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State Proposes $83.5 Million for Vocational Technical Education

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker, Secretary of Education James Peyser, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald Walker II, and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash announced a series of new initiatives to support career vocational technical education, including $83.5 million to be proposed between the governor’s FY 2017 budget recommendation and new capital grant funding to be filed in an economic-development bill this week.

“With too many good-paying jobs going unfilled, we are pleased to announce this critical investment in our career and technical schools,” Baker said. “Our proposal will make it possible for more students to explore a pathway to success through stronger partnerships with our schools and local businesses in the Commonwealth.”

The funding in the FY 2017 budget will be coupled with a substantial capital-grant program for vocational equipment that further aligns the administration’s investments with local economic- and workforce-development needs and employment partnerships.

“Massachusetts has some of the strongest career-technical programs in the country, at both the high-school and college levels, but access and quality are uneven across the Commonwealth, and there’s currently little alignment across education levels,” said Peyser. “Our efforts will significantly expand student access to high-quality career-education programs in STEM fields, manufacturing, and traditional trades, with a focus on underserved populations and communities.”

Added Walker, “finding ways to make sure people get the skills and job training they need to get a good-paying job is one of the biggest challenges before us. With these initiatives, we will engage employers as full partners in program design and implementation to help them create a pipeline of workers.”

Ash noted that “vocational institutions are an important part of training the workforce to address the skills gap. These additional resources will continue to equip vocational institutions as they train the next generation of skilled workers who will help grow the Commonwealth’s economy.”

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