Secretary Bialecki and President Asquino

Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki with MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino.

Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki and members of his team toured Nypro University on Dec. 11 to learn more about the unique academic and workforce training partnership between the Clinton-based manufacturer, MWCC and Fitchburg State University, as well as other economic initiatives in North Central Massachusetts.

Secretary Bialecki, Eric Nakajima, Senior Innovation Advisor with the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and Marybeth Campbell, Director of Education and Workforce Development with the Executive Offices of Education, Labor and Workforce Development and Housing and Economic Development, attended the tour.

Strengthening and accelerating the state’s economic recovery by supporting job creation in every region is a top priority of the Patrick-Murray Administration, and manufacturing remains a key component in the state’s goals for a 21st century innovation economy. “For Massachusetts to be prosperous, you absolutely have to think of manufacturing as a critical aspect,” Secretary Bialecki said.

The visit coincided with the monthly meeting of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce’s Manufacturing CEO Roundtable. Nypro President and CEO Ted Lapres, Angelo Sabatalo, Corporate Director of Organizational Development and Training for Nypro University, MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino; MWCC Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development Jacqueline Belrose; and David McKeehan, President and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce were among the local education, business and community representatives who helped facilitate the tour.

The tour provided the state officials with an overview of several long-standing initiatives, including the partnerships between higher education and industry for certificate, associate degree and bachelor degree programs; the award of college credit for certification in master molding; new mechanical aptitude testing equipment recently purchased by MWCC and Nypro; and the use of state Workforce Training Fund grants for effective employee training programs.

Highlights of the training programs at Nypro include two college certificates, one offered by MWCC and one offered by Fitchburg State, which transfer into an associate degree in manufacturing from MWCC and can then be transferred into a bachelor’s degree in industrial maintenance at the university; a master molding certification training that applies five college credits to an advanced processing and robotics certificate at MWCC; skills assessments using mechanical aptitude testing machines developed by Scientific Management Techniques and recently acquired by MWCC and Nypro.

“It’s all about partnerships,” President Asquino said. “Over the past several years, the college has helped area businesses secure more than $3 million in Workforce Training Fund grants, working with area organizations and manufacturers on topics ranging from Lean to project management and leadership skills.”

MWCC President Daniel Asquino, center, with FSU President Robert Antonucci, right, and Angelo Sabatalo, corporate director of training and organizational development for Nypro in Clinton, signing one of the transfer agreements.

Mount Wachusett Community College, Quinsigamond Community College, and Fitchburg State University recently signed articulation agreements that will allow for seamless training and educational opportunities for members of the state’s advanced manufacturing workforce.

Officials from the Patrick-Murray Administration joined U.S. Rep. James McGovern, state legislators and officials from Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the presidents and representatives of the institutions to announce the partnership. MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino, QCC President Gail Carberry and Fitchburg State President Robert V. Antonucci signed the agreements during a ceremony on Oct. 9 at Presidents’ Hall in the Mazzaferro Center on the Fitchburg State campus.
U.S. Rep. James McGovern said manufacturing is key to the state’s future, and said education will be an important factor in its success. The articulation agreements are indicators of strategic partnerships between the private and public sectors, he said.
“Part of the natural resources of Massachusetts, I’ve always felt, are our colleges and universities,” Congressman McGovern said. “Collaboration is very, very important. The private sector needs the assistance of the public sector.”