BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The state is providing $ 32 million in grants for career technical training programs across the state.

The money will be used to modernize equipment and expand training opportunities for young people and adults. It’s in support of the state’s effort to address skills gaps so more residents can pursue careers in growing industries and employers can hire qualified workers.

Governor Charlie Baker made the funding announcement at Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Lexington on Friday after meeting with students who are enrolled in summer programs.

The $22 million in Skills Capital grants were awarded to 70 educational institutions, and an additional $10 million was awarded to 23 vocational schools to expand programs as part of the Career Technical Initiative (CTI). This round of CTI grants will help train more than 1,600 people for new careers in construction, manufacturing, and other trades with growing workforce demands. 

“Since our administration launched these critically important programs, high schools, colleges, and other educational institutions throughout the Commonwealth have created and expanded numerous training programs with Skills Capital Grants and developed new training opportunities for young people and adults with the Career Technical Initiative,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are very proud of the lasting impact these grants will have on the Massachusetts workforce and the future of the Commonwealth as they prepare the next generation of innovative leaders in cutting-edge industries.”

The Career Technical Initiative enables vocational-technical schools to expand their programs in the afternoons for local high school students and in the evenings for workers and adult learners.

“The goal of CTI is to meet the needs of both job seekers and employers, by training young students and adults for careers in high-demand and high-growth sectors,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. “CTI helps create career pathways for people from underserved and underrepresented populations, which is critical in our efforts to address and help close equity gaps.” 

Below is a list of western Massachusetts schools and programs that will receive grant funding:


Franklin County Technical School, Turners Falls, $544,000: Franklin County Technical School will provide training to 84 participants in the following pathways: Automotive Services Technicians and Mechanics, Carpentry, Culinary Arts, and Welding. Employer partners include: BE. Frank Construction, LLC., M.I.B. Construction, Subaru of New England, McGovern Automotive Group, SMART Sheet Metal Workers Local 63, Boilermakers Local 29, and Airgas.

Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School District, Palmer, $264,214: Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School District will provide training to 40 participants in the following pathways: Electrical, and Welding. Employer partners include IBEW Local 7, NBE Electric, Local 104 Plumbing and Pipefitting, Aquarius Plumbing and Heating, Kaco Electric, Inc., and EWS Plumbing & Heating.

Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, Northampton, $149,292: Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School will provide training to 20 participants in the following pathway: Culinary Arts. Employer partners include Pioneer Valley Hotel Group, SnapChef, and Smith College Dining Facilities.


Berkshire Innovation Center, Inc., Pittsfield -$225,000, Advanced Manufacturing: The Berkshire Innovation Center, Inc. will purchase advanced manufacturing tools that will be used by industry and educational partners in the Berkshires. The Center will offer training opportunities for students, as well as employees of BIC member companies, enhancing the pipeline of skilled workers in the region.

Franklin County Technical School District, Turners Falls – $500,000, Welding and Culinary Arts & Hospitality: Franklin County House of Corrections is partnering with Franklin County Technical School (FCTS) to implement a welding simulation training & certification program using a welding mobile simulation lab. FACTS will use the mobile simulation for instruction with industry partners and middle and high school students, as well as evening programs in welding at the Welding Career Technical Institute.

Frontier Regional School, South Deerfield – $150,000, Innovation Pathways in Advanced Manufacturing and Healthcare and Social Assistance: The school will expand programming in advanced manufacturing and healthcare and social assistance industries. Students will receive training through specifically designed coursework at the school and practical application through internship opportunities at local manufacturing and healthcare settings in the community.

Gateway Regional High School, Huntington – $374,471, Welding: The school will update all welding equipment in the shop so students enrolled in the vocational program and adults in night classes can train using up-to-date tools to ensure appropriate industry standards are met.

Greenfield Community College, Greenfield – $414,760, Welding: The college will design and purchase mobile virtual reality/simulation training equipment for welding certifications to meet manufacturing employer needs in the Pioneer Valley Region.

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Ludlow – $272,869, Arboriculture, Environmental Conservation, and Landscape Sustainability: The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) will create an arboriculture program for horticulture industries. HCSD will train inmates at its pre-release center. HCSD will also upgrade and expand its current arboriculture conservation training program.

Lower Pioneer Valley Career and Technical Education Center, West Springfield, $110,000, Advanced Manufacturing: The Lower Pioneer Valley Career & Technical Education Center (CTEC) will enhance its vocational school in West Springfield that serves approximately 460 students from nine school districts. The Pioneer Valley has a thriving manufacturing base, and the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County (REB) has identified an unmet demand among employers for workers in technology-enabled precision manufacturing. CTEC opened a certified advanced manufacturing shop six years ago, which has provided training to both.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams – $250,000, Environmental Science and Technology: MCLA will purchase GIS technology to give students experience to prepare them for careers in environmental science and technology.

McCann Technical School, North Adams – $194,000, Advanced Manufacturing: The school will purchase technologies to support creating a CNC milling training program featuring a world-class skills-based curriculum that develops a stackable set of skills and knowledge including safety, terminology, setup procedures, programming, and file manipulation. The school will also integrate robotic part loading and unloading in seamless and simultaneous processes.

Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School, Palmer- $188,000, Hospitality: The school will purchase new equipment to enhance opportunities for students working toward careers in food service and hospitality. Students will prepare for successful careers in the food service industry such as in culinary arts, hospitality management, and nutrition.

Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, Northampton- $484,580, Hospitality: The school will upgrade equipment in the culinary arts program, including a rotating oven, POS system, live stream cameras, hands-free sinks, as well as a food truck, and an outside dining area.

Springfield Technical Community College, Springfield- $262,730, Trades: The college will upgrade equipment in the HVAC program so students learn to work with energy-efficient equipment and home automation systems commonly used in the industry.

Westfield State University, Westfield – $500,000, Healthcare: The grant will expand capacity for nursing and health science students. The award will double the patient simulation space to enhance student applied learning to support healthcare student application to practice.