December 7, 2021

Baker announces $2.7 million investment in apprenticeships

Gov. Charlie Baker has authorized $2.7 million in new grant funding for 19 organizations to expand apprenticeships across the state to meet critical workforce needs.

“Apprenticeships are a proven model to support employers’ workforce needs and help workers gain new skills and improved employment opportunities, which is why we are glad to support these programs with nearly $3 million in new funding as we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week,” Baker said in a news release. “We recognize that this training model will play an important role in helping us meet future workforce needs for in-demand fields, as identified in our Future of Work Report.”

According to the release, the Baker administration has focused on expanding career opportunities in apprenticeships to populations most affected by the pandemic, including women and people of color.

Apprenticeship programs have included 3,700 workers since 2015, when Baker took office, according to the release, and the new $2.7 million in funding will help train and retain more than 500 workers in the next calendar year. The apprenticeship program’s focus lies in health care, life sciences, clean energy, IT, and advanced manufacturing.

“The Apprenticeship Innovation Fund (AIF) provides funding for apprenticeship training and services that contribute to our ongoing expansion and diversity efforts benefiting all Massachusetts residents,” Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta said in the release. “These grants specifically target life sciences and biotech, among other expansion industries, and provide life-changing career pathways to higher-paying, in-demand jobs for the unemployed and underemployed, while helping close job gaps for the Commonwealth’s STEM employers.”

Funding for the state’s apprenticeship program, according to the release, is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, which aims to expand apprenticeship opportunities for women, working moms, people of color, youth, and people with disabilities.

Third Sector Capital Partners Inc. will receive $310,000 from the program, and Metro North Regional Employment Board in Cambridge and the North Shore Workforce Board in Salem will receive $250,000 each, according to the release. Apprenti/WTIA, Family Services of Central Massachusetts, Greater New Bedford Workforce Boar, Hampdem County Workforce Board, and MassBioEd will each receive $100,000 in grant funding.

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