Congressman James McGovern and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas visited the North Central Chamber of Commerce on July 21 to announce new federal grants to support workforce training programs in North Central and Central Massachusetts. Mount Wachusett Community College is a key partner in the grant programs as a provider of training programs.
“Investing in strong workforce training programs is key to helping our local economy and community thrive,” Congressman McGovern said.
“I’m proud to join Congresswoman Tsongas and all of our local leaders to celebrate this new funding and the opportunities it will create for our local manufacturing companies and workforce, especially people with disabilities. This partnership will open new doors to members of our community who have the skills to succeed and are eager to work. I am grateful to the U.S. Department of Labor for being a strong partner and investing in our community.”
The North Central and Central Massachusetts Workforce Boards will receive $534,154 for a Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant as part of the state’s $3.2 million dollar grant award from the U.S. Department of Labor. The boards will partner on the training with Mount Wachusett Community College and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP). MWCC will offer its new Industrial Readiness and Quality Control trainings and MassMEP will offer its CNC (computer numerical control) operator training. The goal of the two-year grant is to train 80 eligible unemployed individuals in advanced manufacturing skills to meet the local industry demand.
The North Central and Central Mass Workforce Boards also recently received $1,140,000 in Disability Employment Initiative grants from the DOL. The grants will provide training funds and support for eligible individuals with disabilities interested in full-time employment. The North Central Workforce Board received $640,000 and will be offering training in healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality and finance for this three-year project. The Central Mass Workforce Board received $500,000 for its initiative and will offer training for career pathways in human services, healthcare, and customer service.
The Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant will allow both regions to provide a skilled workforce for local manufacturing companies that meets local demand, and the Disability Employment Initiative grants will allow the boards to provide enhanced services to people with disabilities under the new Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act. The grants also connect employers to this untapped talent source of qualified, skilled individuals who happen to have a disability, said Workforce Board Directors Tim Sappington and Jeff Turgeon.