BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced a $4 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand Massachusetts’ apprenticeship programs, with a focus on connecting women, people of color, and individuals with disabilities with these training and employment opportunities.
The administration also highlighted its $240 million proposal to provide additional funding to apprenticeships and other job-training programs as part of its $2.9 billion plan to invest a portion of Massachusetts’ federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act into urgent priorities. With federal pandemic-era enhanced unemployment benefits slated to expire for more than 300,000 workers the first week of September, the administration urged action on these workforce investments.
The new federal grant awarded to Massachusetts will connect an additional 500 individuals to employment through apprenticeship opportunities over the next four years, with a focus on high-demand fields like healthcare, clean energy, IT, and advanced manufacturing. These fields were also identified in the administration’s recently published Future of Work Report as areas of growth for Massachusetts over the next decade, with upwards of 300,000 to 400,000 workers potentially needing to transition to different occupations or occupational categories. These economic changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the importance of the administration’s $240 million plan to scale up proven job-training programs like apprenticeships.
“Our administration has long seen the value of apprenticeships, launching a program several years ago to expand this model in the technology space, and this new federal grant is an affirmation of Massachusetts’ approach to promoting access to these training and employment opportunities,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “Through our plan to invest $240 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act into apprenticeships and other proven job-training programs, we’re proposing to do even more to connect workers with high-demand fields and good-paying jobs.”