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AMP it up! Matching Grants to 10 Partnerships Total More Than $81,000 for Increasing Advanced Manufacturing Career Awareness

January 19, 2017


Meggie Quackenbush, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 857-208-2777 (cell)

MassDevelopment today announced 10 partnerships will receive AMP it up! matching grants to conduct outreach and other innovative programs that will educate young people and adults about career options in advanced manufacturing. In the fifth consecutive year of the program, MassDevelopment will provide awards totaling $81,410 to the 10 partnerships—consisting of regional employment and workforce investment boards, manufacturers, chambers of commerce and development councils, community colleges, vocational schools, and other organizations throughout the Commonwealth.

The lead organizations on these 10 partnerships are: Berkshire Community College (Pittsfield), Cape & Islands Workforce Investment Board (Hyannis), Girls Inc. (Worcester), 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), Quinsigamond Community College (Worcester), and Regional Employment Board of Hampden County (Springfield).

In a complementary effort to promote careers in advanced manufacturing, MassDevelopment is holding a third edition of the AMP it up! Video Challenge, which invites students to research the inner workings of an advanced manufacturing innovation and show in a three-minute video how it impacts the world around them. An online balloting tool will allow the public to help determine the winning videos, which will earn cash prizes donated to their schools. The top three videos will each win $5,000 in funding for a total of $15,000 in prize money.

“AMP it up! grants leverage community-based programming that educates students, teachers, guidance counselors, and parents about the opportunities and rewards of careers in advanced manufacturing, and empowers 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 community-based programs receiving the awards will host and organize activities like student internships, tours of advanced manufacturing companies, career awareness workshops, teacher and guidance counselor information sessions and externships with manufacturers, and more. The AMP it up! campaign highlights the exciting, technology-driven, high-paying career options in manufacturing, dispels outdated misconceptions about the industry, and bolsters 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.

“Berkshire Community College is delighted to have the opportunity to once again participate in the AMP it up! program,” said Ellen Kennedy, President of Berkshire Community College. “With this focus on advanced manufacturing, Berkshire Community College will be able to communicate and highlight the many products made in the Berkshires and show how bright the future is in this growing and ever-changing field.”

“The Cape & Islands Workforce Investment Board is delighted to have the opportunity to work with local manufacturers in providing STEM opportunities to our student populations, and would like to thank MassDevelopment for making this possible,” said Kara Galvin, Director of Youth Services at Cape & Islands Workforce Investment Board.

“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, and learn about related advanced manufacturing career opportunities that will positively impact their future.”

“For the second year in a row, the Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board is pleased to have been awarded an AMP It up! grant,” said Michael Paglia, Grant Specialist at the Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board. “We hope to build on our successful partnership with the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, through which we’ve trained 140 individuals in machining and electronics, to create a youth pipeline to advanced manufacturing employment."

“It’s gratifying to have this resource return to the Greater New Bedford WIB after a one-year hiatus. The schools are thrilled with the externship opportunities and knowledge to be gained, and having resources to connect our veterans with vocational training options is a win for our community and employers,” said Greater New Bedford WIB Executive Director and CEO Jim Oliveira.

“We’re very gratified to be awarded a third AMP it up! grant. Our 2017 campaign will energize high school students and their guidance counselors with employer panels, field trips, and catchy new materials that accentuate opportunities in advanced manufacturing,” said Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Rafael Abislaiman. “We’ll build on public awareness fostered in earlier campaigns by broadcasting information about advanced manufacturing careers through Spanish radio spots, signage on regional buses, and a special Veterans Day event.”

“The Metro North Regional Employment Board and its partners are thrilled to be part of the AMP it up! program for the fifth consecutive year,” said Metro North Regional Employment Board Executive Director Sunny Schwartz. “We look forward to continuing our work to promote advanced manufacturing careers to our region’s young people and assist our region’s employers by building the pipeline for a next-generation workforce."

“The North Shore WIB is appreciative of MassDevelopment’s investment in the North Shore manufacturing industry through AMP it up!,” said Mary Sarris, North Shore Workforce Investment Board Executive Director. “Manufacturing is a critical industry in our area, and the AMP it up! program helps us convince educators and students of the wonderful careers available to those who embrace manufacturing as their future.”

“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 of and interest in advanced manufacturing college and career pathways,” said Dean of Quinsigamond Community College’s School for Business, Engineering and Technology Kathy Rentsch.

“The Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways Program will accelerate our collaborative work to increase student enrollment in manufacturing programs at vocational technical high schools in the Pioneer Valley Region. Through this program, we will implement a series of coordinated, industry-led actions that will provide career pathway information and guidance about working in the advanced manufacturing sector to eighth grade students and their guidance counselors and teachers,” said Regional Employment Board of Hampden County President and CEO David M. Cruise.

The partnerships below received grants for 2017. 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!

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 that will include informational events, billboards and advertisements, events targeting high school students and career influencers, and outreach activities to encourage workers to learn about the region’s manufacturing industries and the rewards of a career in manufacturing. 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 that will help students identify pathways to careers in manufacturing. The program will also open doors for students interested in nontraditional careers in manufacturing by encouraging them to participate in the Cape Cod Maker Faire’s annual robotics competition. 

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, and training sessions 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. 

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 of advanced manufacturing opportunities. 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, and 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, and 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 

This program will reinvigorate a campaign the Merrimack Valley WIB launched four years ago to build awareness of advanced manufacturing careers among high school guidance counselors and students. Updated brochures, fliers and other promotional material will provide accurate descriptions of advanced manufacturing careers, 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 that will air 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 focused on advanced manufacturing for students, parents, guidance counselors, and job coaches. The sessions will provide participants with an overview of the manufacturing industry and related occupations, the skills required to enter the field, wage information, and the need within the industry. This partnership will target underserved young people in the Metro North regions, with a specific emphasis on students from Everett, Medford, Malden, Revere, and Somerville.  

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 by offering a range of new resources to youth and educators. The WIB will partner with local manufacturing companies on teacher externships, manufacturing tours for students, and employer information sessions and career speaker sessions, in small group settings, classes, or at job fairs.  

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, including a Manufacturing Day event for regional students, research on manufacturing resources for regional high schools, a social media campaign to directly connect students to employers, and professional development activities for teachers and guidance counselors. 

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 to encourage advanced manufacturing careers. The program will also offer activities aimed at exposing students to Springfield Technical Community College’s mechanical engineering technology program. 

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2016, MassDevelopment financed or managed 352 projects generating investment of more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units.