Quinsigamond Community College, Girls Inc.
among manufacturing career grant recipients

WORCESTER – MassDevelopment announced Tuesday, Jan. 19 that 10 partnerships will receive AMP it up! matching grants. The agencies will use the money to educate young people and adults about career options in advanced manufacturing.

The AMP it up! campaign highlights the exciting, technology-driven, high-paying career options in manufacturing. In addition, it dispels outdated misconceptions about the industry. In the fifth consecutive year of the program, MassDevelopment will provide awards totaling $81,410 to the 10 partnerships. Consequently, award recipients will host and organize activities such as internships, tours, workshops, teacher and guidance counselor sessions and externships. Finally, it will also bolster the prospective employee base for these quality jobs with Massachusetts companies. The fifth round of grants builds on the successes of the campaign’s first, second, third, and fourth years.

In comparison, the lead organizations on these 10 partnerships include Quinsigamond Community College (Worcester), Girls Inc. (Worcester), Berkshire Community College (Pittsfield), Cape & Islands Workforce Investment Board (Hyannis), Greater Lowell Workforce Investment Board (Lowell), Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board (New Bedford), Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board (Lawrence), Metro North Regional Employment Board (Cambridge), North Shore Workforce Investment Board (Salem), and Regional Employment Board of Hampden County (Springfield).

Video contest created

As a result of a complementary effort to promote careers in advanced manufacturing, MassDevelopment is holding a third edition of the AMP it up! Video Challenge. That program invites students to research the inner workings of an advanced manufacturing innovation and show in a three-minute video. An online balloting tool will allow the public to help determine the winning videos. Winners will earn cash prizes donated to their schools. Most noteworthy, one middle school, one high school, and one community college will each win $5,000 in funding for a total of $15,000 in prize money.

“AMP it up! grants empower a new generation of workers to pursue a future in manufacturing that is both challenging and satisfying,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “MassDevelopment is excited to partner with these 10 organizations as we work towards sustainable, long-term growth in this important sector.”

The partnerships below received grants for 2017. Furthermore, the number of asterisks (*) coincides with the number of previous years a partnership (or one or more members of the partnership) has received funding through AMP it up! A map of the recipients’ locations along with contacts for the recipients can be found here.

Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester**** – $10,000

In partnership with Blackstone Valley Education Foundation, Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, and Worcester Public Schools

This program will build on the partnership’s past AMP it up! activities with several initiatives. Also, this will include a Manufacturing Day event for regional students, research on manufacturing resources for regional high schools, a social media campaign.

“On behalf of our partners in Worcester and the Blackstone Valley, we are honored to continue and expand upon our great work in raising awareness,” said Kathy Rentsch, Dean of Quinsigamond Community College’s School for Business, Engineering and Technology.

Girls Inc., Worcester – $5,000

In partnership with Saint Gobain and TE Connectivity

This program will expose participants to manufacturing jobs and the possibilities they can offer by providing field trips, internships and externships. Additionally, training sessions will be held at partnering manufacturing companies. Girls Inc. will target young women in grades 10 – 12, and plans to serve up to 90 girls through this program.

“We are grateful for the support of MassDevelopment’s AMP it up! program, which recognizes the long-reaching impact of our STEM programs,” said Victoria Waterman, CEO of Girls, Inc. “Thanks to this grant, our girls will be given the unique opportunity to discover science, technology, engineering, and math. They can learn about related advanced manufacturing career opportunities that will positively impact their future.”

Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield**** – $10,000

In partnership with Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Berkshire Innovation Center, BerkshireWorks Career Center, Interprint Inc., Sinicon Plastics, and Apex Resource Technology 

This partnership will build on current outreach efforts by implementing a promotional campaign. Consequently, it will include informational events, billboards and advertisements, events targeting high school students and career influencers. And outreach activities will encourage workers to learn about the region’s manufacturing industries and the rewards of a career in manufacturing. FInally, the campaign will also promote career programs at the region’s two vocational schools, and will target middle and high school students, parents, guidance counselors, and manufacturing employers.

Cape & Islands Workforce Investment Board, Hyannis$10,000

In partnership with SencorpWhite, Cape Cod Maker Faire, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

The program will provide students and schools with manufacturing knowledge through the lens of a prominent regional employer, SencorpWhite, and the innovative Cape Cod Maker Faire. Cape & Islands WIB will collaborate with SencorpWhite to provide informational interviews and facility tours to middle and high school students. Furthermore, the program will also open doors for students by encouraging them to participate in the Cape Cod Maker Faire’s annual robotics competition.

Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board, Lowell * – $5,000

In partnership with Excell Solutions Inc./Palace Manufacturing, King-Fisher Company, Somerset Industries, Wie Sic Machine, Pace Industries, Mack Technologies, Lowell High School, Greater Lowell Technical High School, and Lowell Career Academy

The Greater Lowell WIB and its partners will provide company tours and participate in career fairs and speaker programs to create awareness. Hence, the program will emphasize creating career pathways for interested students, developing skills, establishing apprenticeships, and ensuring the program’s sustainability.

Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, New Bedford*** – $9,067

In partnership with the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce

The Greater New Bedford WIB will work with local veteran advocates to provide group visits to Greater New Bedford Vocational High School’s evening machining and metal working programs. Moreover, it will provide guidance counselors with externships within their schools’ metal working and machining shops. The program aims to promote knowledge sharing about manufacturing, increase enrollments in school metal shops and training programs. It will also educate schools about the needs of their regional labor market and area employers.

Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board, Lawrence** – $10,000

In partnership with Lawrence High School, Lawrence High School Learning Center, Greater Lawrence Technical School, Methuen High School, Haverhill High School, Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, ValleyWorks Career Center, Arwood Machine Corp., CASA Systems, Magellan Aerospace, and Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium

First of all, this program will reinvigorate a campaign the Merrimack Valley WIB launched four years ago to build awareness. Updated brochures, fliers and other promotional material will be created. And field trips to manufacturing sites and employer presentations will influence young people to pursue careers in manufacturing. The program will also produce Spanish language radio spots on local stations, and advertise advanced manufacturing careers on municipal buses.

Metro North Regional Employment Board, Cambridge**** – $5,000

In partnership with Boston Centerless, Lytron Inc., The Center for Manufacturing Technology, and the Career Place

This program will build on past programming by providing information sessions, career fairs, and company tours. Additionally, the sessions will provide participants with an overview of the manufacturing industry and related occupations. As a result, the skills required to enter the field, wage information, and the need within the industry will be highlighted. Especially relevant, this partnership will target underserved young people in the Metro North regions.

North Shore Workforce Investment Board, Salem** – $10,000

In partnership with Microline Surgical and Medtronic

The North Shore WIB will work with local partners serving young people to provide access and information about manufacturing. As a result, the WIB will partner with local manufacturing companies on teacher externships, manufacturing tours for students, and employer information sessions and career speaker sessions.

Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Inc, Springfield**** – $7,343

In partnership with Western Massachusetts Chapter of National Tooling & Machining Association and Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative  

This partnership will hold an Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathway Day for eighth grade female students attending regional vocational technical high schools and company tours for students from Springfield, Westfield, Holyoke, and West Springfield. In addition, the program will also offer activities aimed at exposing students to Springfield Tech’s mechanical engineering technology program.

About MassDevelopment

In conclusion, MassDevelopment works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2015, MassDevelopment financed or managed 294 projects. As a result, this generated investment of more than $2.5 billion in the Massachusetts economy. Hence, these projects are projected to create about 6,100 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 2,000 residential units.