AMP it up! Matching Grants Total Nearly $90,000 for Nine Partnerships to Increase Advanced Manufacturing Career Awareness and Interest

December 16, 2014


Emily Dahl, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 978-394-3506 (cell)

MassDevelopment today announced the nine partnerships that are recipients of the AMP it up! campaign’s matching grants to conduct outreach and other innovative programs that will educate young people and adults about career options in advanced manufacturing. In the third consecutive year of the program, MassDevelopment will provide awards totaling $88,633 to the nine partnerships that consist of regional employment and workforce investment boards; advanced manufacturers; chambers of commerce and development councils; community colleges; youth-serving organizations; and other organizations throughout the Commonwealth.

The lead organizations on these nine partnerships are Berkshire Community College (Pittsfield), Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board, Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board (Worcester), Greenfield Community College, Metro North Regional Employment Board (Cambridge), New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, North Central Massachusetts Economic Development Council (Fitchburg), North Shore Workforce Investment Board (Salem), and Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Inc. (Springfield).

“With such a wealth of opportunities in the advanced manufacturing industry here in Massachusetts and an ever-increasing need for skilled workers to fill these high-paying jobs, young people need to know more about the possibilities of manufacturing careers,” said Marty Jones, President and CEO of MassDevelopment. “We’re seeing great success from the first two years of AMP it up! awards in expanding awareness of these careers and the skills needed, and these nine partnerships will build on their previous efforts to reach new groups of young people and the adults in their lives.”

The community-based programs receiving the awards plan to offer tours of advanced manufacturing companies, career awareness workshops, teacher and guidance counselor information sessions, and externships with manufacturers. 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 campaign highlights the exciting, technology-driven, high-paying career options in manufacturing, dispels outdated misconceptions about the industry, and bolsters the prospective employee base for these quality jobs with Massachusetts companies.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 third round of grants builds on the successes of the campaign’s first and second years. Grant applications were evaluated based on the uses proposed; the collaborations/partnerships created; and scope of outreach proposed. This year, the program was able to award funding to all applicants, all of whom are previous AMP it up! awardees that are continuing, expanding, and/or reshaping their programs for the coming year.

“Berkshire Community College is delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the AMP it up! program,” said Bill Mulholland, VP Community Education & Workforce Development at Berkshire Community College. “As our community awaits the building of the new innovation center we want parents, teachers and students to know that advanced manufacturing in the Berkshires has an outstanding future!”

“The AMP it up! grant is a great opportunity for our youth and the educational system to learn more about manufacturing and the great career pathways that are open in our region,” said Sheila Sullivan-Jardim, Executive Director of Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board.

“We are excited for the next round of AMP it up! This initiative has been an integral part of the CMWIB’s goal to address misconceptions regarding young adults and careers in manufacturing,” said Jeff Turgeon, Executive Director of Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board. “The CMWIB and its partners will continue to outreach to parents and teachers, those individuals who have the greatest influence over young adults and their career pathways.”

“Greenfield Community College is very pleased to secure this funding to help spread the word in our community about our successful manufacturing training initiative,” said GCC President Robert L. Pura. “GCC’s Workforce Development Middle and Foundational Manufacturing Skills Initiatives programs were created by the collaborative efforts of our legislative delegation, state funding, and area manufacturing employers and technical schools; we are anxious to get the word out to job seekers in our region and begin filling the jobs pipeline in the field of advanced manufacturing.”

“We are thrilled to continue our work in introducing youth to the many exciting and viable career paths in advanced manufacturing today. The AMP it up! initiative is providing a much-needed service by educating youth, their families, teachers/guidance counselors, and other members of the community about the vastly changed manufacturing industry and the opportunities it presents,” said Joanna Dowling, Metro North Regional Employment Board Chair, and Director of Operations, The Custom Group, Woburn.

“The New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, The Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board and its Advanced Manufacturing partners are honored to have been selected as one of the grant recipients of the AMP it up! campaign,” said Ian Abreu, Manager of Workforce & Business Development at the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce. “These important grant funds will allow us to continue our advocacy work centered around careers in this booming industry. Here in New Bedford, Advanced Manufacturing currently makes up about 20% of our local workforce and is considered to be a priority industry. Building off of that momentum, all while creating additional educational and workforce opportunities for this community are all the primary objectives of our mission.”

“One out of every five people employed in North Central MA has a job in manufacturing—the most critical factor in our local economy. We’re excited that this AMP it up! award will help us sustain our ongoing efforts to support the needs of manufacturers in the region,” said David McKeehan, president of the North Central Massachusetts Development Corp.

“The North Shore WIB’s labor market research indicates that manufacturing is a critical industry providing many jobs with solid wages at various levels of education. We are grateful for the opportunity to bring news of manufacturing career pathways to all members of the North Shore, particularly to our emerging workforce, and look forward to helping these youth enter and thrive as manufacturing professionals,” said Mary Sarris, Executive Director of the North Shore Workforce Investment Board.

“This grant will allow the Regional Employment Board, the regional advanced manufacturing companies and our educational partners to collaborate to expose middle school students to career pathways in advanced manufacturing, and create opportunities for counselors and teachers to build relationships with industry to support teaching and learning in the school,” said David Cruise, President and CEO of Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Inc.

The partnerships below received grants for 2015-16. A single asterisk (*) indicates that a partnership (or one or more members of the partnership) received funding during one previous year, and two asterisks indicate participation in the program during both previous years. A map of the recipients’ locations along with contacts for the recipients can be found here.

Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield** – $10,000
In partnership with Berkshire Applied Technology Council
These partners will expand on current outreach efforts to promote the region’s manufacturing industries and the high-technology careers available to a new generation of workers. Building on existing successful marketing activities supported by AMP it up! grant awards, the partners will expose middle and high school students, parents, and guidance counselors to career programs available at the region’s two vocational high schools, as well as the certificate and degree programs available at Berkshire Community College. The program includes guest speakers, field trips to vocational technical high schools, and billboard advertising to highlight the value of manufacturing careers.

Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board, Brockton* – $10,000
In partnership with: Brockton Public Schools, Bridgewater State University, and AccuRounds
These partners will target middle and high school students in the Brockton Public School system to deliver a career awareness program and workshop series to youth. Topics in the workshop series will include career pathways, postsecondary training, and the industry environment. Students will also participate in industry tours, and their faculty will have an opportunity to job shadow at regional manufacturers. To continue fostering opportunities in manufacturing, BAWIB will also be working on developing curriculum with Bridgewater State University that will be delivered to potential and current teachers on the value of manufacturing in Massachusetts.

Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, Worcester** – $10,000
In partnership with Worcester Public Schools, Blackstone Valley Education Foundation, and Quinsigamond Community College
This program will target teachers, school counselors, college faculty, families, and parents who influence career exploration and decision making for students in grades 7 through 12. Activities will include manufacturing career exploration forums with panel discussions from business and industry for school teachers and staff; summer manufacturing externships for teachers and staff; manufacturing career information for parents; and other outreach. 

Greenfield Community College, Greenfield* – $10,000
In partnership with Franklin Hampshire Career Center and Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board
This program will reach unemployed and underemployed adults through a public relations and marketing campaign to identify and invite them to enroll in training for advanced manufacturing careers, along with field trips to area manufacturing firms and presentations on the opportunities available.

Metro North Regional Employment Board, Cambridge** – $10,000
In partnership with: The Center for Manufacturing Technology, Boston Centerless, United Electric Controls, Madico, Malden Teen Enrichment Center, and The Career Place
This partnership builds on an existing program to expose youth, their parents, school personnel, and youth-serving community-based organizations to opportunities presented by advanced manufacturing careers. The partners will combine information sessions for youth and their adult influencers with company tours, guest speakers, career fairs, and a hands-on workshop at a local machine shop. The program will particularly target outreach to underserved youth in Everett, Medford, Malden, Revere, and Somerville.

New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, New Bedford* – $10,000
In partnership with Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, Precix, Inc., Acushnet Company / Titleist, Five Star Manufacturing, and Lockheed Martin
This partnership will leverage new and existing resources to continue ongoing efforts to reach career counselors, community organizations, youth-serving organizations, teachers, and most importantly, students. The program includes outreach and awareness events such as discussions with manufacturing employees and company tours, as well as teacher externships and information for teachers and guidance counselors regarding educational pathways for manufacturing careers at postsecondary institutions.

North Central Massachusetts Economic Development Council, Fitchburg** – $10,000
In partnership with Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC)
These partners will design presentations on the uses of interesting technologies in manufacturing to show middle and high school students participating in existing student mentoring programs at various schools in the North Central region. Other program elements include a series of summer tours of manufacturing facilities tied into an existing summer class curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The program will also include an event for Manufacturing Day in October 2015 to bring students to the Devens campus of MWCC.

North Shore Workforce Investment Board, Salem* – $10,000
In partnership with Catholic Charities North, Compass Youth Program (Action, Inc), and Salem Community Charter School
This program involves outreach to out-of-school youth as well as in-school youth to increase awareness of manufacturing careers, and includes externship opportunities for educators. Out-of-school youth who will be reached through the program are considered at-risk and/or are from low-income households, and are eager to work but not familiar with the local labor market or opportunities in manufacturing. The program will include field trips, tours, and guest speakers to help build knowledge of the local manufacturing economy. For teachers, the externship program will expose them to area companies and provide lesson plan creation and implementation support.

Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Inc, Springfield** – $8,633
In partnership with: Western MA Chapter – National Tooling & Machining Association, West Springfield High School, advanced manufacturing companies and area middle schools
These partners will conduct an Advanced Manufacturing Career Awareness Program to accelerate student enrollment in manufacturing programs at vocational technical and other high schools in the Pioneer Valley region by providing career pathway information and guidance to parents of current eighth-graders, including an Advanced Manufacturing Career Awareness Day. The program will continue work on a program for current West Springfield High School students to help them explore careers in advanced manufacturing by working with regional companies and organizations. The program will include manufacturing company tours and tours of manufacturing engineering programs at Massachusetts public and private universities.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2014, MassDevelopment financed or managed 314 projects generating investment of more than $2.9 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 6,300 jobs and build or rehabilitate more than 1,600 residential units.