Daily News

State Receives $2.9M Federal Grant to Grow Apprenticeship Programs

BOSTON — The state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development was awarded a $2.9 million federal grant to expand apprenticeship opportunities in high-growth industries in Massachusetts.

The American Apprenticeship Grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor, will enable the state to help 300 residents gain apprenticeship training in industries with a growing demand for new employees, such as healthcare, technology, and advanced manufacturing.

The funds will support the Massachusetts Apprenticeship Initiative (MAI) to increase the number of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities in those industries. There are more than 7,500 registered apprentices in the state in 2015.

“As many employers in Massachusetts struggle to find the skilled labor to fill available jobs, this grant will enable training for individuals in high-demand industries and provide more job opportunities for the people of the Commonwealth,” Gov. Charlie Baker said.

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded $175 million in American Apprenticeship Grants to 46 awardees across the nation to expand apprenticeships in high-growth industries. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development will use the grant to build upon apprenticeship opportunities and address the skills gap for underserved residents.

“Our team worked incredibly hard to be awarded one of these highly competitive grants,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker, II, who chairs the Workforce Skills Cabinet. “These funds will help us in our mission to meet employers’ demands for highly skilled workers so they can continue to grow their businesses. Businesses cannot grow if they cannot find enough skilled workers.”

Created by the governor through an executive order, the Workforce Skills Cabinet’s goal is to align education, economic- and workforce-development programs, and policies to increase opportunities for training and employment for residents while helping businesses meet their growth needs.