Grants Of Nearly $100,000 Will Increase Advanced Manufacturing Career Awareness

Boston- MassDevelopment today announced 12 partnerships will receive AMP it up! matching grants for outreach and other innovative programs that will educate young people and adults about career options in advanced manufacturing. In the sixth year of the program, MassDevelopment will provide awards totaling $99,975 to the 12 partnerships, consisting of regional employment and workforce investment boards, manufacturers, chambers of commerce and development councils, community colleges, vocational schools, and other organizations throughout the Commonwealth.

“MassDevelopment is delighted to award this sixth round of AMP it up! grants, which will fund creative programs across the Commonwealth,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “We look forward to seeing the creative and innovative ways these grant recipients, ranging from workforce investment boards to vocational schools and community colleges, will promote the manufacturing industry as a rewarding, highly-skilled, well-paying career path.”

The partnerships below received grants for 2018. The number of asterisks (*) indicates the number of previous years a partnership (or one or more members of the partnership) has received funding through AMP it up!

  1. The Central Massachusetts Center for Business and Enterprise Inc., Whitinsville – $10,000

In partnership with The Center for Business and Industry at Worcester State University, Omni Control Technology Inc., and the Blackstone Valley School District.

The grant will support the expansion of a program at the Central Massachusetts Center for Business Enterprise, the nonprofit arm of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce. Under this program, the center works with schools to match students who are on the waitlist for the Blackstone Valley Technical High School with area manufacturers for job shadowing and apprenticeship programs. The expansion will support a yearlong apprenticeship program for these students, and will help fund training to teach high school guidance counselors how to identify which manufacturing niche is suitable for each participating student.

  1. Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board, Greenfield*** – $7,000

In partnership with Greenfield Community College, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, C&G Machine Tool Company Inc., and Sisson Engineering.

The grant will provide funding for a yearlong, three-pronged project that will serve employers, middle and high school students, counselors, and young adult and adult job-seekers. This program will include a manufacturing open house in Franklin County in October, a “Celebrate Manufacturing” event in Hampshire County, and a “Manufacturing Careers” breakfast for guidance counselors. Precision machining and areas such as plastics, film, and food processing represent the greatest manufacturing needs in the Franklin Hampshire workforce region. The board will highlight these manufacturing career opportunities via social media and on the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board and websites.

  1. Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board, Lowell** – $6,000

In partnership with Excell Solutions Inc., Palace Manufacturing, Wie Sic Machine Inc., Mack Technologies, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Pace Industries, Lowell High School, Greater Lowell Technical High School, Lowell High School Career Academy, and Tewksbury High School.

The Greater Lowell Advanced Manufacturing Initiative (GLAMI) works to expose high school-aged youth in local communities to services that include career pathways, advanced manufacturing pipeline, skill-building, competency models, apprenticeships, sustainability, and labor market information. GLAMI will use this grant to target students from multiple disciplines to provide helpful activities, such as guest speaker panels, workshops, company tours, and either an advanced manufacturing career fair or participation in options fair.

  1. Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, New Bedford**** – $6,300

In partnership with Wareham Public Schools, Bristol Community College, Lockheed Martin, Titleist, and Five Star Manufacturing.

This grant will provide an opportunity for 20 Wareham High School students to take a course through Bristol Community College that will help them develop important skills in forming, presenting, and interpreting ideas and concepts. Students will also tour at least five advanced manufacturing-related employers to learn about career opportunities. The program will take place between January 2018 and June 2018.

  1. Lever, North Adams***** – $10,000

In partnership with Berkshire Community College, B&B Micro Manufacturing, The LTI Group, and the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board.

The grant will fund Berkshire Business Interns (BBI), an initiative that will work to change perceptions involving the importance of manufacturing as a career choice for high school and college students. BBI will give students access to local manufacturing companies by providing paid internships, online training, a STEM career fair, and informational meetings with advanced manufacturers in Berkshire County.

  1. Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board, Lawrence*** – $10,000

In partnership with Lawrence High School, Lawrence High School Learning Center, Haverhill High School, Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, ValleyWorks Career Center, Arwood Machine Corporation, CASA Systems, and Magellan Aerospace. 

This grant will help deepen awareness of advanced manufacturing careers among teachers and students who attend public schools in the Merrimack Valley. The program will provide 10 teachers with externships at manufacturing companies during a school break. After the externships, these teachers will then present manufacturing-based learning activities to their students. The grant will also fund youth field trips to local advanced manufacturers.

  1. Metro North Regional Employment Board, Cambridge***** – $6,000

In partnership with Boston Centerless, Lytron Inc., The Center for Manufacturing Technology, and Career Source. 

This grant will fund information sessions about advanced manufacturing, company tours, and visits to the Metro North region’s manufacturing employers to show participants machining and other manufacturing processes. This initiative will target mainly underserved youth and their families, teachers, and counselors throughout the Metro North region. The program will continue to strengthen coordinating activities by the Boston and Metro North STEM network, the Metro North Youth Council, and public schools in the region.

  1. North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, Fitchburg**** – $8,000

In partnership with Mount Wachusett Community College, Fitchburg State University, SteelFab Inc., Rocheleau Tool & Die Inc., Nypro, and the North Central Massachusetts Manufacturing Roundtable.

This grant will help address stigmas surrounding manufacturing careers in order to build an understanding among high school and college students of potential opportunities in the industry. The program will educate advisors, parents, and students about the merits of a career in this field and will continue work to connect school officials and district superintendents with manufacturers in the region.

  1. North Shore Workforce Investment Board, Salem*** – $10,000

In partnership with Microline Surgical, General Electric, and Medtronic.

The North Shore WIB will provide teacher externships, manufacturing tours for students, and employer information sessions and career speakers. The initiative hopes to reach more than 500 students, 20 teachers, and at least 15 companies through these activities.

  1. Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School, Palmer***** – $8,675

In partnership with Vibram, Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, River East School-to-Career, Integer, B&R Machine Inc., Detector Technology, Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation, and Quabbin Wire & Cable Co. Inc.

The grant will fund the “Art of Design and Manufacturing Career Awareness Program”, an initiative that will give seventh-grade students from the nine communities surrounding the Pathfinder district the opportunity to tour partnering manufacturing facilities. Students will get hands-on experience to discover rewarding opportunities in manufacturing by participating in designing and creating real projects at Pathfinder

  1. Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester***** – $10,000

In partnership with the City of Worcester, the Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, Worcester Public Schools, and the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation.

This grant will allow the Central Massachusetts Manufacturing Experience & Outreach to continue its work to dispel misconceptions about the manufacturing industry by creating career exploration and immersion activities. For the first time in 2018, the partners will leverage resources from the STEM-Focused Internships for High School Students program and the CMWIB marketing campaign. Partners will also engage manufacturers with youth, parents, and teachers through social media.

  1. South Shore Workforce Development Board Inc., Quincy – $8,000

In partnership with Symmons Industries Inc. and South Shore Vocational Technical High School.

This grant will help establish a marketing advisory group with representation from local manufacturers, which will work on a public messaging campaign to dispel misconceptions about manufacturing careers. The program will help expose local schools to careers in manufacturing and will provide veteran service representation and after-hours programs for students. The primary objective is to create a multi-year initiative that will promote manufacturing as a career option.