Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week, Announces New Apprenticeship Grant Funding

The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $2.7 million in new grant funding to 19 organizations to support expanded apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth to meet critical workforce training needs and boost employment opportunities for residents. The Administration announced the new grants at a visit to Arranta Bio in Watertown celebrating National Apprenticeship Week. The event highlighted the company’s successful apprenticeship program and the Administration’s continued focus on leveraging apprenticeships to expand career opportunities for populations hardest-hit by the pandemic, including women and people of color. 

“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,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “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.”

“As Massachusetts looks to meet our workforce needs over the next several years, apprenticeships will remain a valuable tool to connect workers with high-demand fields, especially our growing STEM industries,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Our apprenticeship programs provide opportunities to workers, with a particular focus on expanding opportunities for women, people of color and others who have historically not had the same access to these fields.”

The Commonwealth’s apprenticeship programs have supported over 3,700 workers since the Administration took office in 2015 and the funding announced today will allow apprenticeship programs to train more than 500 workers over the next year, with a focus on occupations in growing fields like health care, life sciences, clean energy, IT, and advanced manufacturing, in addition to diversity and inclusion programming for traditional construction and building trades. Many of these fields were also identified in the Administration’s recently-published Future of Work Report as areas of growth for Massachusetts over the next decade, with upwards of 300,000-400,000 workers potentially needing to transition to different occupations or occupational categories.

"The Apprenticeship Innovation Fund (AIF) provides funding for apprenticeship training and services that contribute to our ongoing expansion and diversity efforts benefitting all Massachusetts residents," said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta. "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.”

“Arranta Bio is proud to partner with MassBioEd in the development of the apprenticeship program for biomanufacturing technicians,” said Mark R. Bamforth, executive chair and CEO at Arranta. “Through this partnership, we are enabling individuals to obtain industry recognized skills and to transition into a meaningful, well paid career in life sciences.”

“The life sciences industry continues to grow in Massachusetts expecting to generate 20,000-40,000 new jobs by 2024,” said Sunny Schwartz, CEO of MassBioEd, apprenticeship partner for Arranta Bio. “At the same time, thousands of capable individuals are left out of these jobs because of a lack of awareness or traditional college degrees. Apprenticeships are an innovative way to bridge this gap. With this generous support from the Commonwealth, MassBioEd’s Life Sciences Apprenticeship Program will train individuals to fill these roles, helping employers fill crucial vacancies with diverse talent while providing excellent career opportunities for hundreds of our residents."