Grant to aid cabinet making students in developing advanced skills

By Shaun Moriarty
Citizen Chronicle Writer
shaun@thecitizenchronicle.com

CHARLTON — A local technical school has received its share of $2.3 million in grant money awarded by the Governor’s office.

Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School will received $165,415 for the purchase of a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Door Production I Arch Machine for its cabinet making program, according to a recent press release from the office of Governor Charlie Baker. Bay Path students will develop advanced production skills used by cabinetmakers, furniture makers, bench carpenters, machine operators, and CNC programmers by creating real world capstone projects for community partners. Additionally, the equipment will be used as part of the school’s evening programs for adults who are interested in cabinet making careers or upgrading existing skills.

Bay Path is one of seven schools to be awarded Skills Capital Grants to purchase new industry-standard equipment. The other recipients are Belchertown High School, Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School in Taunton, Lynn Vocational Institute, Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational High School in Wakefield, Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School in Haverhill, and Worcester Technical High School.

The Governor’s office said the goal of the Skills Capital Grants is to help high schools, colleges and other educational institutions invest in the most up-to-date training equipment to give their students an advantage when they continue in their chosen field or particular area of study. The Skills Capital Grants cover a broad array of fields, from construction and engineering to healthcare and hospitality.

“Skills Capital Grants make an enormous difference in the education and training students receive at schools across the Commonwealth,” Gov. Baker said in the press release. “These grants will have a lasting impact by ensuring more residents are able to move into rewarding careers and more companies have the skilled employees they need to grow.”

“Skills Capital Grants impact students’ education and influence programs to meet the needs of employers across the Commonwealth seeking skilled employees,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said. “We are encouraged every time we visit a school that was awarded one of these grants and hear students talk about the difference the new equipment makes in their educational experience.”

The competitive grants are awarded to educational institutions that demonstrate partnerships with local businesses, as well as align curriculum and credentials with industry demand, in order to maximize hiring opportunities in each region of the state.  According to the grant award press release, the Economic Development legislation has authorized $45 million in funding to award over three years.

“The number of educational institutions that compete for Skills Capital Grants with well-thought out business partnerships is impressive,” Education Secretary Jim Peyser said. “Schools that receive these grants are ensuring their students are well-prepared for college and careers, making a difference in their students’ future successes.”

“Massachusetts is a national leader in life sciences, healthcare, technology, and manufacturing sectors,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “These grants allow us to build a strong pipeline of talented workers throughout the Commonwealth to support these key industries. A skilled workforce is essential to making Massachusetts increasingly competitive for the jobs of today, and of tomorrow.”

“The Skills Capital grant program is helping to fill current and future talent gaps in the workforce that are vital to the Commonwealth’s economic outlook,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said. “By continuing to invest in our workforce, we will ensure that the citizens of Massachusetts have the skills necessary to remain the best trained and educated in the nation.”

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