putnam Vocational Academy in Springfield has been ranked one of the state’s “models of educational excellence and economic relevance” by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM).

Putnam Vocational Academy and Worcester Technical High School are being awarded the 2023 John Gould Award from AIM. Both schools are being honored for their efforts in remaking schools that were once some of the lowest underperforming schools in the state, with high dropout numbers and low graduation rates, into two of the best vocational schools in the country.

“Worcester Technical High School of Putman Vocational Academy provide compelling success stories as they create educational and economic opportunities in two of the commonwealth’s most important urban areas,” said John Regan, President and Chief Executive Officer at AIM.

Both schools now successfully have students that join the local labor force with employable skills.

“The Gould Award is really a tribute to the students, faculty and administrators who have made Putnam a school of choice during the past decade. We take seriously the role that Putnam plays in supporting the economy of both Greater Springfield and the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said George Johnson, Principal of Putnam Vocational Technical Academy.

Putnam and Worcester Tech were considered the state’s lowest-performing vocational-technical schools during the early 2000s. The schools turned around after 2012 with the help of new principals, school committees, faculty, students, and local businesses.

The John Gould Education and Workforce Training Award helps recognize the contribution of individuals, employers and institutions that help advance the quality of public education and the productivity of residents in the Commonwealth.