SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) has received $600,000 in grant funding to create partnerships with three local schools for career pathway programs.

A nursing partnership with Westfield State University will allow nursing students to obtain their associate degree (ADN) in Nursing from STCC and continue virtually, or on the STCC campus, while working on their bachelor’s (BSN) from Westfield State.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from the Workforce Skills Cabinet,” said Lisa Fugiel, director of Nursing at STCC. “With this support, we can strengthen our tutoring and access services and career navigation to improve student retention.”

Another partnership will be with high school students at West Springfield High School and Veritas Prep Charter School to create a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Tech Career Academy. The programs will expand early college programs specifically for healthcare, environmental and life sciences, and business and finance. Students will be offered work-based learning opportunities with paid internships and capstone projects.

“This grant will help high school students start early on their college pathway and save time and money,” said Pamela Westmoreland, Director of Early College Initiatives at STCC. “They can earn college credits in the STEM Tech Career Academy and after getting their high school diploma continue their education at STCC, which is the most affordable college in Springfield.”

In December the state announced funding of $5-million for five new STEM Tech Career Academies, including the one at STCC.

The funding is made possible through the Workforce Skills Cabinet–a combination of the Executive Offices of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development–in an effort to create and implement skills development programs that meet the needs of employers across the state.